“The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”
Coup d’etat or coup.
The definition is a sudden and decisive exercise of force in politics. All throughout history this has been happening all around the world. Some have been just mere attempts, some have been wildly successful. One things is certain, these events usually end in conflict.
We believe it is important to point out one particular coup. Rather, an attempted coup.
In 1923 the Beer Hall Putsch, or the Munich Putsch, led by Adolf Hitler began. November 8th and 9th saw close to 20 combined deaths from both sides. This came at a time of instability in Germany. Both sides of the political spectrum were displeased with how things were going. The infamous side drew inspiration from Benito Mussolini who led the March on Rome. That march brought fascism to power in Italy so Hitler thought this was going to be what would work. Hitler set the plan in motion on November 8th and had a chance at being successful but a couple pieces fell apart. This ultimately led to him being sentenced to 5 years in prison. He spent a total of 8 months locked up instead.
One of the things the Nazis sought to do was crush any political opponent they came across. The other ideas were even more vile as we all know.
Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are beautiful things. They are also some of the most dangerous weapons in the world. Hitler knew this and used them to his advantage. After the failed coup, the Bavarian government put a ban on the Nazi party, its formations and its newspaper. A couple years later this was reversed and the ball started rolling faster. Instead of November 8th and 9th being solemn days, they were celebrated. The place where the Nazis clashed with police was turned in to a memorial for the Nazi party.
Why did Hitler not spend the full time in prison?
The answer is simple. The judge in the case was notorious for showing leniency towards right wing defendants who claimed to have acted out of sincere and patriotic motives.
The government betrayed Germany by signing the Versailles Treaty.
There was a clear and imminent communist threat to Germany.
There was outrage over the decision to only jail Hitler for 8 months. Unfortunately, government officials chose to not publicly voice their displeasure as it could give the impression of trying to influence the affairs of the justice system.
After his release, the brown shirts started mobilizing, the Nazi party grew at an alarming rate, and the rest is history. History that can and will repeat itself if not confronted properly. That's why we must learn.
Throughout this week, we will be highlighting different aspects of this time period. Not only this, we will be comparing them to what is happening now and potential players involved.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said in a speech,” In spite of this imperative demand to live differently, we are producing a generation of the mass mind. We have moved from rugged individualism to the even greater extreme of rugged collectivism. Instead of making history we are made by history.”
We hear you Martin. We choose to not let history make us.
*****A picture of Hitler’s failed coup with a transition to a picture of January 6th 2021 with the title text in white and red,“Part One: Hitlers failed coup”.*****