Putsch and Landsberg


consists of two original Third Reich articles: Memories of November 9th, 1923 by Alfred Rosenberg, which presents his own eye-witness account of the Putsch, and Adolf Hitler in Landsberg by Karl Richard Ganzer.


SC. 40pp. 

The tension had escalated to the unbearable for all. I had remained away from the “Bürgerbräu” for several hours in order to issue instructions for the afternoon in the editorial office, and only around 11:00 did I travel there again by automobile with Dietrich Eckart and our print shop owner Müller. As we drove through the Ludwigstrasse, nobody disturbed us admittedly, but already at this moment a huge, yellow-gary-green monster positioned itself at the center of the five intersecting streets on the Odeonsplatz: an armored car! Gray figures with automatic rifles in hand then already fanned out from various streets, so that we knew what it was all about: an investment of the whole inner city, which was obviously tied to a similar action with the encirclement of the “Bürgerbräu” and all the suburbs.

As we drove in front of the “Bürgerbräu”, the whole column for the march into the city already stood ready, Adolf Hitler, pale and serious, next to him Dr. von Scheuber-Richter. I greeted him with a handshake, and he said to me: “Things look bad!” Those were his last words. Three-quarters of an hour later, aGerman bullet had struck him dead.

At the column’s departure, Müller told me: “Mr. Rosenberg, don’t come along, this is sheer suicide.” At this hour, however, one no longer asked oneself whether or not suicide. I joined the second rank, and we marched off. In the middle of the first rank, the Füher walked next to Ludendorff, Göring, Graf, Streicher, and on the other side I noticed Albrecht von Gräfe, Feder and Kriebel. On my right marched Arno Schickedanz and on my left party comrade Körner, back then the Second Chairman of the NSDAP. The column was enthusiastically cheered by the public, which had still not correctly comprehended how things stood. A swastika flag hung down from the city hall on the Marienplatz, and a dense throng of the Munich populace accompanied us through the Weinstrasse, then into the Perusastrasse, and suddenly we turned off into the Residenzstrasse. Behind us, patriotic songs were sung, right and left of us two standard-bearers carried the flags. About 200 paces in front of the enemy rifle line, the flagpole of the standard-bearer on the right suddenly broke. Aside from me, probably hardly anybody noticed how things stood in the Residenzstasse. Probably hardly anybody knew about the large armored-car on the Odeonsplatz and about the rife lines there with the machine-pistols. But it was clear what would come. The whole leadership of the NSDAP and its loyal friends stood at the point, and only at some distance did some S.A. troops come with shouldered rifles, unequipped for a street fight, which, after all, also appeared out of the question due to the leadership marching ahead. It was a psychological game that General Ludendorff thought like this: German soldiers will not shoot at the general and the leaders of the German freedom movement. In order to make it clear to the gray riflemen of the Bavarian government that Ludendorff walked at the point, Julius Streicher marched about thirty paces ahead of the front and shouted to the provincial police: “Ludendorff marches with us, do not shoot!” Possible that these words had as a result a certain postponement of events, at any rate General Ludendorff marched at a swift gait through the riflemen, and the fire was opened at a very short distance. Given the crowd, great confusion naturally arose, and all of us were pulled to the ground by it, likewise Adolf Hitler, who badly dislocated his arm in the fall. What now transpired indeed did not last long, but these few minutes decided the history of the German revolution, memorable moments, for after them the law of the movement had become a different one, the coming work had to begin under totally new viewpoints.

The provincial police fired into the foremost front not only from ahead; from the high narrow side of the Feldherrnhall as well machine-pistols rattled and struck the asphalt with a crack, or the bullets bored into the bodies of the National Socialist leadership. In the turmoil I came to lie upon a comrade, of whom I still to this day do not know who he was. At any rate, I had thereby become a significant elevation in the whole mess and could observe the events precisely. Hermann Göring, apparently wounded, was lying on the right side of our column, crawling, seeking cover, behind the Bavarian lions at the Residenz apothecary. A few people seemed to already lie dead, but I could not ascertain that everywhere. Behind me, one of our riflemen had lain down and fired fiercely into the rifle line of the Bavarian police. After each shot he ducked behind me and had apparently considered me to be a good bullet catcher. I told him; “Stop that, it has become pointless!”, because I felt absolutely no desire for the shooting police to gradually notice this still hidden rifleman. Shortly afterward, I see how Hitler raises one arm and shouts back: “Don’t shoot!” Then the shouting soon ebbed down and the people stood up. I walked back at a slow gait. There were many dead. A comrade with shot off skull, from which the brain still oozed, was lying diagonally across the sidewalk, he was just taking his last breaths. If I remember correctly, that was party comrade von Stromsky. On the now devoid of humans square on the rear wall of the post office I saw an automobile driving at a slow speed across the square, up front with unmoved face Adolf Hitler, on the back seat a small, bleeding boy, who had apparently likewise been struck by a police bullet. Hitler drove slowly along the S.A. men forming a lane, who greeted him with a soft, but firm, “Heil”.