Events Relating to the Rise of the Third Reich in 1924  
  Tuesday, February 26, 1924  
  The Beer Hall Putsch trial began before a special court in Munich in front of a five-judge panel chaired by Georg Neithardt. The nine defendants who were charged with treason were Adolf Hitler, General Erich von Ludendorff, Ernst Rohm, Heinz Pernet, Friedrich Weber, Wilhelm Frick, Hermann Kriebel, Wilhelm Bruckner, and Robert Wagner. The trial would last for twenty-four days and the proceedings of each day were reported on the front pages of every German newspaper. For the first time Hitler had an audience outside of Bavaria and he used the opportunity to denounce the Weimar Republic. Hitler was able to recover the political initiative by assuming full responsibility for the putsch. Read the text of Hitler’s opening speech.  
   
  Tuesday, April 1, 1924  
  The Beer Hall Putsch trial ended. The judges were impressed (Presiding Judge Neithardt was inclined to favoritism towards the defendants prior to the trial) and Hitler was sentenced to only five years in prison, less his time in pretrial detention, and payment of 200 gold Marks or an additional twenty days in prison. He would be eligible for parole in six months when he could have been given a life sentence. Weber, Kriebel and Pöhner were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for high treason, less their time in pretrial detention, and payment of 200 gold Marks or an additional twenty days in prison. They would be eligible for parole after six months. Bruckner, Ruhm, Pernet, Wagner, and Frick were found guilty of abetment and sentenced to fifteen months’ imprisonment, less their time in pretrial detention, as well as a fine of 100 gold marks or an additional ten days in prison. However, they were immediately released on paroleDue to his story that he was there by accident (which he had also used in the Kapp Putsch) along with his war service and connections, General von Ludendorff was acquitted. Both Ernst Rohm and Dr. Wilhelm Frick were found guilty but released. In his closing speech, Hitler offered a prophetic call: “The man who is born to be a dictator is not compelled: he wills it.”  
   
  Hitler was taken to Landsberg Prison in Bavaria. Also admitted that day were fellow Nazis Hermann Kriebel, Emil Maurice and Hitler’s later deputy, Rudolf Hess. Hitler spent his time in prison dictating his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. After nine months in prison, political pressure from supporters of the Nazi Party forced his release.  
   
  Saturday, December 20, 1924  
  Adolf Hitler was released from Landsberg Prison. Hitler served only nine months of his five year sentence for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch.  
     
   
     
   
 

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