The Trial of Adolf Hitler - The Beer Hall Putsch and The Rise of Nazi Germany by David King

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Sixteen years before the Second World War, Adolf Hitler had already begun his plan to take over the world. With the help of nine close conspirators and a few hundred followers, he staged his first attempt to overthrow the German government. On 8 November 1923, Hitler stood on a table in the middle of Munich's crowded Bürgerbräu Beer Hall, fired his revolver into the air, and shouted 'The National Revolution has begun!' Although they managed to kill nineteen people, the attempt was far from a triumph. Hitler and his accomplices, including Germany's most prominent war hero, found themselves accused of high treason; if found guilty, they would face deportation or, worse, life in prison.

But the trial did not go as the prosecution had planned. Few in the courtroom that morning anticipated what General Erich Lundendorff, the leading defendant, whose risky offensives during the First World War doomed Germany to defeat, would soon be eclipsed but the private first class at his side. Before the trial, Hitler was only a minor, if ambitious, local party leader. Yet once the proceedings began, his days of relative obscurity were over and he had soon turned the trial into the single greatest opportunity of his life.

Including never-before-published sources, this richly informed, day-by-day account shows how Hitler metamorphosed into a mesmerizing demagogue and used his trial as a stage for Nazi propaganda. Chilling in the hypothetical questions is raises, The Trial of Adolf Hitler illuminates our understanding of Hitler's path to power.