International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Hitler’s Beer Hall Politics: A Reassessment based on New Historical Scholarship
Jeffrey Gaab

As the eightieth anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s accession to power in Germany approaches in 2013, recent scholarship has revised Hitler’s description of his formative experiences. This new scholarship demonstrates that Hitler’s time in Munich was far more significant than his period in Vienna. The new secondary literature demonstrates conclusively that Munich, not Vienna, became the “school of his life.” It was in Munich, as a “beer hall agitator,” where Hitler learned the political skills he would later employ to outmaneuver Germany’s professional politicians and seize power in 1933. Ian Kershaw has described Hitler’s years in Munich as “the years of his political apprenticeship.” Hitler developed an “aggressive obstinacy” during his years in Munich that lead to his political success. The “aggressive obstinacy” developed after numerous experiences in Munich’s beer halls. This paper argues that the road to the Reich’s Chancellery in 1933 lead through Munich’s beer halls in the 1920s.

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