Sunday, May 15, 2016

Was Hitler Present When Thule Society Members Attacked Steiner? Part 2

Jean Lepautre, detail from Hippolytus and
the Sea Monster
, published 1676

HITLER was in Munich on May 15, 1922.  In the first post here on this subject, that date was not entirely beyond doubt.  The present post will show that it can be taken as reliable.  Hitler thus may have been present and somehow connected with the attack on Rudolf Steiner at Munich's Four Seasons Hotel on that date. Hitler and his paramilitary retinue had already been involved in political violence on more one occasion. That he might have been present at the attack on Steiner or connected with it is not something that seems to have been considered previously. Certainly extremists on the right had it in for Steiner because of his 1921 campaign to make Upper Silesia autonomous rather than part of Germany.

Part 1 in this series of posts recounted some of the details of the attack on Steiner and reproduced some of Hitler's published comments of 1921, in which Hitler referred to Steiner's social threefolding idea as "one of the many completely Jewish methods of destroying the peoples’ normal state of mind."

As to Hitler's location on May 15, 1922, Part 1 could only determine that Hitler was in Munich on May 13, and that he might not have left for a trip to Berlin until the 17th. After that post went up, however, Paul Bruppacher, a chronicler of Hitler's life, was contacted in the hope that he could more definitely pinpoint Hitler's whereabouts on the 15th.  Here is a translation of Mr. Bruppacher's reply:
Thank you for your inquiry.

On 14 May 1922 Hitler was in Munich. Activity unknown.
On 15 May 1922 Hitler was in Munich. Activity unknown.
On 16 May 1922 Hitler rides by car via N├╝rnberg and Bayreuth to Berneck.
On 17 May 1922 Hitler rides by car from Berneck via Leipzig to Berlin.

This information comes from the just published Hitler: The Itinerary, Volume 1, by Harald Sandner.

I hope to have served you with this information and remain

With friendly greetings,

Paul Bruppacher
Hitler: The Itinerary is not available in English. Some details in German about the book can be seen at Amazon, here. 

Was the 33-year-old Hitler, who for less than a year had been the leader of the Nazi Party, in some way involved in the attack on Steiner in Munich on May 15, 1922? Hitler was already somewhat well-known, so presumably he would not have participated in such an attack himself. But might he have been somehow behind it? If historians out there can rule this out or offer evidence on the probabilities, your thoughts would be appreciated.   

UPDATE: It turns out that in the 1920s, Hitler lived about six blocks from the Munich Four Seasons Hotel. Here is a Google Earth photo showing the two buildings:

This does not mean Hitler had anything to do with the attack, of course.

It has also just come to the attention of this site that one of the witnesses to the attack, Walter Beck, found a dagger had been dropped on the stage at some point during the melee. Confirmation that Beck actually wrote about finding a dagger is currently being pursued. If Beck did write of it, that would reinforce the impression that the attack was an assassination attempt. Political murders were not especially unusual during the Weimar Republic. 

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