Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Was Hitler Present When Thule Society Members Attacked Steiner?

Munich Town Hall Dragon

ON MAY 15, 1922, Rudolf Steiner was scheduled to give a lecture at the Four Seasons hotel in Munich.  When told that the Nazi-party-linked Thule Society used the hotel for its gatherings, Steiner refused to back out, despite rumors that he was on a hit list.  Thule members and/or Nazis showed up, and toward the end of the lecture they shut off the lights and stormed the stage, presumably in an attempt to injure or kill Steiner.  Meanwhile, the New York Times treated the event as a bit of fun.

Steiner was able to get away because a substantial contingent of bodyguards was organized in response to the indications of trouble.  T. H. Meyer tells the story of how when the lights in the hall went out, and only a lamp next to the lectern remained lit, Steiner didn't miss a beat, but calmly continued speaking, which kept the would-be attackers in their seats for a time.  Those in charge of the lights managed to get them on again, but later, during the final applause for the lecture, the attack commenced.

According to Allesio Ponzio (Shaping the New Man, University of Wisconsin Press), Hitler can be placed in Munich on May 13, 1922, at a founding meeting of the Nazi youth movement. Hitler's presence on May 13 in Munich is also in Paul Bruppacher's chronicle (in German) of Hitler's life, here.  That would be two days before the Munich attack on Steiner. Thomas Friedrich (Hitler's Berlin, Yale University Press), writes that Hitler stayed in Berlin from May 17 to June 15, 1922.

Since Hitler was in Munich on the 13th and apparently not in Berlin until the 17th, he may have remained in Munich May 14, 15, and 16, and left Munich for Berlin on the 16th or 17th.  He thus could have been at the Four Seasons during the attack May 15.

He had turned 33 about a month before, and had been the leader of the Nazi party for about ten months.  He was certainly aware of Steiner.  In an article published March 15, 1921, fourteen months before the attack, the Nazi Party's newspaper Völkische Beobachter referred, in an article signed by Hitler, to
Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner himself the adherent of the Threefold Social Order which is one of the many completely Jewish methods of destroying the peoples’ normal state of mind.
One can see an English translation of part of Hitler's article here.   A bit of the original German can be seen here and here.

Robert Caney, 1847-1911, Flying Monster

On May 27, 1922, twelve days after the attack, the Nazis' Völkische Beobachter (again according to T. H. Meyer in Milestones) published further statements about Steiner, including these:
It is a waste of ink to spare serious words on such an anti-German charlatan. But one's hair stands on end to think that this man was able, unhindered, to give a lecture in Munich last week without any intervention from the government...Mr. Steiner's doctrine has aims almost identical with those of all enemies of our national and state independence...He has access to millions of Deutsch Marks to help corrupt our nation with his teachings, and this far-reaching influence has made him a danger to our current and future progress.

An Invitation

If any readers can provide sources or evidence to confirm that Hitler was in Munich on May 15, 1922, and can leave a comment here about it, that would be most helpful.  Also, what time and day Hitler left in order to be in Berlin on May 17 would be interesting to know, if it can be found somewhere in the historical record.  Or if that data has fallen into oblivion, one still wonders if someone out there reading this post has access to records of arrival and departure times for trains from Munich to Berlin from May 13 through May 17, 1922 for whatever they might be worth.

Update: See Part 2 in this series for a confirmation that Hitler was in Munich on May 15, 1922. And he lived only six blocks from the hotel where the attempted attack on Steiner took place.

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