|Kapp forces in a show of force on the streets of Berlin during a four-day saga in March 1920 when their leader, the ultra-conservative Dr. Wolfgang von Kapp, attempted a takeover of the government. Backed by 8,000 armed men, Kapp marched into Berlin and proclaimed himself as "Chancellor-Dictator of the Imperial Republic." However, President Ebert continued to govern from Stuttgart and called for a general strike, bringing all of Germany to a complete standstill. The strike effectively ended Kapp's tenure as Chancellor-Dictator and he fled Berlin in an automobile. Below Left: Inside a German bank vault, counting many billions of deutsche marks. Below Right: A Berlin woman lights her kitchen stove with deutsche marks not worth the paper they are printed on. Amid the ruinous inflation of the early 1920's in Germany it was possible to pay the equivalent of 50 million dollars for a cup of coffee. Germany's financial collapse emboldened extremist political groups such as the Nazi Party.
|Below: Troops loyal to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler arrive in Munich in November 1923 during Hitler's attempted takeover of government offices there, which he hoped would ignite a nationwide revolt and bring down Germany's democratic government. The uprising, later known as the Beer Hall Putsch, failed when German police opened fire on Hitler and his supporters. Hitler fled the scene but was later arrested and put on trial for treason.
|Below: Nazi leader Adolf Hitler departs Landsberg prison in December 1924 after serving just nine months for his role in the failed Beer Hall Putsch. Sensational news coverage surrounding his trial helped little-known Hitler gain a national following in Germany. After his release from prison, Hitler began to painstakingly rebuild his movement with the goal of getting Nazis elected to the national legislature to destroy Germany's democracy from within and establish a dictatorship.
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