Putsch

A German word describing a secretly plotted, violent attempt to overthrow a government (syn. coup d’état).

In what became known as the Beer Hall Putsch (or Munich Putsch), Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party – then a small, right-wing extremist faction – launched an attempt to overthrow the German government. In November 1923, they marched from a Munich beer hall (the Bürgerbräu Keller) through the center of Munich, where they were overpowered by the Munich police. Nine ringleaders including Hitler were arrested and prosecuted. Hitler was convicted of high treason and sentenced to five years in prison, although he served only 8 months of his sentence. Many of the participants would later become leaders in the Nazi government.