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Introduction

The Night of the Long Knives , sometimes called "Operation Hummingbird " or in Germany the "Röhm-Putsch," was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders. Leading figures of the "left-wing" Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party, along with its namesake, Gregor Strasser, were murdered, as were prominent conservative anti-Nazis (such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had suppressed Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in 1923). Many of those killed were members of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary Brownshirts.

Adolf Hitler moved against the SA and its leader, Ernst Röhm, because he saw the independence of the SA and the penchant of its members for street violence as a direct threat to his newly gained political power. He also wanted to conciliate leaders of the Reichswehr, the official German military who feared and despised the SA—in particular Röhm's ambition to absorb the Reichswehr into the SA under his own leadership. Finally, Hitler used the purge to attack or eliminate critics of his new regime, especially those loyal to Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, as well as to settle scores with old enemies.

At least 85 people died during the purge, although the final death toll may have been in the hundreds, and more than a thousand perceived opponents were arrested. Most of the killings were carried out by the Schutzstaffel (SS) and the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei), the regime's secret police. The purge strengthened and consolidated the support of the Reichswehr for Hitler. It also provided a legal grounding for the Nazi regime, as the German courts and cabinet quickly swept aside centuries of legal prohibition against extra-judicial killings to demonstrate their loyalty to the regime.

Before its execution, its planners sometimes referred to it as "Hummingbird" (German:Kolibri), the codeword used to send the execution squads into action on the day of the purge. The codename for the operation appears to have been chosen arbitrarily. The phrase "Night of the Long Knives" in the German language predates the massacre itself and refers generally to acts of vengeance. Germans still use the term "Röhm-Putsch" to describe the murders, the term given to it by the Nazi regime, despite its unproven implication that the murders were necessary to prevent a coup. German authors often use quotation marks or write about the so-called Röhm-Putsch to emphasize this.

Although the German public did not complain much when SA activities were directed againstJewsCommunists, and Socialists, by 1934 there was general concern about the level of civic violence for which the "brown shirts" were responsible.

Hitler and the Sturmabteilung (SA) Hitler posing in Nuremberg with SA members in the late 1920s; Hermann Göring is pictured beneath Hitler, wearing his medals. Julius Streicher is to Hitler's right

President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor on January 30, 1933. Over the next few months, during the so-called GleichschaltungHitler dispensed with the need for the Reichstag as alegislative body and eliminated all rival political parties in Germany so that by the middle of 1933, the country had become a one-party state under his direction and control.

Hitler did not exercise absolute power, however, despite his swift consolidation of political authority. As chancellor, Hitler did not command the army, which remained under the formal leadership of Hindenburg, a highly respected veteran field marshal, albeit increasingly frail and senile. While many officers were impressed by Hitler's promises of an expanded army, a return to conscription, and a more aggressive foreign policy, the army continued to guard its traditions of independence during the early years of the Nazi regime.

To a lesser extent, the Sturmabteilung (SA), a Nazi paramilitary organisation, remained somewhat autonomous within the party itself. The SA evolved out of the remnants of the Freikorps movement of the post-World War I years. The Freikorps were nationalistic organisations primarily composed of disaffected, disenchanted, and angry German combat veterans founded by the government in January 1919 to deal with the threat of a Communist revolution when it appeared that there were a lack of loyal troops.

A very large number of the Freikorps believed that the November Revolution had betrayed them when Germany was alleged to be on the verge of victory in 1918. Hence, the Freikorps were in opposition to the new Weimar Republic, which was born as a result of the November Revolution, and whose founders were contemptously called "November criminals".

Captain Ernst Röhm of the Reichswehr served as the liaison with the Bavarian Freikorps. Röhm was given the nickname "The Machine Gun King of Bavaria" in the early 1920s, since he was responsible for storing and issuing illegal machine guns to the Bavarian Freikorps units. Röhm left the Reichswehr in 1923 and later became commander of the SA. During the 1920s and 1930s, the SA functioned as a private militia used by Hitler to intimidate rivals and disrupt the meetings of competing political parties, especially those of the Social Democrats and the Communists.

Also known as the "brownshirts" or "stormtroopers", the SA became notorious for their street battles with the Communists. The violent confrontations between the two contributed to the destabilisation of Germany's inter-war experiment with democracy, the Weimar Republic. In June 1932, one of the worst months of political violence, there were more than 400 street battles, resulting in 82 deaths. This destabilisation had been crucial in Hitler's rise to power, however, not least because it convinced many Germans that once Hitler became chancellor, the endemic street violence would end.

Hitler's appointment as chancellor, followed by the suppression of all political parties except the Nazis, did not end the violence of the stormtroopers. Deprived of Communist party meetings to disrupt, the stormtroopers would sometimes run riot in the streets after a night of drinking. They would attack passers-by, and then attack the police who were called to stop them. Complaints of "overbearing and loutish" behaviour by stormtroopers became common by the middle of 1933. The Foreign Office even complained of instances where brownshirts manhandled foreign diplomats. The stormtroopers' behaviour disturbed the German middle classes and other conservative elements in society, such as the army.

Hitler's move would be to strengthen his position with the army by moving against its nemesis, the SA. On July 6, 1933, at a gathering of high-ranking Nazi officials, Hitler declared the success of the National Socialist, or Nazi, brown revolution. Now that the NSDAP had seized the reins of power in Germany, he said, it was time to consolidate its control. Hitler told the gathered officials, "The stream of revolution has been undammed, but it must be channelled into the secure bed of evolution."

Hitler's speech signalled his intention to rein in the SA, whose ranks had grown rapidly in the early 1930s. This would not prove to be simple, however, as the SA made up a large part of Nazism's most devoted followers. The SA traced its dramatic rise in numbers in part to the onset of the Great Depression, when many German citizens lost both their jobs and their faith in traditional institutions.

While Nazism was not exclusively – or even primarily – a working class phenomenon, the SA fulfilled the yearning of many unemployed workers for class solidarity and nationalist fervour. Many stormtroopers believed in the socialist promise of National Socialism and expected the Nazi regime to take more radical economic action, such as breaking up the vast landed estates of the aristocracy. When the Nazi regime did not take such steps, those who expected an economic as well as a political revolution were disillusioned

Conflict between the army and the SA SA leader Ernst Röhm in Bavaria in 1934

No one in the SA spoke more loudly for "a continuation of the German revolution", as one prominent stormtrooper put it, than Röhm. Röhm, as one of the earliest members of the Nazi Party, had participated in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt by Hitler to seize power by force in 1923. A combat veteran of World War I, Röhm had recently boasted that he would execute 12 men in retaliation for the killing of any stormtrooper. Röhm saw violence as a means to political ends. He took seriously the socialist promise of National Socialism, and demanded that Hitler and the other party leaders initiate wide-ranging socialist reform in Germany.

Not content solely with the leadership of the SA, Röhm lobbied Hitler to appoint him Minister of Defence, a position held by the conservative General Werner von Blomberg. Although nicknamed the "Rubber Lion" by some of his critics in the army for his devotion to Hitler, Blomberg was not himself a Nazi, and therefore represented a bridge between the army and the party. Blomberg and many of his fellow officers were recruited from the Prussian nobility, and regarded the SA as a plebeian rabble that threatened the army's traditional high status in German society.

If the regular army showed contempt for the masses belonging to the SA, many stormtroopers returned the feeling, seeing the army as insufficiently committed to the National Socialist revolution. Max Heydebreck, a SA leader in Rummelsburg, denounced the army to his fellow brownshirts, telling them, "Some of the officers of the army are swine. Most officers are too old and have to be replaced by young ones. We want to wait till Papa Hindenburg is dead, and then the SA will march against the army."

Despite such hostility between the brownshirts and the regular army, Blomberg and others in the military saw the SA as a source of raw recruits for an enlarged and revitalised army. Röhm, however, wanted to eliminate the generalship of the Prussian aristocracy altogether, using the SA to become the core of a new German military.

Limited by theTreaty of Versailles to one hundred thousand soldiers, army leaders watched anxiously as membership in the SA surpassed three million men by the beginning of 1934. In January 1934, Röhm presented Blomberg with a memorandum demanding that the SA replace the regular army as the nation's ground forces, and that the Reichswehr become a training adjunct to the SA.

In response, Hitler met with Blomberg and the leadership of the SA and SS on February 28, 1934. Under pressure from Hitler, Röhm reluctantly signed a pledge stating that he recognised the supremacy of the Reichswehr over the SA. Hitler announced to those present that the SA would act as an auxiliary to the Reichswehr, not the other way around.

After Hitler and most of the army officers had left, however, Röhm declared that he would not take instructions from "the ridiculous corporal" – a demeaning reference to Hitler. While Hitler did not take immediate action against Röhm for his intemperate outburst, it nonetheless deepened the rift between them.

Growing pressure against the SA Franz von Papen, the conservative vice-chancellor who ran afoul of Hitler after denouncing the regime's failure to rein in the SA in his Marburg speech.

Despite his earlier agreement with Hitler, Röhm still clung to his vision of a new German army with the SA at its core. By early 1934, this vision directly conflicted with Hitler's plan to consolidate power and expand the Reichswehr. Because their plans for the army were mutually exclusive, Röhm's success could only come at Hitler's expense. Moreover it was not just the Reichswehr that viewed the SA as a threat. Several of Hitler's lieutenants feared Röhm's growing power and restlessness, as did Hitler himself. As a result, a political struggle within the party grew, with those closest to Hitler, including Prussian premier Hermann GöringPropaganda Minister Joseph GoebbelsSS Chief Heinrich Himmler, and Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess, positioning themselves against Röhm.

While all of these men were veterans of the Nazi movement, only Röhm continued to demonstrate his independence from, rather than his loyalty to, Adolf Hitler. Röhm's contempt for the party's bureaucracy angered Hess. SA violence in Prussia gravely concerned Göring, Minister-President of Prussia. Finally, in the spring of 1934, hearing of the growing rift between Röhm and Hitler over the role of the SA in the Nazi state led the former Chancellor, General Kurt von Schleicher, to start playing politics again. 

Schleicher criticized the current Hitler cabinet while some of Schleicher's followers such as General Ferdinand von Bredow and Werner von Alvensleben started passing along lists of a new Hitler Cabinet in which Schleicher would become Vice-Chancellor, Röhm Minister of Defence,Heinrich Brüning Foreign Minister and Gregor Strasser Minister of National Economy. The British historian Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, who knew Schleicher and his circle well, wrote that Bredow displayed a "lack of discretion" that was "terrifying" as he went about showing the list of the proposed cabinet to anyone who was interested. Although Schleicher was in fact unimportant by 1934, increasingly wild rumours that he was scheming with Röhm to reenter the corridors of power helped stoke the sense of crisis.

As a means of isolating Röhm, on April 20, 1934 Göring transferred control of the Prussian political police (Gestapo) to Himmler, who, Göring believed, could be counted on to move against Röhm. Himmler envied the independence and power of the SA, although by this time he and his deputy Reinhard Heydrich had already begun restructuring the SS from a bodyguard formation for Nazi leaders (and a subset of the SA) into its own independent elite corps, one loyal to both himself and Hitler. The loyalty of the SS men would prove useful to both when Hitler finally chose to move against Röhm and the SA.

By May, lists of those to be "liquidated" started to circulate amongst Göring and Himmler's people, who engaged in a trade, adding enemies of one in exchange for sparing friends of the other. At the end of May, two former Chancellors Heinrich Brüning and Kurt von Schleicher received warnings from friends in the Reichswehr that their lives were in danger, and they should leave Germany at once. Brüning fled to the Netherlands while Schleicher dismissed the tip-off as a bad practical joke. By the beginning of June, everything was set, and all that was needed was permission from Hitler.

Demands for Hitler to constrain the SA strengthened. Conservatives in the army, industry, and politics placed Hitler under increasing pressure to reduce the influence of the SA and to move against Röhm. While Röhm's homosexuality did not endear him to conservatives, they were more concerned about his political ambitions. Hitler for his part remained indecisive and uncertain about just what precisely he wanted to do when he left for Venice to meet Benito Mussolini on June 15. Before Hitler left, and at the request of Presidential State Secretary Otto Meißner, Foreign Minister Baron Konstantin von Neurath ordered the German Ambassador to Italy Ulrich von Hassell - without Hitler's knowledge - to ask Mussolini to tell Hitler that the SA was blackening Germany's good name. 

Neurath's manoeuvre to put pressure on Hitler paid off, with Mussolini agreeing to the request (Neurath was a former ambassador to Italy, and knew Mussolini well). During the summit in Venice, Mussolini upbraided Hitler for tolerating the violence, hooliganism and homosexuality of the SA, which Mussolini stated were ruining Hitler's good reputation all over the world. Mussolini used the affair occasioned by the murder of Giacomo Matteotti as an example of the kind of trouble unruly followers could cause a dictator. While Mussolini's criticism did not win Hitler over to acting against the SA, it helped push him in that direction

On June 17, 1934, conservative demands for Hitler to act came to a head when Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, confidant of the ailing Hindenburg, gave a speech at Marburg University warning of the threat of a "second revolution". Privately, von Papen, a Catholic aristocratwith ties to army and industry, threatened to resign if Hitler did not act. While von Papen's resignation as vice-chancellor would not have threatened Hitler's position, it would have nonetheless been an embarrassing display of independence from a leading conservative.

In response to conservative pressure to constrain Röhm, Hitler left for Neudeck to meet with Hindenburg. Blomberg, who had been meeting with the President, uncharacteristically reproached Hitler for not having moved against Röhm earlier. He then told Hitler that Hindenburg was close to declaring martial law and turning the government over to the Reichswehr if Hitler did not take immediate steps against Röhm and his brownshirts.

 Hitler had hesitated for months in moving against Röhm, in part due to Röhm's visibility as the leader of a national militia with millions of members. However, the threat of a declaration of martial law from Hindenburg, the only person in Germany with the authority to potentially depose the Nazi regime, put Hitler under pressure to act. He left Neudeck with the intention of both destroying Röhm and settling scores with old enemies. Both Himmler and Göring welcomed Hitler's decision, since both had much to gain by Röhm's downfall – the independence of the SS for Himmler, and the removal of a rival for the future command of the army for Göring.

In preparation for the purge both Himmler and his deputy Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the SS Security Service, assembled a dossier of manufactured evidence to suggest that Röhm had been paid twelve million marks (EUR 48.3 million as of 2011) by France to overthrow Hitler. Leading officers in the SS were shown falsified evidence on June 24 that Röhm planned to use the SA to launch a plot against the government (Röhm-Putsch). Göring, Himmler, Heydrich, and Victor Lutze (at Hitler's direction) drew up lists of people in and outside the SA to be killed. One of the men Göring recruited to assist him was Willi Lehmann, a Gestapo official and NKVD spy. On June 25, General Werner von Fritsch placed the Reichswehr on the highest level of alert. On June 27, Hitler moved to secure the army's cooperation.

 Blomberg andGeneral Walther von Reichenau, the army's liaison to the party, gave it to him by expelling Röhm from the German Officers' League. On June 29, a signed article in Völkischer Beobachter by Blomberg appeared in which Blomberg stated with great fervour that the Reichswehrstood behind Hitler. Hitler felt confident enough in his position to attend a wedding reception in Essen, although he appeared somewhat agitated and preoccupied. From there he called Röhm's adjutant at Bad Wiessee and ordered SA leaders to meet with him on June 30

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Purge The architects of the purge: Hitler, Göring, Goebbels, and Hess. Only Himmler and Heydrich are missing. Main article: Victims of the Night of the Long Knives

At about 4:30 on the morning of June 30, 1934, Hitler and his entourage flew into Munich. From the airport they drove to the Bavarian Interior Ministry, where they assembled the leaders of an SA rampage that had taken place in city streets the night before. Enraged, Hitler tore the epaulets off the shirt of Obergruppenführer Schneidhuber, the chief of the Munich police, for failing to keep order in the city on the previous night. He shouted at him that he would be shot. Schneidhuber was executed later that day. As the stormtroopers were hustled off to prison, Hitler assembled a large group of SS and regular police, and departed for the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee, where Ernst Röhm and his followers were staying.

At Bad Wiessee, Hitler personally placed Röhm and other high-ranking SA leaders under arrest. According to Erich Kempka, one of the men present during the raid, Hitler turned Röhm over to "two detectives holding pistols with the safety catch removed", and the SS found Breslau SA leader Edmund Heines in bed with a (male) unidentified eighteen-year-old SA senior troop leader. Goebbels emphasised the latter in subsequent propaganda justifying the purge as a crackdown on moral turpitude. Both Heines and his partner were shot on the spot in the hotel grounds on the personal order of Hitler. Meanwhile, the SS arrested a number of SA leaders as they departed their train for a planned meeting with Röhm.

The fact that no plot by Röhm to overthrow the regime ever existed did not prevent Hitler from denouncing the leadership of the SA. Arriving back at party headquarters in Munich, Hitler addressed the assembled crowd. Consumed with rage, Hitler denounced "the worst treachery in world history". Hitler told the crowd that "undisciplined and disobedient characters and asocial or diseased elements" would be annihilated.

The crowd, which included party members and many SA members fortunate enough to escape arrest, shouted its approval. Hess, present among the assembled, even volunteered to shoot the "traitors" himself. Joseph Goebbels, who had been with Hitler at Bad Wiessee, set the final phase of the plan in motion. Upon returning to Berlin, he telephoned Göring with the codeword Kolibri to let loose the execution squads on the rest of their unsuspecting victims

Against conservatives and old enemies

The regime did not limit itself to a purge of the SA, however. Having earlier imprisoned or exiled prominent Social Democrats and Communists, Hitler used the occasion to move against conservatives he considered unreliable. This included Vice-Chancellor Papen and those in his immediate circle. In Berlin, on Göring's personal orders, an armed SS unit stormed the Vice-Chancellery. Gestapo officers attached to the SS unit shot Papen's secretary Herbert von Bose without bothering to arrest him first.

The Gestapo arrested and later executed Papen's close associate Edgar Jung, the author of Papen's Marburg speech; they disposed of his body by dumping it in a ditch. The Gestapo also murdered Erich Klausener, the leader of Catholic Action, and a close Papen associate. The vice-chancellor himself was unceremoniously arrested at the Vice-Chancellery, despite his insistent protests that he could not be arrested. Although Hitler ordered him released days later, Papen no longer dared to criticise the regime.

Hitler, Göring, and Himmler unleashed the Gestapo against old enemies as well. Both Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler's predecessor as chancellor, and his wife were murdered at their home. Others killed included Gregor Strasser, a former Nazi who had angered Hitler by resigning from the party in 1932, and Gustav Ritter von Kahr, the former Bavarian state commissioner who crushed the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923.

Kahr's fate was especially gruesome. His body was found in a wood outside Munich; he had been hacked to death, apparently with pickaxes. The murdered included at least one accidental victim: Willi Schmid, the music critic of the Münchner Neuste Nachrichten, a Munich newspaper. The Gestapo mistook him for Ludwig Schmitt, a past supporter of Otto Strasser, the brother of Gregor. Such unrestrained violence added to the fearsome reputation of the Gestapo, the Nazis' secret police.

Röhm's fate

Röhm was held briefly at Stadelheim Prison in Munich, while Hitler considered his fate. In the end, Hitler decided that Röhm had to die. On July 2, at Hitler's behest, Theodor Eicke, later the commandant of the Dachau concentration camp, and SS Officer Michel Lippert visited Röhm. Once inside Röhm's cell, they handed him a loaded Browning pistol, and told him that he had ten minutes to kill himself, or else they would do it for him. Röhm demurred, telling them, "If I am to be killed, let Adolf do it himself."

Having heard nothing in the allotted time, they returned to Röhm's cell to find him standing, with his bare chest puffed out in a gesture of defiance. Lippert shot him dead at point-blank range. Years later, in 1957, the German authorities tried Lippert in Munich for Röhm's murder. Until then, Lippert had been one of the few executioners of the purge to have evaded trial.

Aftermath Hitler triumphant: The Führer reviewing the SA in 1935. In the car with Hitler: theBlutfahne, behind the car SS-man Jakob Grimminger.

As the purge claimed the lives of so many prominent Germans, it could hardly be kept secret. At first, its architects seemed split on how to handle the event. Göring instructed police stations to burn "all documents concerning the action of the past two days". Meanwhile, Goebbels tried to prevent newspapers from publishing lists of the dead, but at the same time used a July 2 radio address to describe how Hitler had narrowly prevented Röhm and Schleicher from overthrowing the government and throwing the country into turmoil. Then, on July 13, 1934, Hitler justified the purge in a nationally-broadcast speech to the Reichstag:

In this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people, and thereby I became the supreme judge of the German people. I gave the order to shoot the ringleaders in this treason, and I further gave the order to cauterise down to the raw flesh the ulcers of this poisoning of the wells in our domestic life. Let the nation know that its existence—which depends on its internal order and security—cannot be threatened with impunity by anyone! And let it be known for all time to come that if anyone raises his hand to strike the State, then certain death is his lot.

Concerned with presenting the massacre as legally sanctioned, Hitler had the cabinet approve a measure on July 3 that declared, "The measures taken on June 30, July 1 and 2 to suppress treasonous assaults are legal as acts of self-defence by the State." Reich Justice MinisterFranz Gürtner, a conservative who had been Bavarian Justice Minister in the years of the Weimar Republic, demonstrated his loyalty to the new regime by drafting the statute, which added a legal veneer to the purge. 

Signed into law by Hitler, Gürtner and Minister of the InteriorWilhelm Frick, the "Law Regarding Measures of State Self-Defence" retroactively legalised the murders committed during the purge. Germany's legal establishment further capitulated to the regime when the country's leading legal scholar, Carl Schmitt, wrote an article defending Hitler's July 13 speech. It was named "The Führer Upholds the Law".

 

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Ernst Julius Röhm

Ernst Julius Röhm,

(November 28, 1887 – July 2, 1934)

Was a German officer in the Bavarian Army and later an early Nazi leader. He was a co-founder of the Sturmabteilung ("Storm Battalion"; SA), the Nazi Party militia, and later was its commander. In 1934, as part of theNight of the Long Knives, he was executed on Hitler's orders as a potential rival.

Ernst Röhm was born in Munich, the youngest of three children (older sister and brother). His father, a railway official, was described as "a harsh man". Although the family had no military tradition, Röhm entered the Royal Bavarian 10th Infantry Regiment Prinz Ludwig at Ingolstadt as a cadet on 23 July 1906. He obtained his commission on 12 March 1908. At the outbreak of war in August 1914, he was adjutant of the 1st Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment König. The following month, he was seriously wounded in the face at Chanot Wood in Lorraine, and carried the scars for the rest of his life. He was promoted to senior lieutenant (Oberleutnant) in April 1915.

During an attack on the fortification at Thiaumont, Verdun, on 23 June 1916, he sustained a serious chest wound. As a result, he spent the remainder of the war in both France and Romania as a staff officer. He was awarded the Iron Cross First Class on 20 June 1916, just before he was wounded at Verdun, and was promoted to captain (Hauptmann) in April 1917. In October 1918, while serving on the Staff of the Gardekorps, he contracted the deadly Spanish influenza and was not expected to live; however, he survived and recovered after a long period of convalescence.

Following the armistice on 11 November 1918 that ended the war, Röhm continued his military career as an adjutant in the Reichswehr. He was one of the senior members in Colonel von Epp's Bayerisches Freikorps für den Grenzschutz Ost, formed at Ohrdruf in April 1919, which finally overturned the Red Republic in Munich by force of arms on 3 May 1919. In 1919, he joined the German Workers' Party, which soon became the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). Röhm met Adolf Hitler and they became political allies and close friends.

Röhm's resignation from the Reichswehr was accepted in November 1923 during his time as a prisoner at Stadelheim prison. Following the failed Beer Hall Putsch on 9 November 1923, Röhm, Hitler, General Erich Ludendorff, Lt-Colonel Kriebel and six others were tried in February 1924 on charges of treason. Röhm was found guilty and received one year and three months in prison. However, the sentence was suspended and he was granted a conditional discharge. Hitler was also found guilty and was sentenced to five years imprisonment, although he would only serve nine months.

In April 1924, Röhm became a Reichstag Deputy for the völkisch National Socialist Freedom Party. He made only one speech, urging the release from Landsberg of Lt-Colonel Kriebel. At the 1925 elections the seats won by his party were much reduced, and his name was too far down the list for him to be returned to the Reichstag. While Hitler was in prison, Röhm helped to create the Frontbann as a legal alternative to the then-outlawed SA. At Landsberg prison in April 1924, Röhm had also been given full powers by Hitler to rebuild the SA in any way he saw fit.

When in April 1925 Hitler and Ludendorff disapproved of the proposals under which Röhm was prepared to integrate the 30,000-strong Frontbann into the SA, on 1 May 1925 Röhm resigned from all political movements and military brigades and sought seclusion from public life. In 1928 he accepted a post in Bolivia as adviser to the Bolivian Army where he was given the rank of Lt-Colonel and took up his duties after six months' acclimatisation and language tutoring. Following the 1930 revolt in Bolivia Röhm was forced to seek sanctuary in the German Embassy. After the election results in Germany that September, Röhm received a telephone call from Hitler in which the latter said, "I need you", thus provoking Röhm's return to Germany.

SA leader

In September 1930, as a consequence of the Stennes Revolt in Berlin, Hitler assumed supreme command of the SA as its new Oberster SA-Führer. He sent a personal request to Röhm, asking that he return to serve as the SA's chief of staff. Röhm accepted this offer and commenced his new assignment in early January 1931. Röhm brought radical new ideas to the SA and appointed several of his close friends to its senior leadership.

The SA now numbered over a million. Its traditional function of party leader escort had been given to the SS, but it continued its street battles with "Reds" and attacks on Jews. The SA also attacked or intimidated anyone deemed hostile to the Nazi programme: editors, professors, politicians, uncooperative local officials or businessmen.

Under Röhm, the SA also often took the side of workers in strikes and other labour disputes, attacking strikebreakers and supporting picket lines. SA intimidation contributed to the rise of the Nazis, breaking down the electoral activity of the left-wing parties. However, the SA's reputation for street violence and heavy drinking was a hindrance.

Another hindrance was the more or less open homosexuality of Röhm and other SA leaders such as his deputy Edmund Heines (both of whom would later be sentenced to death on Hitler's orders). In 1931, the Münchener Post, a Social Democratic newspaper, obtained and published Röhm's letters to a friend in which Röhm discussed his sexual affairs with men.

Röhm with Hitler, August 1933

By this time, Röhm and Hitler were so close that they addressed each other as du (the German familiar form of "you"). Röhm was the only top Nazi that Hitler addressed as such. In turn, Röhm was the only Nazi who dared address Hitler as "Adolf," rather than "mein Führer."

As Hitler secured national power in 1933, SA men became auxiliary police, and marched into local government offices to force officials to hand over authority to Nazis.

Second revolution

Röhm and the SA regarded themselves as the vanguard of the "National Socialist revolution." After Hitler's takeover, they expected radical changes in Germany, with power and rewards for them. However, Hitler's use of the SA as storm troopers was a political weapon he no longer needed.

Along with Joseph GoebbelsGottfried Feder and Walther Darré, Röhm was a prominent member of the party's "socialist" faction. This group took the words "Sozialistische" and "Arbeiter" ("worker") in the party's name literally. They largely rejected capitalism (which they associated with Jews) and pushed fornationalisation of major industrial firms, expanded worker control, confiscation and redistribution of the estates of the old aristocracy and social equality. Röhm spoke of a "second revolution" against "reactionaries" (the National Socialist label for old-line conservatives), as the National Socialists had previously dealt with the Communists and Socialists.

All this was threatening to the business community, which had supported Hitler's rise to power. So Hitler swiftly reassured businessmen that there would be no "second revolution." Many "storm troopers" were of working-class origins and had expected a socialist programme. In fact, it was often said at the time that members of the SA were like a beefsteak — "brown on the outside and red on the inside". They were now disappointed by the new regime's lack of socialist direction and also failure to provide the lavish patronage expected. Röhm even publicly criticized Hitler for his failure to carry through the National Socialist revolution.

Furthermore, Röhm and his SA colleagues thought of their force (now over three million strong) as the future army of Germany, replacing theReichswehr and its professional officers. Although Röhm had been a member of the officer corps, he viewed them as "old fogies" who lacked "revolutionary spirit." In February 1934, Röhm demanded that the Reichswehr (which under the Treaty of Versailles was limited to 100,000 men) be absorbed into the SA under his leadership as Minister of Defence.

With Kurt Daluege and Heinrich Himmler, August 1933

This horrified the army, with its traditions going back to Frederick the Great. The army officer corps viewed the SA as a brawling mob of undisciplined street fighters and were also concerned by the pervasiveness of homosexuality and "corrupt morals" within the ranks of the SA. Further, reports of a huge cache of weapons in the hands of SA members gave the army commanders even more concern. The entire officer corps opposed Röhm's proposal, insisting that honour and discipline would vanish if the SA gained control. However, it appeared that Röhm and the SA would settle for nothing less.

Hitler privately shared much of Röhm's animus toward the traditionalists in the army. Nevertheless, he had gained power with the army's support, and he wanted the army's support to succeed the ailing 86-year-old Paul von Hindenburg as President.

Meanwhile, Hitler had already begun preparing for the struggle. In February he told British diplomat Anthony Eden that he planned to reduce the SA by two thirds. Also in February, he announced that the SA would be left only a few minor military functions.

Röhm responded with further complaints about Hitler and began expanding the armed elements of the SA. To many it appeared as if the SA was planning or threatening a rebellion. In March, Röhm offered a compromise in which a few thousand SA leaders would be taken into the army, but the army promptly rejected it.

On 11 April 1934, Hitler met with German military leaders on the ship Deutschland. By this time, Hitler had learned that the ailing Hindenburg would die before the year's end. Hitler informed them of Hindenburg's declining health and proposed the Reichswehr support him as Hindenburg's successor. In exchange, Hitler offered to reduce the SA, suppress Röhm's ambitions, and guarantee the Reichswehr would be Germany's only military force. William L. Shirer asserts that Hitler also promised to expand the army and navy.

However, both the Reichswehr and business conservatives continued their anti-SA complaints to Hindenburg. In early June 1934, defence minister Werner von Blomberg, on Hindenburg's behalf, issued an ultimatum to Hitler: unless political tension ended in Germany, Hindenburg would likely declare martial law and turn over control of the country to the army. Knowing such a step could forever deprive him of power, Hitler decided to carry out his pact with the Reichswehr to suppress the SA. This meant a showdown with Röhm. In Hitler's view, the army and the SA constituted the only real remaining power centres in Germany that were independent in his National Socialist state.

The army was willing to submit. Blomberg had the swastika added to the army's insignia in February and ended the army's practice of preference for "old army" descent in new officers, replacing it with a requirement of "consonance with the new government."

Death

Although determined to curb the power of the SA, Hitler put off doing away with his long-time comrade to the very end. A political struggle within the party grew, with those closest to Hitler, including Prussian premier Hermann GöringPropaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and SS Chief Heinrich Himmler positioning themselves against Röhm. As a means of isolating Röhm, on 20 April 1934, Göring transferred control of the Prussian political police (Gestapo) to Himmler, who, Göring believed, could be counted on to move against Röhm.

 HimmlerHeydrichand Göring used Röhm's published anti-Hitler rhetoric to support a claim that the SA was plotting to overthrow Hitler. Himmler and his deputy Heydrich, chief of the SS Security Service (the SD), assembled a dossier of manufactured evidence to suggest that Röhm had been paid twelve million marks by France to overthrow Hitler. Leading officers were shown falsified evidence on June 24 that Röhm planned to use the SA to launch a plot against the government (Röhm-Putsch).

By this time, these stories were officially recognised. Reports of the SA threat were passed to Hitler and he felt it was time to act. Meanwhile Göring, Himmler, Heydrich and Victor Lutze (at Hitler's direction) drew up lists of people in and outside the SA to be killed. Himmler and Heydrich issued marching orders to the SS, while Sepp Dietrich went around showing army officers a purported SA execution list.

Meanwhile, Röhm and several of his companions went away on holiday at a resort in Bad Wiessee. On June 28, Hitler phoned Röhm and asked him to gather all the SA leaders at Bad Wiessee on June 30 for a conference. Röhm agreed, apparently unsuspicious.

The date of June 30 marked the beginning of the Night of the Long Knives. At dawn on 30 June, Hitler flew to Munich and then drove to Bad Wiessee, where he personally arrested Röhm and the other SA leaders. All were imprisoned at Stadelheim Prison in Munich. From 30 June to 2 July 1934, the entire leadership of the SA was purged, along with many other political adversaries of the Nazis.

Hitler was uneasy authorizing Röhm's execution and gave Röhm an opportunity to commit suicide. On July 2, Röhm was visited by SS-Brigadeführer Theodor Eicke (then Kommandant of the Dachau concentration camp) and SS-Obersturmbannführer Michael Lippert, who laid a pistol on the table, told Röhm he had ten minutes to use it and left. Röhm refused and stated "If I am to be killed, let Adolf do it himself." Having heard nothing in the allotted time, Eicke and Lippert returned to Röhm's cell to find him standing. Röhm had his bare chest puffed out in a gesture of defiance as Lippert shot him in the chest at point blank range. He was buried in the Westfriedhof (Western Cemetery) in Munich.

The purge of the SA was legalized the next day with a one-paragraph decree: the Law Regarding Measures of State Self-Defence. At this time no public reference was made to the alleged SA rebellion; instead there were generalised references to misconduct, perversion, and some sort of plot. John Toland noted that Hitler had long been privately aware that Röhm and his SA associates were homosexuals; although he disapproved of their behaviour, he stated that 'the SA are a band of warriors and not a moral institution.'

A few days later, the claim of an incipient SA rebellion was publicised and became the official reason for the entire wave of arrests and executions. Indeed, the affair was labeled the "Röhm-putsch" by German historians, though after World War II it has usually been modified as the "alleged Röhm-putsch" or known as the "Night of the Long Knives." In a speech on July 13, Hitler alluded to Röhm's homosexuality and explained the purge as chiefly defence against treason.

 

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Edmund Heines

Edmund Heines 

(21 July 1897, Munich – 30 June 1934, Munich)

Was a Nazi Party leader andErnst Röhm's deputy in the SA.

Life

Heines served in World War I as a volunteer, and was discharged in 1918 as a lieutenant. In 1925, he joined the Nazi Party and the SA (stormtroopers). In 1929, he was convicted of murder, but soon received an amnesty. That same year, he was appointed to temporarily serve as the head of a Nazi district in the Upper Palatinate region. In 1930, he became a member of the Reichstag for the district of Liegnitz. From 1931 to 1934, he served as an SA leader in Silesia while simultaneously working as Ernst Röhm's deputy. In 1933, he was on the Prussian privy council, and in May of the same year he became head of police in Breslau.

Execution

Hitler's chauffeur Erich Kempka claimed in a 1946 interview that Edmund Heines was caught in bed with an unidentified 18-year old male when he was arrested during the Night of Long Knives, although he did not actually witness this himself. According to Kempka, Heines refused to cooperate and get dressed. When the SS detectives reported this to Hitler, he went to Heines' room and ordered him to get dressed within five minutes or risk being shot. After five minutes had passed by, Heines still had not complied with the order. As a result, Hitler became so furious with him that he ordered some SS men to take Heines and the boy outside to be executed.

Heines, Röhm, and many other SA leaders were executed shortly after their arrest. Hitler identified Heines as one of the principal members of a "small group of elements which were held together through a like disposition" in his Reichstagspeech of 13 July 1934.

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Joseph Goebbels

Paul Joseph Goebbels (German: [??œb?ls];

29 October 1897 – 1 May 1945

was a Germanpolitician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one ofAdolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealousoratory and anti-Semitism. He played a hand in the Kristallnacht attack on the German Jews, which many historians consider to be the beginning of the Final Solution, leading to the Holocaust.

Goebbels earned a Ph.D. from Heidelberg University in 1921, writing his doctoral thesis on 19th century romantic drama; he then went on to work as a journalist and later a bank clerk and caller on the stock exchange. He also wrote novels and plays, but they were rejected by publishers. Goebbels came into contact with the Nazi Party in 1923 during the French occupation of the Ruhr and became a member in 1924. He was appointed Gauleiter (regional party leader) of Berlin. In this position, he put his propaganda skills to full use, combating the local socialist and communist parties with the help of Nazi papers and the paramilitary Stormtroopers, aka, Brownshirts, SA. By 1928, he had risen in the party ranks to become one of its most prominent members.

Goebbels rose to power in 1933 along with Hitler and the Nazi Party and he was appointed Propaganda Minister. One of his first acts was the burning of books rejected by the Nazis. He exerted totalitarian control over the media, arts and information in Germany.

From the beginning of his tenure, Goebbels organized attacks on German Jews, commencing with the one-day boycott of Jewish businessmen, doctors, and lawyers on April 1, 1933. His attacks on the Jewish population culminated in the Kristallnacht assault of 1938, an open and unrestrained pogrom unleashed by the Nazis all across Germany, in which scores ofsynagogues were burned and hundreds of Jews were assaulted and murdered. Further, he produced a series of anti-Semitic films (most notably Jud Süß). Goebbels used modernpropaganda techniques to psychologically prepare the German people for aggressive warfare.

During World War II, Goebbels increased his power and influence through shifting alliances with other Nazi leaders. By late 1943, the tide of the war was turning against the Axis powers, but this only spurred Goebbels to intensify the propaganda by urging the Germans to accept the idea of total war and mobilization. Goebbels remained with Hitler in Berlin to the end; just hours after Hitler's suicide, Goebbels and his wife Magda killed their six young children and then committed suicide.

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Gottfried Feder

Gottfried Feder 

(27 January 1883 – 24 September 1941)

Was an economist and one of the early key members of the Nazi party. He was their economic theoretician. Initially, it was his lecture in 1919 that drew Hitler into the party.

Feder was born in WürzburgGermany on 27 January 1883 as the son of civil servant Hanse Feder and Mathilde Feder (née Luz). After attending humanistic schools in Ansbach and Munich, he studied engineering in Berlin and Zürich (Switzerland); after graduating, he founded a construction company in 1908 that subsequently was particularly active in Bulgaria where it built a number of official buildings.

From 1917 on, Feder studied financial politics and economics on his own; he developed a hostility towards wealthy bankers during World War I and wrote a "manifesto on breaking the shackles of interest" ("Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft") in 1919. This was soon followed by the founding of a "task force" dedicated to those goals that demanded a nationalisation of all banks and an abolishment of interest.

In the same year, Feder, together with Anton DrexlerDietrich Eckart and Karl Harrer, was also involved in the founding of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei ("German worker's party," DAP), which would later change its name to Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, more commonly known as the Nazi party.

Adolf Hitler met him in summer 1919, and Feder became his mentor in finance and economics. He was the inspirer of Hitler's opposition to "Jewish finance capitalism."

1920s

In February 1920, together with Adolf Hitler and Anton Drexler, Feder—who also was a member of the Thule Society—drafted the so-called "25 points" which summed up the party's views, and introduced his own anti-capitalist views into the program. When the paper was announced on 24 February 1920, more than 2,000 people attended the rally.

Feder took part in the party's Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. After Hitler's arrest, he remained one of the leaders of the party and was elected to the Reichstag in 1924, in which he stayed until 1936 and where he demanded freezing of interest rates and dispossession of Jewish citizens. He remained one of the leaders of the anti-capitalistic wing of the NSDAP, and published several papers, including "National and social bases of the German state" (1920), "Das Programm der NSDAP und seine weltanschaulichen Grundlagen" ("The programme of the NSDAP and the world views it's based on," 1927) and "Was will Adolf Hitler?" ("What does Adolf Hitler want?", 1931).

Feder briefly dominated the NSDAP's official views on financial politics, but after he became chairman of the party's economic council in 1931, his anti-capitalist views led to a great decline in financial support from Germany's major industrialists. Following pressure from Walther Funk,Albert VoeglerGustav KruppFriedrich FlickFritz ThyssenHjalmar Schacht and Emil Kirdorf, Hitler decided to move the party away from Feder's economic views; when Hitler became Reichskanzler in 1933, he appointed Feder as under-secretary at the ministry of economics in July. This disappointed Feder, who had hoped for a much higher position.

Nazi Germany

Feder continued to write papers, putting out "Kampf gegen die Hochfinanz" ("The Fight against high finance", 1933) and the anti-semitic "Die Juden" ("The Jews," 1933); in 1934, he became Reichskommissar (Reich commissioner).

In 1939 he wrote Die Neue Stadt (The New City). This can be considered a Nazi attempt at Garden City building. Here he proposed creating agricultural cities of 20,000 people divided into nine autonomous units and surrounded by agricultural areas. Each city was to be fully autonomous and self-sufficient; detailed plans for daily living and urban amenities are taken into consideration.

Unlike other garden city theorists, he believed that urban areas could be reformed by subdividing the existing built environment into self-sufficient neighborhoods. This idea of creating clusters of self-contained neighborhoods forming a mid-sized city was popularized by Uz? Nishiyama in Japan. It would later be applied in the era of Japanese New Town construction.

However, despite its implementation of the blood and soil ideology of the Nazis, decentralized factories, generals and Junkers successfully opposed him. Generals objected because it interferred with rearmament, and Junkers because it would prevent their exploiting their estates for the international market.

After the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934, where SA leaders like Ernst Röhm and left leaning party officials like Gregor Strasser were murdered, Feder began to withdraw from the government, finally becoming a professor at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin in December 1936, where he stayed until his death in Murnau on 24 September 1941.

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Richard Walther Darré

Richard Walther Darré (born Ricardo Walther Oscar Darré,

14 July 1895 - 5 September 1953

Was an SS-Obergruppenführer and one of the leading Nazi "blood and soil" (German: Blut und Boden) ideologists. He served as Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture from 1933 to 1942.

Darré was born in Belgrano a Buenos Aires neighbourhood, in Argentina to Richard Oscar Darré, a German with Huguenot ancestry, (born 10 March 1854, Berlin; died 20 February 1929,Wiesbaden) and the half-Swedish/half-German Emilia Berta Eleonore, née Lagergren (born 23 July 1872, Buenos Aires; died 20 July 1936, Bad Pyrmont). His father moved to Argentina in 1888 as a partner of the German international import/export wholesaler Engelbert Hardt & Co.Although his parents' marriage was not a happy one (according to Richard Walther, his father was a hard drinker and womanizer), they lived prosperously, and educated their children privately until they were forced to return to Germany as a result of worsening international relations in the years preceding World War I. Darré gained fluency in four languages: Spanish,GermanEnglish, and French.

Darré's parents sent him to Germany at age nine to attend school in Heidelberg; in 1911 he was sent as an exchange pupil to King's College School in Wimbledon. The rest of the family returned to Germany in 1912. Richard (as he was known in the family) then spent two years at the Oberrealschule in Gummersbach, followed in early 1914 by the Kolonialschule for resettlement in the German colonies at Witzenhausen, south of Göttingen, where his interest in farming was awakened.

After a single term at Witzenhausen, he volunteered for army service. He was lightly wounded a number of times while serving during World War I, but fared better than most of his contemporaries.

When the war ended he contemplated returning to Argentina for a life of farming, but the family's weakening financial position during the years of inflation made this impossible. Instead he returned to Witzenhausen to continue his studies. He then obtained unpaid work as a farm assistant in Pomerania: his observation of the treatment of returning German soldiers there influenced his later writings.

In 1922 he moved to the University of Halle to continue his studies: here he took an agricultural degree, specialising in animal breeding. He did not complete his PhD studies until 1929, at the comparatively mature age of 34. During these years he spent some time working in East Prussia and Finland.

He was married twice. In 1922 he married Alma Staadt, a schoolfriend of his sister Ilse. He divorced Alma in 1927, and subsequently married Charlotte Freiin von Vittinghoff-Schell, who survived him. The first marriage produced two daughters.

Political awakening

As a young man in Germany, Darré initially joined the Artaman League, a Völkisch youth group committed to the back-to-the-land movement. Against this backdrop Darré began to develop the idea that the future of the "Nordic race" was linked to the soil in what came to be known as "Blut und Boden". Here "Blut" (blood) represents race or ancestry, while "Boden" can be translated as soil, territory, or land. The essence of the theory was the mutual and long-term relationship between a people and the land that it occupies and cultivates.

Darré's first political article (1926) was on the subject of Internal Colonisation, which argued against Germany attempting to regain the lost colonies. Most of his writing at this time, however, was on technical aspects of animal breeding. His first book, Das Bauerntum als Lebensquell der nordischen Rasse ('Peasantry as the life-source of the Nordic Race'), was written in 1928. It asserted that German farms had previously been bestowed on one son, the strongest, ensuring the best were farmers, but partible inheritance had destroyed that. The ancient tradition had to be restored, as well as serious efforts made to restore the purity of Nordic blood, including exterminating the sick and impure.

In her biography of him, Anna Bramwell attempts to interpret his writing as an early example of "Green" or Conservationist thinking: he advocated more natural methods of land management, placing emphasis on the conservation of forests, and demanded more open-space and air in the raising of farm animals., though this view has been challenged by other scholars, her books being described as "devoid of credible evidence" and containing "gross errors".

Those who heard and heeded Darré's arguments included Heinrich Himmler, himself one of the Artamans.

Darré's work also glorified "peasant virtues" - as found in the remnants of the Nordics who lived in the country - and disparged city living.

"In his two major works, he defined the German peasantry as a homogeneous racial group of Nordic antecedents, who formed the cultural and racial core of the German nation. [..] Since the Nordic birth-rate was lower than that of other races, the Nordic race was under a long-term threat of extinction.

After Paul Schultze-Naumburg had introduced him to Adolf Hitler, Darré in July 1930 joined the Nazi Party and the SS. Darré's NSDAP number was 248,256 and his SS number was 6,882. Darré went on to become an active Nazi Reichsleiter and to set up an agrarian political apparatus to recruit farmers into the party.

Darré saw three main roles for this apparatus: to exploit unrest in the countryside as a weapon against the urban government; to win over the peasants as staunch Nazi supporters; to gain a constituency of people who could be used as settlers to displace the Slavs in future conquests in the East. On 1 January 1932 he became head of the newly established SS Race and Settlement Main Office (Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt or RuSHA), a fiercely racist and anti-Semitic organization, in the rank of a Gruppenführer.

In his religious views, Dárre would belong to the paganist fraction within the Nazi movement (see: Religious aspects of Nazism); however, unlike Heinrich Himmler and Alfred Rosenberg, he has not become a figure of interest in the speculation about Nazi occultism.

Darré speaking at a Reichsnährstandassembly in Goslar, 1937

Darré's works were primarily concerned with the ancient and present Nordic peasantry (the ideology of Blood and soil): within this context, he made an explicit attack against Christianity. In his two main works (Das Bauerntum als Lebensquell der Nordischen Rasse, Munich, 1927 andNeuadel aus Blut und Boden, Munich, 1930), Darré accused Christianity, with its "teaching of the equality of men before God," to have "deprived the Teutonic nobility of its moral foundations", the "innate sense of superiority over the nomadic tribes".

Soon after the Nazis came to power in 1933, Darré became Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture succeeding resigned DNVP leader Alfred Hugenberg, and Reichsbauernführer (usually translated as Reich Peasant Leader, though the word Bauer also denotes Farmer), serving from June 1933 to May 1942. He was instrumental in founding the Nazi Reichsnährstand corporation as part of theGleichschaltung process. Darré campaigned for big landowners to part with some of their land to create new farms, and promoted the controversial Reichserbhofgesetz, which reformed the inheritance laws to prevent splitting up of farms into smaller units.

He developed a plan for "Rasse und Raum" ("race and space", or territory) which provided the ideological background for the Nazi expansive policy on behalf of the "Drang nach Osten" ("Drive to the east") and of the "Lebensraum" ("Living space") theory expounded in Mein Kampf. Darré strongly influenced Reichsführer-SS Himmler in his goal to create a German racial aristocracy based on selective breeding.

The Nazi policies of eugenics would lead to the annihilation of millions of non-Germans. In the course of the preparations for the Generalplan Ost, Himmler would later break with Darré, whom he saw as too theoretical. Darré was generally on bad terms with Economy Minister Hjalmar Schacht, particularly as Germany suffered poor harvests in the mid 1930s.

By September 1938, Himmler was already demanding that Darré step down as leader of the RuSHA in favour of Günther Pancke. Darré finally had to resign as Reich Minister in 1942, ostensibly on health grounds, and was succeeded by his state secretary Herbert Backe.

After the war

In 1945 the American authorities arrested Darré at Flak-Kaserne Ludwigsburg and tried him at the subsequent Nuremberg Trials as one of 21 defendants in the Ministries Trial, also known as the Wilhelmstrasse Trial (1947-1949).

He was charged under the following counts

  • Count I: participation in the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of wars of aggression and invasion of other countries. Found not guilty.
  • Count II: conspiracy to commit crimes against peace and crimes against humanity: The count was dismissed, the tribunal finding that no evidence was offered.
  • Count IV: crimes against humanity, relating to offenses committed against German nationals from 1933 to 1939. The count was dismissed upon the arguments of defense counsel.
  • Count V: atrocities and offenses committed against civilian populations between 1938 and 1945. Found guilty.
  • Count VI: plunder and spoliation. Found guilty.
  • Count VII: slave labor. Found not guilty.
  • Count VIII: membership of criminal organizations. Found guilty.

Darré was sentenced to seven years at Landsberg Prison. He nevertheless was released in 1950 and spent his final years in Bad Harzburg. He died in a Munich hospital on 5 September 1953 of cancer of the liver, induced by alcoholism. Darré is buried in Goslar.

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Landsberg Prison

Landsberg Prison is a penal facility located in the town of Landsberg am Lech in the southwest of the German state of Bavaria, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) west ofMunich and 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Augsburg.

The prison was used by Allied power during the Occupation of Germany for holdingNazi War Criminals. In 1946 General Joseph T. McNarney, commander in chief, U.S. Forces of Occupation in Germany renamed Landsberg: War Criminal Prison Nr. 1. The Americans closed the war crimes facility in 1958. Control of the prison was then handed over to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Landsberg is now maintained by the Prison Service of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice.

Landsberg prison, which is in the town's western outskirts, was completed in 1910. The facility was designed with an Art Nouveau frontage by Hugo Höfl. Its four brick-built cell blocks are orientated in a cross-shape which allows guards to watch all wings from a central location.

Landsberg, which was used for holding convicted criminals and those awaiting sentencing, was also designated a Festungshaft (meaning fortress confinement) prison. Festungshaft facilities were similar to a modern protective custody unit. Prisoners were excluded from forced labor and had reasonably comfortable cells. They were also allowed to receive visitors. Anton Graf von Arco-Valley who shot Bavarian prime minister Kurt Eisner was given a Festungshaft sentence in February 1919.

In 1924 Adolf Hitler spent 264 days incarcerated in Landsberg after being convicted of treason following the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich the previous year. During his imprisonment, Hitler dictated and then wrote his book Mein Kampf with assistance from his deputy, Rudolf Hess.

United States Army Record card of formerSS-Hauptscharführer Georg Schallermair who worked at the Mühldorf subcamp. After he was sentenced to death at the Dachau Trials, Schallermair was hanged at Landsberg in 1951. A former NSDAP-Kreisleiter shortly before being hanged in 1946. He was sentenced to death by the Dachau Trials for killing five American POWs.

During the occupation of Germany by the Allies after World War II, the US Armydesignated the prison as War Criminal Prison No. 1 to hold convicted Nazi war criminals.  It was run and guarded by personnel from the United States Military Police (MPs).

The first condemned prisoners arrived at Landsberg prison in December 1945. These war criminals had been sentenced to death for crimes against humanityat the Dachau Trials which had begun a month earlier.

Between 1945 and 1946, the prison housed a total of 110 prisoners convicted at the Nuremberg trials, a further 1416 war criminals from the Dachau trials and 18 prisoners convicted in the Shanghai trials. (These were military tribunals conducted by the American forces in Japan between August 1946 and January 1947 to prosecute 23 German officials who had continued to assist theJapanese military in Shanghai after the surrender of Nazi Germany.) 

In five and half years, Landsberg prison was used to execute nearly 300 condemned war criminals, of these 259 death sentences were conducted by hanging and 29 by firing squad.  Executions were carried out expediently, in May 1946 twenty eight former SS guards from Dachau were hanged within a four-day period. Bodies that were not claimed were buried in unmarked graves in the cemetery next to the Spöttingen chapel.
Notable prisoners sentenced to periods of imprisonment at Landsberg included:

Closure

With founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in May 1949 and its abolishment of the death penalty there was subsequently a number of petitions to close down War Criminal Prison No. 1. On 31 January 1951 the U.S. High Commissioner, John McCloy, agreed to review the sentences from the Nuremberg and Dachau trials. Out of 28 prisoners condemned to death, seven death sentences were confirmed the other sentences were reduced to terms of imprisonment. The confirmed death sentences included Oswald PohlHans-Theodor Schmidt (adjutant of Buchenwald), and Georg Schallermair (an SS sergeant at Mühldorf, a Dachau sub-camp). The final executions were conducted on 7 June, 1951.

In May 1958, the United States Army relinquished control of Landsberg Prison when the last four prisoners were released from custody. These were all former SS officers who had been convicted during the Einsatzgruppen Trials between 1947 and 1948.

Management of the facility was transferred over to the civilian Bavarian Ministry of Justice.

The prison is now run as a progressive correctional facility that provides training, skills and medical help for prisoners. There are 36 courses in the central training centre which provide training for occupations such as bakers, electricians, painters, butchers, carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, heating & ventilation workers and bricklayer).

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Viktor Lutze

Viktor Lutze 

(December 28, 1890–May 2, 1943)

Was the commander of the Sturmabteilung  ("SA") succeeding Ernst Röhm as Stabschef.

Lutze was born in BevergernWestphalia, the son of a peasant craftsman. After a short career in the post office, he joined the German Army in 1912, serving with the 55th Infantry Regiment. He fought in the 369th Infantry Regiment and 15th Reserve Infantry Regiment during World War I. He became a company commander and was heavily wounded four times, including loss of his left eye. After the war, Lutze became a merchant and joined the police force.

Nazi party and SA

Lutze joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) in 1922, and the Prussian State Council. He became an associate of Franz Pfeffer von Salomon, the first leader of the SA. Together, they determined the structure of the organization.

He also worked with Albert Leo Schlageter in the resistance/sabotage of the Belgian and French occupation of the Ruhr in 1923. His organization of the Ruhr for the SA became a model for other regions after 1926. With the assumption of power by the NSDAP in March 1933, he was appointed police president of Hanover and later its provincial governor and state counselor. He rose through the ranks and by 1933 was a SA-Obergruppenführer.

Purge of Röhm

Lutze's participation in the Night of the Long Knives in 1934 was very important, as it was he who informed Adolf Hitler about Ernst Röhm's anti-regime activities. (Hitler at first said, "We'll have to let the thing ripen"). In preparation for the purge, both Heinrich Himmler and his deputyReinhard Heydrich, chief of the SS Security Service (SD), assembled dossiers of manufactured evidence to suggest that Röhm was going to overthrow Hitler. Meanwhile Göring, Himmler, Heydrich and Lutze (at Hitler's direction) drew up lists of those who should be liquidated starting with seven top SA officials and ending with many more.

At least 85 people died during the purge, although the final death toll may have been in the hundreds. After the purge Lutze succeeded Röhm as Stabschef SA, but after the Night of the Long Knives, the SA no longer had as prominent a role as it did in the early days of the party. One of Lutze’s major tasks would be overseeing a large reduction in the SA, a task welcomed by the SS and the regular armed forces. On June 30, 1934 Hitler issued a twelve-point directive to Lutze to clean up the SA and wrote that “SA men should be leaders, not ludicrous apes”.

Hitler (center, in front of the wreath), Lutze (on Hitler's left), and Himmler (on Hitler's right), making a Nazi salute in front of the World War I cenotaph in the 1934 Nuremberg rally.

At the Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg in September 1934, William L. Shirer observed Hitler speaking to the SA for the first time since the purge (Hitler absolved the SA from crimes committed by Röhm). Shirer also noted Lutze speaking there (Lutze reaffirmed the SA's loyalty). Shirer described Lutze as possessing a shrill unpleasant voice, and thought the "SA boys received him coolly".

In Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will however, Lutze is seen being mobbed by the SA as he departed at the end of his evening rally speech. His automobile can barely make it through the crowd. He is also the only speaker other than Hitler who receives the dramatic low angle shots of Lutze alone at the podium. Only Hitler, Himmler, and Lutze are shown in the march to the World War I cenotaph, where they laid a wreath. The makers of the film were giving the little known Lutze some of the prestige of Hitler.

Anti-Christian operations

In 1937, Lutze and the SA were involved in the anti-Christian efforts of the Nazi party which included banning religious ceremony, seizing church property, and the jailing of pastors and priests.

Foreign organisation

After the Anschluss, Lutze traveled to Austria to help reorganize the SA there. The most visible role for the SA after the purge was in assisting the SS in Kristallnacht in November 1938. In February 1939, Lutze reviewed a parade of 20,000 Blackshirts in Rome and then set off for a tour of Italy’s Libyan frontier with Tunisia.

Lutze’s Death and Funeral

Lutze maintained his position in the weakened SA until his death. On May 1, 1943 he was driving a car near Potsdam with his entire family (one account suggests they were foraging for food). Driving too fast in a curve caused an accident that badly injured Lutze as well as killing his oldest daughter Inge and greatly injuring his younger daughter. Viktor Lutze died during an operation in a hospital in Potsdam at 10:30 the next evening. (News reports stated that the accident involved another vehicle, keeping the news of reckless driving from the public.

This may have contributed to theories that Lutze was killed just as Röhm had been, or that partisans assassinated him). Hitler ordered Joseph Goebbels to convey his condolences to Viktor’s wife Paula and son Viktor Jr. Goebbels, in his diaries, had already described Lutze as a man of "unlimited stupidity" but at his death decided he was a decent fellow. Lutze was 52 years old.

The esteem in which Lutze was held is indicated by the fact that Hitler ordered a lavish state funeral for him on May 7, 1943 in the Reich Chancellery and attended in person, something he rarely did at that stage in the war. Lutze was posthumously awarded the Highest Grade of the German Order by Hitler. Hitler also took this opportunity to order party, army, and government officials (many of whom were in attendance) to curtail speeding (specifically requesting they drive no faster than 50 miles per hour) and other reckless behavior.

Family life

Pictures recovered from Lutze's house by the Allies depict a family man who enjoyed day-trips and ping pong

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Theodor Eicke

Theodor Eicke 

(17 October 1892 – 26 February 1943)

was a SS Obergruppenführer (German General), commander of the SS-Division (mot) Totenkopf of the Waffen-SSand one of the key figures in the establishment of concentration camps in Nazi Germany. His Nazi Party number was 114,901 and his SS number was 2,921. Together with SS-Obersturmbannführer Michael Lippert, Eicke executed SA Chief Ernst Röhm following the Night of the Long Knives.

Early Life — World War I

Eicke, the son of a station master, was born in Hudingen (Hampont), near Château-Salins (then in the German province of Elsass-Lothringen) into a lower middle-class family. The youngest of 11 children, he did not do well in school and dropped out at the age of 17 before graduation. He joined the 23rd Bavarian Infantry Regiment as a volunteer; later on, in World War I, he took the office of paymaster for the 3rd — and, from 1916 on, the 22nd Bavarian Infantry Regiment. He won the Iron Cross, Second Class in 1914 for bravery.

Eicke resigned from his position of army paymaster in 1919. He began studying in his wife's hometown of Ilmenau. However, he dropped out of school again in 1920 intending to pursue a police career. He initially worked as an informer and later as a regular policeman. His career in the police came to an end because of his fervent hatred for the Weimar Republic and his repeated participation in violent political demonstrations. He finally managed to find work in 1923 at IG Farben inLudwigshafen, soon rising to the rank of leader of the company's internal intelligence service.

Rise of the Nazi Party

Eicke's views on the Weimar Republic mirrored those of the Nazi Party and he joined Ernst Röhm's SA on 1 December 1928. He left the SA in August 1930 for the SS, where he quickly rose in rank after recruiting new members and building up the SS organization in the Bavarianpalatinate. In 1931, Eicke was promoted to the rank of SS-Standartenführer (Colonel) by Heinrich Himmler.

His political activities caught the attention of his employer and in early 1932 he was laid off by IG Farben. At the same time, he was caught preparing bomb attacks on political enemies in Bavaria for which he received a two year prison sentence in July 1932. However, due to protection received from Franz Gürtner, who would later serve as minister of justice under Adolf Hitler, he was able to flee to Italy on orders from Heinrich Himmler, where he took over responsibility for a camp for exiled SS members.

SS and concentration camps Crematorium at Dachau in operation

Eicke then returned to Germany in March 1933 following Hitler's rise to power. Eicke had political quarrels with Gauleiter Joseph Bürckel, who had him arrested and he spent several months in amental asylumHeinrich Himmler eventually had him released in June 1933. After promotion to an Oberführer, Eicke was made commandant of the Dachau concentration camp on June 26, after complaints and criminal proceedings against former commandant SS-Sturmbannführer Hilmar Wäckerle following the murder of several detainees under the "guise of punishment".

Promoted on 30 January 1934 to SS-Brigadeführer (equivalent to Major-general in the Waffen-SS), Eicke as commander of Dachau began new reforms. He reorganized the SS camp, establishing new guarding provisions, which included rigid disciple, total obedience to orders, and tightening disciplinary and punishment regulations for detainees, which were adopted by all concentration camps of the Third Reich on 1 January 1934. Eicke detested weakness and instructed his men that any SS man with a soft heart should "...retire at once to a monastery".

Eicke's anti-semitism and anti-bolshevism as well as his insistence on unconditional obedience towards him as the camp's commander as well as the SS and Hitler made an impression on Himmler. In May 1934, he was appointed Concentration Camps Inspector, a position which he began working in on 4 July 1934. Although technically responsible to the SS-Hauptamt, Eicke in fact reported directly to Himmler.

Arbeit Macht Frei gate at Sachsenhausen

Eicke also was involved in the Night of the Long Knives at the end of June 1934; together with hand-chosen members of the Dachau concentration camp guards (SS-TV), he assisted Sepp Dietrich's SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler to imprison SA commanders on June 30. To show his obedience to Himmler and Hitler, Eicke (together with his adjutant, Michael Lippert) shot Ernst Röhm on 1 July 1934. Eicke was promoted to SS-Gruppenführer. As a result of the Night of the Long Knives, the remaining SA-run camps were taken over by the SS.

In his role as the Concentration Camps Inspector, Eicke began a large reorganisation of the camps in 1935, which consisted of the dismantling of the smaller camps. Dachau remained, thenSachsenhausen concentration camp opened in summer 1936, Buchenwald in summer 1937 and Ravensbrück (near Lichtenburg) in May 1939. There were other new camps in Austria, such asMauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, opened in 1938. All SS camps' regulations, both for guards and prisoners, followed the Dachau camp model.

Eicke's reorganizations and the introduction of forced labour made the camps one of the SS's most powerful tools; this earned him the enmity of (among others) Reinhard Heydrich, who had already unsuccessfully attempted to take control of the Dachau concentration camp in his position as chief of the SD.

Eicke prevailed with support from Himmler. When, in 1940, the Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI) was turned into Amt D of the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt under Oswald Pohl, he assured that the command structure he had introduced would not fall to the jurisdiction of the Gestapo and SD. The CCI and later Amt D were subordinate to the SD and Gestapo only in regards to who was admitted to the camps and who was released. However, what happened inside the camps was under the command of Amt D.

Totenkopf Division Theodor Eicke and SS Division Totenkopf on the Eastern Front in 1941.

The success of the Totenkopf's sister formations the SS-Infanterie-Regiment (mot)Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and the three Standarten of the SS-Verfügungstruppe led toHitler approving Himmler's recommendation for the creation of three Waffen SS-divisions in October 1939.

Eicke's Totenkopf units were to form SS-Division Totenkopf and Eicke was given command.Totenkopf was to become one of the most effective German fighting formations on the Eastern Front, often serving as "Hitler's firemen", rushed to the scene of Soviet breakthroughs. His career now deviated from Concentration Camps and he was not involved with the camp service after 1940. His replacement as Inspector of Concentration Camps wasRichard Glücks who answered to Oswald Pohl in the SS Office of Economics and Administration.

During the course of the war, Eicke and his division became known for unmatched brutality and several war crimes, including the murder of British POWs in Le Paradis in 1940, the murder of captured Soviet soldiers and the plundering and pillaging of several Soviet villages. The Totenkopf continued to show an unmatched ferocity, during the advance in 1941 as well as the summer offensive in 1942, the conquest of Kharkov, the Demyansk Pocket, and the defense of Warsaw and Budapest in early 1945.

Death

Eicke was killed on 26 February 1943, several months after being promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer (equivalent to general in the Allgemeine SS and also General in the Waffen-SS). While performing a battlefield reconnaissance during the opening stages of the Third Battle of Kharkov, his Fieseler Fi 156 Storch was shot down by Soviet troops 1 kilometer southwest of Artelnoje (near Lozovaya). An assault group from the division recovered the bodies of Eicke, the pilot and SS-Hauptsturmführer Friedrich from enemy territory.

Eicke was portrayed in the Axis press as a hero, and soon after his death one of the Totenkopf's infantry regiments received the honorificcuff-title Theodor Eicke.

Personal life

Eicke married Bertha Schwebel on 26 December 1914. They had two children, Irma (born 5 April 1916) and Hermann (born 4 May 1920).

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Heinrich Himmler

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (pronounced [?ha?n??ç ?lu??t?p?lt ?h?ml?] ( listen)

 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945

Was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo(Secret State Police). Serving as Reichsführer and later as Commander of the Replacement (Home) Army and General Plenipotentiary for the entire Reich's administration (Generalbevollmächtigter für die Verwaltung), Himmler rose to become one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany as well as one of the persons most directly responsible for theHolocaust.

As overseer of the concentration campsextermination camps, and Einsatzgruppen (literally: task forces, often used as killing squads), Himmler coordinated the killing of some six millionJews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Roma, many prisoners of war, and possibly another three to four million Polescommunists, or other groups whom the Nazis deemed unworthy to live or simply "in the way", including homosexuals, people with physical and mental disabilitiesJehovah's Witnesses and members of the Confessing Church. Shortly before the end of the war, he offered to surrender both Germany and himself to the Western Allies if he were spared prosecution. After being arrested by British forces on 22 May 1945, he committed suicide the following day before he could be questioned.

 

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Michael Lippert

Michel Hans Lippert or Michael Lippert 

(April 24, 1897 – September 1, 1969)

was an SS Standartenführer, Police officer and a German soldier who served in bothWorld War I and World War II. During World War II. Lippert commanded severalconcentration camps, including Sachsenhausen, before becoming a commander of the SS-Freiwilligen Legion Flandern and the 10. SS-Panzer-Division Frundsberg. He is probably best known for murdering SA leader Ernst Röhm on July 2, 1934.

Career in the SS

On 15 November 1931, Lippert was commissioned an SS Second Lieutenant with the SS Group South, 2nd Company, III Battalion, 31st Death's Head Regiment. The 31st Regiment was one of many regiments that was bestowed a commemorative or honorific name associated either with Nazi members killed during the Putsch or in the struggle against communism, or geographical names.

From 19 June to 5 July 1933, Lippert attended an SS Officer's Course at the German Hochschule für Leibesübungen, held in Berlin-Grünwald at the German Stadion.

Execution of Ernst Röhm

On 1 July 1934, just after the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler gave the order that the imprisoned Ernst Röhm was to be liquidated. Himmler communicated Hitler's order to SS-Brigadeführer Theodor Eicke, ordering that Röhm be shot, and that he first be offered the chance to commit suicide. Accompanied by Lippert in his capacity as Eicke's adjutant, and along with SS Gruppenführer Heinrich Schmauser, Eicke travelled to Stadelheim Prison in Munich where Röhm was being held.

After telling Röhm that he had forfeited his life and that Hitler had given him a last chance to avoid the consequences, Eicke laid a pistol on a table in Röhm's cell and told him that he had 10 minutes in which to use the weapon to kill himself. Eicke, Lippert and Schmauser left and waited in the corridor for 15 minutes, during which time no shot was heard. Finally Eicke and Lippert drew their pistols and re-entered Röhm's cell. Both fired at the same time, and Röhm fell to the floor. One of the two then crossed to Röhm and administed a coup-de-grace, firing a bullet through Röhm's heart at point-blank range

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Gregor Strasser

Gregor Strasser (also Straßer, see ß)

(May 31, 1892 – June 30, 1934)

Was a politician of theNational Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). He was murdered in Berlin during the Night of the Long Knives.

Background, training, and military service

Gregor Strasser and his younger brother Otto were born into the family of a Catholic judicial officer who lived in the Upper Bavarian market town of Geisenfeld. He attended the local Gymnasium (high school) and after his final examinations, served an apprenticeship as a druggist in the Lower Bavarian village of Frontenhausen from 1910 until 1914. In 1914 he began to study pharmacy atLudwig Maximilians University of Munich, suspending his studies in the same year to enlist as a volunteer in the German Imperial Army. Strasser took part in World War I, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant, and being decorated with the Iron Cross, First and Second Class.

In 1918, he resumed his studies at Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nuremberg and in 1919 he joined the rightist Freikorps led byFranz Ritter von Epp (1868–1932) together with his brother Otto. He passed his state examination successfully in the same year, and in 1920 started work as a pharmacist in Landshut.

Strasser established and commanded Sturmbataillon Niederbayern (English: Storm battalion Lower Bavaria), where young Heinrich Himmler served as his adjutant. By March 1920, Strasser's Freikorps was ready to participate in the failed Kapp Putsch. During that time, his brother Otto commanded a socialist Rote Hundertschaft (Red Group of a Hundred) to battle against this right wing "reactionary" coup d'état.

Career in the early NSDAP

Soon Gregor Strasser was leading a völkischer Wehrverband ("ethnic defense union"), one of several such nationalist paramilitary groups. His group joined forces with the NSDAP (Nazi Party) in 1921, which had been founded in Munich in 1919 as the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP or German Workers' Party), and which changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP or National Socialist German Workers' Party) in 1920. His leadership qualities were readily recognized and he was soon appointed as regional head of the SA in Lower Bavaria. In November 1923 he took an active part in the miscarried Beer Hall Putsch. In a special part of the high treason trial against Adolf Hitler and his accomplices, Strasser was sentenced to one and a half years of Festungshaft (confinement in a fortress, which was regarded as an honorable detention in the German Empire) in Landsberg Prison by Volksgericht München I in April 1924.

After a few weeks Strasser was released because he had been elected a member of Bavarian Landtag for the Nazi-associated Völkischer Block on May 4, 1924. On December 7, 1924 he attained a seat in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. He had run under the party banner of theDeutschvölkische Freiheitspartei (German People's Freedom Party), which served as a substitute organization for the NSDAP (which was banned in Bavaria starting in November 1923 after the abortive putsch). Strasser kept this position until December 1932.

After the official refoundation of the NSDAP by Adolf Hitler in the Munich Bürgerbräukeller on February 26, 1925 Strasser became the firstGauleiter of Lower Bavaria/Upper Palatinate and, after the partition of this Gau, Lower Bavarian Gauleiter from October 1, 1928 until 1929. From June 30, 1926 until early 1928 he was NSDAP Reichspropagandaleiter (NSDAP Reich Leader for Propaganda) and from January 1928 until December 1932 he was the Nazi Reichsorganisationsleiter (Reich Organization Leader).

Gregor Strasser reorganized the whole NSDAP structure, both in its regional formation and its vertical management hierarchy. The Nazi Party became a strictly centralist organization with the party's own control machinery and high propaganda capability. Strasser's ideas for restructuring the Nazi Reich Organization Leadership had been carried into effect by service regulations called Politische Organisation - P.O. - (Political Organization - P.O.) of the NSDAP on July 15, 1932.

Strasser's organizational reforms

After 1925, Strasser's outstanding organizational skill helped the NSDAP to make a big step from a marginal South German splinter party to a nationwide mass party, appealing to the lower classes and their tendency towards socialism. Its membership increased from about 27,000 in 1925 to more than 800,000 in 1931. Strasser established the NSDAP in northern and western Germany as a strong political association which quickly attained a higher membership than Hitler's southern party section.

Moreover he arranged for the foundation of the Berlin SA(Stormtroopers) under Upper Silesian Nazi activist Kurt Daluege in March 1926. The party's own Foreign Organization (see NSDAP/AO) was formed on Strasser's initiative, and Dr. Hans Nieland was appointed its first leader on May 1, 1931. Together with his brother Otto, Strasser founded the Berlin Kampf-Verlag (Combat Publishing) arm in March 1926, which published among others the programmatic weekly journalDer Nationale Sozialist (The National Socialist) from 1926 until 1930.

The Strasser brothers ruled the Berlin party organization unchallenged and developed an independent ideological profile from the south German party wing around Adolf Hitler. They advocated - at first together with Gregor Strasser's close collaborator in Rhineland and Westphalia Joseph Goebbels - an anti-capitalist, social revolutionary course for NSDAP that was heavily affected by antisemitism and anti-Marxism at the same time. With the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Nordwest (Syndicate Northwest), a federation of north and west German NSDAPGauleiter under his leadership (managing director was Joseph Goebbels) founded in 1925, Gregor Strasser had created an instrument to enforce the sociopolitical and economic ideas of the left NSDAP wing. But on February 14, 1926 Hitler asserted himself successfully against this "National Bolshevist" faction during the Bamberg Conference. This earned Hitler absolute leadership within the NSDAP. The disbandment of the syndicate was decreed by a directive from Munich on July 1, 1926.

Alleged affair with Geli Raubal

It has been reported that Gregor Strasser had a brief affair with Geli Raubal and that Geli disclosed to him intimate details of Hitler's sexual habits and alleged impotence. If true, it provides another motive for her murder (if in fact her death was murder, not suicide) as such allegations would have been a threat to both Hitler and the Nazi Party. At Geli's Catholic burial, the Priest was Father Johann Pant. Pant later wrote (in 1939) to a French newspaper, "From the fact I gave her a Catholic burial you can draw your own conclusions".

Conflict with Hitler and death

The programmatic and personal rivalry with Adolf Hitler worsened dramatically when Reichskanzler Kurt von Schleicher offered Strasser the vice-chancellorship and the office of the Prussian Prime Minister in December 1932. Von Schleicher shrewdly hoped to disunite the NSDAP with Strasser's help and to pull the left Nazis around Strasser over to his national conservative side, as to prevent a revolution or takeover by Hitler. The plan failed because of Hitler's intervention, and resulted in Strasser's resignation from all party positions. According to William L. Shirer, this move upset the very foundations of the Nazi party, and could have put an end to their quest for power.

Strasser was still a very powerful figure in the region in which he had built up power, and could have mobilised support in the region to turn people against the NSDAP. Instead, Strasser tired of the political struggle as well as the intense campaigning and took a restorative holiday in Italy. Hitler seized upon this opportunity to sack all members of the party loyal to Strasser. All new and remaining workers were summoned to sign an oath of loyalty to the Führer, and therefore, this abnegated any damage that the departure of an influential figure like Strasser could cause.

He continued acting as a publicist as he did before his disempowerment. From June 1931 until its ban on February 4, 1933 he published the weekly newspaper Die Schwarze Front (named after Otto Strasser's Black Front political organisation), which made little impact on contemporaries because of its small circulation (10,000 copies).

His involvement in politics did not end completely however, and he had a minor role in von Schleicher's downfall. On January 4, the chancellor summoned the disaffected Strasser to visit President von Hindenburg. A few days later, Strasser expressed an interest in joining Schleicher's cabinet, which would significantly weaken the Nazi party.

Schleicher was assured of Strasser's defection, and bragged to a visiting Austrian minister that the problem of the Nazi Party was solved and their rise had ceased. However, for some reason, Strasser had declined to join the cabinet. Schleicher had therefore failed to win over or divide the Nazis, and coupled with a morale-boosting election campaign in Lippe, Hitler set about definitively undermining Schleicher, now knowing he did not have Strasser's help.

During the Nazi Party purge, which was called officially "Röhm-Putsch" by the Nazi propaganda (see Night of the Long Knives), Strasser was imprisoned and then assassinated on Hitler's personal order by the Berlin Gestapo on June 30, 1934. The assassins shot through a window into Strasser's cell, eventually killing him. Fritz Günther von Tschirschky, one of Franz von Papen's staff members who was kidnapped and taken to Gestapo headquarters, claimed to be a witness to the murder.

According to his memoirs, Strasser was murdered in an adjoining cell in the basement by an SS squad shooting at his temple and back of the head several times. Tschirschky could not watch the execution directly because guards were blocking the way. However, minutes later he saw guards carrying some bloody bags out. Tschirschky concluded that "the murdered must have been dismembered shortly after the crime and his body parts carried outside

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Victims of the Night of the Long Knives 1 Version

The precise number of victims of the Night of the Long Knives is disputed and will probably never be known with certainty. 

Adolf Hitler claimed in his speech in the Reichstag on July 13 that 61 persons had been shot during "the action", 13 had died resisting arrest and three committed suicide. This understates the number killed.

The British historian Richard J. Evans, whose books on the subject have been called "the definitive study for at least a generation," said that at least 85 people were killed, and more than 1,000 were arrested.The noted historian Ian Kershaw, author of a two-volume biography on Hitler, also cites the number of deaths at 85. Kershaw also notes that "some estimates...put the total number killed at between 150 and 200." 

The journalist and historian William L. Shirer writes in his Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, that "The White Book of the Purge, published by émigrés in Paris claims 401 deaths, but lists only 116 of them. At the 1957 trial in Munich the figure 'more than 1,000' was used." Both of those figures are much higher than the ones most historians of the period rely on, and that Shirer himself was not necessarily citing the figures as accurate, but was simply relaying them in his book. Finally, many—but not all—of the victims had some role in bringing Hitler to power.

Partial list of victims

The list of victims was retrieved from the German Wikipedia unless otherwise stated.[

 

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Herbert von Bose

Herbert von Bose 

(16 March 1893 Strasbourg – 30 June 1934 Berlin)

Was head of the press division of the Vice Chancellery (Reichsvizekanzlei) in Germany under Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen.

Oppositional activities (1933–1934)

In early 1933 von Bose was appointed Chief of the Press Division in the office of Hitler's Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen. Since von Papen failed in the task he had been assigned by Reichspresident von Hindenburg: to act as a "chaperon" and corrective of Hitler and the other radicals in the government, von Bose and the other leading men in Papen's staff decided to take care of that task by themselves. Together with his assistant Wilhelm von Ketteler, with Papen's speech writer and spin doctor Edgar Jung and Papen's aides Fritz Günther von Tschirschky and Hans Graf von Kageneck, von Bose formed a pocket of resistance against the National Socialist System that was later referred to as "the vanguard of conservative resistance".

In order to overthrow the yet-not fully consolidated regime von Bose and his colleagues plotted to create an atmosphere of critical political tensions in Germany that would allow them to prompt the old President von Hindenburg – who retained the position of Commander in Chief of the Germany Army – to declare a state of national emergency.

As a consequence the Hitler government was to be stripped of the executive power in Germany, which Hindenburg was to take over by himself (practically exercised by von Papen's aides themselves and the Generals), by the Reichswehr. The army was to disarm the SA- and SS-troopers by force and to apprehend the major Nazi leaders, except for Hitler and Göring.

Those two were to join a Reich-directorate that was to consist of von Papen, former Chancellor Heinrich Brüning, conservative politician Friedrich Goerdeler, the two Nazi leaders and the General von Werner Freiherr or Baron von Fritsch. The ulterior motive of this motion was a tactical one: to calm the masses of Nazi-supporters to prevent them from resorting to active resistance against the conservative coup. Hitler and Göring were supposed to be jettisoned somewhere along the track as soon as the position of their conservative counterparts had consolidated.

In early June 1934 that plan was jeopardized when Hindenburg – earlier than in previous years – left for his estate of Neudeck in East Prussia and thus was getting increasingly difficult to get in touch with. On top of that it had become obvious at that time that Hindenburg had only a few more weeks to live and therefore could not be expected to return from Neudeck at all. Pressured by those turn of events von Bose and his colleagues decided to accelerate the eruption of the smouldering crisis that existed in Germany in those months due to the conflict between Hitler's SA, which demanded to be promoted to the position of Germany's regular army, and the Reichswehr, which intended to defend its own status.

While von Bose and von Tschirschky drew up a special dossier that was to be handed over to the old von Hindenburg in late June 1934, to convince him of the necessity of mobilising the Reichswehr against the SA and NSDAP, von Papen delivered his famed address at the University of Marburg on June 17, 1934, which criticized some of the excesses of Nazi rule and called for a cessation of violence and return of the rule of laws. This speech, which was merely delivered by von Papen and unbeknownst to the public written by Jung, was intended to serve as a fanal to all opposing forces in Germany to prepare to act up against National Socialism and simultaneously to enforce the escalation of the SA-Reichswehr tensions to underline towards Hindenburg the theses presented in the Bose-Tschirschky Dossier.

However, even though the Marburg Speech turned out to be a success – as the American Ambassador to Berlin William Dodd noted in those days the provocative greeting "Heil Marburg" was omnipresent in Germany – the plan by Bose, Jung and Tschirschky did not come to fruition: The tentative attitude of von Papen, who could not bring himself to travel to Hindenburg immediately after the success of the speech became obvious, and the clumsiness of Hindenburg's son – who undexterously spilled the beans about the Bose-Tschirschky Plan to Army Ministervon Blomberg and his Chief of Staff von Reichenau, who was in league with Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich – squandered the opportunity of the situation.

In the morning of June 30, between 10.00 AM and 11.00 AM, hours before Papen was to finally fly to Neudeck, the Vice-Chancellery was occupied by an SS-squad and a few Gestapo inspectors. Bose was complemented into a conference room – allegedly to be interrogated – and shot from behind ten times as he took a seat. Von Tschirschky was arrested and later released, while von Jung – who had already been arrested on June 25 – was shot later that day. The whole event took place as a part of the Blood Purge on June 30, 1934.

In his memoirs Inside the Third ReichAlbert Speer relates how he was ordered to rebuild the Borsig Palace and transfer the Sturmabteilung(SA) leadership in and have Papen's staff out within twenty-four hours. Speer writes:

"Twenty-four hours later they moved out. In one of the rooms I saw a large pool of dried blood on the floor. There, on June 30, Herbert von Bose, one of Papen's assistants, had been shot. I looked away and from then on avoided the room. But the incident did not affect me any more deeply than that."

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Fritz Gerlich

Carl Albert Fritz (Michael) Gerlich 

(15 February 1883 – 30 June 1934)

Was a German journalist and historian, and one of the main journalistic resisters to Adolf Hitler

In 1919 he published the book Der Kommunismus als Lehre vom Tausendjährigen Reich (Communism as the Theory of the Thousand Year Reich), where Gerlich categorises communism as a type of redemption religion. A whole chapter is dedicated to denouncing anti-Semitism, which had gained ground because of the leading positions of many Jews in the Revolution and Soviet Republic.

During those years Gerlich’s political views become more liberal. In 1920 he was nominated as candidate to the Bavarian Landtag and German Reichstag for the left-liberal Deutsche Demokratische Partei (German Democratic Party).

On 9 October 1920 he married Sophie Botzenhart, born Stempfle, in Munich.

Editor in chief of the Münchner Neueste Nachrichten

From 1920 to 1928 he was editor in chief of the Münchner Neueste Nachrichten (MNN), a predecessor publication of today’s Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Gerlich opposed Nazism and Hitler's Nazi Party as "murderous". In the early 1920s he had seen proof of Nazi tyranny already in Munich. Once a conservative nationalist, after the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch Gerlich decisively turned against Hitler, and became one of his fiercest critics.

Friendship with Therese Neumann

In 1927 he had befriended Therese Neumann, the mystic and visionary of Konnersreuth in Bavaria, who supported Gerlich's resistance activities. Initially he wanted to expose the “swindle” of her stigmatism, but Gerlich came back as a changed man and converted fromCalvinism to Catholicism in 1931. From that year until his death, his resistance became inspired by the social teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Straight Path newspaper

Gerlich returned in November 1929 to his job at the Bavarian National Archives. A circle of friends that had developed around Therese Neumann gave rise to the idea of founding a political weekly newspaper in order to dispute the left and right political extremism in Germany. Supported by a wealthy patron, Prince Erich Waldburg-Zeil, Gerlich was able to overtake the weekly newspaper Der Illustrierte Sonntag, which was renamed Der gerade Weg (the straight path) in 1932.

In his newspaper Gerlich fought against Communism, National Socialism and anti-Semitism. The dispute with the growing Nazi movement became the central focus of Gerlich and his writing. At the end of 1932 the circulation was over 40,000 readers.

Gerlich once wrote “National Socialism means: Enmity with neighbouring nations, tyranny internally, civil war, world war, lies, hatred, fratricide and boundless want”. 

Arrest and death in the Dachau concentration camp

After the Nazis seized power in Germany on January 30, 1933, they quickly decided to remove Gerlich. He was arrested on March 9, 1933 and brought to the Dachau concentration camp, where he was murdered on June 30, 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives.

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Peter von Heydebreck

Hans-Adam Otto von Heydebreck, called Peter von Heydebreck 

(1 July 1889, Köslin – 30 June 1934, Munich)

Was a German Freikorps- and SA leader, member of the Reichstag and a national socialist.

Heydebreck served as an officer in the German Army in World War I. During the German revolution of November, 1918, he founded theFreikorps named after him.

During the Third Silesian Uprising in 1921, his troops were foremost in the reconquest of the low mountain at the center of the Battle of Annaberg, gaining Von Heydebreck the epithet of "the Hero of Annaberg".

He made a career for himself in the Nazi party, but, during the Röhm-Putsch in 1934, he was brought to Stadelheim Prison and killed by the SS, becoming one of the victims of the Night of the Long Knives.

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Anton von Hohberg und Buchwald

Anton Freiherr von Hohberg und Buchwald 

(September 21, 1885 – July 2, 1934 (date estimated))

was a German Reichswehr- and SS - Officer.

Hohberg was born in WismarMecklenburg-Schwerin, and started a career as an Cavalry officer in the German Imperial Army. He served throughout World War I as a Rittmeister (Captain) and was retired after 1918. After his dismissal, he went to his family's manor in Dulzennear Preussisch EylauEast Prussia, where he started to work as a farmer. In 1909 he married Gertrud von Rheinbaben (1888–1949), daughter of Prussian Minister of Interior and Finances Georg von Rheinbaben, but divorced in 1912 after a duel with Horst von Blumenthal, whom she then married. Around 1930 he joined the NSDAP and was temporarily a member of the staff of East Prussian SS leader Erich von dem Bach–Zelewski, but came into personal conflicts with him.

On May 14, 1934, Hohberg was dismissed as SS–Oberabschnittsreiterführer (regional SS Cavalry leader) with a rank of SS-Obersturmführer(First Lieutenant).[1] During the Night of the Long Knives, von dem Bach gave the order to kill Hohberg. Most probably on July 2, 1934, Hohberg was shot in his manor house in Dulzen by SS-Scharführer Zummach (von dem Bach's chauffeur) and SS-Obersturmführer Carl Reinhard. Hohberg was one of the few SS-members, and probably the highest-ranking one, killed in the Röhm-Putsch.

Aftermath

Von dem Bach-Zelewski was a high-ranking SS-officer throughout World War II and was responsible for the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. On January 16, 1961 he was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment by a West German court for the Hohberg murder. In 1961, he was sentenced to an additional 10 years in home custody for the murder of 10 German Communists in the early 1930s.He died in prison in 1972.

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Edgar Julius Jung

 

Edgar Julius Jung

 (March 6, 1894 – July 1, 1934)

Was a German lawyer born in Ludwigshafen, in Rhineland-PalatinateGermany. He was a leader of the Conservative Revolutionary movement in Germany, which stood not only in opposition to the Weimar Republic, whose parliamentarian system he considered decadent and foreign-imposed, but also to the mass movement of Nazism.

At the onset of World War I, Jung voluntarily joined the imperial armies and reached the rank of lieutenant. After the end of the war, he participated in the suppression of the Bavarian Soviet Republic in the spring of 1919 and in the resistance against the French occupation of the Palatinate. Expelled by the French authorities, Jung move to Munich, where, in 1925, he opened a law firm and dampened his political activism slightly.

Jung, like Carl Schmitt, believed the breakdown of liberal parliamentarism to be inevitable as the instability of Weimar Germany was unfolding before his eyes. Jung regarded Weimar Germany as teetering on the brink of revolutionary turmoil with the very real prospect of a Red Revolution sponsored by the Soviet Union or a Brown Revolution by the Nazis.

After the formation of the "government of national concentration" under the leadership of Adolf Hitler on 30 January 1933, Jung became a political consultant and speechwriter for the vice-chancellor of the coalition cabinet, Franz von Papen.

In 1934, Jung wrote the Marburg speech that was delivered on June 17 by von Papen at theUniversity of Marburg. The speech articulated the conservative establishment's criticism of the violence of National Socialism. Jung was murdered by the SS during the Night of the Long Knives. His body was found dumped in a ditch near the town of Oranienburg near Berlin on July 1.

 

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Gustav Ritter von Kahr

Gustav Ritter von Kahr 

(November 29, 1862 – June 30, 1934)

was a German right-wing conservative politician, active in the state of Bavaria. He was instrumental in the failure of Adolf Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, and was subsequently put to death more than ten years later in the Night of the Long Knives.

 

Born in Weißenburg in Bayern, Kahr studied law and worked as a lawyer before entering politics. Politically, he was a monarchist and had links to the Catholic BVP, though he was a Protestant and never joined any party. In 1917 he became head of the provincial government of Upper Bavaria, but lost this post in the German Revolution of 1918. However, the revolution was short-lived and order was restored.

After March 14, 1920, Kahr succeeded Johannes Hoffmann as Prime minister of Bavaria. Kahr came into office under military influences as a secondary result of the Kapp Putsch of March 13 in Berlin. The most powerful party in Bavaria, the Bavarian Volkspartei, was then in a state of much anxiety as a result of the experiences of Bolshevism, anarchy and violence through which Munich had passed in the spring of 1919.

The ministry presided over by the moderate socialist Hoffmann had succeeded in quelling Bolshevism with the aid of Republican troops from Prussiaand Württemberg, but the great majority of the Bavarian Catholic Volkspartei, as well as liberals of various shades, not to speak of the royalists and reactionaries, wanted further guarantees against a recurrence of the Bolshevist terror.

The Kapp Putsch in Berlin gave the signal for political action in Munich, and at a midnight sitting the Bavarian socialist ministry was somewhat unceremoniously hustled out of office — it is alleged under military pressure — and a coalition cabinet under Kahr installed. The coalition included reactionary conservatives whose influence became more and more predominant. They were backed up by formerly liberal Bavarian journals which had been bought up by Prussian industrialists.

Gustav von Kahr (left) and Erich Ludendorff (center), 1921

Kahr's administration was essential in turning Bavaria into a "Ordnungszelle" (cell of order), giving room for all kinds of right-wing groups. He also supported separatist forces who aimed at Bavarian secession from Germany, but after the German government passed a decree for the protection of the Republic against right-wing extremists, Kahr resigned on 1 September 1921.

In September 1923, following a period of turmoil with assassinations and political violence, Prime Minister Eugen von Knilling declared martial law and appointed Kahr, who had returned to his provincial post, as Staatskomissar (state commissioner) with dictatorial powers. Together with Bavarian State Police head Colonel Hans Ritter von Seisser, and Reichswehr General Otto von Lossow, he formed a triumvirate.

That year, many right-wing groups wanted to emulate Mussolini's "March on Rome" by a "March on Berlin". Among these were the wartime General Erich Ludendorff and also the Nazi (NSDAP) group, led by Adolf Hitler. Hitler decided to use Ludendorff as a figurehead in an attempt to seize power in what was later known as the "Hitler Putsch" or Beer Hall Putsch. Hitler and Ludendorff sought support of Kahr and his triumvirate. However, Kahr had his own plan with Seisser (Seißer) and Lossow to install a nationalist dictatorship without Hitler. Kahr warned the 'patriotic associations' against independent action.

Hitler was determined to act before the appeal of his agitation waned. So on November 8, 1923, Hitler and the SA stormed a public meeting of 3,000 people which had been organized by Kahr in the Bürgerbräukeller, a large beer hall in Munich. Hitler interrupted Kahr's speech and announced that the national revolution had begun, declaring the formation of a new government with Ludendorff. 

While waving his gun around, Hitler demanded the support of Kahr, Seisser and Lossow. Hitler's forces initially succeeded at occupying the local Reichswehr and police headquarters; however, neither the army nor the state police joined forces with Hitler. Kahr, Seisser and Lossow were briefly detained but then released. The men quickly withdrew their support and fled to join the opposition to Hitler.

 During the night and unknown to Hitler, they prepared the resistance against the coup. The following day, Hitler and his followers marched from the beer hall to the Bavarian War Ministry to overthrow the Bavarian government on their "March on Berlin", but the police dispersed them. Sixteen NSDAP members and four police officers were killed in the failed coup.

Kahr's role in the failure of the coup cost him the support of right-wing nationalist forces in Bavaria and after Hitler's trial revealed his administration's involvement in the preparations of the coup, he was forced to resign from his post as Staatskommissar in February 1924. After this, Kahr served as President of the Bavarian law court for reviewing administrative acts and, having sunk into relative obscurity, retired from public service three years later.

On June 30, 1934, during what became known as the Night of the Long Knives, Kahr was punished for his "treason" during the Beer Hall Putsch. He was abducted in Munich and murdered by SS members - hacked to death with axes and thrown into a swamp near Dachau. His family was forbidden to wear mourning clothes, according to Richard Hanser in his 1970 book, Putsch.

Below; Von Kahr is buried on the North cemetery of Munich, close by the grave of 1923 Putz victim Andreas Bauriedl  and  SS Standarten Führer and Hitler’s adjutant Max Wünsche 

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Erich Klausener

Erich Klausener 

(January 25, 1885 – June 30, 1934)

Was a German Catholic politician who was murdered in the Night of the Long Knives as the Nazis purged their opponents.

Born in Düsseldorf to a strict Catholic family, Klausener followed his father's career in public service, serving for a time in the Prussian Ministry of Trade. Klausener served as an ordnance officer in Belgium, France, and theEastern front in World War I; he was decorated with the Iron Cross Second Class in 1914 and with the Iron Cross First Class in 1917. Klausener's participation in boycotts during the French occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 and 1924 earned him a sentence of two months' imprisonment.

Beginning in 1924, Klausener served in the Prussian welfare ministry, and later led the police division of that state's interior ministry. Beginning in 1928, Klausener became head of the Katholische Aktion (Catholic Action) group. Prior to 1933, Klausener energetically supported the police battle against unlawful National Socialist activities. After Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists came to power in 1933,Hermann Göring became minister-president of Prussia. Klausener was shunted aside to the Prussian transportation ministry to make way for Göring to Nazify the Prussian police.

A close associate of vice chancellor Franz von Papen, Klausener contributed to his Marburg speech delivered on June 17, 1934. The speech, though moderate in tone, criticized the violence and repression that had taken place since Hitler became chancellor. Klausener spoke at the Catholic Congress in Berlin's Hoppegarten on June 24; his impassioned and improvised criticism of the National Socialists' repression of their opponents was viewed by the Nazis as open defiance.

Six days later, as the Night of the Long Knives erupted, a squad of SS men, apparently acting on the orders of Göring and Reinhard Heydrich, entered Klausener's office at the transportation ministry and shot him dead at his desk.

After the end of Nazi rule after World War II, a memorial to Klausener was erected in Berlin. Since 1963, his ashes are reposing in a grave in the Catholic Church Maria Regina Martyrum, commemorating the martyrs of the Nazi period.

Klausener's relationship with the future Pope Pius XII has at times been a matter of controversy. While writers like Guenter Lewy have expressed criticism at Pius for not intervening more forcefully during the affair, other authors like Joseph Bottum and David G. Dalin have presented a more positive appreciation of Pius' attitude during that time.

Memory

  • Erich Klausener memorial

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  • German stamp in remembrance of Erich Klausener
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  • A part of a commemorative plaque in memorial of catholics of Archdiocese of Berlin murdered during the war, in a cript of St. Hedwig's Cathedral in Berlin.

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Kurt von Schleicher

Kurt von Schleicher ( Kurt von Schleicher (help·info),

Was a German general and the last Chancellor of Germany during the era of the Weimar Republic. Seventeen months after his resignation, he was assassinated by order of his successor, Adolf Hitler, in the Night of the Long Knives.

Assassination

In the spring of 1934, hearing of the growing rift between Ernst Röhm and Hitler over the role of the SA in the Nazi state led Schleicher to start playing politics again. Schleicher criticized the current Hitler cabinet, while some of Schleicher′s followers—such as General Ferdinand von Bredow and Werner von Alvensleben—started passing along lists of a new Hitler Cabinet in which Schleicher would become Vice-Chancellor, Röhm Minister of Defence, Brüning Foreign Minister and Strasser Minister of National Economy.

 The British historian Sir John Wheeler-Bennett—who knew Schleicher and his circle well—wrote that the "lack of discretion" that Bredow displayed as he went about showing anyone who was interested the list of the proposed cabinet was "terrifying". Fearing this would lead to his overthrow and the collapse of his regime, Hitler had considered Schleicher a target for assassination for some time. When, on 30 June 1934, the Night of the Long Knives occurred, Schleicher was one of the chief victims. While in his house, he was gunned down; hearing the shots, his wife came into the room, whereupon she was also shot.

At his funeral, Schleicher′s good friend General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord was much offended when the SS refused to allow him to attend the service and confiscated the wreaths that the mourners had brought. Hammerstein—together with Generalfeldmarshall August von Mackensen—launched a campaign to have Schleicher rehabilitated. In his speech to the Reichstag on July 13 justifying his actions, Hitler denounced Schleicher for conspiring with Röhm to overthrow the government, whom Hitler alleged were both traitors working in the pay of France. Since Schleicher was a good friend of André François-Poncet, and because of his reputation for intrigue, the claim that Schleicher was working for France had enough certain surface plausibility for most Germans to accept it, through it was not in fact true. The falsity of Hitler′s claims could be seen in that François-Poncet was not declared persona non grata as normally would happened if an Ambassador were caught being involved in a coup plot against his host government. In late 1934-early 1935, Werner von Fritsch and Werner von Blomberg, whom Hammerstein had shamed into joining his campaign successfully pressured Hitler into rehabilitating General von Schleicher, claiming that as officers they could not stand the press attacks on Schleicher, which portrayed him as a traitor working for France.

 In a speech given on January 3, 1935 at the Berlin State Opera, Hitler stated that Schleicher had been shot "in error", that his murder had ordered on the basis of false information, and that Schleicher′s name was to be restored to the honor roll of his regiment. The remarks rehabiliting Schleicher were not published in the German press, through Generalfeldmarshall von Mackensen announced Schleicher′s rehabilition at a public gathering of General Staff officers on February 28, 1935. 

As far as the Army was concerned, the matter of Schleicher′s murder was settled. However, the Nazis continued in private to accuse Schleicher of high treason. Hermann Göring told Jan Szembek during a visit to Warsaw in January 1935 that Schleicher had urged Hitler in January 1933 to reach an understanding with France and the Soviet Union, and partition Poland with the latter, and that was why Hitler had Schleicher killed. Hitler told the Polish Ambassador Józef Lipski on May 22, 1935 that Schleicher was "rightfully murdered, if only because he had sought to maintain the Rapallo Treaty"

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Willi Schmid

Wilhelm Eduard Schmid 

(died 1934), better known as Willi Schmid,

Was a German music critic, and an accidental victim of the Night of the Long Knives in a case of mistaken identity.

Schmid studied music under Christian Döbereiner, and founded the Munich Viol Quartet. He was also a well-respected music critic, and wrote for the Münchener Neueste Nachrichten. He was killed by the Nazi SS during the Night of the Long Knives because he had a similar name to one of the intended targets, apparently either an SA leader named Willi Schmidt, or an associate of Otto Strasser named Ludwig Schmitt. 

William Shirer's account in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich mentions that Schmid was playing the cello, with his wife and children in the adjacent room, when Nazi agents knocked on the door and took him away. His body was later sent to his widow in a casket, with written instructions from the SS not to open it under any circumstances. Rudolf Hess visited the family a few days later to express condolences for the mistake and offer his widow a pension

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Emil Sembach

Emil Sembach 

(April 2, 1891, nearby GreinburgLower Austria – July 1, 1934, Oels)

Was an SS-Oberführer (Senior Colonel) attached to the SS headquarters of Silesia. In 1934, after being caught by Reinhard Heydrich's Sicherheitsdienst (SD), for embezzlement and also for having a homosexual relationship with Kurt Wittje, he was expelled from the party and the SS. Fearing for his life he asked Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick for protection, but his protection could not save him when on the Night of the Long Knives Sembach was arrested on the orders of his rival Udo von Woyrsch, and the next day under the command of SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain) Paul Exner, Sembach was taken to the mountains and executed on the orders of Von Woyrsch.

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Wanted Poster

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Photo 2

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Photo 3

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Jakob Grimminger

Jakob Grimminger

 (25 April 1892 – 28 January 1969)

Was a member of the Schutzstaffel (SS) who was famous for carrying the Blutfahne, the ceremonial Nazi flag.

Oberster SA-Führer and SS Member # 1Adolf Hitler at SA Parade Nuremberg September 1935; SA at the left; SS manJakob Grimminger behind car

He was born in AugsburgBavaria, entered the Imperial German Army when he was sixteen years old and served during World War I. Mechanic in an air regiment between 1914 and 1917, he fought in the Gallipoli Campaign and after one year destined in Palestine he returned to Germany and with the iron cross second class, Bavarian medals and the Turkischer Eiserner Halbmond was discharged in 1919.

Working as a tallist he joined the Nazi Party in 1922 and became a member of the Sturmabteilung, taking part in the fights for Coburg in 1922 and the Munich Beer Hall Putschof 9 November 1923. After serving in the das Braune Haus, the general headquarters of the NSDAP, he was selected in 1926 to become a member of the SS. Grimminger was promoted many times during his service in the SA and the SS, eventually reaching the rank ofStandartenführer (equivalent to Colonel).

He was also City council man in Munich. As a member of the SS he was given the honour of carrying the blood-stained Blutfahne from the Munich putsch. Grimminger was decorated with the Goldenes Parteiabzeichen, the Blood Order (nº 714) or the Coburger Ehrenzeichen, the three most important decorations of the NSDAP.

He survived the Second World War, and was put on trial by the Allies in 1946 for being a member of the SS and carrying the Blutfahne for nineteen years. He was not sent to prison for this – but all of his property was confiscated.

He reportedly attempted to enter politics, and served as a councillor in Munich; however his past prevented him from continuing this career. He died in poverty in 1969, in Munich, Germany (then West Germany).

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Jakob Grimminger

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Hellmuth Felmy

Hellmuth Felmy 

(1885–1965)

Was a Nazi war criminal, German military officer during World War I, the interwar period, and World War II.

On 28 May 1885, Helmuth Felmy was born in Berlin in what was then the German Empire. In 1904, he joined the Imperial Army and, in 1912, Felmy went to flight school to become a pilot for the Imperial Army Air Service.

During World War I, Felmy commanded a squadron on the Turkish Front. After the war, he remained in the German military. Felmy alternated between infantry and aviation assignments in the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic. On 4 February 1938, Felmy was promoted to General der Flieger.

By the beginning of World War II, Felmy commanded Air Fleet 2 (Luftflotte 2) of the Luftwaffe. On 12 January, he was dismissed due to theMechelen Incident and replaced by Albert Kesselring.

In May 1941, Felmy was called up by the High Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or OKW) to be the commander of Special Staff F (Sonderstab F), the doomed military mission to Iraq. While Felmy was a General der Flieger, he was not responsible for commanding the air force component of Sonderstab FSonderstab F lasted from 20 May to 20 June. Felmy commanded the mission in Iraq from occupied Greece.

After the failure of the mission to Iraq, Felmy was made commander of Army Group Southern Greece (Befehlshaber Südgriechenland). From 1942 to 1943, he remained in Greece and commanded a "special deployment" (zur besonderen Verwendung, or z. b. V.) unit named after him (z. b. V. Felmy).

From 1943 to 1944, he commanded the LXVIII Army Corps of the German Army. Late in 1944, the LXVIII Corps moved from Greece to Yugoslavia. From 1944 to 1945, he commanded the XXXIV Army Corps. In 1945, the XXXIV Corps was overwhelmed during theYugoslav Partisan General Offensive of March and April.

In 1948, during the Hostages Trial in Nuremberg, Felmy was accused of war crimes in Greece and was given a sentence of 15 years. On 15 January 1951, he was released early.

On 14 December 1965, Felmy died in Darmstadt in what was then West Germany.

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Ferdinand von Bredow

Ferdinand von Bredow 

Was a GermanGeneralmajor and former head of the Abwehr (the military intelligence service) in the Reich Defence Ministry (Reichswehrministerium) and deputy defence minister in Kurt von Schleicher's cabinet (December 1932 - January 1933).

Bredow was, along with Schleicher, among Adolf Hitler's bitterest adversaries at the time of the Weimar Republic's downfall. Towards the end of this régime, Bredow, as the leader of Schleicher's personal "information service" was head of a number of coexisting secret service organizations, among them even the SS's Sicherheitsdienst, which was under Reinhard Heydrich's leadership.

Bredow, along with Schleicher, was murdered in Berlin-Lichterfelde by SS men from theLeibstandarte Adolf Hitler. Bredow was tied to a chair and shot five times in the chest on the Night of the Long Knives, a purge in which Hitler eliminated some of his most prominent opponents.

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Hans-Joachim von Falkenhausen

Hans-Joachim Baron von Falkenhausen 

(* October 5 1897 in Brieg  ; † 1st or July 2nd 1934 in Berlin ) was a top SA leader.

On 30 June 1934 Falkenhausen, then the rank of chief officer, in the wake of the Roehm putsch became known political purge of the National Socialists of the early summer of 1934, was arrested in Munich. 

On 1 July he was taken to Berlin and in the second night July on the grounds of the cadet school Lichterfelde by an SS commando shot. With reference to a statement Karl Schreyer dated Heinz Höhne the time of Falkenhausen shot clock on exactly 2.00 in the night of 1 the second July 1934.  Heinz Pentzlin also indicate that Falkenhausen had been tortured before his execution. 

Otto Strasser writes Falkenhausen in his book The German St. Bartholomew 's last words "Today, tomorrow you," to which he had the SS firing squad immediately shouted before firing a volley that killed him. 

Falkenhausen the murder of his time was so well known that the British writer Agatha Christie is more than forty years in the writing of her autobiography in the 1970s to remind him.

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Hans Hayn

Hans Hayn 

(* August 7 1896 in Legnica , † June 30 1934 at Stadelheim )

Was a German politician ( NSDAP ) and SA leaders.

After attending the high school and one secondary school in Legnica Hans Hayn completed from 1911 to 1914 a commercial apprenticeship. At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 he volunteered for reserve field artillery regiment, 50th In 1917 he was appointed lieutenant in the reserves. After the war, Hayn worked as a commercial trainee and employee in Breslau and Munich Gladbach. In 1921 he participated as fighters in the Freikorps Rossbach on "border protection" in Upper Silesia (see Eastern Border Protection ).

Hayn 1923 was one of the organizers of armed resistance against the French occupation of the Ruhr . Together with Albert Leo Schlageter he committed dynamite attacks on French establishments, for which the latter was sentenced to death.  Later involved Hayn Küstriner coup at the Black Reichswehr. In connection with political assassinations, he then spent eight months in prison.

From 1924 to 1931 Hayn owner of a "special business" was. In the late 1920s he was following the NSDAP (member number 211 251). As one of the closest friends of the National Socialist politician Ernst Roehm was Hayn career in the Sturmabteilung (SA), the party army of the Nazi Party, the Rohm board for many years as chief of staff. Hayn 1931, Chief of Staff of Edmund Heines guided SA-Upper Silesia group.

In the Reichstag elections of July 1932 Hayn was elected as a National Socialist MP for the constituency of 7 (Breslau) in the Reichstag. In the elections of November 1932 and March 1933, its mandate has been confirmed for this constituency. In the elections of November 1933, Hayn a mandate for the constituency of 28 (Bautzen), he would represent until his death in June 1934. Hayns mandate after his death until the end of the term by Karl Goetz continued.

On 1 July 1933 for Hayn appointed leader of the SA Group Sachsen. After the SA group leader Manfred von Killinger , he was the highest-SA representative of the country. Hayn 1933 lived in Dresden , Munich street 3

On 30 June 1934 Hayn, of Charles Martin Grass that "was notorious for [its] radical occurrence,"  in the context of a Putsch became known political purge of Nazis arrested by early summer 1934 and the Stadelheim prison located in Munich. There he was in the afternoon on the personal order of Hitler, along with Edmund Heines , Hans Peter von Heydebreck , William Schmid , August Schneidhuber and Hans-Erwin of Spreti Weilbach by one of Sepp Dietrich shot compiled firing squad.

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Peter von Heydebreck

Hans-Adam Otto von Heydebreck , called Peter of Heydebreck and Hans Peter von Heydebreck ,

(* July 1st 1889 in Koszalin , † June 30th 1934 in Munich ) was a German politician ( NSDAP ) and SA leader.

From May to December 1924 was Heydebreck the Reichstag as a member of the German Nationalist Party for Freedom (DVFP) and the National Socialist Freedom Party on. Later he joined the Nazi party to (member number 20 525). Heydebreck 1925 founded the SA in Upper Silesia. He also participated in the organization of the NSDAP party-nome of Upper Silesia.

After taking power Hitler Heydebreck moved in November 1933 in a clearing in the Nazi Reichstag, one in which he represented until his death in the summer of 1934, the constituency of six (Pomerania). His mandate was after his death for the remainder of the term of Herman Santos continued.

In 1933 he became head of the SA in Pomerania (SA group IV). On 16 March 1934, the Upper Silesian town Kandrzin after him inHeydebreck OS renamed.

Arrest and death

On the morning of the 30th June 1934, Heydebreck under the " Röhm-Putsch ", have political purge of Nazis arrested by early summer 1934 and shot.

Most accounts indicate Heydebreck was on the morning of the 30th June's on the way to an SA-leader meeting in Bad Wiessee of Adolf Hitler was arrested personally Heydebreck's car was when he Hitler's motorcade - which has just returned from Wiessee, where Ernst Roehm were and some others have been arrested - entgegenkam of police been stopped. As Heydebreck on Hitler's question whether he was on the side of Roehm, so yes, he was of Hitler declared deposed and sent to the other prisoners in the back of a bus was. Other versions indicate Heydebreck had been arrested at the Munich train station. 

Together with the other prisoners were Heydebreck in the prison Stadelheim prison , where he followed Hitler with five other SA leaders (Hans Hayn , Edmund Heines , William Schmid , August Schneidhuber and Hans Joachim von Spreti-Weilbach ) was later shot and killed on the same day . Heydebreck job as head of the now politically weakened Pomeranian SA was Hans Friedrich , a former leader of the SA-subgroup-West Pomerania transferred.

Just days before his death had Heydebreck the writer Ernst von Salomon expressed to:

"I live for my guide! The thought of him is the only thing that sustains me. If I no longer believe in my guide could, I would rather die! "

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Hans-Erwin of Spreti Weilbach

Hans Erwin Karl Ernst Martin Graf von Spreti-Weilbach 

(* September 24 1908 in Karlsruhe , † June 30 1934 at Stadelheim , sometimes Hans Joachim Graf von Spreti-Weilbach )  was a German politician ( NSDAP ) and in leading function in the Sturmabteilung (SA).

Arrest and death 

On 30 June 1934-Spreti Weilbach in the wake of propaganda under the name " Röhm-Putsch political "has become known purge the Nazis arrested by early summer 1934 and shot. Over the course of circulating two different versions:

The popular version states Spreti-Weilbach have been the end of June 1934 as a companion of Roehm of the Bavarian spa town of Bad Wiessee tarried. There he was in the early morning of 30 Yunis was arrested together with other assembled members of the SA leadership around Roehm by a contingent of Bavarian political police under the personal leadership of Hitler, and then transported to Munich jail Stadelheim been brought. An unusual feature in some reports, this version is the claim that Spreti-Weilbach by Hitler himself, "arrest made" and with a hippopotamus whip attacks and had been mauled. 

According to Selig tungsten, which is based on information provided by Spreti-Because Bach's sister, this was not arrested at Wiessee, but taken into custody as he on 30 June, after returning from his vacation, arrived on his way to Wiessee, at the Munich train station. His arrest is by Emil Maurice have been arranged. 

Regardless of the circumstances of the arrest Spreti-Weilbach finally came to Stadelheim prison, where he still in the early evening of 30 Yunis, together with five other SA leaders ( Hans Hayn , Edmund Heines , Hans Peter von Heydebreck , Wilhelm Schmid and August Schneidhuber shot) on Hitler's personal orders of an SS commando. was  On 20 His parents in July 1934 acknowledged receipt of an urn that supposedly contained the ashes Spreti-Weil Bach. This was later interred in the family grave of Spreti-Weil Weil Bach Bach. 

The judicial police constable zinc, which witnessed the executions, described it to the journalists imprisoned in Stadelheim Erwein of Aretino, who later published as a report:

"Next came the young earl Spreti, excited to remonstrate against the action sought, and was rejected by the SS leader harshly to rest. He also received his sentence read, but died, as well as all of the following, with the cry: I am dying for Germany, Heil Hitler! "

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Friedrich Wilhelm Ritter von Kraußer

Friedrich Wilhelm Ritter von Kraußer ,  called Fritz von Kraußer ,

(* April 29 1888 inNuremberg , † June 30th 1934 in Berlin light field )

Was a German officer, politician (NSDAP) andSA leaders. Kraußer was member of parliament of the NSDAP and SA group leader and one of the chief victims of the so-called Röhm Putsch .

Nazi era and death

After the " seizure "of the Nazis Kraußer held office from 1 May to 31 December 1933 as a representative of the commander of the Auxiliary Security Police in Bavaria, which was formed from SA members. Its responsibility for aviation, he was on 15 May 1933 with the formation of the German Air Sports Association (DLV) from. On 27 June 1933 on the SA-Obergruppenführer promoted, he received a mandate in November 1933 in the Reichstag.

On 30 June 1933, Kraußer in the wake of the "Röhm-Putsch", have political purge of Nazis arrested by early summer 1934 and the Stadelheim prison brought. Erich Kempka According to Hitler have initially stated that he would have pardoned Kraußer because of its religious and it different than other SA leaders are not intended to be shot. 

Indeed Kraußer on 1 July released from custody a short time, but then re-arrested, transferred to Berlin and to the second night July by an SS commando on the grounds of the cadet school Lichterfelde shot. Kraußer Reichstag mandate from July 1934 by the SS officer Ludwig Oldach continued.

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Photo~February 1934

The towering figure of Defense Minister, General Werner von Blomberg, with Joseph Goebbels and a worried-looking Hitler in February 1934.

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Ernst Röhm & Karl Ernst

 SA leaders  (rear seat looking backwards) and Karl Ernst enjoying the pomp and circumstance of power.

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Röhm Salutes Hitler

Röhm salutes Hitler during the Nazi Party-day rally at Nuremberg in September 1933 - ever-dutiful in public but increasingly contemptuous of Hitler in private.

 

 

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Photo~June 19, 1934

June 19, 1934 - In the days leading up to the purge, Hitler seen with Hermann Göring.

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Gregor Strasser & Kurt von Schleicher

 Two notables killed during the violence that ensued - Nazi Party founder Gregor Strasser (left) and former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher.

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Aftermath

  The evident supremacy of the SS - Hitler with Sepp Dietrich (left) and Heinrich Himmler in April 1937

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Hitler Becomes Führer

After the Night of the Long Knives, nothing stood between Hitler and absolute power in Germany, except 87-year-old German President Paul von Hindenburg, who now lay close to death at his country estate in East Prussia.

For Hitler, Hindenburg's demise couldn't have come at a better time. He had just broken the back of the rowdy Brownshirts and cemented the support of the Army's General Staff. Now he just needed to resolve the issue of who would succeed Hindenburg as president.

Hitler, of course, decided that he should succeed Hindenburg, but not as president, instead as Führer (supreme leader) of the German people. Although he was already called Führer by members of the Nazi Party and popularly by the German public, Hitler's actual government title at this time was simply Reich Chancellor of Germany.

However, there were still a handful of influential old-time conservatives in Germany who hoped for a return of the monarchy or perhaps some kind of non-Nazi nationalist government after Hindenburg's death. Although they loathed democracy, they also loathed the excesses of the Hitler regime. These were proud men from the 1800s reared in the days of princes and kings and ancient honor codes. And they knew their beloved Fatherland was now in the hands of murderous fanatics such as Himmler and Heydrich who cared nothing about their old-fashioned notions.

Among those conservatives was Franz von Papen, Germany's Vice Chancellor, who was a confidant of President Hindenburg. Just before the Night of the Long Knives, Hindenburg had told him concerning the Nazis: "Papen, things are going badly. See what you can do." But Papen had been unable to do anything except to barely escape with his own life.

Members of the regular Germany Army swear the oath of allegiance to the Führer Adolf Hitler. Below: The final resting place for Paul von Hindenburg at Tannenberg, scene of his remarkable victory in World War I. Below: With his position of power now solid - behind the scenes Germany's new Führer indulges his passion for architecture - overseeing plans for a redesign of the Nuremberg party rally grounds with young architect Albert Speer (left).

Papen, however, had one last trick up his sleeve. Back in April 1934 he almost convinced Hindenburg to declare in his will that Germany should return to a constitutional monarchy upon his death. Hindenburg at first agreed to put it in his will, but then changed his mind and put it in the form of a personal letter to Hitler, to be delivered after his death.

However, for Hitler and his followers, the idea of returning to a monarchy at this point was utterly laughable. Hitler had the Nazi Reichstag (Legislature) completely in his pocket and simply exercised his power to prevent any such thing from happening. He had a law drafted abolishing the office of president and proclaiming himself as Führer.

About 9 a.m. on August 2, 1934, the much anticipated death of President Hindenburg finally occurred. Within hours, the Nazi Reichstag announced the following law, back-dated to August 1st:

The Reich Government has enacted the following law which is hereby promulgated. 
Section 1. The office of Reich President will be combined with that of Reich Chancellor. The existing authority of the Reich President will consequently be transferred to the Führer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He will select his deputy. 
Section 2. This law is effective as of the time of the death of Reich President von Hindenburg.

The law was technically illegal since it violated provisions of the German constitution concerning presidential succession as well as the Enabling Act of 1933 which forbade Hitler from altering the presidency. But that didn't matter much anymore. Nobody raised any objections. Hitler himself was becoming the law.

Immediately following the announcement of the new Führer law, the German Officer Corps and every individual soldier in the German Army was made to swear a brand new oath of allegiance:

"I swear by God this sacred oath: I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath."

The unprecedented oath was to Hitler personally, not the German state or constitution, as were previous Army oaths. Obedience to Hitler would now be regarded as a sacred duty by all men in uniform, in accordance with their military code of honor, thus making the German Army the personal instrument of the Führer.

On August 7th, during Hindenburg's elaborate State funeral, General Werner von Blomberg, caught up in the pomp and circumstance of the moment, offered to have the Army officially refer to Hitler as "Mein Führer" instead of the customary "Herr Hitler." Hitler immediately accepted Blomberg's offer.

After the funeral, the Nazis prepared to hold a nationwide vote (plebiscite) giving the German people an opportunity to express their approval of the Führer's new powers and thus legitimize Hitler's position in the eyes of the world.

Meanwhile, Hindenburg's last will and testament surfaced, delivered by Papen to Hitler. Among the documents was the letter from Hindenburg to Hitler suggesting a return of the Kaiser's (Hohenzollern) monarchy. Hitler ignored this message and likely destroyed the letter, as it was not published, and has never been found. The contents were only made known after the war by Papen.

The Nazis did publish Hindenburg's alleged political testament giving an account of his years of service to the Fatherland and containing complimentary references to Hitler. The testament probably was a Nazi forgery and was skillfully used as part of the intensive propaganda campaign to get a big 'Yes' vote for Hitler in the coming plebiscite.

On August 19, about 95 percent of registered voters in Germany went to the polls and gave Hitler 38 million "Ja" votes (90 percent of the vote). Thus Hitler could now claim he was Führer of the German nation with the overwhelming approval of the people.

The next day, August 20, mandatory loyalty oaths for all public officials in Germany were introduced:

"I swear: I shall be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, respect the laws, and fulfill my official duties conscientiously, so help me God."

Hitler, at long last, had achieved total power in Germany.

Two weeks later, during the annual Nazi rally at Nuremberg, the Führer's grand proclamation was read: "The German form of life is definitely determined for the next thousand years. The Age of Nerves of the nineteenth century has found its close with us. There will be no revolution in Germany for the next thousand years."

Before the rally, Hitler had summoned an up-and-coming movie director named Leni Riefenstahl and asked her to film the entire week-long event. Her film of the 1934 Nuremberg rally bore the title personally chosen by Hitler, "Triumph of the Will," and became one of the most powerful propaganda statements ever made.

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Hermann Mattheiß

Hermann Mattheiß 

(* 18. Juli 1893 in Ludwigsthal; †  in Ellwangen

Was a German politician ( NSDAP ) and police officer.

Empire and the Weimar Republic 

Matt was the son of a hot primary school teacher. At the First World War he took part as a lieutenant in the reserves. He then studied law at the University of Tübingen , where he in 1921 with a thesis on the development of the land register in Württemberg Dr. jur. PhD .

After completing his studies, Matt worked as an assistant judge and hot magistrate in Balingen , Schorndorf and Oberndorf. Around 1922 he married Anna Fanny Kossmann. The marriage, which was later divorced, went out the son Hermann, who died in 1943 in Stalingrad. Matt married his second wife Charlotte with hot Egelhaaf. From this marriage they had three more children.

Matt did politically hot for the first time 1919, when he participated in the founding of the Wuerttemberg State Association of New German Order. In the same year he was a member of the Tübingen Corps students.

In the late 1920s he joined the Nazi movement. He also was a member of the SA , in which he is the colonel did, and the SS , in which he the rank of top sergeant reached.

Nazi era (1933-1934) 

A few weeks after the Nazis came to power in January 1933, Matt was hot on 15 March 1933 by Jagow to sub-commissioner for the top offices Balingen , Horb , Oberdorf , Rottweil , Spaichingen , Sulz and Tuttlingen appointed. 

On 19 April 1933, Mattheiß by the Wuerttemberg Interior Minister Wilhelm Murr ceremony under the title of President and Head of the Special Commissioner of the State Police Office of the Württemberg political police appointed. 

Directed by Matt hot in the subsequent period numerous political opponents of the Nazis in the concentration camp was instructed Heuberg. After the complete trapping of this camp was closed in late 1933 and continuing through the Upper Kuhberg at Ulm replaced. In terms of population, the country was under the aegis of Württemberg Mattheiß, the Wehling and Weber "persecuting" attribute, the largest number of prisoners in protective custody in the Empire.

In early May 1934 Mattheiß by the Gauleiter of Wuerttemberg by the Office of the Director of the Political Police on leave. Background were personal differences of Mattheiß with Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich , who had been placed under the police Württembergische end of 1933. Matt's successor as head of the hot state police was Walter Stahlecker appointed.

In anticipation of his appointment scheduled for July to the Regional Court President Matt then stayed hot for several weeks in the apartment of his parents in Überlingen .

Murder 

On the evening of 30 Mattheiß June 1934 as part of the " Röhm-Putsch ", have political purge of Nazis from the early summer of 1934, visited his parents' house in Überlingen four SS men. This invited him to accompany them, as he should return to Hitler's particular cause to Stuttgart to resume his post as Chief of Police. After a dinner with his family, where two of the SS men took part, Matt went from hot to them.On 2 July 1934 was hot Matt's wife, the news that her husband was shot in Ellwangen and then cremated in Stuttgart been.

In research, it is assumed that Matt still hot at 30 June or the first July was shot on the orders of Himmler, and / or Heydrich. Is only a pretext for him to feel safe and so move to the unresisting going along to - that of the SS, the Mattheiß picked up, put forward reason Hitler wanted him reinstate his post, presented - in all likelihood.

A letter from the brothers Egelhaaf, Mattheiß 'brother, according to the Justice Minister, had been assigned to them, that Mattheiß had refused in the shooting, to let himself be blindfolded and with the Hitler salute outstretched arm and the words "I am innocent; Heil Hitler! "had died on his lips. [3] Mattheiß left behind a pregnant wife and three children.

Gisevius , 1934, a senior official in the Interior Ministry, later wrote about Matt hot 'fate during the Roehm Putsch:

"Actually, he should [Mattheiß] to [an SS man] today feel particularly safe. But there are some differences in the black camp, which will mitbereinigt after Heydrich's opinion, a practical example. Through half Wuerttemberg hunting. Finally, they have him.Neither Stadelheim Lichterfelde yet still shot on the run. Quite simply:. Perished " 

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Paul Oskar Röhrbein

Paul Oskar Röhrbein ( Charlottenburg , November 27 of 1890 - Dachau Concentration Camp , July 1 of 1934 ) was a German military.

In the mid 1920's, Röhrbein became part of the direction of right-wing paramilitary organization Frontbann , founded by Ernst Röhm .Specifically, the Röhm-also allegedly had an affair, he gave the address of the called "Frontbann-Nord" in Berlin .  At the same time, rumors claimed that Röhrbein was the "official representative of Ludendorff in Berlin. " 2 members got Röhrbein Nord Frontbann between German gymnasts, the Bund Wiking , the Schwarze Reichswehr and Grenzschutz . As a young assistant elected Karl Ernst , who later became the head of the SA in Berlin- Brandenburg .  A Ernst, which also is said to have a relationship with Röhrbein, was given the nickname of "Lady Röhrbein "or" Mrs. von Röhrbein. " 

There is little information on relationships Röhrbein and Hitler : a leftist publication stated that in gay bars in Berlin, as the Kleist-Kasino, International and Silhouettte Diele, which was a regular customer Röhrbein, "every hustler" speaks of the (alleged) "alive Röhrbein friend relationships, through Röhm, Hitler." 

According to Waldemar Geyer , Röhrbein was not a member of the SA (or in any case, if it was, to a very low level), as Hitler recognized his worth as a "person and soldier," but it was good enough for the Nazi movement .  After Röhm assume the military leadership of the SA in 1931, was part of the circle Röhrbein closer to his old friend for some time, along with Karl Ernst and Edmund Heines were considered the core of the so-called " Homosexuellenriege "( 'Section of homosexuals ") in the direction of the SA.  By late 1930, Röhrbein hopes of becoming the leader of the SA in the area around Berlin (OSAF Ost) after the rise to power of his friend Röhm, were not fulfilled, as not fulfilled their ambitions to become the principal of the elite training of the SA in Munich or link Röhm in Austria . 

On June 27, 1931 there was a scandal, when followers of Stenness group in SA, which were against Röhm, Röhrbein and the rest of the "gang of homosexuals" - Karl Ernst surprised at the local Röhrbein Halenseer Hütte in Kronprinzendamm: surrounded the premises, insulting the prisoners as "pigs fags", so that Röhm had to notify by telephone at Sturm 12 to come to the rescue.  Relations with Ernst seem to have been: at the end of 1932 a former leader of the SA, called Fischer, Hitler accused against homosexual relations with Ernst Röhrbein. 

Nazi government, and death (1933-1934)

In spring or summer of 1933, Röhrbein was held in protective custody ( Schutzhaft ) for unknown reasons.  appear in the literature regarding this arrest different statements have not been tested: Röhrbein have been related to the Reichstag Fire of February 1933, might even have been a member of the troop through an underground tunnel, would have entered the parliament on fire.  were also expressed suspicions that would have killed the politician Röhrbein the German People's National Party Ernst Oberfohren . 

The last year of his life was spent as "remand prisoner" ( schutzhäftling ) in the Moabit prison, under the direction of arrests of police in Munich, at the Stadelheim prison and calling Bunker, a section of prisoners Special Dachau concentration camp . Erwein von Aretin , who in 1933 claimed to have been the Röhrbein neighboring cell on the fourth floor of Munich police directorate, said Röhrbein-which he characterized as "a most repulsive picture of , desperate nature, sunk in the spirit "(" Alkohol schwer dem-Natur verfallene widerwärtigster Prägung Desperado ") - was taken in the summer of 1933 to Dachau, where he was chained day and night. Then he would have been sent to Stadelheim, which would have seen Aretin back to early 1934. Later he was taken back to Dachau, where he opened his veins, but it could be saved. 

On July 1, 1934, Röhrbein was shot dead along with four "remand" (Julius Adler, Erich Gans , Walter Habich and Adam Hereth ) by the SS in charge of the camp during the Night of Long Knives a cleansing action against the leaders of the SA carried out in early summer of 1934 by Hitler. The death certificate registrar of Prittlbach led to death when the 3 am. It is unclear whether his murder was ordered by Berlin or whether it was an initiative of the field director, Theodor Eicke .

In his will, signed on January 20, 1934, gives his inheritance Röhrbein Herbert Schade student high school and Schiller in Berlin. After the school does not accept the inheritance, this was in full stop Schade in 1937, after a lengthy trial in which a third of the inheritance considered illegal under Article 175 , being based on an illegal gay relationship . The argument was rejected by the regional court in Berlin.

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Oskar Heines

Oskar Heines 

(* February 3 1903 , † July 2 1934 at Lissa German )

Was a Nazi German politician. He was an early member of the NSDAPand senior member of the Sturmabteilung (SA). He was in consequence of the Röhm-Putsch of the SS shot.

Oscar Heine was a younger brother of politician Edmund Heines , with whom he is following the First World War, the Freikorps Rossbachjoined. In the 1920s, Heine joined his older brother as the Nazi Party. As a protégé of his older brother, who was in the SA, until the leader rose from Silesia, Oskar Heine's career has also been rapid in the SA.

By 1934 he achieved the rank of SA-Obersturmbannfuhrer, which would correspond to the army rank of lieutenant colonel. After Heine on the morning of 1 July 1934 from the alleged coup of the SA leadership under Ernst Röhm (the later so-called Röhm-Putsch) against Hitler had learned and the national government and the shooting of his older brother Edmund from the radio, set Heine's volunteer of the Gestapo inBreslau .  At the direction of the SS-group leader of Woyrsch , leader of the SS upper section south-east, was Heine with a truck in the woods down in German Lissa, where together with the SA-Lieutenant Colonel Ludwig Engels in the early morning hours of 2 Shot in July.

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Fritz Pleines

Fritz Pleines 

(* July 6 1906 in Stolp  ; † June 30 1934 )

Was a German SS -men and camp commander . Pleines was primarily known as a short-time commander of the concentration camp in Stettin as well as one of the corpses of the " Röhm-Putsch.

Pleines originally worked as an assistant painter and decorative painter. Later he worked as a detective with the state police in Szczecin. On 1 March 1930 Pleines joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in (member number 205 331). He also was a member of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the private army of the party. From 1931 he was one of the Schutzstaffel (SS) in which he attained the rank of SS troop leader. 

From September 1933 Pleines worked as a guard at the concentration camp , which the SA on the grounds of the former volcano had built shipyard in Szczecin. In the following months Pleines involved with the abuse and torture of prisoners in his care contained, with his boss Joachim Hoffmann and his colleague Gustav Fink were among his closest accomplices. In March 1934, served as the successor of Charles Salis Pleines briefly as commander of the volcano-camp. 

In April, Pleines - like Fink, Hoffmann, Salis and a colleague named Mr. Mann - because of the attacks on the volcano-prisoners arrested and brought to justice soon. While Fink and Hoffmann received prison sentences, convicted the Szczecin Regional Court on 6 Pleines April 1934 because of prisoner abuse to a five-year prison sentence (including forfeiture of the loss of civic rights for three years).

To serve them, he was taken to jail Brandenburg transferred.  Justice historically notable was the condemnation of Pleines, Hoffman and Fink, because it this is one of the few cases in which concentration camp personnel because of the mistreatment of prisoners by the Nazi regime itself was held accountable.

Once on 26 June 1934 had been erroneously reported the pardon Pleines, this was on 30 . June from the prison brought and shot  While Gruchmann representation suggests Pleines was killed in Brandenburg and Berlin, Tuchel he writes is - with Hoffman and Fink -. was killed in Szczecin  Officially, the shooting of Pleines Hoffman and Fink with the crimes committed by them "prisoner abuse" unfounded.  Apart from Anton Hohberg and Buchenwald were the three are the only members of the SS to the "Röhm-Putsch" of lives.

Added by bgill

List in the Course of the Rohm Putsch

The following article provides an overview of the list like in the wake of the Roehm putsch became known political purge of the National Socialists of 30 June to 2 Persons killed in July 1934.

Basis for the list

Basis of the list is the official statement in response to the purge had killed people by the Gestapo in early July 1934 to guide Adolf Hitler put together, they form the basis of his Reichstag speech of 13 Requested by July 1934, in which he attempted to justify the killings. This list can be found in the appendix including a replica of Henry Bennecken book Reichswehr and the SA (1961) and annexed by Heinz Höhne book Mordsache Rohm (1984). The list originally included seventy-seven people killed - the same number called Hitler in his Reichstag speech - later it was subsequently added six more names to a special arrangement of Hitler.

In his speech to the Reichstag gave Hitler killed only eleven people by name: Ferdinand von Bredow, Georg von Detten, Karl Ernst, Hans Hayn, Edmund Heines, Hans Peter von Heydebreck, Ernst Rohm, Kurt von Schleicher and Gregor Strasser and Julius Uhl. The rest of the people sechsundsechszig him this statement mentioned only in anonymised classifications of deaths in subject groups:

"The punishment for this crime was a serious and hard: higher SA leaders were 19, 31 SA leaders and SA members shot and killed, as were three SS officers as accomplices in the plot. 13 SA leaders and civilians who tried to arrest the opposition had to make it their life. Three others died by suicide. Five non-SA members, but party members were shot for participation. Finally, there have been shot three members of the SS is a shameful abuse against detainees to protect debt could come. 

Some other people killed were identified later by the historical research.

Classification approaches in research

In research, the victims of the clean-up action can be divided again into different victim groups. Frequently selected groups are:

  • I. The higher SA leaders and their personal environment (such as Karl Ernst and Ernst Roehm and her aides, chiefs of staff and chauffeurs)
  • Second Conservative opponents of the Nazi government (eg, Herbert von Bose and Edgar Jung)
  • III. People from the area of ??political Catholicism (eg Erich Klausener and Adalbert Probst)
  • Fourth Former political opponents or competitors higher Nazi leaders (such as Gustav von Kahr and Kurt von Schleicher)
  • V. Former and current or potential competitors of personal Nazi leaders from within its own ranks who do not belong to the SA as well as their personal environment (such as Gregor Strasser and his attorney, Alexander Glaser)
  • VII otherwise undesirable persons,
    • People who knew too much and should disappear as uncomfortable secret carriers (eg Eugen von Kessel or Ernestine Zoref)
    • Private opponents higher Nazi leaders on non-political sphere (eg Bernhard Stempfle)
    • Child Nazi officials were noticed at higher negative points (eg, the SS man, Joachim Hoffmann, the detective or spy Karl Belding Othmar Toifl)
    • Ideological opponents of the lower level (eg social democratic or communist concentration camp prisoners as Adam Hereth Häbich or Fritz)
    • Jews (as Erich Lindemann in Glogischdorf or four Hirschberger Jews)
  • VI. Victims of private feud executive staff of the murders, which were mitbeseitigt without approval from top to mark the occasion (eg Kuno Kamphausen)
  • VII of the confusion people, accidents or arbitrary actions fell victim (eg, Wilhelm Eduard Schmid)

List in the course of the Rohm Putsch people killed

  • Julius Adler (lawyer) , a Jewish lawyer from Wuerzburg, shot dead at Dachau concentration camp
  • Otto Ballerstedt , engineer, former political rival of the NSDAP in the early 1920s, shot in or near Dachau (the official death list)
  • Fritz Beck , head of Catholic Relief student in Munich (official death list)

File: FBredow.jpg Ferdinand von Bredow.

  • Charles Belding , SA and Gestapo-man- colonel , shot at Breslau, probably because he worked for the alleged assassination attempt on Schorfheide-Himmler of 19 June was blamed  (the official death list)
  • Veit Ulrich von Beulwitz , press officer of the SA leadership arrested, and on 1 July in the military academy Lichterfelde shot (official death list)
  • Alois Bittman , SA squad leader, a skilled tailor, in Leobschutz shot  (the official death list)
  • Franz Bläsner , SA squad leader (the official death list)
  • Herbert von Bose , Senior Executive, Speaker of Franz von Papen (the official death list)
  • Ferdinand von Bredow , Major General, former deputy minister of defense, right-hand man Kurt von Schleicher (official death list)

Georg von Detten.

  • Charig, a Jewish merchant from Hirschberg, on 1 July with Walther forester and the couple shot dead branch outside of Hirschberg  (the official death list)
  • Georg von Detten , SA group leader, member of the Reichstag, department head of the Supreme SA leadership (OSAF) ??(official death list)
  • Herbert Enders, head of the SA Motor Sport School Kroischwitz was shot dead on Neumühlwerk, the corpse was then taken back to Schweidnitz and thrown out of town on the road to simulate an accident or a crime  (the official death list)

Karl Ernst. File: Gerlich.JPG Fritz Gerlich. File: Gerth.jpg Daniel Gerth. File: AlexanderGlaser.jpg Alexander Glaser.

  • Kurt Engelhardt, SA, member of the staff of Edmund Heines, for the first night July shot by an SS commando near Breslau (official death list)
  • Louis Werner Engels , SA leader, deputy chief of police of Wroclaw, driven into a forest and shot with a shotgun loads  (the official death list)
  • Karl Ernst , SA group leader, member of the Reichstag (the official death list)

File: Häbich.jpg Walter Häbich.

Hans Hayn

  • Eric Gans  , authorized representative and warehouseman from Nuremberg, a member of the Communist Party and the Red Aid, taken in 1933 in custody, after 1.5 years in prison on the first July 1934 on the occasion of the action against the SA in Dachau "miterschossen" 
  • Fritz Gerlich , a publicist, Catholic opposition (official death list)

File: Bundesarchiv Image 119-1231, Edmund Heines.jpg Edmund Heines.

  • Daniel Gerth , SA-Lieutenant Colonel, adjutant of Karl Ernst (official death list)
  • Alexander Glaser , a lawyer, former member of Gregor Strasser, former Bavarian state parliament, in addition to trials of Max Amann involved and the SD (the official death list)
  • Walter Häbich , Communist, editor of the Neue Zeitung , on 1 July shot 
  • Hans Hayn , a member of the Reichstag, SA group leader of Saxony (the official death list)
  • Heck, SA-bearer, found dead in Berlin 
  • Edmund Heines , SA Obergruppenfuhrer member of the Reichstag (the official death list)
  • Oskar Heines , SA group leader, brother of Edmund Heines (official death list)

File: Hereth.JPG Adam Hereth.

  • Adam Hereth , former SPD member, cementing, at first as a protection prisoner at Dachau July 1934 shot

Hans Adam von Heydebreck

File: EdgarJung0002.jpg Edgar Julius Jung.

  • Edgar Julius Jung , lawyer and writer, author of "Marburg speech" Papen (official death list)

File: Kahr.jpg Gustav Ritter von Kahr.

File: Kamphausen.JPG Kuno Kamphausen.

  • Kuno Kamphausen , architect and city planner
  • Eugen von Kessel , former police captain, head of a private intelligence service (the official death list)

File: Bundesarchiv Image 102-14315, Erich Klausener.jpg Erich Klausener.

  • Erich Klausener , Head of Department in the Ministry of Transport, Head of the Catholic Action (official death list)
  • Willi Klemm , SA brigade leader, on 1 July in the military academy Lichterfelde shot (official death list)
  • Koch, SA chief leader, shot at Breslau 

Hans-Karl Koch.

  • Hans Karl Koch , member of parliament, SA group leader of Koblenz, SA brigade leader in the group Westmark, on 30 June was arrested, taken to Berlin and shot  (the official death list)
  • John Henry King, SA senior troop leader, driver of Ernst Roehm, the second Shot in July 1934  (the official death list)
  • Kopp, Brigadier, in Silesia 
  • Ewald Koppel (born February 5, 1905)  , Bergmann from Landeshut, Communist, on 1 July in prison Landeshut shot (the official death list; Supplement)
  • Krause, SA-bearer, on 1 July in Berlin Lichterfelde shot 

File: WP Fritz von Kraußer.jpg Fritz von Kraußer

  • Fritz von Kraußer , SA Obergruppenführer, member of the Reichstag, head of the Office of the leadership OSAF (the official death list)
  • Karl Lämmermann , HJ leaders in Plauen (official death list)
  • Gotthard Langer , SA-top party leaders, on 1 July 1934 shot by the SS in Leobschutz.  (the official death list)

File: Laemmermann.JPG Friedrich Karl Lämmermann.

  • Erich Lindemann , pulmonary physician and director of a private sanatorium in Glogau, director of the Jewish Front Fighters in Glogau, on 1 July shot dead in a forest clearing near his sanatorium of the SS (the official death list)
  • Karl Lipinsky, SA-Mann, a member of the staff of Edmund Heines, for the first night July shot at Breslau (official death list)
  • Ernst Ewald Martin , head of the Intelligence Service of the Gauleiter of Saxony in Dresden shot  (the official death list)

File: Mattheiss.jpg Matt Hermann hot.

  • Matt Hermann hot , SA-bearer, and SS-Master Sergeant, former Chief of the Political Police in Württemberg (Württemberg State Police) (official death list)
  • Walter von Mohrenschildt , SA Sturmbannführer, adjutant of Karl Ernst (official death list)
  • Kurt Mosert (born 20 or 25 March 1907), SA-Obersturmbannführer in Torgau, on 2 July in the Lichtenburg concentration camp shot 
  • Paul Neumayer (born August 8, 1908 in Munich), SA-squad leader, a trained hairdresser, on 1 July killed at Dachau  (the official death list)
  • Henry Nixdorf (born October 19, 1890), SA leader (Colonel Feldjägerei), in Wroclaw for alleged involvement in an alleged attempt to assassinate Himmler shot  (the official list of dead)

File: AdProbst.jpg Adalbert Probst.

  • Lamberdus Ostendorp, SA-Lieutenant, on 1 Shot in July in Dresden (the official death list)
  • Pietrzok Otto, SA storm leader, on 1 Shot in July in Dresden
  • Fritz Pleines SS, concentration camp commandant at Stettin, shot [2] (the official death list)
  • Adalbert Probst , Reich Leader of the DJK -Sports Association (German Youth Power) (Official List of Adrian Messenger)

Hans Ramshorn

  • Ramshorn, Hans , a member of the Reichstag, SA Brigade leader and chief of police in Upper Silesia in Gliwice (official death list)
  • Robert Roe (28 November 1904)  , heater made ??Landeshut, alleged Communist, on the afternoon of 1July 1934 brought on the orders of the SS brigade leader of Goerlitz and his apartment under the pretext that he wanted to conceal a hidden communist arms depot, shot by SS men with guns in the city forest of Landeshut 
  • Ernst Roehm , retired Captain, Chief of Staff of the SA (the official death list)
  • Paul cannon bone , retired Prussian captain, fighting alliance leader, former confidant, Ernst Roehm (official death list)

File: Bundesarchiv image 136-B0228, Kurt von Schleicher.jpg Kurt von Schleicher.

  • William Sander (SA leader) , SA-top leaders, staff leader of the SA group in Berlin and one of the closest associates of Karl Ernst (official death list)
  • Schätzl Martin , a painter, secretary of Ernst Roehm, the second July at the Dachau concentration camp shot 
  • Erich Schieweck, SA-top party leaders, on the evening of the first B July 1934 shot in Dachau  (the official death list)
  • Elisabeth von Schleicher , the wife of Kurt von Schleicher (official death list)
  • Kurt von Schleicher , General of Infantry, a former chancellor (the official death list)
  • Wilhelm Schmid , member of the Reichstag, SA group leader highlands, in the Bavarian Interior Ministry press officer (official death list)

Wilhelm Schmid

File: WilliSchmid.JPG Wilhelm Eduard Schmid. August Schneidhuber

  • August Schneidhuber , SA Obergruppenführer, a member of the Reichstag, Munich Police President (official death list)
  • Johann Konrad Müller Schrag , a member of the Reichstag, chief of police in Magdeburg (official death list)
  • Dr. Joachim Schroeder, SA chief leader, the first Shot in July in Dresden (the official death list)
  • Max Schuldt , SA-bearer, was shot in Dresden (the official death list)
  • Walter Schulz , head of the SA group Pomerania, at first July shot  (the official death list)
  • Max Schulze, SA leader in the upper bar Magdeburg, on 2 July in the Lichtenburg concentration camp shot (official death list)
  • Hans Schweighart (* 12 or July 17, 1894  in Allach near Munich), SA-colonel, on 30 June shot 

File: Emil Sembach.jpg Emil Sembach.

  • Emil Sembach , former SS Colonel, member of the Reichstag (the official death list)

File: Spreti.jpg Hans-Erwin of Spreti Weilbach.

File: Stempfle.JPG Bernhard Stempfle.

File: Bundesarchiv Image 119-1721, Gregory Strasser.jpg Gregor Strasser.

  • Gregor Strasser , former national organization of the NSDAP, a former member of parliament, the father of Hitler's godchildren.(Official death list)
  • Stucken Otto , SA sergeants and the chief of staff of Edmund Heines, the first July 1934 shot at Breslau (official death list)

File: JuliusUhl.jpg Julius Uhl.

  • Othmar Toifl , Gestapo and the SS-man squad leader, operator of a Kurt Daluege related news agency, former commander of the KZ-Columbia home. On the night of 30 June 1st July should have probably collected on behalf Heydrich, the compromising material he shot and killed.  (the official death list)
  • Julius Uhl , SA-bearer, leader of the headquarters guard Röhm (the official death list)
  • Villain Erwin , SA-colonel and physician standards (official death list)
  • Max Vogel , SA-Lieutenant, driver and called cousin Roehm, on 1 July at the Dachau concentration camp shot  (the official death list)
  • Gerd Voss , attorney, employee Karl Ernst (official death list)
  • Eberhard Carl Freiherr von Wechmar , SA Brigade leader shot dead,  (the official death list)
  • Charles Tenth , innkeeper, landlord of the premises in Munich Nuremberg Bratwurstglöckl , personal friend of Roehm and Heines (official death list)
  • Ernestine Zoref , housekeeper, friend of the suspected espionage by Heydrich, the émigré writer Paul Hahn (official death list)
  • Alexander Branch , a Jewish physician and medical writer, on 1 July shot at Hirschberg (official death list; Supplement)
  • Jeannette Branch (* 1877/1878), wife of Alexander Branch (official death list; Supplement)

 

Added by bgill

Julius Adler (Lawyer)

Julius Adler (* September 29 1882 in Würzburg , † July 1 1934 in the Dachau concentration camp ) was a German lawyer and victims of the Rohm Putsch .

Adler was the fourth child of Jewish grain dealer from Würzburg Solomon Adler and his wife Jeanette, nee Oberdorfer. After school he studied law at the Universities of Würzburg, Munich and Berlin . 1909 received his doctorate he became Dr. jur. In 1910 he became the District Court of Augsburgand in 1911 the Landgericht Würzburg admitted to the bar.

From 1915 to 1918, eagle on the First World War, in part. Some sources say he was sergeant, others speak of the use in an air defense battery.After the war eagle returned to his old job back as a lawyer.

Arrest and assassination

On 11 Adler June 1934 for alleged non-compliance with building and fire regulations in police protective custody taken. Actual reason for the arrest was likely that his cousin Willy Adler Adler, who opposed the takeover of its operations, a malt factory, represented as an attorney. He also may have been because of his Jewish ancestry generally unpleasant. In the protective custody of the Police Department Würzburg of 13 June 1934 stated:

"Eagles come to him since December 1933 by the City Council of Würzburg made ??building and fire safety regulations not to, he is also a masochist , and understood it for years, two orphaned woman people taking advantage of their plight in sexual bondage and make his aberrant sexual disposition docile. The NSBO he made ??in a memorandum alleged criminal acts in his cousin Willy Adler corresponding Mohr's maltings in Wuerzburg. He is also strongly suspected, this cousin, the false accounting by its creditors cheated out 2-3 million dollars loans, have helped to escape to. His behavior is not only located in the very staatsabträglichen sense, but represents a continuing threat to public order and security. Adler is to take but for reasons of personal safety in custody, because people already in wide circles, there is a strong ill feeling against him, which can, if he feared leaving the foot open to the worst.Protective custody was therefore to be arranged. " 

On 20 June 1934 was transferred to Dachau concentration camp eagle of Würzburg. There he was on the night of 30th June 1st July in the wake of the Roehm putsch became known as a political purge of the National Socialists of the early summer of 1934 by members of the SS camp guard,along with four other prisoners in protective custody ( Eric Gans , Walter Häbich , Hereth Adam and Paul Röhrbein shot). Officially, the shooting was justified, that the protection of prisoners were allegedly with that day coup the SA leaders "declared solidarity".  More likely, however, that the camp administration to a concentration camp commandant Theodor Eicke took advantage of the opportunity of the political purge to some very unwelcome prisoners in the "wind shadow" to remove the action.

Eagle members were only informed of his death in October 1934. As the Reich Ministry of the Interior because of a petition from the Reich Association of German Jews , 22 November 1934, the deaths were among other things, the eagle and goose questions inquired, at the Bavarian political police, the reasons for the shooting of the two were the executions of political police commander of Bavaria, in a letter dated 7 May 1935 on the grounds that Adler and Eric Gans on 30 June had tried "to instigate a revolt" and therefore " martial law had been shot ". 

Added by bgill

Ludwig Engels (SA-leader)

Ludwig Eduard Werner Engels called Louis Engels 

(* August 30 1901 at home in Landscheid Burscheid , † July 2nd 1934 in Breslau ) was a German SA-leader and one of the victims of the so-called Röhm Putsch 

Ludwig Engels was the son of the painter Moritz Louis Engels and Emili Martin. Engels in his youth attended the Real Gymnasium in Lennep in the Rhineland. Then he studied from 1921 seven or eight semesters economic , legal and political sciences at the universities of Cologne and Graz .He graduated in July 1924 with the completion of a graduate clerk which he at the economic and social science faculty of the University of Cologneacquired. The preparation for promotion after he broke his own information because of a pending against him expulsion proceedings because of attacks on Professor Schmitt man from who should have commented in the press in Guelph separatist way.

After a temporary stay abroad to expand his knowledge of languages ??Engels began in 1925 to work as a salesman, but he was mostly occupied in 1930 until the middle of senior commercial positions.

In the early 1920s, Engels began their political circles in the extreme political right to operate: He was a member of the Organisation Consul , theViking's federal and since October 1925 after the dissolution of the steel helmet-Combat League . He claims to have been involved in the separatist struggle in defense and in the Rhineland and the Ruhr. Politically he was since April 1921 in the DNVP organized.

Engels in 1930 in the Nazi one. In this he devoted himself mainly to the construction of Gau Gaupresse in Silesia, which included ten newspapers in 1933, whose counsel he was. At the same time Engels was a member of the Sturmabteilung (SA), where he quickly became one of the closest associates of the Silesian SA leader Edmund Heines , became his special confidant he was. By the year 1933 reached the rank of an angel Obersturmbannfiihrer.

Heine was as right hand angel since the early 1930s in the management of Silesia SA and from 1933 to the leadership of the police in the district of Wroclaw involved. On 24 October 1933 was officially Engels - with effect from 1 November 1933 - as a Councillor at the police headquarters from Wroclaw bestallt, whose leadership had taken Heine in April 1933. As deputy chief of police of Breslau, he was on 24 April 1934 promoted to senior executive.

On 1 Engels in July 1934 as part of the Roehm putsch became known political purge of Nazis arrested by early summer 1934 and in the early morning hours of 2 July 1934 together with brother Edmund Heines Heines Oscar outside of Breslau by an SS -shot command. Heine himself was already on 30 Been executed in June 1934 Stadelheim prison.

Added by bgill

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