consequences of the night of the long knives

However, soon after the purge Hitler himself would name the events the "Night of the long knives" in a public speech on 13 July 1934 defending the actions (despite the violence taking place over several days). 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. [51] Meanwhile, Goebbels tried to prevent newspapers from publishing lists of the dead, but at the same time used a 2 July radio address to describe how Hitler had narrowly prevented Rhm and Schleicher from overthrowing the government and throwing the country into turmoil. However, this power was limited, as the Nazis were just one party in a three party On the 2 May 1933 trade unions were banned. Religion in Dracula. Gestapo officers attached to the SS unit shot Papen's secretary Herbert von Bose without bothering to arrest him first. coup 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. Given that the purge claimed the lives of so many prominent Germans, it could hardly be kept secret. On the night of June 30, 1934, Rhm and many more leaders of the SA were shot by members of Heinrich Himmlers SS (Schutzstaffeln; German: Protective Echelon). , who had previously been a separate organisation, now swore a personal allegiance to Hitler. Both Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler's predecessor as Chancellor, and his wife were murdered at their home. The Night of the Long Knives was "an act of carnage" which had come out of the blue. As the leader of the SA, Rhm was seen as a threat to Hitlers power. Excellency, save Germany for the fourth time! The primary instruments of Hitler's action, which carried out most of the killings, were the Schutzstaffel (SS) paramilitary force under Himmler and its Security Service (SD), and Gestapo (secret police) under Reinhard Heydrich. By 1935, over 1,600 newspapers had been closed. The Nazis aimed to increase their share of the vote so that they would have a majority in the Reichstag. [79] This story would be popularized across western Europe in the 12th century as part of the History of the Britons by Geoffrey of Monmouth, which introduced many of the Arthurian legends to Germany.[80][81]. [63] Since Schleicher was a good friend of the French Ambassador Andr Franois-Poncet, and because of his reputation for intrigue, the claim that Schleicher was working for France had enough surface plausibility for most Germans to accept it. [11] Rhm saw violence as a means to political ends. Hitler and Himmler unleashed the Gestapo against old enemies, as well. "[26] According to his memoirs, von Papen, a Catholic aristocrat with ties to army and industry, privately threatened to resign if Hitler did not act. : Why did Hitler order the massacre of hundreds of Nazis. [64] One retired captain, Erwin Planck, seemed to realize this: "If you look on without lifting a finger", he said to his friend, General Werner von Fritsch, "you will meet the same fate sooner or later. The news of it was received with consternation and disgust in the other European capitals, but the shock was greatest in Rome. [35] Schneidhuber was executed later that day. As chancellor, Hitler did not command the army, which remained under the formal leadership of Hindenburg, a highly respected veteran field marshal. The Night of the Long Knives (in addition to Hindenburgs deatha few months later) helped Hitler and the Nazi Party to consolidate absolute power in Germany by removing their political opposition. The Foreign Office even complained of instances where brownshirts manhandled foreign diplomats. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. On the 30 January 1933 Hitler was appointed as chancellor of the Weimar Republic. The biggest threat to Hitler was Ernst Rhm. As a result, a political struggle within the party grew, with those closest to Hitler, including Prussian premier Hermann Gring, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, Reichsfhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, and Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess, positioning themselves against Rhm. By some estimates, as many as 1,000 were rounded up, never to be seen again. [69] Mackensen and Hammerstein ended their memo with: Excellency, the gravity of the moment has compelled us to appeal to you as our Supreme Commander. Whilst Gleichschaltung aimed to reach every aspect of rule in Germany, this was not always possible. Rhm demurred, telling them, "If I am to be killed, let Adolf do it himself. One of the men Gring recruited to assist him was Willi Lehmann, a Gestapo official and NKVD spy. The Nazis started with the Officially 85; estimates range up to 1,000. [3] It established Hitler as the supreme administrator of justice of the German people, as he put it in his 13 July speech to the Reichstag. of any opponents, who were be framed as traitors to the republic. Purge in Nazi Germany from 30 June to 2 July 1934, Papen, nonetheless, remained in his position although people quite close to him were murdered, including, "At least eighty-five people are known to have been summarily killed without any formal legal proceedings being taken against them. Reviews Something went wrong, please try again later. On 17 June 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. [62] General von Reichenau went so far as to publicly give credence to the lie that Schleicher had been plotting to overthrow the government. Refusing to take his own life, he was shot on 1 July 1934 by two SS guards. Some estimates, however, put the total number killed at between 150 and 200. It was named Der Fhrer schtzt das Recht ("The Fhrer Upholds the Law"). coalition and Night of the Long Knives 30 June 1934. The Night of the Long Knives is regarded as an important political episode that had far-reaching consequences, not only in Nazi Germany but across the world. On 19 April 1943, the beginning of the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto was met with organised armed resistance by its residents. Many were terrified of voting of at all, and many turned to voting for the Nazi Party out of fear for their own safety. Leading officers in the SS were shown falsified evidence on 24 June that Rhm planned to use the SA to launch a plot against the government (Rhm-Putsch). [21] Brning fled to the Netherlands while Schleicher dismissed the tip-off as a bad practical joke. Rhm's contempt for the party's bureaucracy angered Hess. The Night of the Long Knives was a turning point for the German government. When the Nazi regime did not take such steps, those who had expected an economic as well as a political revolution were disillusioned. concentration camp The Third Reich was henceforth a totalitarian structure with one man as head of state, commander in chief, and leader of the only political party. 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. First was his old comrade Ernst Rhm, chief of staff of the SA (Sturmabteilung; German: Assault Division), or Brownshirts. This new law gave Hitler the power to rule by decree rather than passing laws through the Reichstag and the president. : Why did Hitler order the massacre of hundreds of Nazis. Hitler and the rest of the Nazi leadership disagreed with their approach. With Hitler's arrival in Bad Wiessee between 06:00 and 07:00, the SA leadership, still in bed, were taken by surprise. "[14], 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 revitalized army. He asked, "What would people have said if I had done such a thing? Hitler had become a chancellor in 1933 henceforth he had the power to establish his power. Alleging that Rhm was plotting a putsch, Hitler ordered a massacre. Although Hitler ordered him released days later, Papen no longer dared to criticize the regime and was sent off to Vienna as German ambassador.[43]. [29], In preparation for the purge, both Himmler and Heydrich assembled a dossier of manufactured evidence to suggest that Rhm had been paid 12 million (EUR 29.1million in 2023) by France to overthrow Hitler. With these measures in place, the Nazification of the judicial system was complete. Goebbels engineered the media coverage following the attack to present it as a preventative measure, in response to the SAs plan to overthrow the government. But the Night of the Long Knives they kill over 100 people, not just Rhm and his closest associate, but also others who are on a hit list that Hitler, Gring, and Himmler and others put together. 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 Rhm and his followers were staying.[36]. "[46], Some SA members died saying "Heil Hitler" because they believed that an anti-Hitler SS plot had led to their execution. [42] The Gestapo also murdered Erich Klausener, the leader of Catholic Action, and a close Papen associate. Answer (1 of 5): if you were Ernst Rohm, or former conniving Chancellor Gen von Schleicher or his wife, the consequences were terminal. The trial of Van der Lubbe following the Reichstag fire. [30] At Hitler's direction, Gring, Himmler, Heydrich, and Victor Lutze drew up lists of people in and outside the SA to be killed. Corrections? In his speech to the Reichstag on 13 July justifying his actions, Hitler denounced Schleicher for conspiring with Rhm to overthrow the government; Hitler alleged both were traitors working in the pay of France. Lippert was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison.[50]. 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 had helped crush the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. 89.93% voted in favour of Hitler. [73] However, despite the rehabilitation of the two murdered officers, the Nazis continued in private to accuse Schleicher of high treason. Hess, present among the assembled, even volunteered to shoot the "traitors". On 7 April 1943, the SS shut down the Chemno death camp for the first time. . Consumed with rage, Hitler denounced "the worst treachery in world history". Consequences of the Night of the long Knives Death of Hindenburg and Fuhrer Army Oath Plenary - hierarchy task. Rhm, however, wanted to eliminate the generalship of the Prussian aristocracy altogether, using the SA to become the core of a new German military. The day after the Reichstag fire, the 28 February 1933, Hindenburg signed a decree giving Hitler emergency powers. [12] Although nicknamed the "Rubber Lion" by some of his critics in the army for his devotion to Hitler, Blomberg was not a Nazi, and therefore represented a bridge between the army and the party. This included Vice-Chancellor Papen and those in his immediate circle. [71], In late 1934early 1935, Werner von Fritsch and Werner von Blomberg, who had been shamed into joining Hammerstein and Mackensen's rehabilitation campaign, successfully pressured Hitler into rehabilitating Generals von Schleicher and von Bredow. It was a mass murder planned by the SS for the SA and their members. The speed and scale of the reshuffle caused it to be associated by its critics with the 1934 Night of the Long Knives in Nazi Germany . [g] 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. "[65] Another rare exception was Field Marshal August von Mackensen, who spoke about the murders of Schleicher and Bredow at the annual General Staff Society meeting in February 1935 after they had been rehabilitated by Hitler in early January 1935. Night of the Long Knives, (June 30, 1934) Purge of Nazi leaders by Adolf Hitler. In response, Hitler met Blomberg and the leadership of the SA and SS on 28 February 1934. The Night of Long Knives was the purge of the SA leadership and other political opponents from the 30 June 1934 to the 2 July 1934. Also known as the "brownshirts" or "stormtroopers," the SA became notorious for their street battles with the Communists. , which opened just a few days before the vote on the 20 March 1933. He dismissed seven ministers - one-third of the cabinet - and . The Peoples Court, a court created by the Nazis in April 1934 with judges chosen specifically for their Nazi beliefs, replaced the Supreme Court. Over the next two months, they launched themselves into an intense election campaign. The resources all include suggested teaching strategies, retrieval practice, differentiated materials and come in PowerPoint format if there is a wish to adapt and change. You were murdered June 30-July 2, 1934, the Night of the Long Knives. [47], Rhm was held briefly at Stadelheim Prison[j] in Munich, while Hitler considered his future. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, urged on by Hermann Gring and Heinrich Himmler, ordered a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his power and alleviate the concerns of the German military about the role of Ernst Rhm and the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Nazis' paramilitary organization, known colloquially as "Brownshirts". [66], Rumours about the Night of the Long Knives rapidly spread. [25] 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). [2] The purge strengthened and consolidated the support of the military for Hitler. [53][54], Wanting to present the massacre as legally sanctioned, Hitler had the cabinet approve a measure on 3 July 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. No one in the SA spoke more loudly for "a continuation of the German revolution" (as one prominent stormtrooper, Edmund Heines, put it) than Rhm himself. The Night of Long Knives, one of most noteworthy events during Hitler's rule, was a purge that occurred on the 30th June 1934. . Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dismissed seven members of his Cabinet, one-third of the total. With instructions from Berlin and with active help from the German legation in Vienna, Austrian Nazis on July 25, 1934, tried to take over their countrys government by an insurrectionary putsch. On 15 April 1945, Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated by the British Army. Let the nation know that its existence which depends on its internal order and security cannot be threatened with impunity by anyone! The Night of the Long Knives was a helping event in Hitler becoming a dictator. On 11 April 1945, the US army liberated Buchenwald camp. [45][41] As Himmler's adjutant Karl Wolff later explained, friendship and personal loyalty were not allowed to stand in the way: Among others, a charming fellow [named] Karl von Spreti, Rhm's personal adjutant. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree. The strike, which will end just before midnight, comes after a High Court . The Reichstag, the German lower house of parliament, was set on fire on the 27 February 1933. Despite this, on the whole, Gleichschaltung was largely successful. Night of the Long Knives, in German history, purge of Nazi leaders by Adolf Hitler on June 30, 1934. He stated that 61 people had been executed and 13 had committed suicide. They used any space they could get their hands on to create temporary camps. Hitler told the gathered officials, "The stream of revolution has been undammed, but it must be channelled into the secure bed of evolution. [m] Years later, in November 1945, while being interviewed by psychologist Gustave Gilbert in his cell during the Nuremberg trials, Gring angrily justified the killings to Gilbert, "It's a damn good thing I wiped them out, or they would have wiped us out!"[85]. President Hindenburg died at the age of 87 on 2 August 1934. We want to wait till Papa Hindenburg is dead, and then the SA will march against the army. Goering, Himmler, and Heydrich, Hitler's new head of internal security for the SS, got together and drew up a list of opponents to Hitler's new Government, while Goebbels publicly accused Ernst Rhm of planning a takeover or 'Putsch'. Reichswehr 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. This would allow them to rule unopposed and unhindered by coalition governments. 464 Words. President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor on 30 January 1933. By the end of it, Hitler's party had been shaken by a major crisis, and the long knives were put quietly back in their box while all the Fhrer kept out was a wary ear. Goebbels became responsible for controlling the national media, film, theatre, arts, and other cultural aspects. Hitler announced to those present that the SA would act as an auxiliary to the Reichswehr, not the other way around. Many of those that were harassed by the SA and the SS or imprisoned in camps were terrified to speak out about their ordeal fearing that they would be further abused or re-imprisoned. During the years of the rise of the Nazi Party, the SA had been instrumental in helping the party to gain support. Hitler travelled to Munich by plane with . Whilst the purge focused on the SA, the Nazis also used the event to eliminate other political opponents, such as the former chancellor Kurt von Schleicher. Carried out primarily by the SS and the Gestapo, over 150 people were murdered and hundreds more were arrested. The leaders of the SA were ordered to attend a meeting at a hotel in Bad Wiesse, Bavaria. The atmosphere of terror that had followed the Reichstag Fire, and Hindenburgs and von Papens support, made the proposal seem legitimate and, to some, necessary. Thus from June 30 to July 2, 1934, which the chancellor later titled the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler purged any and all opposition in his way to a dictatorship. For new Germany unit - 1890-1945. This fear was This meant, as well as removing other personal freedoms, that the Nazis could now imprison their political opposition for an indefinite period for any, or no, reason. government, under President Hindenburg. Reorganisation and the Bamberg Conference, The role of economic instability in the Nazi rise to power, The role of political instability in the Nazi rise to power, The role of the conservative elite in the Nazi rise to power. Others were appalled at the scale of the executions and at the relative complacency of many of their fellow Germans. It is otherwise known as coordination or Nazification. Dachau "[74], Hitler named Viktor Lutze to replace Rhm as head of the SA. The Nazis secured 43.9% of the vote, an improvement of almost 10% on the previous Novembers election. isabellaaellis. NHS services across England will face major disruption throughout today as nurses walk out in a 28-hour strike over pay. 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. [41], The regime did not limit itself to a purge of the SA. The army's support for the purge, however, would have far-reaching consequences for the institution. He wanted the Nazi Party to focus on socialist policies to support . Having earlier imprisoned or exiled prominent Social Democrats and Communists, Hitler used the occasion to move against conservatives he considered unreliable. 15 Apr 2023. [19] 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. The Nazis had the support of the DNVP, and had banned the communist party, the KPD, from attending. Local governments proved more difficult to infiltrate, and even at the end of 1945 only 60% of local mayors were Nazi Party members. The Bill passed by 444 votes for to 94 against on the 24 March 1933. In Rhm's view, President Hindenburg's appointment of Hitler as chancellor on 30 January 1933 had brought the Nazi Party to power, but had left unfulfilled the party's larger goals. At least 85 people died during the purge, although the final death toll may have been in the hundreds,[b][c][d] with high estimates running from 700 to 1,000. Additionally, Hitler was uncomfortable with Rhm's outspoken support for a "second revolution" to redistribute wealth. Hitler's entire life was one of making key-life and death-strategic decisions, successfully. SA violence in Prussia gravely concerned Gring. In addition to this, there was a mutual dislike between the traditional conservative elite who maintained many key positions in the government and the army during the first years of the Third Reich and the SA. Hitler feared that the SA and Ernst Rhm, their leader, were a potential threat to his leadership. We were close personal friends; we often dined together in Berlin. Hitler, however, disclaimed all responsibility for the coup, sent a telegram of condolence to Austrian Pres. Just two months later, on 14 July 1933 the Nazis used the Enabling Act to ban all political parties except the Nazi Party. leaders knew consequences of questioning Hitler - role of SA was reduced - membership dropped from 2.9 million to 1.6 million. In this photo, Rhm is talking to a group of SA men, who appear to be listening intently. illusion One key example of an event posed as moderate was the Night of Long Knives. Rhm was very critical of Hitler's policies of working with rich businessmen and the army. On 30 June 1934 these tensions came to a head. Originally designed and developed by the London Jewish Cultural Centre. And realize that this is Germany that was a Rechtsstaat, the Germans always say, a state with laws. [1] More than a thousand perceived opponents were arrested. On 1 July, at Hitler's behest, Theodor Eicke, Commandant of the Dachau concentration camp, and his SS adjutant Michael Lippert visited Rhm. The first concentration camp, Dachau, opened in a broken-down munitions factory on the 20 March 1933, imprisoning primarily political prisoners. They had placed many in the first ", "The names of eighty-five victims [exist], only fifty of them SA men. [75] Hitler expressly told him to stop SA funds from being spent on limousines and banquets, which he considered evidence of SA extravagance. Rhm left the Reichswehr in 1923 and later became commander of the SA. As such the Nazis justified this measure as implementing necessary security measures, rather than revealing their true motive to remove opposition. If passed, the law would establish the conditions needed for dictatorial rule. [41] Several leaders of the disbanded Catholic Centre Party were also murdered in the purge. What were Hitler's and the Nazi Party's ideas? It established Hitler as "the supreme leader of the German people", as he put it in his 13 July speech to the Reichstag. "[35] Having heard nothing in the allotted time, they returned to Rhm's cell at 14:50 to find him standing, with his bare chest puffed out in a gesture of defiance. 1 Quoted in Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in Power (New York: Penguin Books, 2005), 37-38. These acts removed peoples ability to oppose the Nazi Party, in any form. [83], Before its execution, the purges instigators referred to the plans under the codename Hummingbird (German: Kolibri), the word used to command execution squads into action on 30 June. On the 4 October 1933, it was declared that all editors must be Aryan. The humbling of the SA ended the threat it had posed to the army but, by standing by Hitler during the purge, the army bound itself more tightly to the Nazi regime. [37] Arriving back at party headquarters in Munich, Hitler addressed the assembled crowd. On 27 February 1933, as the campaign moved into its final, frantic days, theReichstag, the German Parliament building, was set on fire and burnt down. Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen only narrowly escaped inclusion among the victims, and he was dismissed from the vice-chancellorship three days later (July 3). retrospectively The Nazis used the SA and the newly expanded SS to harass and imprison any potential opponents of the Nazi Party. 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. Captain Ernst Rhm of the Reichswehr served as the liaison with the Bavarian Freikorps. [h], The action Hitler took would not only defang Rhm and the SA as a potential threat to Hitler's personal control of the Nazi Party, but would also serve to strengthen his relationship with the Wehrmacht the German armed forces which had long considered the SA to be their primary rival, the SA at times outnumbering the military in manpower.[10]. Grtner also declared in cabinet that the measure did not in fact create any new law, but simply confirmed the existing law. The consolidation of power that had begun barely a month before with the purge of Rhm and the SA was complete. 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 contemptuously called "November criminals". However, there were also other events which helped Hitler in achieving the position of a dictator. "[74] Hearing of the murder of former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and his wife, he also commented, "We have ceased to live under the rule of law and everyone must be prepared for the possibility that the Nazis will push their way in and put them up against the wall! In Berlin, on Gring's personal orders, an armed SS unit stormed the Vice-Chancellery. The Night of the Long Knives was the term given to the process whereby Hitler, in 1934, purged the Nazi Party of all those who were a threat to Hitler. The destiny of our country is at stake. [25] 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. The Liberals' future leader, Jeremy Thorpe, mocked Macmillan by observing . Prisons soon became stretched for space. This decree gave the Nazis a legal basis for the From 20 August onwards, the (29-30 June 1934) The name coined by Hitler for a weekend of murders throughout Germany. Not content solely with the leadership of the SA, Rhm lobbied Hitler to appoint him Minister of Defence, a position held by the conservative General Werner von Blomberg. It did not escape Klemperer's notice that many of the victims had played a role in bringing Hitler to power. info)), or the Rhm purge (German: Rhm-Putsch), also called Operation Hummingbird (German: Unternehmen Kolibri), was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from 30 June to 2 July 1934. Finally, Hitler used the purge to attack or eliminate German critics of his new regime, especially those loyal to Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, as well as to settle scores with old enemies.[a]. People could be imprisoned for any or no reason. The Nazi adoption of the phrase for an upcoming violent event was well known even to the foreign press, with the 2 August 1932 issue of The Times reporting that: Prominent Nazi leaders have played upon the imaginations of their followers..with such phrases as the night of the long knives and a vengeance for every Nazi killed.[79]. It will first explore this topic in chronological order, from the Reichstag Fire through to the death of President Hindenburg, and then explore it thematically in the last section.

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