Night of the Long Knives

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The Night of the Long Knives(The Blood Purge)

Hitler had an abundance of power due to the enabling act that was granted to him by President Hindenburg. Even with all his power, Hitler still felt threatened by the SA leaders.

This lead to the Night of the long Knives June 29th, 1934. This purge was only the beginning

of his conquest to be the dictatorial power of Germany. What happened on the Night of the

Long Knives? And why did Hitler arrange it.

What happened during the Night of the Long Knives? This event saw the wiping out of

the SA leaders and other people that angered Hitler. Hitler ordered his SS troops to arrest the

leaders of the SA and political figures. Hitler assembled a fairly large group of SS and regular

police, and went to the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee. Ernest Rohm and his followers

were staying there. Upon arriving at the hotel, Hitler personally arrested Rohm and high

ranking officers of the SA. Hitler then headed back to Munich where he addressed an

assembled crowd of party members and SA members, saying “the worst treachery in world

history.” Hitler told the crowd that “undisciplined and disobedient characters and asocial or

diseased elements” would be annihilated. When he arrived back in Berlin, he radioed to

Goring saying the codeword “kolibri” to let loose the execution squads on more unsuspecting

people. Hitler also used this purge to make a move on the conservatives he found unreliable.

Himmler, Goring and Hitler himself ordered the SS against old enemies. Kurt von Schliecher

George Strasser (angered Hitler by resigning from the party) and Gustav Ritter von Kahr

(former Bavarian state commissioner who brought down the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923)

The reasons why this purge happened was because Hitler feared that someone would try

and over throw him, Rohm and the SA had the power to do so if they wanted (Rohm was the

leader of the SA, the SA had a force of over 3 million men). So Hitler did what he thought

needed to happen. He got rid of the problems and anyone else he thought had the power to

overthrow him. The Night of the Long Knives did not just remove those who opposed or

threatened Hitlers position. It also got the army to sign an oath that Hitler needed. The army

saw the SA as a threat to their authority because the SA outnumbered them, also Rohm

spoke about taking over the regular army by including them with the ranks of the SA. This

alarmed the army leaders. Hitler then made a pact with the army. If Rohm and the other SA

leaders were removed then the army would be in control of the SA. However for that to occur

the army had to sign an oath of loyalty to Hitler. Hitler told the public of this gruesome even

on July 13th 1934. Hitler told the Reichstag.

“in this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people, and I thereby I became the supreme judge of the German people. I gave order to shoot the ringleaders in this treason, and I further gave the order to cauterize down to the raw flesh the ulcers if 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 the time to come that if anyone raises his hand to strike the state, then certain death is his lot” - Adolf Hitler, July 13th, 1934.

the aftermath of the Night of the Long Knives aka “The Blood Purge.” Hitler got away with

his purge because Hitler had the cabinet approve a measure on July 3rd that declared “The

measures taken on June 30th to July 1st and 2 to suppress treasonous assaults are legal as

acts of self-defense by the State.” A new law was added which was signed by Hitler, Franz

Gurtner, and the Minister of the interior Wilhelm Frick. The new law legalized the murderes

committed during the purge under treason. The...
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