"A chancellor", he wrote, "sentences and shoots members of his own private army! Wilhelm Miklas, and recalled his minister from Vienna. 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. Gring instructed police stations to burn "all documents concerning the action of the past two days". Courtesy of The Wiener Holocaust Library Collections. Gleichschaltung was applied across every possible aspect of government policy. While Rhm's homosexuality did not endear him to conservatives, they were more concerned about his political ambitions. For the full article, see Night of the Long Knives . of any opponents, who were be framed as traitors to the republic. How did the Night of the Long Knives help to create a dictatorship out of a democracy? One key example of an event posed as moderate was the Night of Long Knives. He dismissed seven ministers - one-third of the cabinet - and . The Freikorps were nationalistic organizations 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 was a lack of loyal troops. The SA also ran a violent campaign of terror against any and all opponents of the Nazi regime. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Having earlier imprisoned or exiled prominent Social Democrats and Communists, Hitler used the occasion to move against conservatives he considered unreliable.  More than a thousand perceived opponents were arrested. ", "After the 'Night of the Long Knives,' [Reich Minister for Justice Franz Grtner] nipped in the bud the attempts of some local state prosecutors to initiate proceedings against the killers. Nazi propaganda presented the murders as a preventive measure against an alleged imminent coup by the SA under Rhm the so-called Rhm Putsch. The decree also removed basic personal freedoms, such as the freedom of speech, the right to own property, and the right to trial before imprisonment. On the 5 March 1933, the elections took place, with an extremely high turnout of 89%. Hitler told the gathered officials, "The stream of revolution has been undammed, but it must be channelled into the secure bed of evolution. , At about 04:30 on 30 June 1934, Hitler and his entourage flew to Munich. ", "But in origin the National Socialists had been a radical anti-capitalist party, and this part of the National Socialist programme was not only taken seriously by many loyal Party members but was of increasing importance in a period of economic depression. On 15 April 1945, Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated by the British Army.  At Hitler's direction, Gring, Himmler, Heydrich, and Victor Lutze drew up lists of people in and outside the SA to be killed. ", Hitler's speech signalled his intention to rein in the SA, whose ranks had grown rapidly in the early 1930s. [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. He was now a dictator. In the years preceding the purge, the term "long knives" had become a popular description of treachery in Germany and was used as a criticism of Nazi actions and deceitfulness. Originally designed and developed by the London Jewish Cultural Centre. Leading members of the leftist-leaning Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party, including its leader Gregor Strasser, were also killed, as were establishment conservatives and anti-Nazis, such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Bavarian politician Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had helped suppress Hitler's Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923.  Besides working for the rehabilitation of Schleicher and Bredow, Hammerstein and Mackensen sent a memo to Hindenburg on 18 July setting out in considerable detail the circumstances of the murders of the two generals and noted that Papen had barely escaped.  The request that Neurath be replaced by Nadolny, the former Ambassador to the USSR, who had resigned earlier that year in protest against Hitler's anti-Soviet foreign policy, indicated that Hammerstein and Mackensen wanted a return to the "distant friendliness" towards the Soviet Union that existed until 1933.  Arriving back at party headquarters in Munich, Hitler addressed the assembled crowd. The first concentration camp, Dachau, opened in a broken-down munitions factory on the 20 March 1933, imprisoning primarily political prisoners.  During a meeting with Polish Ambassador Jzef Lipski on 22 May 1935, Hitler told Lipski that Schleicher was "rightfully murdered, if only because he had sought to maintain the Rapallo Treaty. : Why did Hitler order the massacre of hundreds of Nazis. The loyalty of the SS men would prove useful to both when Hitler finally chose to move against Rhm and the SA. The Peoples Court, a court created by the Nazis in April 1934 with judges chosen specifically for their Nazi beliefs, replaced the Supreme Court. Hitler's entire life was one of making key-life and death-strategic decisions, successfully. concentration camp This resource hasn't been reviewed yet. consolidate Omissions? Hitler, however, disclaimed all responsibility for the coup, sent a telegram of condolence to Austrian Pres. In response to conservative pressure to constrain Rhm, Hitler left for Neudeck to meet with Hindenburg. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. 5. impact of nazi foreign policy mrmarr 4.9K views . Italian dictator Benito Mussolini sent four army divisions up the Brenner Pass and to the Carinthian frontier, and the Italian press vehemently denounced German imperialism and bad faith. 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. Source starter, video introducing the night of the long knives, source analysis assessing causes and consequences of the night of the long knives, describe 4 mark question built in and overall judgement building on the learning sequence of the most significant reason Hitler was able to establish a dictatorship. isabellaaellis. She even compared him to Frederick the Great, the 18th-century king of Prussia..  In June 1932, one of the worst months of political violence, there were more than 400 street battles, resulting in 82 deaths. The Nazis also took steps to ensure they couldnt be openly opposed in the press. It followed a secret deal between himself and units of his personal bodyguard, the SS. 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. 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. As the leader of the SA, Rhm was seen as a threat to Hitlers power. A combat veteran of World War I, Rhm had recently boasted that he would execute 12 men in retaliation for the killing of any stormtrooper. The Night of Long Knives, also known as the Rhm Putsch, was the purge of the SA leadership and other political opponents from 30 June 1934 to 2 July 1934. 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. The Night of the Long Knives was a turning point for the German government. Many were terrified of voting of at all, and many turned to voting for the Nazi Party out of fear for their own safety. Tes paid licenceHow can I reuse this? Historian Gavin Mortimer explains how Hitler nearly came unstuck as early as 1934 - and that the bloody purge that followed was a warning of horrors to come . How seriously Hitler took the socialist character of National Socialism was to remain one of the main causes of disagreement and division within the Nazi party up to the summer of 1934. The History Learning Site, 9 Mar 2015.  Franois-Poncet was not declared persona non grata as would have been usual if an ambassador were involved in a plot against his host government. ", Hitler named Viktor Lutze to replace Rhm as head of the SA. In British politics, the " Night of the Long Knives " was a major Cabinet reshuffle that took place on 13 July 1962. 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. The crowd, which included party members and many SA members fortunate enough to escape arrest, shouted its approval. Rhm wanted to have his troops incorporated into the new Wehrmacht that was being prepared to take the place of the Reichswehr, despite the fact that the conservative-minded generals were resolutely opposed to any such contamination of the army by the SA. 95.7% of the population voted. A poster from the March 1933 elections. The SA were dramatically reduced in size, dropping by 40% to 1.8 million by 1935. Alleging that Rhm was plotting a putsch, Hitler ordered a massacre. Moreover, it was not just the Reichswehr that viewed the SA as a threat.  Those not immediately executed were taken back to the Leibstandarte barracks at Lichterfelde, given one-minute "trials", and shot by a firing squad. An atmosphere of panic and terror followed the event. Terror and intimidation became one of the main ways that the Nazis sought to control or suppress their opposition, and Germans in general. ", Rhm was purged from all Nazi propaganda, such as The Victory of Faith, the Leni Riefenstahl film about the 1933 Nuremberg rally, which showed Rhm frequently alongside Hitler. In response, Hitler met Blomberg and the leadership of the SA and SS on 28 February 1934. The news of it was received with consternation and disgust in the other European capitals, but the shock was greatest in Rome. , who had previously been a separate organisation, now swore a personal allegiance to Hitler. NHS services across England will face major disruption throughout today as nurses walk out in a 28-hour strike over pay. ", Night of the Long Knives (disambiguation), The History Place Triumph of Hitler Night of the Long Knives, German Culture The Third Reich Consolidation of Power, The German Embassy in the United States The Era of National Socialism, National Political Institutes of Education, National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), National Socialist German Doctors' League, National Socialist League for Physical Exercise (NSRL), Bulgarian National Socialist Workers Party, German National Socialist Workers' Party (Czechoslovakia), Finnish National Socialist Labor Organisation, German National Movement in Liechtenstein, National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands, National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark, Nationalist Liberation Alliance (Argentina), South African Gentile National Socialist Movement, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Night_of_the_Long_Knives&oldid=1148917121, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from June 2022, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing explicitly cited English-language text, Pages using Sister project links with wikidata mismatch, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, Operation Hummingbird, Rhm Putsch (by the Nazis), The Blood Purge. : Why did Hitler order the massacre of hundreds of Nazis. Until then, Lippert had been one of the few executioners of the purge to evade trial. Some estimates, however, put the total number killed at between 150 and 200. The day after the Reichstag fire, the 28 February 1933, Hindenburg signed a decree giving Hitler emergency powers. 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. In 1933, up to 200,000 people were seized and imprisoned by the SA and the SS. Despite some initial efforts by local prosecutors to take legal action against those who carried out the murders, which the regime rapidly quashed, it appeared that no law would constrain Hitler in his use of power. illusion  Mackensen and Hammerstein ended their memo with: Excellency, the gravity of the moment has compelled us to appeal to you as our Supreme Commander.  Hammerstein, who was a close friend of Schleicher, had been much offended at Schleicher's funeral when the SS refused to allow him to attend the service and confiscated the wreaths that the mourners had brought. This continued when a young Dutchcommunist, Van der Lubbe was arrested for the crime. [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!". The Night of Long Knives, one of most noteworthy events during Hitler's rule, was a purge that occurred on the 30th June 1934. . , The term "long knives" as a metonym for treachery and violence had been used to describe the Treason of the Long Knives since this incident was recorded in the 9th century Historia Brittonum. ", Coincidentally, Hitler had been incarcerated at. Both Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler's predecessor as Chancellor, and his wife were murdered at their home. On 7 April 1943, the SS shut down the Chemno death camp for the first time. Goebbels soon radicalised each of these areas, ensuring that they advocated Nazi ideas. Officially 85; estimates range up to 1,000. Complete a Diamond 9 of the consequences of the Night of the Long Knives. The process primarily took place between 1933-1934. Centuries of jurisprudence proscribing extrajudicial killings were swept aside. "It was plain that there was wide acceptance of the deliberately misleading propaganda put out by the regime. Fearing that the paramilitary SA had become too powerful, Hitler ordered his elite SS guards to murder the organization's leaders, including Ernst Rhm. Many of the prisoners were tortured and abused. On 30 June 1934 these tensions came to a head. , Hitler's appointment as chancellor, followed by the suppression of all political parties except the Nazis, did not end the violence of the stormtroopers. and If that was indeed true then, as a legal matter, the law was entirely unnecessary and redundant. " According to his memoirs, von Papen, a Catholic aristocrat with ties to army and industry, privately threatened to resign if Hitler did not act.