Nazi consolidation of power

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Grace Goodwin
Nazi consolidation of power
The night of the long knives
Task 1
Tension developed between Hitler and the leader of the SA throughout 1933
because Hitler realized that he didn't need the SA once he had came to power.
The SA consisted of around 3 million men who could easily overthrow Hitler if
necessary and this worried him. Rohm believed that the Nazis needed a second
revolution and that the Nazi regime needed to go further but Hitler did not agree
with this because he needed the support of the Army and the elites who were all
threatened by the SA. Rohm believed that the SA should become the basis of a
new military that would eventually replace the Army. The SA's powers were
diminished when they lost their "Auxiliary police" status. This angered them
because they had played a vital role in the years of struggle and didn't wish to be
sidelined. Rohm was an embarrassment to the SA because he was a heavy
drinker and openly homosexual and this contradicted with the Nazi's family
Hitler felt obliged to act against the SA in the summer of 1934 because he no
longer needed them but he has previously put off dealing with them. Their
violence had been essential in seizing power for the Nazi's but they were now
seen as an embarrassment because of their drunken brawls and behavior. The
Army and elites were worried that the SA would overthrow the army and ruin
the state. Also the SA was getting out of hand and if Hitler did not deal with them
then the Army would step in. This would make Hitler look weak if he could not
deal with his own organization. He did this because it was the final step in him
achieving a dictatorship.
The night of the long knives happened on the 30th of June 1934. The SS attacked
members of the SA and killed them on sight. Historians estimated that around 90
SA officers were killed and around 50 of them were SA leaders. Many political
opponents were also attacked. Ernest Rohm was one of the men killed that night.
Hitler justified his actions by admitting that he did organize the attack but it was
for the good of the German nation. He said he was defending the people against a
plot by Rohm and his fellow homosexuals. The German people excepted this and
the elites were very pleased with Hitler's actions. The Army has helped the SS on
the night of the long knives.
The night of the long knives tied Nazism to the Army and the army were loyal to
Hitler. The people thought that Hitler had saved them from a left-wing plot and
he has saved the German nation. Hitler claimed he had acted as " the supreme
judge to the German people" He claimed he brutality had prevented a greater
bloodbath. Hitler eliminated his main threat and it gave him an easy route to a
dictatorship. The German people now realized that they were living in a terror


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