Essay on The Significance of the Night of Long Knives

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The Night of Long Knives, one of most noteworthy events during Hitler’s rule, was a purge that occurred on the 30th June 1934. Hitler ordered the murders of conspicuous Conservative anti-Nazis such as Kurt Von Schleicher and Gustav Ritter von Kahr, Left wing Nazis such as Gregor Strasser and many members of the SA including its leader Ernst Rohm. It could be claimed that the murders were significant as they ended a possible takeover by the SA, deterred and intimidated Conservative critics while gaining their support, saw the rise of the SS, introduced terror and dictatorship into mainstream life and reassured the elites and the army. It could be alleged that a significance of the Night of Long Knives was that it prevented a possible…show more content…
Hitler had definitely struck fear into ordinary German citizens and this is reflected by a German citizen interviewed in a 1980s programme, ‘After June 30th everyone was frightened… The ordinary German no longer felt free.’ Hitler himself even says at the time in a speech to the Reichstag, ‘Everyone will know in future that if he lift his hand against the state certain death is fate.’ But some may say terror was present before June 1934. In a Manchester Guardian Report, 13th April 1933 it reported, ‘The brown shirts advanced from victory to victory… Their chief weapon was terror. Now it is worse than ever, it is more universal, more systematic.’ This emphasises the SA’s out of control behaviour. But this left wing Newspaper may have exaggerated the effect of their violence. A clear significance of the Night of Long Knives could be said to be that it reassured and gained support from the elites and the army. Ernst Rohm believed the SA should become the new official
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