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Why did the Night of the Long Knives take place?

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  • Essay length: 2102 words
  • Submitted: 30/01/2011
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GCSE Germany 1918-1939

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Explain why the 'Night of the Long Knives' took place in June 1934.

On the night of the 29th June 1934, Hitler eliminated the SA, a strong political and military force. He did this by commanding the murder of significant leaders such as R(hm, Scheicher, Strasser, Von Kahr and many more. It has been calculated that more than 200 Nazis were murdered that night, of which included 50 SA leaders. There were several significant reasons behind Hitler's plot to exterminate the SA, which included the ideology of the SA, the power struggle between the army and the SA, Hitler's fear of R(hm overthrowing him and finally because Hitler required the help of the elites to establish a dictatorship. Of these reasons, I feel that the power struggle between the SA and the army was the most critical.

One reason why the Night of the Long Knives took place was due to the ideology of the SA. The SA was promoted as being rather more left wing than what Hitler had intended. The major goal of the SA as a political and military movement was the idea of a 'Second Revolution.' This was a set of radical

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