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The Night of Long Knives

On June 30, 1934 Hitler ordered the assassinations of many high-ranking Nazis. Why? Hitler had started to become wary of the paramilitary Sturmabteilung, also known as the SA, gaining too much power.  The SA had been crucial for Hitler’s rise as they intimidated and attacked Hitler’s opponents and silenced his Communist adversaries.  By 1934, however, this was an issue of the past. The head of the SA was Ernst Röhm: a flagrantly homosexual brute who had been Hitler’s longtime mentor and helped the Nazis rise to power.  Conflict arose after Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933.  Röhm did...

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