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Hitler's Purge Night

Adolf Hitler broods in his office. He paces back and forth, waiting for the phone to ring. There has been opposition to his power, and all guilty parties must be eliminated. But in order to do this, he needs to betray one of his closest allies and best friends. It has taken him years to get to where he is, and he isn't about to lose it all when victory is so close. People will die in the purge to come, but that is of no consequence to Adolf Hitler. He will secure his position as Führer of Germany.

By Jayveer ValaPublished about a year ago 22 min read
Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler broods in his office. He paces back and forth, waiting for the phone to ring. There has been opposition to his power, and all guilty parties must be eliminated. But to do this, he needs to betray one of his closest allies and best friends. It has taken him years to get to where he is, and he isn’t about to lose it all when victory is so close. People will die in the purge to come, but that is of no consequence to Adolf Hitler. He will secure his position as Führer of Germany.

Hitler thinks about the years leading up to his ascent to power. He remembers his old friend Ernst Röhm and how he played a vital role in getting Hitler into the position of chancellor of Germany. But even though Röhm is a good friend and ally, he will not make it out of the purge. Hitler shakes his head as he knows he must betray his friend. They both played major roles in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 to overthrow the German government and put the Nazi Party in control of the country That coup failed, and like Hitler, Röhm had to go into hiding to escape being arrested and killed. But together, they worked towards a new goal, taking over the German government by political means rather than strictly by force. The Nazi Party was still growing at the time, and Hitler was gaining more and more prominence within the party. Ernst Röhm believed in Hitler and would do anything to help him secure his position in the government. To this end, Röhm helped form the Sturmabteilung, also known as the SA or Brownshirts, due to their uniforms. This was an organization that enforced Nazi Party norms and influenced elections. The SA was one of the main organizations that provided the means for Hitler’s rise to power. Yet, now, in the final days of June 1934, he will betray not only Röhm but anyone in the SA who questions him. Adolf Hitler stops thinking about the past and focuses on the present. He walks over to the door, opens it, and ushers the men waiting outside into the room. Hitler and his advisors take their seats around a large table. The chamber is filled with Nazi regalia. The swastika flag hangs from the wall; paintings dedicated to the glory of the Aryan race seem to fill every space. “You know why you are here,” Hitler says. “The SA has played a major role in getting us to where we are today, but now they are becoming a problem. They have ideas of an even greater revolution, one that will put all of our positions in jeopardy.” Hitler looks at one of his advisors and nods. “The SA is comprised of around three million men and outnumbers the German army. We all remember the oppressive rules imposed on our great country by the Treaty of Versailles. The German military can only consist of 100,000 men. But since the government does not control the SA, they can have as many members as they want.

This worked well for us in the past when we were trying to secure a prominent seat in the government. But now that I’ve become Chancellor, we need to find a way to get them under control.” There are grumbles of agreement from the Nazis sitting around the table. The SA is still loyal to Hitler and the Nazi Party, but they are starting to frighten the elites of the country. The beginnings of a delicate plan have already been put into place to ensure that Hitler will become the supreme ruler of Germany when the current president dies. However, this will not happen if the SA incites a revolution before he can make the final preparations. Everyone in Hitler’s chambers agrees something must be done. The leaders of the SA need to be dealt with; otherwise, everything they worked so hard to accomplish will fall apart. “Thank you for your input, gentlemen. I will take what you’ve said under advisement, and we will come up with a solution. I must now meet with members of the SA. I will update you on any progress next time we meet.” Adolf Hitler stands up from the table. The other members of the Nazi party rise and salute him. Chancellor Hitler walks down the hall of the government building and enters a room where members of the SA are waiting. “Gentlemen, we have much to discuss.” Hitler takes a seat at the table. “I, along with everyone else in the Party, appreciate your support in keeping everyone in line,” Hitler says to the SA officials. “Your methods of intimidation have kept the press quiet and squashed any opposition. For that, I am eternally grateful.” He pauses for a moment to make eye contact with the men in the room. “You have all been loyal in your duties, and I know that this revolution is taking slightly longer than anticipated, but we are almost there.” Hitler is interrupted by one of the leaders of the SA. “Longer than anticipated? Your use of diplomatic means to achieve our goals is going nowhere. We need to overthrow the entire current government and put true leaders in charge like Ernst Röhm.” The other SA members in the room nod their heads and cheer in agreement. Hitler looks at the man standing in the corner of the room. It is Heinrich Himmler, his right-hand man. They both know that too much could be lost if they allow the SA to continue inciting violence and force an armed revolution. “We couldn’t agree more,” Hitler lies. But you need to give us time to deal with the elites of the country. It is with them that the loyalty of many lies.

When we bring them to our side, and they support the Nazi cause, everything else will fall into place.” “Screw the elites,” one of the SA shouts. “All they do is hide behind their money and servants. It is time for the people to reclaim Germany. We say that the elites should be removed from office and replaced by members of the SA with more fundamental Nazi beliefs.” “That is what we are going to do,” Hitler reassures the SA gathered before him. “But first, we need their support. Once my position as Führer is secured, we can move our plans forward and deal with the real threat to our people, the Jews. However, if you don’t give me the time I need to change the system from within, there will be backlash from the elites and many other German citizens as well. The German army is still loyal to the president and the current administration; they will not just roll over and hand us the country.” “Then we will wipe out the army and take the government by force!” one of the SA leaders shouts. Hitler shakes his head as he glances at Himmler. “We will take that under advisement. But right now I have another meeting. Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention; it is much appreciated, and they will all be addressed in time.” There is murmuring from the SA officials as Hitler leaves the room. “We need to deal with this sooner rather than later,” Himmler warns him. “The SA is becoming too powerful, and we are going to have a civil war on our hands if we don’t get them under control.” “I know that,” Hitler hisses back. “I am trying to figure out the best way to eliminate this threat. We cannot let them overthrow the elites; we need their money and support to realize our final goal. Every time I meet with members of the government and their influential friends, they complain to me about the trouble the SA is causing. They blame me for the destruction. They blame me for the riots. They blame me for the violence. It is getting tiring. I’ve talked to Röhm, and he is working to get his members under control, but he also agrees with the SA ideology. I’m not sure he can be trusted any longer.” “Then Röhm will need to be dealt with as well,” Himmler says. The corner of his lip curls up slightly. “I’m sure your SS branch of the SA would be happy to help out. We can use them to eliminate our problems from within the organization. After all, what good is having your bodyguards if you don’t use them to do your bidding?” Hitler stops walking and is silent for a moment. “Are you saying what I think you're saying?” he asks. Himmler nods his head. Hitler rubs the bridge of his nose as he thinks out loud. “I didn’t want it to come to this, but it seems as if we have no other choice. Gather the SS and work with Goebbels to prepare them for their mission. I don’t know when we will need to purge the party, but it will be one day soon.” Himmler salutes Adolf Hitler and marches down the hallways. Hitler calls after him, “Heinrich, be discrete; we don’t want anyone getting wind of this before we can execute the plan, especially Röhm.” Himmler nods his head and continues on his way to brief his loyal SS men about the plan to cleanse the Nazi Party. Adolf Hitler exits the Parliamentary building and enters a car idling on the street. The summer rain falls steadily, casting a grey shadow across the city of Berlin.

He has a meeting with several German elites and military leaders that he is not looking forward to. He knows how it will go. They will tell him the Nazi Party is becoming too aggressive and that the SA must be dealt with. This time though, Hitler has a plan. The SA will soon cause him no more trouble, and the elites of the country will finally be off his back. Hitler enters a room full of generals, politicians, and powerful businessmen. He shakes the rain from his coat and hangs it on a nearby hook. “My friends,” he begins. “I have met with the SA leaders, and they are less than willing to back down. Therefore, I have taken matters into my own hands. In the days to come, you will watch the SA fall apart. It is all being taken care of as we speak.” One of the military generals speaks up. “There are rumours that the SA is forming a People’s Army. This is unacceptable and will lead to the destruction of this country. The Nazi Party is becoming more trouble than they’re worth.” Hitler represses the rage that fills him. “I assure you, general,” he says as calmly as possible. “It is not the Nazi Party that is the problem. It is Röhm and the SA. And if you were listening, I just said it is being dealt with.” “It better be. Or you will find that your position in the government may not be as secure as you might think. We are happy to squash this rebellion and put the country under martial law if you can’t do it yourself,” responds the general. “Do not threaten me,” Hitler spits. “In the coming days, the SA threat will be crushed. After that, it is only a matter of time before President von Hindenburg passes, and I am fully in control of this country. You do not want to be on my bad side when that happens, general. When I am Führer, all I have to do is snap my fingers and you will be removed from your position. There are plenty of loyal followers to take your spot.” There is an unsettling silence in the room. “I have my top men working on a solution for the problems Röhm and the rest of the SA are causing for you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make preparations.” Hitler turns and exits the room; his wet leather boots squeak down the hallway. In his mind, Hitler is playing out the murder of everyone who has questioned his decisions. There will be no escaping his wrath once he has complete control of the country. People will hang; generals will be shot. It is only a matter of time until he gets everything he’s ever wanted and makes the world pay dearly for allowing it to happen. Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Hermann Göring, and Adolf Hitler sit around a table. The room is lit by candlelight as they discuss their plan to purge the Nazi Party of anyone who may jeopardize their plans. “We all know that Röhm and the other leaders of the SA are not planning to overthrow the government any time soon. They are unhappy but still have faith in the chancellor,” says Himmler. “However, the current ruling body doesn’t see it this way, which means we are going to have to make it look like the SA was trying to destabilize the country to ensure the people of Germany are on our side.” The other men around the table nod in agreement. Göring chimes in. “We have already planted fake evidence in the offices and homes of the people we need to get rid of. We can use this as justification for purging the party. As long as it looks like we are saving the country from chaos, no one will question us.” Hitler sits quietly, staring at the burning candle flame in the middle of the table. “Röhm has been loyal to me this entire time. He is one of the main reasons I am where I am today.

But the fact that he is the face of the SA means he must be eliminated. I regret this, but make sure once Röhm is killed, there is indisputable evidence that he was connected to an extremist plot to overthrow the government. If that doesn’t work, we will say he has a proclivity towards unbecoming sexual behaviours.” “As you wish,” replies Himmler. “Everyone here is aware of Vice-Chancellor von Papen's speech at the University of Marburg a few days ago on June 17, right?” Himmler asks the other men around the table. They confirm that they knew of it. “It is for this reason, I believe now is the perfect time to carry out the Night of Long Knives. We can use that speech as an example of how radicalized the SA has become. This, along with all of the planted evidence, will be enough to execute everyone we need to to ensure the elites and army stay on our side while maintaining the loyalty of the more moderate Brownshirt members.” “I agree,” says Hitler. “By keeping the current governing body and military happy as well as retaining most of the SA, we will have an armed force large enough to begin our plans of rearmament and military expansion. Once this is done, we can move into the next phase of our final solution and begin ridding Germany of the Jewish threat. We will return this country to its former glory, and no one will stop us.” Hitler slams his fist down on the table. The Nazis in the room applaud his conviction. A few days go by without incident. Then, unexpectedly, the timetable for the purge gets moved up. “What do you mean the Brownshirts are rebelling in the streets?” Hitler screams into the telephone receiver. Himmler is on the other line. “Put an end to it. I am coming to Munich now.” Hitler slams down the phone and grabs his coat. His car is summoned to drive him to the airport. It is June 30, 1934, when Hitler lands in Munich. Top Nazi officials wait for him on the tarmac. “Give me an update. What is going on?” He begins walking to the waiting caravan of cars as his entourage follows. Himmler speaks first. “The SS have been deployed and are subduing the SA Brownshirts who are rioting.

We have also deployed men to arrest anyone who is sympathizing with the SA or trying to cause problems for the Party. They have been told that if anyone resists arrests, they are to be shot.” “Good,” Hitler responds. “Sir, you should know that the Brownshirts who are rioting through Munich are calling for your resignation and accusing you of treachery,” Göring says. “We will have them all executed for treason.” “Very good,” Hitler replies. The men enter the cars waiting for them and begin to drive toward Munich, where they will meet with SS forces. “Contact Röhm and tell him to gather the heads of the SA for a meeting. Make it seem like we just want to talk. Inform him they should all meet at Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee. We will deal with them there.” “Yes, sir,” says Göring. Hitler and his men proceed to the Bavarian Interior Ministry. When they get there, August Schneidhuber, the chief of the Munich police, is nervously waiting for them. Hitler bursts into the room, screaming about the ineffectiveness of the Munich police. He walks up to Schneidhber and rips the epaulettes showing his rank off of the chief’s uniform. “How dare you let the Brownshirts wreak havoc in this city. We are so close to a unified and powerful Germany, yet you let something like this happen.” “I am sorry, Chancellor,” the chief of police says. “No, you aren’t, but you will be,” screams Hitler. “Take him outside and shoot him.” SS soldiers grab Schmidhuber by the arms and escort him out of the building. A few moments later, the sound of a gunshot is heard from outside. “Now it's time to deal with the Brownshirts once and for all,” Hitler says as he exits the room. Hitler and his men head to the Hanselbauer Hotel, where Röhm and the other SA leaders are staying. They had gone to bed the previous night when Hitler had not yet arrived. The sun is just starting to rise as the SS pulls up to the hotel in their vehicles. It is a caravan of men loyal to Hitler. There is no escaping what is to come. The soldiers burst into the hotel with their guns raised. The concierge throws his hands in the air and begs for mercy. The SS run from room to room, kicking in the doors of the SA leadership while they are fast asleep. Hitler’s enemies are dragged from their beds and lined up in the lobby. They stand in their pyjamas, terrified of what is to come. Urine runs down the legs of men who know that this will be their last moments on this planet. Hitler enters the Hanselbauer and looks upon the faces of the confused SA leaders with disgust. “You thought you could get away with it,” Hitler shouts at them. “Well, we uncovered your plot to overthrow the government and the Nazi Party.

This ends now! You are all under arrest and will be tried for treason.” Hitler scans the faces of the men who stand before him in their nightgowns. Some would betray him, but most are loyal. “Who is this?” Hitler says, pointing to a young man standing next to an SA leader named Edmund Heines. “We found them in bed together,” one of the SS soldiers informs him. “Take them outside and shoot them both,” Hitler says with disgust in his eyes. “We will publicize this and make sure everyone in Germany knows that laying with another man is punishable by death. No matter who you are.” Hitler signals his soldiers to take the SA leaders away. They are headed to Munich’s Stadelheim prison, where they will be questioned, tortured, and eventually executed. Before Ernst Röhm is escorted out of the hotel, Hitler walks up to him and grabs his arm. “I’m sorry old friend,” he whispers into Röhm’s ear. “But I have to do what is best for the Party and the country. I’m sure you understand.” Röhm says nothing. He keeps his head down and follows the others out the door. His friend and the man he believed would return Germany to its former greatness has betrayed him. Hitler stands in the lobby of the Hanselbauer Hotel, watching his longtime friend being led to his death. One of the SS soldiers walks up to the Chancellor. “Sir, everything is ready at the party headquarters. There is a crowd assembled to hear you speak.” “Thank you. Let’s get going,” Hitler says. He is driven back to Munich, where he gets himself ready to speak to the masses. He walks up to the podium and with a fit of rage begins screaming into the microphone. His voice echoes off the buildings in the vicinity. Hitler explains how his SS uncovered a plot by the Brownshirts to overthrow the government and send the country into civil war. “Ernst Röhm and the other SA leaders have committed the worst treachery in world history,” he screams into the microphone. His SS guard closely watches the crowd to gauge their reactions and to make sure no one does anything rash. “Anyone who consorts with the undisciplined and disobedient characters of the SA will be put to death,” Hitler concludes. The crowd erupts in applause. There are regular citizens, Nazi Party members, and even sympathetic SA in the crowd. Hitler has won them all over. The threat that the SA posed to his rule has come to an end. Joseph Goebbels watches the future Führers speech from the side of the stage. He claps as the crowd shows their support for Adolf Hitler. Gobbels turns and walks into the Nazi Party building.

He picks up the phone and is transferred to Hermann Göring. “Kolibri,” Gobbels says into the receiver and hangs up the phone. On the other line, Göring smiles. He places the phone back in its cradle and gives the order for his SS soldiers to execute any remaining SA sympathizers. Dozens are killed by the SS across Germany. After his speech, Hitler orders SS commander, Sepp Dietrich, to execute the SA leaders at Stadelheim prison. Most of the SA members rounded up at the Hanselbauer Hotel are put to death by the firing squad. Others are saved only to be put on trial for treason. Each trial lasts minutes before the SA leaders are convicted and shot. Hitler's purge and the Night of Long Knives ends on July 2, 1934. During the purge, the SS executed Ernst Röhm; Reichswehr General Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler’s predecessor as Reich Chancellor and his wife; Major General Ferdinand von Bredow, Schleicher's friend and collaborator; Gustav von Kahr, the Bavarian chief of state who had condemned the Beer Hall Putsch and Hitler’s role in it; and Gregor Strasser, a Nazi leader who tried to reach an agreement with the previous Chancellor von Schleicher to keep Hitler from rising to power. More than 1,100 people were brought into custody, and around 100 individuals were killed during the Night of Long Knives. Hitler sits in his office with a smile on his face. He has rid the country of his enemies, and it is only a matter of time before he becomes Führer. President von Hindenburg is getting sicker and sicker by the day. Hitler rewards the SS forces for their loyalty by making them a completely independent entity from the SA. Slowly but surely, the SS takes control of the police forces across the country. Eventually, Heinrich Himmler centralizes all of the SS under his command. This streamlines the decisions being made and makes the SS the legal authority throughout Germany. Any resistance or disruption to Hitler or his plans is now quickly dealt with by the SS. There is no more freedom of speech or expression. Any opposition to the Nazi Party is swiftly punished. The murders that were committed during the Night of Long Knives are all but forgotten. The Reich Cabinet legalizes the actions taken during the purge by the SS as emergency measures to ensure the security of the country.

Hitler claims that since it was all done to protect the nation of Germany, any violence committed against the SA was warranted and, therefore, legal. This sets a precedence for the genocide he is about to launch against the Jewish people. If it is legal for the Nazis to kill anyone who threatens the State, then all Hitler has to do is convince German citizens that the Jewish people are trying to overthrow their government and control the economy. Once the German people are convinced of this, they will have no choice but to support the genocide of the Jews. This is an easy sell for most at the time as they have been force-fed Nazi propaganda for several years now. On August 2, 1934 Präsident von Hindenburg dies. Soon after, Adolf Hitler proclaims himself the Führer of the nation and gives himself absolute power. This change in power becomes official on August 19, 1934. Because of what he did to the SA leadership, Hitler now has the full support of the German military as well as his SS guard. Since his main opposition to becoming supreme ruler of Germany was destroyed a month prior during the Night of Long Knives, there is no one to stop him. Hitler gains more and more power. He uses his SS soldiers to carry out his bidding. No one who opposes Adolf Hitler is safe any longer. His purge has been completed, and the only thing left for him to do is build up Germany’s military and prepare for war.

Hitler’s desire to reclaim former territories of the German Empire and eventually expand his influence across the world is coming to fruition. In the years to come, the world will be plunged into war as Adolf Hitler tries to purge it of the Jewish people and basic human rights. Luckily the Allied Powers will be there to stop him, but not before millions of innocent lives are lost. 

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Jayveer Vala

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