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I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1934 in this post.
A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1934
January 1, 1934
Nazi officials order 4,000 new aircraft for the Luftwaffe.
January 24, 1934
The Nazis ban Jews from the German Labor Front.
Early 1934 (leading up to the Nazi “Night of the Long Knives” in the Spring and Summer of 1934)
The brown-shirted Nazi Storm Troopers, or Sturmabteilung (the SA), were four million strong. Many SA members were revolutionaries who believed in National Socialism and wanted to replace the regular Germany army.
The SA Army represented a threat to Adolf Hitler and the future of the Nazis, and was a threat to the regular Army and its centuries-old German military traditions and conservative supporters. For years, Adolf Hitler had been promising the regular Army generals that he would break the Treaty of Versailles which limited the Army to 100,000 men.
Big industry leaders in Germany, who had put Hitler in power, were also threatened by the SA. Hitler had already helped big industry by squashing the trade union movement and Marxists, but now the SA threatened an anti-capitalist, anti-tradition revolution.
The German people feared the SA. The men of the SA were characterized as gangsters who extorted money from shop owners, were arrogant and showed off, and beat up and murdered innocent civilians.
Ernst Röhm headed the SA. He had been with Hitler from the beginning of the Nazi movement and was very instrumental in Hitler’s rise to power. However, a year after Hitler came to power, Hitler needed the regular Army and big industry to accomplish his goals: rebuild Germany after the Great Depression, re-arm the military, and amass more living space for the people of Germany. The revolutionary SA’s usefulness to Hitler had come to an end.
But how would Hitler resolve the situation with 4,000,000 brown-shirted Nazi SA Storm Troopers vs. 100,000 regular German Army members?
End of February 1934
Adolf Hitler held a meeting with SA leaders and regular Army leaders, including the SA’s Ernst Röhm and German Defense Minister General Werner von Blomberg. Hitler informed Röhm that the SA would be limited to certain political functions and would no longer be a military force in Germany. Reluctantly, Röhm signed an agreement with Blomberg in front of Hitler at the meeting. However, Röhm had no intention of keeping this agreement.
This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:
The History Place:
Most recent post from the series:
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2018