The Night of the Long Knives was a purge that took place in Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political executions. Most of those killed were members of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary Brownshirts.

Adolf Hitler moved against the SA and its leader, Ernst Röhm, because he saw the independence of the SA and the penchant of its members for street violence as a direct threat to his power. He also wanted to conciliate leaders of the Reichswehr, the official German military who both feared and despised the SA—in particular Röhm's ambition to absorb the Reichswehr into the SA under his own leadership. Finally, Hitler used the purge to attack or eliminate critics of his regime, especially those loyal to Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, and to settle scores with old enemies.

Night of the Long Knives in In the Presence of Mine EnemiesEdit

When she heard about the 2011 Putsch on the radio, Lise Gimpel reflected that no one in the Greater German Reich had tried to seize power in that manner since the Night of the Long Knives more than 75 years earlier.

Night of the Long Knives in Joe SteeleEdit

The Night of the Long Knives came just months after the arrest of the Supreme Court Four, proving that Adolf Hitler knew about as much as purges as Joe Steele did.[1]

Night of the Long Knives in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Although the Night of the Long Knives happened for four years before the 1938 Munich Conference, Adolf Hitler considered the event and later execution of Ernst Röhm as instances wherein Hitler had known when to strike at his opponents (which in turn demonstrated his greatness). He considered the conference another such moment, and was frustrated that no one else did.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 85.
  2. Hitler's War, pg. 9.