Online Module: The Holocaust and Fundamental Rights

Chapter 9: The night of the long knives

After political opposition had been violently suppressed, Hitler was still concerned about malcontent members of the Nazi movement. Already in 1934, he did not shy away from mass murder. On 30 June 1934, SS-units following Hitler’s orders killed the leader of the Storm Troopers Ernst Röhm and about 200 other persons, including Hitler’s predecessor as Reich Chancellor, Kurt von Schleicher, and his wife. This Night of the Long Knives was officially justified and retroactively legalised through the Law Regarding Measures of State Self-Defence, issued on 3 July 1934.

It reads: "The measures taken on 30 June, 1 and 2 July to suppress treasonous assaults are legal as acts of self-defence by the State."

Hitler and Ernst Röhm, August 1933.

state self defence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Chapter 10

 

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