Friday, July 01, 2005

This Day in History (a little bit late)

(Posted from an e-mail at El-ahrairah's request, edited as necessary -- CH)

On June 30th in military history….in 1934.

Adolph Hitler purges the Nazi Party of potential rivals during the Night of the Long Knives (Die Nacht der langen Messer). During Hitler’s rise to power, the brown-shirted Sturmabteilung (SA), a paramilitary organization in the Nazi Party, was the “muscle” that was used to put down dissent and confrontations with other political parties, most notably the Communists. The leader of the SA was Ernst Rohm, a long-time friend of Hitler’s from the days of the Beer Hall Putsch. He was also either a 1) homosexual or 2) someone who enjoyed homosexual encounters (aren't they essentially the same? -- CH).

Whatever the reason, his lifestyle choice disgusted many of the Nazi Party. After Hitler became chancellor in 1933, having a armed group of men who numbered around 2.5 million (the German military was only 100,000) as an integral part of the Nazi party was cause for alarm by more conservative Germans. He was also coming under increasing pressure by other members of the Nazi party to do something about Ernst Rohm and the SA. The SA had started calling for the incorporation of the Germany military into its ranks and being more socialist than nationalist, were becoming discontented with the progress of the socialism part of “national socialism”. Although Hitler became chancellor in 1933, he still feared losing control in a coup d’etat and only the SA had the numbers of men and the ability to mount one. With that in mind and the other problems presented by the SA, Hitler decided to do something to reduce the SA’s influence.

Hitler ordered the leadership of the SA to attend a conference at the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee near Munich. On the night of 30 June, members of Hermann Goering’s Landespolizeigruppe Hermann Goring and Himmler’s Leibstandarte SS Adolph Hitler started rounding up the senior leadership of the SA. Hitler himself and a SS escort detachment went to arrest Ernst Rohm. He was found with his “pants down”, so to speak, with a group of young men engaged in homosexual activity. Rohm along with much of the SA leadership (some were shot on the spot) were arrested and eventually executed. Hitler had intended to pardon his friend Rohm, but ultimately decided that he should die. Officially, 77 members of the SA were killed, although unofficial counts are over 400.

Rohm is reported to have said “All revolutions devour their own children”. Truer words were never spoken.


At 3:28 AM, Blogger The Great El-ahrairah said...

Actually, as was pointed out by my friend who decided that he really wanted to be a woman more than a man, just because you like homosexual encounters doesn't make you a homosexual. I would have thought differently, but after his sex change operation, he still was sexually attracted to women, ergo, someone's physical appearance is not always an indicator of their sexual preference.


Post a Comment

<< Home