Rise of the Nazis episode 3 – Night of the Long Knives: Adolf Hitler has been chancellor of Germany for just under a year. It is a challenging balancing act. On the one hand, the Nazis must be mindful of President Paul von Hindenburg and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, who are members of Germany’s traditional aristocratic ruling elite. On the other, there is the Nazis’ own power base – the stormtroopers – millions of angry, disenfranchised men who wreak havoc on German streets.
The stormtroopers are led by Ernst Röhm, one of Hitler’s oldest and closest friends. Röhm wants Hitler to fulfil his promise to sweep away the traditional ruling class. Hitler owes Röhm: he has paved the way for Hitler’s political career, and his stormtroopers have helped to eradicate left-wing opposition to the Nazi Party. Now, though, they’re a potential threat – stormtrooper violence is undermining Hitler’s credibility as chancellor.
In a bid to placate Röhm, Hitler makes him a minister, but Röhm tries to wrestle control of the existing army that reports to President Hindenburg, putting Hitler is in a difficult position, stuck between his president and his old friend.
Röhm’s actions present Hermann Göring with an opportunity to persuade Hitler that his old comrade is no longer a friend, but a threat. But Göring will also need the help of his own rival, Heinrich Himmler. Himmler agrees to help destroy Röhm and his stormtroopers and make the SS Germany’s only paramilitary force.
Rise of the Nazis episode 3 – Night of the Long Knives
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Germany from 1933 until his death in 1945. He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming the chancellor in 1933 and then assuming the title of Führer und Reichskanzler in 1934. During his dictatorship, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust, the genocide of about six million Jews and millions of other victims.
Hitler was born in Austria-Hungary and was raised near Linz. He lived in Vienna later in the first decade of the 1900s and moved to Germany in 1913. He was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I. In 1919, he joined the German Workers’ Party (DAP), the precursor of the Nazi Party, and was appointed leader of the Nazi Party in 1921. And in 1923, he attempted to seize governmental power in a failed coup in Munich and was imprisoned with a sentence of five years. In jail, he dictated the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”). After his early release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting pan-Germanism, anti-Semitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. He frequently denounced international capitalism and communism as part of a Jewish conspiracy.
Nazism – Rise of the Nazis episode 3
Nazism is the ideology and practices associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. During Hitler’s rise to power in 1930s Europe, it was frequently referred to as Hitlerism. The later related term “neo-Nazism” is applied to other far-right groups with similar ideas which formed after the collapse of the Nazi regime.
Nazism is a form of fascism, with disdain for liberal democracy and the parliamentary system. It incorporates fervent antisemitism, anti-communism, scientific racism, and the use of eugenics into its creed. Its extreme nationalism originated in pan-Germanism and the ethno-nationalist neopagan Völkisch movement which had been a prominent aspect of German nationalism since the late 19th century, and it was strongly influenced by the Freikorps paramilitary groups that emerged after Germany’s defeat in World War I, from which came the party’s underlying “cult of violence”.
Nazism subscribed to pseudo-scientific theories of a racial hierarchy and social Darwinism, identifying the Germans as a part of what the Nazis regarded as an Aryan or Nordic master race. It aimed to overcome social divisions and create a homogeneous German society based on racial purity which represented a people’s community (Volksgemeinschaft). The Nazis aimed to unite all Germans living in historically German territory, as well as gain additional lands for German expansion under the doctrine of Lebensraum and exclude those whom they deemed either Community Aliens or “inferior” races.