The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-15-criminality-04-02

Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-15-criminality-04-02
Last-Modified: 1997/08/26

The importance of the SA in the Nazi plan for the
utilization of the people of Germany is shown in Hitler's
pronouncement "The Course for the German Person," which
appears in the issue of "Der SA-Mann" for 5 September 1936,
at page 22. Hitler's statement reads as follows:

     "The boy, he will enter the Young Volk, and the lad, he
     will enter the Hitler Youth, the young man will go into
     the SA, in the SS, and in other units, and the SA and
     SS men will one day enter into the labor service and
     from there to the Army, and the soldier of the Volk
     will return again into the Organization of the
     Movement, the Party, in the SA and SS and never again
     will our Volk decay as it once was decayed". (3050-A-E-

Thus the SA was constantly available to the conspirators as
an instrument to further their aims. It was natural that
Victor Lutze, the former Chief of Staff of the SA, in a
pamphlet entitled "The Nature and Tasks of the SA,"

     "The SA cannot be independent of the National Socialist
     Movement but an only exist as a part of it." (2471-PS)

B. Participation by the SA in the Conspiracy.

The principal functions performed by the SA in furtherance
of the objectives of the conspiracy may be classified into
four distinct phases, each of which corresponds with a
particular phase in the progression of the conspiracy.

The first phase consists of the use of the SA and its
members as the instrument for the dissemination of Nazi
ideology throughout Germany. The employment of SA for this
purpose continued throughout the entire period of the
conspiracy. In the second phase, the period prior to the
Nazi seizure of power, the SA was a militant group of
fighters whose function was to combat all opponents of the
Party. In the third phase, the period of several years
following the Nazi seizure of power, the SA participated in
various measures designed to consolidate the control of the
Nazis, including the dissolution of the trade unions, the
persecution of the church, and Jewish persecutions. During
this period the SA continued to serve as a force of
political soldiers whose purpose was to combat members of
political parties considered hostile to the Nazi Party. The
fourth aspect of SA activities consisted of its employment
as an agency for the building up of an armed force in
Germany in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, and for

                                                  [Page 139]
preparation of the youth of Germany for the waging of an
aggressive war.

(1) The Propagation of Nazi Doctrine. From the very start
the Nazi leaders emphasized the importance of the SA's
mission to disseminate Nazi doctrines. The responsibility of
propagating National Socialist ideology remained constant
throughout. This is shown in an excerpt from Mein Kampf in
which Hitler declared:

     "*** As the directing idea for the inner training of
     the Sturmabteilung, the intention was always dominant,
     aside from all physical education, to teach it to be
     the unshakeable convinced defender of the National
     Socialist idea." (2760-PS)

Hitler's pronouncement as to the function of SA in this
respect became the guiding principle of SA members, for Mein
Kampf was taken to express the basic philosophy of the SA.
The Organization Book of the Nazi Party declares that the
training of SA members should consist of

     "The training and rearing upon the basis of the
     teachings and aims of the Fuehrer as they are put down
     in 'Mein Kampf' and in the Party program, for all
     spheres of our life and our National Socialist
     ideology." (2354-PS)

The Party Organization Book also declares that the SA is the

     "training and rearing instrument of the Party." (2354-

Similarly, in an article which appeared in "Der SA-Mann", at
page 1 of the issue of January 1934, the functions of the SA
were set forth as follows:

     "First, to be the guaranty of the power of the National
     Socialist State against all attacks from without as
     well as from within.
     "Second, to be the high institute of education of the
     people for the living National Socialism."

The function of the SA as propagandist of the Party was more
than a responsibility which SA took unto itself. It was a
responsibility recognized by the law of Germany. The law for
"Securing the Unity of Party and State," promulgated by the
Reich Cabinet in 1933, provided:

     "The members of the National Socialistic German Labor
     Party and the SA (including their subordinate
     organizations) as the leading and driving force of the
     National Socialist State will bear greater
     responsibility toward Fuehrer, people and State." (1395-

                                                  [Page 140]
As the principal ideology bearers of the Nazi Party SA
members were "the soldiers of an idea," to use the
expression employed by Nazi writers. Examples of the use of
the SA as Nazi propagandist will be seen in the description
of the other functions performed by the SA. For in each case
the SA combined its propagandist responsibility instrument
with the other functions which it performed in furtherance
of the conspiracy.

(2) Strong-Arm Terrorization of Political Opponents. In the
early stages of the Nazi Movement the SA combined propaganda
with violence along the lines expressed by Hitler in Mein
Kampf: "The Young Movement from the first day, espoused the
standpoint that its idea must be put forward spiritually but
that the defense of this spiritual platform must, if
necessary, be secured by strong-arm means." (2760-PS)

So that the Nazis might better spread their philosophies,
the SA was employed to gain possession and control of the
streets for the Nazis. Its function was to beat up and
terrorize all political opponents. The importance of this
function is explained in a pamphlet written by SA
Sturmfuehrer Bayer, upon orders from SA Headquarters (2168-

     "Possession of the streets is the key to power in the
     State -- for this reason the SA marched and fought. The
     public would have never received knowledge from the
     agitative speeches of the little Reichstag faction and
     its propaganda or from the desires and aims of the
     Party if the martial tread and battle song of the SA
     Companies had not beat the measure for the truth of a
     relentless criticism of the state of affairs in the
     governmental system. They wanted the young Movement to
     keep silent. Nothing was to be read in the press about
     the labor of the National Socialists, not to mention
     the basic aims of its platform. They simply did not
     want to awake any interest in it. However, the martial
     tread of the SA took care that even the drowsiest
     citizens had to see at least the existence of a
     fighting troop." (2168-PS)

And in Mein Kampf Hitler defined the task of the SA as

     "We have to teach the Marxists that the master of the
     streets in the future is National Socialism, exactly as
     it will once be the Master of the State." (2760-PS)

The importance of the work of SA in the early days of the
Movement was indicated by Goebbels in a speech which
appeared in Das Archiv in October 1935:

     "*** The inner-political opponents did not disappear
     due to mysterious unknown reasons but because the Move-
                                                  [Page 141]
     ment possessed a strong-arm within its organization and
     the strongest strong-arm of the Movement is the SA
     ***." (3211-PS)

Specific evidence of the activities of the SA during the
early period of the Nazi Movement (1922-31) is to be found
in a series of articles appearing in "Der SA-Man" entitled,
"SA Battle Experiences Which We Will Never Forget." Each of
these articles is an account of a street or meeting-hall
battle waged by the SA against a group of political
opponents in the early days of the Nazi struggle for power.
These articles demonstrate that during this period it was
the function of SA to employ physical violence in order to
destroy all forms of thought and expression which might be
considered hostile to Nazi aims or philosophy.

The titles of these articles are sufficiently descriptive to
constitute evidence of SA activities. Some of these titles,
together with the page and reference of "Der SA-Mann" upon
which they appear, follow:

Article entitled: "We subdue the Red Terror," 24 February
1934: p. 4.
Article entitled: "Nightly Street Battles on the Czech
Border," 8 September 1934: p. 12.
Article entitled: "Street Battle in Chemnitz, 6 October
Article entitled: "Victorious SA," 20 October 1934: p. 7.
Article entitled: "SA Against Sub-Humanity," 20 October
1934: p. 7.
Article entitled: "For the Superiority of the Street," 10
November 1934: p. 10.
Article entitled: "The SA Conquers Rastenburg," 26 January
1936: p. 7.
Article entitled: "Company 88 Receives its Baptism of Fire,"
23 February 1935: p. 5.
Article entitled: "Street Battles at Pforghein," 23 February
1935: p. 5.
Article entitled: "The SA Breaks the Red Terror," 1 June
1935: p. 7.
Article entitled: "The Blood Sunday of Berlin," 10 August
1935: p. 10.
Article entitled: "West Prussian SA Breaks the Red Terror in
Christburg," 24 August 1935: p. 15.
Portrait symbolizing the SA Man as the "Master of the
Streets," entitled, "Attention: Free the Streets," 11
September 1937: p. 1.
Article entitled: "9 November, 1923, in Nurnberg," 30
October 1937.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.