The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter VII
Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State
(Part 21 of 55)

4. Purge of Political Opponents and Terrorization

A. The Nazi conspirators ruthlessly purged their political opponents. Soon after the Nazi conspirators had acquired political control, the defendant Goering, 3 March 1933, stated:

"Fellow Germans, my measures will not be crippled by any judicial thinking. My measures will not be crippled by any bureaucracy. Here, I don't have to give justice, my mission is only to destroy and exterminate, nothing more! This struggle, fellow Germans, will be a struggle against chaos and such a struggle, I shall not conduct with the power of any police. A bourgeoisie state might have done that. Certainly, I shall use the power of the State and the police to the utmost, my dear Communists! So you won't draw any false conclusions; but the struggle to the death, in which my fist will grasp your necks, I shall lead with those down there those are the Brown Shirts." (1856-PS)

In 1934 Heinrich Himmler, the Deputy Leader of the Prussian Secret State Police, stated:

"We are confronted with a very pressing dutyboth the open and secret enemies of the Fuehrer and of the National Socialist movement and of our National Revolution must be discovered, combatted and exterminated. In this duty we are agreed to spare neither our own blood nor the blood of anyone else when it is required by our country." (25-PS)

Raymond H. Geist, former American Counsel and First Secretary of the Embassy in Berlin, Germany 1929-1939, has stated:

[Page 240]

"Immediately in 1933, the concentration camps were established and put under charge of the Gestapo. Only 'political' prisoners were held in concentration camps *******.

"The first wave of terroristic acts began in 6 March 1933 -- 13 March 1933, accompanied by unusual mob violence. When the Nazi Party won the elections in March 1933 -- on the morning of the 6th -- the accumulated passion blew off in wholesale attacks on the Communists, Jews, and others suspected of being either. Mobs of SA men roamed the streets, beating up, looting, and even killing persons *******.

"For Germans taken into custody by the Gestapo ******* there was a regular pattern of brutality and terror. Victims numbered in the hundreds of thousands all over Germany." (1759-PS)

The Sturmabteilung (SA) had plans for the murder of former Prime Minister Bruening, but his life was spared through the negotiations and activities of the defendant Hess and Dr. Haushofer, President of the Geopolitic Institute of Munich, because they feared his death might result in serious repercussions abroad. (1669-PS)

From March until October 1933 the Nazi conspirators arrested, mistreated and killed numerous politicians, Reichstag members, authors, physicians, and lawyers. Among the persons killed were the Social Democrat Stolling; Ernst Heilman, Social Democrat and member of the Prussian Parliament; Otto Eggerstadt, the former Police President of Altona; and various other persons. The people killed by the Nazis belonged to various political parties and religious faiths, such as Democrats, Catholics, Communist, Jews, and pacifists. The killings were usually camouflaged by such utterances as "killed in attempting to escape" or "resisting arrest." It is estimated that during this first wave of terror conducted by the Nazi conspirators, between 500 and 700 persons died. (2544-PS; see also 2460-PS and 2472-PS.)

On 30 June 1934 and 1 July 1934, 2 July 1934, the Nazi conspirators proceeded to destroy opposition within their own ranks by wholesale murder (2545-PS). In making a formal report of these murders to the Reichstag on 13 July 1934, Hitler stated:

"The punishment for these crimes was hard and severe. There were shot 19 higher SA leaders, 31 SA leaders and SA members and also 3 SS leaders as participants in the plot. Also 13 SA leaders and civilians who tried to resist arrest and were killed in the attempt. 3 others committed suicide. 5 members of the Party who were not members of the SA were shot because of their participation. Finally, 3 SS

[Page 241]

members were at the same time exterminated because they had maltreated concentration camp inmates." (2572-PS)

In this same speech Hitler proudly boasted that he gave the order to shoot the principal traitors and that he had prosecuted thousands of his former enemies on account of their corruption. He justified this action by saying,

"In this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people." (Voelkischer Beobachter (People's Observer), Berlin ed., issue 195, 14 July 1934, Beiblatt, p. 2.)

The conspirators took advantage of this occasion to eliminate many opponents indiscriminately.

In discussing the Roehm purge, the defendant Frick stated:

quot;On account of this order, many, many people were arrested *******something like a hundred, even more, were even killed who were accused of high treason. All of this was done without resort to legal proceedings. They were just killed on the spot. Many people were killed -- I don't know how many who actually did not have anything to do with the putsch. People who just weren't liked very well, as, for instance, SCHLEICHER, the former Reich Chancellor, were killed. SCHLEICHER's wife was also killed as was GREGOR STRASSER, who had been the Reich organization leader and second man in the Party after Hitler. STRASSER, at the time he was murdered, was not active in political affairs anymore. However, he had separated himself from the Fuehrer in November or December of 1932." (2950-PS)

Such a large scale of extermination could not be carried out without errors. Shortly after the event, the Nazi conspirators arranged for a Government pension to be paid to one of its citizens, because "by mistake" the political police had murdered her husband, Willi Schmidt, who had never engaged in any kind of political activity. It was believed at the time that the man intended was Willi Schmidt, an SA leader in Munich, who was later shot on the same day. (135)

The Nazi conspirators formally endorsed their murderous purge within their own ranks by causing the Reichstag to pass a law declaring that all measures taken in carrying out the purge on 30 June 1934 and 1 July 1934 -- 2 July 1934 were legal as a measure of State necessity (2057-PS). Referring to this act of approval on the part of the Nazi- controlled Reichstag, Goering stated:

"The action of the Government in the days of the Roehm revolt was the highest realization of the legal consciousness of the people. Later the action which itself was justified, now has been made legal by the passage of a law." (2496-PS)

[Page 242]

Furthermore, the leader of the Nazi conspiracy on 25 July 1934 issued a decree which stated that because of the meritorious service of the SS, especially in connection with the events of 30 June 1934, the organization was elevated to the standing of an independent organization within the NSDAP. (1857-PS)

The original plaintext version of part one or part two of this file is available via ftp.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

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.