The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume II
Criminality of Groups and Organizations
The Sturmabteilung
(Part 2 of 10)

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 the

[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-PS)

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-PS)

[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-PS):

"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 follows:

"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 1934:p.5.
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.

[ 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.