Throughout the period of Hitler's rise to power, Ernst RÃÂ¶hm represented the militant wing of the Nazi Party as the chief organizer of the party militia known as the S.A. (Sturmabteilung) or the Brownshirts.
Wounded three times in World War I, he later was one of the original founders of the Nazi Party. In the 1920s, he helped Hitler secure the support of the army in Bavaria and was later imprisoned for his role in Hitler's failed 1923 Beer Hall putsch.
Throughout his years of service to the Nazi cause, RÃÂ¶hm remains dog-loyal to his master. RÃÂ¶hm's Nazi zeal lead him to advocate that the Nazi seizure of power should culminate in the SA absorbing if not replacing the Reichswehr as the new German army, nazified from the ground up.
After Hitler wins power in January 1933, he becomes increasingly alarmed by RÃÂ¶hm who is now demanding that his multi-million man militia be placed on an equal footing with the Nazi Party.
Hitler, the German Army High Command, and RÃÂ¶hm's arch-rival, SS leader Heinrich Himmler, now see RÃÂ¶hm and his SA as a common threat.
In the early morning hours of June 30, 1934, SS forces, accompanied by SS commander Sepp Dietrich and followed by Adolf Hitler himself, burst into a country inn near Munich where RÃÂ¶hm and his SA staff had gathered together for a general conference. RÃÂ¶hm and his staff are literally dragged out of their beds and thrown into prison where RÃÂ¶hm and the entire SA command are summarily executed. The German people and the rest of the world are then told that Hitler has foiled a plot by RÃÂ¶hm and his SA sympathizers to seize power and subvert the Nazi revolution.
The Night of the Long Knives as the June 30th massacre came to be...