Why did Hitler turn on the SA?


1.   It was growing too powerful

Rohm wanted to be leader of the army and quarrelled with Hitler.


2.   Hitler was now Chancellor/ the government

and had no more use for violent action (a force which had been designed to destabilise/overthrow the government).


3.   Choice – SA or army

(nb Rohm wanted to be commander of a joint army-SA).   Hitler chose the army (nb connections with 1 and 2).


4.   SA was too Socialist

(nb broad appeal of National (right wing) Socialists (left wing).

But now Rohm and the SA wanted a ‘second’ (socialist) revolution – they were recruiting Communists and wanted an alliance with Russia.


Hitler and his industrialist sponsors were against this

(i.e. choice: SA or industrialists?)   Hitler chose the industrialists.


Minor factors

5.   Were the SA plotting a coup?

Hitler claimed that the SA were plotting a coup (some evidence).


6.   Scandalous behaviour/ homosexuality

In contrast to the Nazi concept of manliness, ‘clean-living’ culture and the family.