Röhm (1887-1934), Ernst

2 March, 2009
Bovy Daniel

Röhm was a member of a Freikorps (freebooters’ division) formed by Colonel von Epp that contributed to the installation of von Kahr’s right-wing government. In reward, he got a job as officer at the Bavarian headquarters which allowed him to keep good contacts with the army and to get some funds for the SA. Röhm enrolled in his SA disreputable individuals like von Killinger (he later killed Erzberger who was a member of the parliament) and Heines (he killed Rathenau, Minister for Foreign Affairs). Röhm was probably the best recruiting officer of the Nazi party. After the failure of the 1923 Beer hall putsch, Röhm had an argument with Hitler and was put aside by him. Röhm went into exile in Bolivia and was active as military instructor. He reappeared on the German scene in 1930 to take over the SA. Appointed Minister without portfolio in 1933, Röhm soon became a troublesome character: the SA took too much importance (it became difficult to control it) and threatened the good relationships between Hitler and the army that the SA wanted to absorb. Hitler chose to get rid of the SA and his leader Röhm. This happened during the so-called Night of the Long Knives on June 30, 1934. Röhm was assassinated two days later by the SS at the Stadelheim prison .


Cecil, R., 1972, The Myth of the Master Race, Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi ideology, London: Dood Mead.

Piper, E., 2005, Alfred Rosenberg: Hitlers Chefideologe. Munich: Karl Blessing.

Cite this item

Bovy Daniel, Röhm (1887-1934), Ernst, Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 2 March, 2009, accessed 17/02/2021, http://bo-k2s.sciences-po.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/en/document/roehm-1887-1934-ernst, ISSN 1961-9898
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