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Nazi History: Ernst Röhm

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by David Scott, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. David Scott

    David Scott Member

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    [SIZE=12pt]Although I haven’t been able to even confirm this much, it seems to be the general consensus (from various books) that Ernst Rohm had already been a member of the German Workers’ Party when Hitler joined. If this is true, does anyone have any information on how this came about? What connection would there have been between the party’s founder, Anton Drexler—a poorly educated, sickly (non-veteran) trade unionist—and a rough and tumble German army captain? What would have attracted Rohm to this insignificant fledgling political organization founded by a man so different in character than himself? It certainly wasn’t Drexler’s charisma. He was a poor writer and even worse speaker. I ask this because Rohm was one of two men (the other being [/SIZE][SIZE=12pt]Dietrich Eckart) whose assistance to Hitler proved critical to him in his salad days in politics. Indeed, Eckart’s presence seems likewise inexplicable, unless he was recruited by Karl Harrer, Drexler’s partner in politics, who had merged his own organization with Drexler’s. Whereas Eckart had been an inebriate literatus, Harrer had been an inebriate reporter; thus a possible affinity between them. But I’m more interested in Rohm’s presence at the time.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Search as I have, I’ve been unable to come up with any information. Thanks to all. [/SIZE]
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Röhm believed the RAD would be the next German army not Wehrmacht. The Generals were outraged and Hitler made the decision to get rid if him. I believe Hitler made hi generals happy and I think he started to move men to the true army for Generals for the war he already knew he´sd start.
     
  3. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    It certainly is a good question to research. Especially given Rohm's personal life as to why he would be attracted to the party. Then again, the infancy of the NSDAP was filled with men of disillusionment. Anger and blame are easy and Germany was volatile at the time.
     
  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Exactly. "Politics makes strange bedfellows"...isn't that the old saying? In an era when German politics was riven by literally hundreds of political parties and movements - it would have been more than easy to find one...big or small...that happened to be congruent with one's particular greivances and beliefs. I'm not sure why it actually has to be any more complicated than that...?
     
  5. David Scott

    David Scott Member

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    [SIZE=12pt]Thank you all for your comments. After I posted here, the thought occurred to me to try to contact by email an expert on the field of the Third Reich. He is an eminent historian. I posed the question to him that I did here. Here was his kind response:[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]“Röhm joined the DAP in late 1919 with the membership number 623. Hitler began attending meetings in September, so a bit before this. His membership number was 555 (the numbering began at 500 to give the impression it was not the tiny fringe movement it actually was). So Röhm joined AFTER Hitler.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]“Hitler was already making an impression with his speeches at the Party's meetings and attracted the attention of the Reichswehr, where Röhm was embedded with his Freikorps. So both Hitler's prominence in the DAP and the Reichswehr's interest in the organization would have drawn Röhm into the party. He was also a member of other far-right groups in Munich.” [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Here was my response to him:[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]“Thank you very much for your reply. Ah, I see that my longtime suspicion that Röhm had not already been a member of DAP when Hitler joined was justified! Thank you so much, sir, for your kind assistance. It is most appreciated. This misconception seems to be a case of one author simply following another in error. (I know of another such case regarding the Battle of Gettysburg.) Although William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a work replete with citations, the author gives none while discussing the early days of DAP. I have always suspected he relied upon non-attributed verbal sources of dubious [/SIZE]reliability[SIZE=12pt] at that late date. This is, I presume, the origin of the error.”[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Thanks to all again. [/SIZE]
     
  6. David Scott

    David Scott Member

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    If anyone is interested in early Nazi history, my source recommended the following book which he advises deals with my point in question:

    [SIZE=10.5pt]Hitler - A Biography, Volume 1: Ascent 1889-1939[/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt], by Volker Ullrich (2016)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10.5pt]It is available on Amazon, though it is too new to be out in paperback yet. However, some used ones are available in hardback at a more reasonable price. [/SIZE]
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Wasn´t Röhm quite along time in Uruguay or something like that. Perhaps something to do do with Weimar?
     
  8. David Scott

    David Scott Member

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    As a result of the Beer Hall Putsch fiasco, [SIZE=10.5pt]Röhm[/SIZE] was expelled from the German army. He became temporarily disaffected with Hilter due to what he saw as Hitler’s craven performance regarding it. He then left Germany to take a position in Bolivia as a military adviser. In the following years, the Nazi SA became unwieldy and posed a problem for Hitler. He recognized Röhm’s ability as an organizer of fighting men and asked him to return in 1930 and assume the role of Chief of Staff of the SA, while Hitler remained its nominal head. Röhm succeeded in accomplishing a reorganization of the storm troopers and under his leadership they grew to a point where the SA posed a threat to the German army which eventually forced Hitler to appease the powers that still were in Germany (President von Hindenburg, the army and the mighty industrialists who feared Röhm’s left wing brand of Nazism) at the time and turn on his erstwhile friend culminating with the "Night of the long knives" purge.

    [SIZE=10.5pt]The reason why my original question was important in my mind [/SIZE][SIZE=10.5pt]is because Röhm, along with Eckart, was one of the two men present during Hitler’s salad days in politics who seem to have been critical to his later success as they provided the foundation he needed to build his movement. Saying that at least Röhm was already in DAP when Hitler joined makes it seem like Hitler was inflicted upon the world due to a sinister twist of fate; i.e., the happenstance that DAP brought Röhm into Hitler’s life rather than Hitler having attracted the former as he would later so many others.[/SIZE] It is entirely possible that without Röhm Hitler never would have risen to power. That, of course, can never be determined for certain.
     
  9. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    It's a good debate
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    personally I consider there were a couple key figures. Schacht for keeping him in enough money and making the Army, von Papen convincing Hindenburg Hitler would make a great chancellor. And Speer making him the new Berlin....
     
  11. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you on Papen. Kind of unheralded in Hitler's rise. In the end he didn't amount to much but a naive lackey, but had some ears whisper to.
     
  12. David Scott

    David Scott Member

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    Oh, later on there were undoubtedly others who were essential to Hitler’s rise to power, and we can certainly discuss that. However, that was not the point of my post, nor was it implied that only the two men I mentioned were absolutely essential to Hitler’s career. My point was that in reality Hitler attracted Röhm to DAP and not that DAP had been responsible for bringing the two men together by virtue of Röhm’s prior membership to that of Hitler’s. I believe this error was started by William L. Shirer (and later followed by others) who, in his seminal work, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, gives no citations while discussing early Nazi history notwithstanding his book as a whole being replete with citations. (Indeed, his sources list by themselves would constitute a longer than average short story!) My guess is that in this regard he depended upon unattributed verbal sources of dubious reliability as he wrote his book well over thirty years after this period. Please bear in mind, per my first note on this superlative forum (http://www.ww2f.com/topic/42583-hitler-youth-fortunate-to-be-americans/), I think very highly of Mr. Shirer and his book. One can excuse a few lapses of a factual nature considering that he was a pathfinder in writing the history of Nazi Germany.
     

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