Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State (Part 9 of 55)
Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter VII
(d) The Nazi conspirators supported their "legal" activities by terrorism.
1. The Nazi conspirators created and utilized as a Party formation the Sturmabteilungen (SA) a semi-military voluntary organization of young men trained for and com- [Page 203] mitted to the use of violence, whose mission was to make the Party the master of the streets. The SA was organized in 1921. As indicated by its name, it was a voluntary organization of young men trained for and committed to the use of violence. To quote from a pamphlet compiled on order of the Supreme SA Headquarters:
"The SA was not founded as one forms just any sort of club. It was born in midst of strife and received from the Fuehrer himself the name "Storm Troops" after that memorable hall battle in Hofbrauhaus at Munich on 4 November 1921. *******Blood and sacrifice were the most faithful companions of the young SA on its hard path to power. The Storm Troops were and still are today the fist and propaganda arm of the movement". (2168-PS)
It was organized along semi-military lines from the beginning. To quote again from the same official pamphlet: "It is one of the greatest historical services of the SA that at the time when the German People's Army had to undergo a dissolution, it held high those virtues which marked the German soldier: personal courage, idealism, willingness to sacrifice, consciousness of responsibility, power to decide, and leadership. Thus, the SA became among the people the messenger and bearer of German armed strength and German armed spirit.
"The 4th of November 1921 was not only the birth hour of the SA by itself, but was the day from which the young fighting troop of the Movement took its stand at the focal point of political events. With the clear recognition that now the unity (Geschlossenheit) of a troop led to victory, the SA was systematically reorganized and so-called "Centuries" (undertschaften) were established *******" (2168-PS) In March 1923, Goering took command of the entire SA. In November 1923, SA units were used in the Munich Putsch. When the Party was reorganized in 1925, the SA continued to be the fighting organization of the Party. Again to quote the official pamphlet on the SA: "And now a fight for Germany began of such a sort as was never before fought. What are names, what are words or figures which are not indeed able to. express the magnitude of belief and of idealism on one side and the magnitude of hate on the other side. [Page 204] 1925: the Party lives again, and its iron spearhead is the SA. With it the power and meaning of the National Socialist movement grows.
Around the central events of the whole Movement, the Reich Party Days, dates, decisions, fights and victory roll themselves into a long list of German men of undenying willingness to sacrifice." Mastery of the streets was at all times the mission of the SA. While discussing his ideas as to the part which this organization should play in the political activity of his Party, Hitler stated:
"What we needed and still need were and are not a hundred or two hundred reckless conspirators, but a hundred thousand and a second hundred thousand fighters for our philosophy of life. We should not work in secret conventicles, but in mighty mass demonstrations, and it is not by dagger and poison or pistol that the road can be cleared for the movement but by the conquest of the streets. We must teach the Marxists that the future master of the streets is National Socialism, just as it will some day be the master of the State." (404-PS)
To quote again from the official SA pamphlet:
"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. ******* "The SA conquered for itself a place in public opinion and the leadership of the National Socialist Movement dictated to its opponents the law for quarrels. The SA was already a state within a state; a part of the future in a sad present." (2168-PS; for further material concerning the SA, see Section 4 of Chapter XV.)
2. The Nazi conspirators constantly used physical violence and terror to break up meetings of political opponents, and to suppress opposition in their own meetings. The following facts are indicative of the methods constantly used by the Nazi conspirators during this period: On numerous occasions meetings of the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft [Page 205] (Peace Society) were broken up and terrorized by shock troops and SA units. Groups of National Socialists invaded meetings of the society, interrupted the speaker, attempted to attack him, and endeavored to make sufficient disturbance so that the meetings would have to be cancelled. (L-83) To quote once again from the official SA pamphlet: "*******As an example of a seemingly impossible deed, the 11th of February 1927 should be firmly preserved. It is the day on which the SA broke the Red Terror, with heavy sacrifice, in the hall battle at the Pharaoh's Hall (Pharussaelen) in Berlin, the stronghold of the Communists, and thereby established itself decisively in the capitol city of the Reich. In considering the badly wounded SA men, Dr. Goebbels coined the phrase "unknown SA Man", who silently fights and bleeds, obeying only his duty." (2168-PS)
In Berlin, under the leadership of Goebbels, so-called Rollkommandos were organized for the purpose of disrupting political meetings of all non-Nazi groups. These Roll kommandos were charged with interrupting, making noise, and unnerving the speaker. Finally the Nazis broke up meetings by Rollkommando raids. In many cases, fights resulted, during which furniture was destroyed and a number of persons hurt. The Nazis armed themselves with blackjacks, brass knuckles, rubber truncheons, walking sticks, and beer bottles. After the Reichstag election of 1930, Nazi terrorism became more overt, and from then on scarcely a day went by when the Chief of the Security Police in Berlin did not receive a minimum of five to ten reports, and often more, of riots instigated by Nazis. (2955-PS) During the campaign for the Reichstag election of 14 September 1930, Nazi conspirators made it a practice to send speakers accompanied by many Storm Troopers to meetings of other political parties, often physically taking over the meetings. On one such occasion a large detachment of Storm Troopers, some of whom were armed with pistols and clubs, attended a meeting called by the Social Democratic Party, succeeded in forcibly excluding everybody not in sympathy with their views, and concluded the meeting as their own. Such violent tactics, repeated many times, were an integral part of the political creed of the Nazi. (L-83) [Page 206] Ultimately, in Berlin, just before the Nazis seized power, it was necessary to devote the entire Police Force to the job of fighting the Nazis, thus leaving little time for other Police duties. (2955-PS) The Nazi conspirators constantly threatened their opponents with organized reprisals and terror. During the course of the trial of three officers of the Reichswehr for high treason in Leipzig in September 1931,
Hitler said: "But I may assure you that if the Nazi movement's struggle is successful, then there will be a Nazi Court of Law too, the November 1918 revolution will be atoned, and there'll be some heads chopped off." (2512-PS) Frick wrote in the National Socialist Yearbook for 1930: "No wonder that as the situation of the entire German people, as well as that of the individual racial comrade, grows rapidly worse, increased numbers are realizing the incompetence of the parliamentarian system, and no wonder that even some who are responsible for the present system desperately cry for a dictatorship. This however, will not save them from their fate of one day being called to account before a German State Tribunal." (274-PS)
On 7 October 1929, the National Socialist District leader Terboven said in a meeting in Essen: "This weakness is especially known to Severing, who symbolizes the present State, and he intends to render a service to the State, which is breathing its last; but this too will no longer save the present corrupt parliamentarian system. *******But I give such a dictatorship only four weeks. Then the people will awaken, then the National Socialists will come to power, and then there will not be enough lamp posts in Germany. "The National Socialists will march into the new Reichstag with thirty members; then there will be black eyes every day in this Reichstag; thus this corrupt parliamentarian system will be further discredited; disorder and chaos will set in, and then the National Socialists will judge the moment to have arrived in which they are to seize the political power." (2513-PS) On 18 October 1929, Frick, while discussing the Young Plan in a meeting in Pyritz said: [Page 207]
"This fateful struggle will first be taken up with the ballot, but this cannot continue indefinitely, for history has taught us that in a battle, blood must be shed, and iron broken. The ballot is the beginning of this fateful struggle. We are determined to promulgate by force that which we preach. Just as Mussolini exterminated the Marxists in Italy, so must we also succeed in accomplishing the same through dictatorship and terror." (2513-PS) In December 1932, Frick, at that time Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Reichstag, stated to a fellow member of that committee: "Don't worry, when we are in power we shall put all of you guys into concentration camps." (L-83)
4. The Nazi conspirators openly approved acts of terrorism committed by their subordinates. On 22 August 1932, five National Socialists were condemned to death for a murder in the town of Potempa. Hitler wired to the condemned men: "My Comrades! Faced with this terrible blood sentence, I feel myself bound to you in unlimited faithfulness. Your liberty is from this moment a question of our honor. To fight against a Government under which such a thing could happen is our duty." (2532-PS; 2511-PS) Goering, two days later sent the following telegram to the condemned men: "In nameless embitterment and rage against the terror sentence which has struck you, I promise you, My Comrades, that our whole fight from now on will be for your freedom. You are no murderers. You have defended the life and the honor of your Comrades. I send to your families today 1,000 Marks which I have received from your friends. Be courageous. More than 14,000,000 of the best Germans have made your interest their own." (2634-PS) On 2 September 1932, the death sentences were commuted to imprisonment for life. In 1933, after the Nazis came into power, the five were set free (2532-PS) Soon after coming to power the Nazi conspirators took steps to grant a general amnesty for all unlawful acts, including acts of violence, committed by their adherents in the course of their struggle for power. On 21 March 1933 a decree was promulgated, signed by von Hindenburg, [Page 208] Hitler, Frick, and von Papen granting amnesty "For penal acts committed in the national revolution of the German People, in its preparation or in the fight for the German soil". (059-PS)
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