Night of the Long Knives
(29–30 June 1934)
The name coined by Hitler for a weekend of murders throughout Germany. It followed a secret deal between himself and units of his personal bodyguard, the SS. Precise details remain unknown, but the army is believed to have promised to support Hitler as head of state after Hindenburg's death in return for destroying the older and more radical Nazi private army known as the SA (Sturmabteilung), or Brownshirts, led by Ernst Röhm. Hitler announced that 77 people had been summarily executed for alleged conspiracy. Subsequent arrests by the SS all over Germany, usually followed by murder, numbered many hundreds, including some non-party figures, and the former Chancellor Schleicher.