Operation Humming Bird - the wrath of Hitler

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A true insight into Hitler and his mass killing of potential political threats! -History Essay

Submitted: September 19, 2012

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Submitted: September 19, 2012



German Essay – Night of the long knives


1934, operation ‘Humming Bird’ took effect resulting in multiply political murders. Members of the Political spectrum from the left and right wing were targeted though most of the deaths were that of Hitler’s former secret army, the SA. In doing this, Hitler effectively removed many of his enemies and was able to take control. In chronological order, investigating the causes and consequences of this mass murder and the effects it had on the social, political and economical state of Germany at that time. 


Operation ‘Humming Bird’ was inevitable as suspicion had already aroused amongst Hitler’s top three inner circle men. Also, there were many German Nazi leaders who were afraid that the SA would take over the German army. Many Nazis were also concerned that the Rohm and SA (made up of 3mil, plus) members were homosexual. As this was against the legislations enforced by Hitler, if proven to be true, the offenders would be sentenced to death. The inner circle men and Nazi leaders wanted to be rid of the Rohm and SA, so devised a plan to feed lies to Hitler. These usually entailed slanders about the Rohm planning to coup him. In order to rid himself of this problem, Hitler demanded that the SA leaders attend a false meeting. This resulted in over 400 SA deaths.

There were many consequences that followed this first mass murder. In order to keep the trust of his people, Hitler spun lies, conditioning the radios and papers to suggest that it was merely 74 who where killed and over 1000 arrested. After riding himself of any potential enemies and by keeping his people in the dark, Hitler gained full control. He also renewed the fear he had first installed in his people giving him the advantage, as he would now be able to manipulate them more freely. Hitler’s suspicion and paranoia was evident as out of the ruins of the SA, a new Nazi party was formed. Hitler named them the ‘SS-Strum Abteilung’; and had full control of them this time.


The effects of the ‘Night of the long knives’ made Hitler seem intimidating and was given the right to judge and jury at his own will, killing those who didn’t fit his regime. Hitler destroyed lots of other oppositions and gave his new SS brutal power. This showed what a threat Hitler was becoming.  


Socially, the impact of this mass murder was horrifying. With Hitler in control, the rest of his plans could easily fall in to place, especially with the SS along side him to enforce the plans. As touched on before, the people of Germany were kept in the dark about what was happening. With Hitler in control of everything including what was said through the newspapers and over the radio, he could spin many lies, conditioning his people to think of him as a King and even as God. In many sources Hitler was depicted as “Germany’s father”, this shows how much of an effect he had on his people, and how easily he was able to manipulate them.


Politically, Hitler was in control. He installed a fear that run deep amongst his people, rivals and other political brothers. The slaughter of the SA and Rohm, proved the power that Hitler had over Germany, and the way he could lye through the papers and over the radio showed how much Hitler ruled. The mass murder would also mark the rest of the world; Hitler was a force to be reckoned with.  After the killing of the SA and Rohm, Hitler had gained control over the judge and jury, and he now had the right to kill anyone who didn’t fit his regime. This political step towards full control would be devastating for Germany and the new SS born from the former SA would enforce anything Hitler said or did. Germany was now under full totalitarian rule.


The economical impact on Germany wasn’t huge, though Hitler now had to cater for the 1000 who had been imprisoned. The ‘Night of the long knives’ was the after math of a huge hyperinflation that had flooded Germany plummeting her in a depression.


In conclusion the mass murder resulted in many lives lost, more imprisoned and thousands terrified of the wrath Hitler. Germany was affected in many ways both politically, socially and economically. Having the SS wreck havoc on the country, Hitler would remain in control for much longer.



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