Talk:Ernst Röhm

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Death of Roehm[edit]

The exact day of Rohm's death is 1stJuly1934.

It's wrong 2ndJuly1934 of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The London Times [ 2 July 1934, in an article datelined 1 July ] and the New York Times [ ] both put out that the execution of Roehm and its particulars (refused offer to commit suicide, etc.) were announced on the evening of July 1st. 1 July is also the date provided in the German Wikipedia entry: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:07, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Better sources[edit]

This page needs better source material. Source 2 is particularly poor. While it looks respectable, it's actually from a right wing christian group calling itself a university - not an actual recognised educational institution. It should be removed and replaced with a better source, the information itself is avaliable from many more reliable sources.

this should be removed -> ^ * Scot Lively en Kevin Abrams, Excerpt fromThe Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, Founders Publishing Company, 1995, door Kevin Lively t.b.v. Cultre Wars, 1996

I have just completed translating Röhm's book "Die Geschichte eines Hochverräters" (Franz Eher Verlag, 1928) for a UK publisher. This autobiography covers his early life and his activities in the Reichswehr and as leader of various armed militia groups (not the SA) until 1925. Since Röhm was being watched, and was bound by the Law for the Protection of the Republic to report honestly in any publication relating to that subject, the contemporaneous material in his book is more valuable and reliable than all scholastic studies of the period then and ever since. It is a disgrace that academic historians lie - that is the only word for it - in order to promote a political philosophy of the present. In particular the facts of the Beer Hall Putsch as promulgated by historians are false if we accept Röhm's version. There is no reason to doubt that he is truthful. Over the course of the next few weeks I would be planning to make alterations to the various entries: Röhm, von Lossow, Kahr, the Beer Hall Putsch and so forth. In all cases my reference source will be the aforementioned book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Geoffreybrooks (talkcontribs) 19:37, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

For editing, you need to watch WP:OR, WP:FRINGE and WP:VERIFY; the last one relating to the fact that for verifiability reasons, English Wikipedia prefers English-language sources to non-English ones, except where no English source of equal quality can be found that contains the relevant material. Kierzek (talk) 22:59, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Reference 11, Hitler's War is a book by David Irving, who, to put it mildly, is not seen as a reliable author on what Hitler did or did not privately know, even if he does reference another author John Toland in the book. A direct reference to Toland or some better source is needed. Seos (talk) 15:17, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Roehm's homosexuality[edit]

I've read both that he was gay AND that his homosexuality was fabricated as a pretext for his murder.

It's widely accepted that he was indeed homosexual. But this fact was known long before his muder, so it's not really reason for this.

On the Night of the Long Knives, several witnesses, who were in the hotel when the SS and Adolf Hitler stormed in on Rohm's bedroom, testified in later years that Rohm was found with a young 16 year old boy in his bed. This apparently threw Hitler into a rage and he scramed that Rohm would die. The testimony is generally accepted as truthful and it was used in the manslaugter trial of Sepp Dietrich (one of several trials he udnerwent) where Dietrich was convicted of manslaughter for leading the Leibstandarte on the Night of the Longt Knives -Husnock 4Feb05

Here are some more references for Rohm's sexuality: Spartacus Schoolnet Boston Globe Peter Tatchell Simon Wiesenthal Centre University of California Book catalogue The Guardian DJ Clayworth 17:30, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I do not believe there is any question Roehm was gay. According to biographies of Hitler and Goebbels, this seems to be a given; the following info I took from an essay in: Snyder, Louis L. Hitler's Elite. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1989. ISBN: 0-87052-738-X.
Roehm, as far as I can tell, was rather open about his homosexuality, and gladly drew parallels between himself and other homosexuals in history (most notably Frederick the Great). Hitler, according to these sources, was always well-aware of Roehm's proclivities. However, the scene described above - when Hitler (with Goebbels) caught Roehm in bed with a younger man, is likewise accurate. The reason is simply Machiavellian politics, as far as I could tell - while Hitler didn't personally care about Roehm's sexuality, it offered him a good excuse to wipe his hands of him once he decided to get rid of him.
However, is there a reason Roehm isn't listed in the "Nazi Leader" category? I plan to add him in the near future - gay or not, betrayed by Hitler or not, he was nonetheless an SA leader. He was no martyr. --L. 29 June 2005 21:21 (UTC)

Ernst Röhm was one of the most prominent of a number of early Nazi party members who was an alleged homosexual and his homosexuality was ultimately the pretext used for his removal during the purge of the SA.

Röhm was a homosexual, please remove the word ..> alleged.
No history of the era qualifies Röhm's sexuality. He was homosexual and, for the times, relatively open about it.--Mcattell 16:21, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I have rewritten the section for several reasons - it was too much like a book review, contained errors (the name Schdtzl is obviously wrong - even German requires a vowel) and was not encyclopedic in style. That Rohm was gay is well-known and need not be based upon one or another book review. Further, this is not the place to discuss theories of Hitler's sexuality. Eusebeus 20:45, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I worry that some of the terms used in this article with reference to Röhm's sexuality have too much of a contemporary feel; words like 'outed' 'closet', and even 'gay' itself. Röhm made no great secret of his sexual inclinations, which arose, in large measure, from his military background, with a strong emphasis on both on misogyny and manliness. White Guard 00:42, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

You are quite right White Guard. Rohm's sexuality had more in common with the ancient greek practices of homosexuality within the military than with the modern connotations of homosexuality. Cauld1 (talk) 15:34, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

How open was Roehm about his homosexual lifestyle? Did all the high-ranking NSDAP members know he was a practising homosexual? If so, how did he rise to such a high position in a very anti-LGBT party? Why did Hitler turn a blind eye to it, and how was it not a source of ridicule toward Hitler and the party that one of its most prominent and powerful members was homosexual? Nietzsche 2 (talk) 00:41, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Something which ought to be borne in mind is that, prior to the Nazis coming to power, homosexual activists (primarily Magnus Hirschfeld) had made great progress towards acceptance of homosexuality in Germany. The word itself is derived into English from die Homosexualität, a medical term popularised by German sexual theorists. It's also worth noting that, before the Wilde trial, effeminacy and "artiness" were not associated with homosexuals; but, on the contrary, homosexuals were stereotyped as big, strong and bearlike, with an aggressively hearty manner and enthusiasm for outdoor pursuits, as attested by Graham Robb's book Strangers: Homosexual Love in the 19th Century.
Nuttyskin (talk) 14:28, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Picture gone[edit]

I found a picture online of Ernst Roehm, but I cannot read German and cannot tell if it is copyrighted or not. Picture--Lucky13pjn 19:39, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

It doesn't seem to say, so the first question is whether German published photos are like US ones, in having protection whether they assert it or not.
Surely, anything produced in 1933 would be out of copyright by now, anyway. The Disney Reich notwithstanding, of course ;)
Nuttyskin (talk) 14:33, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

(Erich Retzlaff is the author of Wegbereiter und Vorkämpfer für das neue Deutschland, which means roughly "Trailblaer and Early Combatant for the new Germany"; DHM turns out not to be the publisher (which was probably a NSDAP house organ) but the "German Historical Museum", located in the former East Berlin.)--Jerzy(t) 17:47, 2004 Jun 13 (UTC)

German-language chronlogy of his life: [1]--Jerzy(t) 17:47, 2004 Jun 13 (UTC)

I think there is some discrepancies here. Rohm did not start the SA nor was he a member of it. Please check out Kampfbund and we need to coordinate the information accordingly.WHEELER 20:49, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Just a heads up - some of the images of Ernst are now broken links, and have empty picture boxes. Anyone know what the story was there? --NightMonkey 01:37, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Roehm in prison[edit]

There would appear to be some conflicting factual information in this article. If Röhm spent fifteen months in prison after the abortive Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923 he could not have formed the Frontbann in April 1924. Also the suggestion here is that he spent his time in prison in Landsberg alongside Hitler. Can this be correct? White Guard

I don't believe Roehm spent any time in prison following the Beer Hall Putsch, and certainly not 15 months:

"When the Munich police fired on the Nazi parade, leaving sixteen Nazis dead in the streets, the intended coup was smashed. Two hours later Roehm was persuaded to capitulate at Army headquarters and was taken into custody. Roehm was one of the nine in addition to Hitler who were accused of treason. Although found guilty, Roehm was discharged on the day sentence was pronounced." --from page 67 of "Hitler's Henchmen" by Louis Leo Snyder; Publisher: David & Charles (November 15, 2005); ISBN-13: 978-0715320334 [2]

"Whereas Rohm, released on probation immediately after the trial, at once tried to reassemble the shattered nationalist armed organizations, Hitler, even while still in Landsberg prison, began to dissociate himself from Rohm, to drop the military presuppositions of his plans for seizing power, and, as he proudly stressed later, remained 'immune to advice'." --from Chapter 11 in the 1999 book "The Face Of The Third Reich" by Joachim C Fest; based on "Die Geschichte eines Hochverraters" the autobiography of Ernst Röhm, published in Munich, 1928 [3] Badlermd (talk) 21:38, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Here's further evidence from Wikipedia itself that Roehm never served prison time for the Beer Hall Putsch: "Both Röhm and Dr. Wilhelm Frick, though found guilty, were released." [4] Badlermd (talk) 03:01, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

That Roehm did not serve time because of the Beer Hall Putsch is also corroborated by a citation to author Robert Payne:
"Against all the evidence[,] Ludendorff was acquitted and walked out of the court a free man. Hitler was given the minimum sentence of five years' imprisonment. Poehner, Kriebel, and Dr. Weber received the same punishment. Roehm, Frick, Brueckner, Pernet, and Wagner were each sentenced to one year and three months imprisonment and immediately released on their promise of good behavior."
--from Robert Payne, The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, p. 192 (Praeger Publishers, 1973). Yours, Famspear (talk) 03:38, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I have updated the article with this information. Famspear (talk) 03:44, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Improper usage of terms[edit]

This article is swarming with inapplicable contemporary american political terms such as 'leftist', 'lefty', 'conservative', 'president', 'commander in chief', etc etc. This really has no place in this historical article, a general cleanup is required. 23:32, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Please see my comments concerning the terms used to describe his sexuality-they are completely out of place. White Guard 23:47, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Paul von Hindenburg, until his death, was both "president" of Germany and "commander-in-chief" of the army, or Reichswehr. Communists and even Social Democrats in 1930s Germany may fairly be described as "leftists," although not "lefty." Historical figures such as Hindenburg, Von Papen, and Blomberg, may fairly be described as "conservatives." Nazis may fairly be described as "rightists" or "right-wing," but probably not "conservative," as the Nazi vision of society is more properly described as "radical."

In any article about the era, the text should use English-language equivalents. Hitler in 1933 should therefore be described as "chancellor," not "Reichskanzler."--Mcattell 17:37, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

With that logic, Hitler ought to be called Prime Minister, since term chancellor is now only historical in English, and the only political appointment including this word is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Both these terms were originally pejorative, but are now standard.
Nuttyskin (talk) 14:36, 20 October 2009 (UTC)


I have removed vandalism from this page, I suggest this article should be semi-locked for the time being to stop blatant and anonymous vandalism. Neil Evans

Excusing Hitler[edit]

I've been intently working on the article Night of the Long Knives, and some of its ancillary articles. As I initially found them, these articles seemed to share a common myth: that Hitler was hoodwinked by others in the party, including Göring, Himmler, and Heydrich, into believing that Röhm was planning a putsch against him, and that Hitler only very reluctantly ordered Röhm's arrest and death.

This is most emphatically not the case. Hitler was an shrewd political operator. He gained control of the movement, kept control of it during his time in prison, and used it to seize absolute power in Germany by remorselessly calculating the usefulness of his subordinates, and had no compunction about eliminating them if they had become a hindrance to him.

This is precisely what he did in ordering the purge that became known as the Night of the Long Knives. Röhm and the SA were very useful to Hitler during the years of his ascent because they could be counted on to terrorize political opponents. Because of that, Hitler tolerated the notorious reputation of the SA and its leadership for drinking and brawling. He also therefore tolerated Röhm's homosexuality.

One Hitler had seized power, however, there was no longer a need for a private militia that could smash up political meetings. He now had the full apparatus of the modern state, including the police forces, jails, and concentration camps to take care of that.

Röhm and the SA had outlived their usefulness to Hitler. That alone might not have resulted in a purge. However, Röhm's politics and especially his insistence that the SA supplant the Reichswehr was direct threat to the traditional army, including Hindenburg. By 1934, Blomberg, Hindenburg, and the rest of the army leadership made it clear to Hitler that if Röhm and the SA were not immediately brought to heel, they would declare martial law.

Once Hitler knew he had to act, he did so relentlessly. Hitler ordered Himmler and the rest to fabricate evidence implicating that Röhm was involved in a plot, so that he could later show this "evidence" to a grateful nation. It is very similar to Hitler's modus operandi when he fabricated evidence of a Polish raid on Germany, in order to create a pretext for the invasion of Poland.

Every serious history of the era, by reputable historians, agree on this: Hitler wanted Röhm eliminated because he was a threat to the army and, to a lesser extent, the Nazi's principle supporters among the wealthy and the middle classes. Hitler did not reluctantly order the purge because other Nazis had fooled him. Let's get our facts straight. --Mcattell 16:47, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Yep, AH may have not been thrilled about having ER killed, but he was nonetheless ruthless about his wider goals. Gwen Gale 20:16, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Please provide evidence that the evidence against Roehm & Co. was all fabricated and since you brought it up also provide evidence "he fabricated evidence of a Polish raid on Germany, in order to create a pretext for the invasion of Poland." . The coup plans of the Roehm circle were real, so where the war plans of Poland against Germany. The later are in the British Archives, if you mind looking. -- (talk) 14:02, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Article length and proper sourcing[edit]

Parts of this article are too long. The section marked "downfall' that describes the months before the purge in great deatil -- probably too much detail. It needs to be edited for length, but otherwise contains good writing. Also, references to historian Shirer, or any other historian, do not belong in the text. The text should contain individual facts that are properly sourced.--Mcattell 17:47, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Separate section on Rohm's sexual orientation[edit]

This section should be removed, and its information interwoven with the body of the text where appropriate.--Mcattell 17:47, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Done. It's meaningless unless described in context anyway. Gwen Gale 19:59, 22 September 2007 (UTC)


Although I've flowed the text, much remains to be done.

  • The longish narrative about the SA's socialist and working class origins is very helpful in leading readers to an understanding of how ER (somewhat cluelessly) got himself killed, but needs much more personal detail. For example, towards the end he did half-heartedly undertake a public campaign to counter attacks on his moral leadership: For example, I've seen publicity pictures of him posed in a domestic setting with his mother.
  • Likewise, more detail about his early life would be more than helpful.
  • Although I think the text is accurate, sourcing is lacking and needed. The mention of Shirer and Toland in the body of the text is but a stopgap. Please help.

Gwen Gale 20:13, 22 September 2007 (UTC)


Is professionnal pedophile an occupation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:58, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

It's an irrelevant question, since whatever species of monster Roehm may have been, a paedophile he certainly wasn't.
Nuttyskin (talk) 14:43, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
The question refers to vandalism removed in this 16:32, 16 June 2008 edit. -- (talk) 14:05, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

German quotes[edit]

I have to say that the German quotes about his final minutes are totally wrong. This needs to be cleaned up. I speak German and it is nothing but gibberish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:56, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Removed un-cited alleged quotes and put in cited quote, and addition as to his death.Kierzek (talk) 22:28, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

The Nazi Party name used herein[edit]

I reverted the recent edit herein where the NSDAP was written out as National Socialist German Workers' with the link going to the Nazi Party. It was never known by that name; it can be written as: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) or National Socialist German Workers' Party or Nazi Party. Any of those will do. Kierzek (talk) 02:41, 4 July 2015 (UTC)