The Night of the Long Knives: Forty-Eight Hours That Changed the History of the World

The Night of the Long Knives: Forty-Eight Hours That Changed the History of the World

by Paul Maracin
     
 

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Many wonder how Adolf Hitler, a mediocre army corporal and failed landscape painter, could have become the architect of the most calamitous events of the twentieth century. But fewer know that Hitler's fateful transition from ambitious demagogue to Europe's most vicious tyrant occurred on an ordinary Saturday--June 30, 1934--in a little-known event that would come to…  See more details below

Overview

Many wonder how Adolf Hitler, a mediocre army corporal and failed landscape painter, could have become the architect of the most calamitous events of the twentieth century. But fewer know that Hitler's fateful transition from ambitious demagogue to Europe's most vicious tyrant occurred on an ordinary Saturday--June 30, 1934--in a little-known event that would come to be called "The Night of the Long Knives." This is the story of the events leading up to that awful event, and its most horrifying repercussions.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hitler's June 1934 purge of the Storm Troopers (the SA)-known as the Night of the Long Knives-did indeed change the world, eliminating SA head Ernst Rehm and other "enemies of the party" and consolidating Hitler's power. But the events of that night take up only a few chapters of Maracin's account. Much of the rest of the book describes the background of the Nazi Party's key players-Hitler, Gering, Himmler, for example-whose lives are already well known. The final section of the book details the last days of WWII. Maracin, a freelance writer who relies exclusively on secondary sources, is accurate in his account of events-as he points out, the Nazis were probably responsible for the Reichstag fire that later served as their excuse to launch the purge-but he fails to provide any new information or perspective, and his analysis is too often superficial. For example, the leading Nazis, he writes, "were essentially all losers" none of whom could "satisfactorily earn a living as a civilian for a sustained period of time." B&w photos. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The title refers to the night of Saturday, June 30-Sunday, July 1, 1934, when members of the SS and the Gestapo killed Ernst Roehm and other leaders of his Sturmabteilung (SA) "Brown Shirts," which was the Nazi Party's private army. Other high-ranking officials and civilians were also eliminated during this bloody purge, removing any serious rivals to Adolf Hitler and to the military, which soon pledged itself to the German Chancellor. This event was thus the culmination of Hitler's consolidation of power. Longtime criminal investigator Maracin provides another analysis of this incomprehensibly brutal event that seems somewhat unfocused; more space is given to descriptions of the main protagonists than to the actual operation. Interesting historical bits, such as a near-meeting between Hitler and Churchill in April 1932, seem like filler. A more extensive discussion of the actual event is in Max Gallo's The Night of the Long Knives. Maracin's book is suitable for larger World War II and German history collections.-Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599210704
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
07/01/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Maracin is a former criminal investigator with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. He lives in San Diego, California.

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