Ernst Röhm

From Metapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ernst Röhm

Stabchef der SA Ernst Röhm, 1933

In office
5 January 1931 – 1 July 1934
Leader Adolf Hitler
(as Oberster SA-Führer (OSAF))
Preceded by Otto Wagener
Succeeded by Viktor Lutze

In office
2 June 1933 – 1 July 1934

Born 28 November 1887(1887-11-28)
Munich, Bavaria, German Empire
Died 1 July 1934 (aged 46)
Munich, Gau Munich-Upper Bavaria, National Socialist Germany
Resting place Westfriedhof, Munich
Political party National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)
Other political
German Workers' Party
Military service
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch Fahne der Bayerischen Armee.png Royal Bavarian Army
Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
Freikorps Flag.jpg Freikorps
War Ensign of Germany (1921–1933).png Reichswehr
Flag of Bolivia (military).png Bolivian Army
Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps (NSKK).jpg NSKK
SA-Logo.png Sturmabteilung
Years of service 1906–1914
Battles/wars World War I

Ernst Julius Günther Röhm (also Roehm or falsely Rohm in English; b. 28 November 1887; d. 1 July 1934) was a German military officer and later leader of the Sturmabteilung, also known as the SA. Under his leadership, the strength of the SA increased significantly within a short period of time: while the total strength of the SA had been 77,000 men when Röhm took over as Chief of Staff, by April 1931 it had already exceeded 100,000 men. In 1931, Edmund Heines became Röhm's deputy as Obergruppenfuhrer of the Sturmabteilung. In January 1932, the strength of 290,000 men had been reached and when the National Socialists came to power in January 1933 the SA had around 430,000 men.


Ernst Röhm as Fahnenjunker and Leutnant
Röhm, Ernst, in: Rangliste der Offiziere der Königlich Bayerischen Armee, 1918
Defendants in the Munich Putsch trial on 1 April 1924 from left to right: Heinz Pernet, Friedrich Weber, Wilhelm Frick, Hermann Kriebel, Erich Ludendorff, Adolf Hitler, Wilhelm Brückner, Ernst Röhm and Robert Wagner.
Ernst Röhm (1887-1934) München, Germany (Weimar Republic) 1924 Hauptmann Bund Freikorps Epp uniform Iron cross etc.jpg
Ernst Röhm X.jpg

Early life

Röhm's parents, Königlich Bayerisches Eisenbahnoberinspektor (Royal Bavarian Senior Railway Inspector) Guido Julius Josef Röhm (1847–1926) and his wife Sofia Emilie, née Baltheise (b. 15 December 1857; d. 6 January 1935), had three children. Eleanor Hancock writes that Julius Röhm was

"[...] the second oldest of eight children of an estate forester. As a middle level railway official, he had status to uphold, but little money on which to do so. His family had been officials in Thuringia, and then Franconia, for centuries. He traveled widely as a young man and made his own way in life. He eventually rose into the senior ranks of the railway service, retiring as a railway chief inspector [...] In later life, Röhm indicated that he never felt particularly close to his father or brother. He described his father as strict, but conceded that – once Julius Röhmr ealized that he achieved better without exhortation – he gave him much freedom and allowed full scope to his interests. Röhm was very close to his mother and his sister. Both in public and in private, for Röhm, his mother was the best wife and mother in the world. As her youngest, who loves her above all, I can say no more.”

Röhm was baptized Protestant by the town curate of the Evangelical Church, Röhmeder, on 11 December 1887. Julius Baltheiser, senior district judge in Herieden and a relative of his mother, was his godfather. His siblings were:

  • Robert Heinrich Bernhard Röhm (born 29.4.1879, died 31.5.1974). He followed his father in the career of a railway worker and was an army officer aspirant (Bayerische Eisenbahn-Abteilung) in World War I.
  • Meta Eleonore "Lore" Sofie (born 14.5.1880 in Schweinfurt), married to the Hofrat and Forstrat Adolf Lippert.

From autumn 1897 to spring 1906, Röhm attended the Maximilians-Gymnasium in Munich, where he passed his Abitur. Of his education, Eleanor Hancock writes:

"He studied German and classical literature, Latin, Greek, French, history, geography, nature studies, mathematics and physics, drawing and calligraphy, and gymnastics. Whether at school or privately, he also learned to play the piano very well."

Röhm entered the Königlich Bayerisches 10. Infanterie-Regiment „Prinz Ludwig“ („König Ludwig“ after becoming king in 1913) of the Bavarian Army at Ingolstadt as a cadet on 15 July 1906 (other sources claim, it was at first the 1. Feldartillerie-Regiment „Prinzregent Luitpold“) and was commissioned on 12 March 1908. He was wounded three times in World War I, his first severe face wound in September 1914 at Chanot Wood in Lorraine was to cost him a piece of his nasal bone and leave scars for the rest of his life. During an attack on the fortification at Thiaumont, Verdun, on 23 June 1916, he sustained a serious chest wound and spent the remainder of the war in France and Romania as a staff officer. In 1917, he was promoted to Hauptmann. In his memoirs, Röhm reported that during the autumn of 1918, he contracted the deadly Spanish influenza and was not expected to live, but that he recovered after a lengthy convalescence.

Freikorps and NSDAP

Following the Armistice of 11 November 1918 that ended the war, Captain Röhm joined the Freikorps, one of many private militias formed in Munich to combat communist insurrection. He was one of the senior members in the Freikorps of Colonel Ritter von Epp Bayerisches Schützenkorps für den Grenzschutz Ost ("Bavarian Protection Corps for Border Protection East"), formed in Ohrdruf in April 1919.

In 1919, he joined the German Workers' Party (DAP), which the following year became the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). Not long afterward he met Adolf Hitler, and they became political allies and friends. He helped organize the Sturmabteilung (SA) and and promoted sports, especially boxing, in which he was talented. Throughout the early 1920s, Röhm remained an important intermediary between Germany's patriotic paramilitary organizations and the Reichswehr. Additionally, it was Röhm who persuaded his former army commander, Colonel von Epp, to join the NSDAP, an important development since Ritter von Epp helped raise the sixty-thousand marks needed to purchase the NSDAP periodical, the "Völkischer Beobachter".

On 26 September 1923, Röhm again asked for his departure from the Reichswehr to forestall a transfer to Berlin. Still on leave (not yet retired, as some sources claim), he concentrated entirely on his work in the "Reichsflagge". After the failed Munich Putsch in 1923, Röhm was formally discharged from the Reichswehr, was sentenced to fifteen months in prison on 1 April 1924 at the trial (Hitler-Ludendorff-Prozeß), but the sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation.

In April 1924, Röhm, now considered a hero to many, became a Reichstag deputy for the völkisch National Socialist Freedom Party. He made an important speech, urging the release of Lieutenant Colonel Hermann Kriebel, whom he, like so many, revered. The seats won by his party were much reduced in the December 1924 election, and his name was too far down the list to return him to the Reichstag. Also in April 1924, Röhm helped to create the Frontbann (oficially founded in May 1924) as a legal alternative to the then-outlawed SA, patron was Erich Ludendorff.


In February 1925, Hitler, who had been released from prison in Landsberg in December 1924, entrusted Röhm with setting up and leading the newly founded SA. However, Röhm resigned his command after just under two months on 1 May 1925, due to fundamental differences of opinion between him and Hitler about the function and structure of the new SA. While Hitler only wanted to see the military association as an auxiliary force for the party, which should only take on hall security and propaganda tasks, but not be a new military movement, Röhm demanded the primacy of the soldier over the politician and saw the political and military leadership of the movement as equal functions. Hitler and von Ludendorff had also disapproved of the proposals under which Röhm was prepared to integrate the 30,000-strong Frontbann into the SA.

In the years that followed, up until 1928, Röhm worked his way through various commercial positions and as a sales representative. He also presented his autobiography entitled Geschichte eines Hochverräters ("History of a High Traitor"). He was fined and, after refusing to pay, imprisoned for ten days for his refusal to cooperate with the Reichstag's Feme Committee investigating the Feme murders of the early 1920s, and in particular for his "disrespectful treatment" of committee chairman Paul Levi, a Jew. He served his short sentence from 9 to 19 February 1927 in Stadelheim Prison.

The Bolivian Army

In 1928, Röhm made another attempt to be active within the NSDAP with the help of the so-called "Military Political Association" (Wehrpolitische Vereinigung, WPV), but gave up this endeavor after a short time. In mid-1928, Röhm found himself in a precarious situation, both professionally and economically, while remaining largely isolated politically. At this time, Röhm came into contact with the former Imperial German Army captain Wilhelm Kaiser, who was now in the service of the Bolivian army as Major Guillermo Kaiser. Kaiser served in 1928 in the Netherlands, nominally as a Bolivian military attaché for the Bolivian Ministry of War in Europe, to fulfill some trust orders. In particular, he should recruit suitable former German officers for the Bolivian army. Röhm learned from Kaiser that the Bolivian government was looking for a capable German officer with war experience who, as a military instructor, was to play a leading role in the reorganization of the Bolivian army.

In addition to army reform, ongoing tensions between Bolivia and Paraguay were probably another reason why the Bolivian government was interested in recruiting German experts. Röhm accepted Kaiser's offer to take over the vacant instructor position. In the final contract he signed after his arrival in Bolivia (with a two-year period of service from 1 January 1929 to 31 December 1930), the German-born Bolivian Chief of Staff, Generalleutnant Hans Kundt (1869–1939), promised Röhm the rank of lieutenant colonel and a monthly salary of 1,000 bolivianos, which would give him a luxurious standard of living given the low cost of living in Bolivia.

In mid-December 1928, Röhm left Germany, together with the young painter Martin Schätzl, who accompanied him as his secretary, on board the steamer "Cap Polonio" for South America, where he landed in Buenos Aires on 31 December. On 5 January 1929, Röhm arrived in La Paz, the seat of government in Bolivia. There he initially took on a lectureship at the country's military academy, primarily to give him the opportunity to learn the Spanish language, which he soon became fluent in. Protests against Röhm's employment by the French government were largely ignored by the Bolivian side.

In June 1929, Röhm was given the position of troop inspector, which he held until September 1929. In early September 1929, Röhm was appointed Chief of Staff of the Divisional Command of the 1st Division of the Bolivian Army in Oruro under General Carlos de Gumucio. He remained in this position until August 1930. In Oruro, Röhm was initially entrusted with the supervision of the garrisons in Challapata, Uyuni and Potosí, which he prepared for the annual autumn maneuvers of the Bolivian army in October 1929 (in which Röhm, as leader of one of the commandos involved, won the victory). He then directed the training of recruits and at times led the 1st Division himself for a few weeks during an absence from Gumucio.

During his time in Bolivia, Röhm never let his connections at home be severed. In particular, he followed political events in Germany with keen interest. He subscribed to the newspaper "Völkischer Beobachter" and maintained intensive correspondence with old political friends, such as Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, to whom he professed his support for the monarchy, and Heinrich Himmler, who at that time had just taken over the leadership of the SS. In July 1930, however, he turned down an offer from the NSDAP to return to Germany to stand as a candidate for the Reichstag in the Reichstag elections of September 1930.

The assumption, which appeared earlier in the literature, that Röhm worked out the plans for the putsch against the Bolivian government under Hernando Siles in June 1930, which ended on 28 June 1930 with the formation of a new junta government under General Carlos Blanco Galindo, is considered by biographers to be unfounded.

In September 1930, as a consequence of the Stennes Revolt in Berlin, Hitler assumed supreme command of the SA as its new Oberster SA-Führer. He sent a personal request to Röhm, asking him to return to serve as the SA's Chief of Staff. Röhm accepted this offer in late autumn 1930. However, he did not officially resign from the Bolivian army, but was given the position of active duty officer on long-term leave. Until the end of his life, Röhm kept the option of returning to Bolivian military service open: in 1931 and 1932, he extended his position in the army at the Bolivian embassy in Berlin in good time. Even during his disagreements with Hitler over the course of German military policy, he entertained thoughts of returning to South America. Although before his departure he had expressly warned the Bolivian Chief of Staff in a memorandum against a war with Paraguay, after the start of the Chaco War in July 1932 he made public his support for the Bolivian side, despite Germany's official neutrality in this conflict

Sturmabteilung leader

Röhm left Bolivia in mid-October 1930. After crossing the Atlantic on the Hamburg-America Line steamer "Sachsen", he arrived in Munich on 6 November 1930. At an SA leaders' conference on 30 November 1930 in Munich, Hitler finally announced to the assembled SA leaders that Röhm had been entrusted with the leadership of the SA, to which Walther Stennes, who was present, and the North German SA leaders protested vigorously. He began his new assignment on 5 January 1931 with effect from 1 January 1931. He brought radical new ideas to the SA, and appointed several close friends to its senior leadership. Previously, the SA formations were subordinate to the NSDAP leadership of each Gau. Röhm established new Gruppe, which had no regional NSDAP oversight. Each Gruppe extended over several regions and was commanded by a SA-Gruppenführer who answered only to Röhm or Hitler. The SA had a prominent role during the street fighting with the communists.

After Röhm's appointment as Chief of Staff, the press had repeatedly spread rumors about Röhm's alleged homosexuality. From the spring of 1931, the social-democratic "Munich Post" in particular tried to politically and morally discredit the National Socialists by reporting, for example, on the “warm brotherhood in the brown house” (Braunes Haus). After the NSDAP gained power, Röhm became a minister without portfolio.

Röhm and deputy Edmund Heines (right) in 1933


With Hitler arguing that SA-Stabschef Röhm was planning a treasonous coup, Röhm (Cell 474 at Strafgefängnis München-Stadelheim) and others were executed during the Night of the Long Knives, with there being differing views on what occurred, as discussed in the article on this topic. Röhm's body was taken to the Perlacher Friedhof the following night and buried there in an unmarked grave. On 21 July 1934, the bodies of Röhm and six other people who had been shot were exhumed and cremated on the orders of the Bavarian Minister of the Interior Adolf Wagner. His (alleged) urn was later buried in the Munich West Cemetery (Plot 59, Row 3, Grave 1).


  • 15.7.1906 Entered service as a Zweijährig-Freiwilliger and Fahnenjunker in Ingolstadt
  • 25.1.1907 Passed his examinations for promotion to Fähnrich
  • 1.3.1907–7.2.1908 Attended the Lehrkurs (instructional course) at the Kriegsschule in München. He passed his examinations toward commissioning as an officer on 7.2.1908, and graduated 98th in a class of 124. A performance evaluation from this period describes Fähnrich Röhm as follows:
A not yet completely firm character, who however works on himself with good will. His conception of the profession has become more serious. Intellectually of normal capacity, even if partially distracted. Zeal adequate. Physically strong and sufficiently dexterous. Attitude good: he still lacks assurance and certainty of bearing when facing formations. Off duty conduct and social manners are good. Needs supervision. Financial conditions are settled.
  • 1908–1.8.1914 Assigned as a Rekrutenausbilder (recruit instructor) to Bayerische 10. Infanterie-Regiment “König Ludwig”. In an evaluation report written in 1912, his company commander, Hauptmann Schleicher, wrote:
[Röhm is] a vigorous, cheerful, capable officer with a well developed military spirit. Mentally of normal gifts and physically sufficiently dexterous that he is easily deployable in all aspects of service and forms a reliable support of his company chief. He fervently endeavors to fulfill his duties with diligence and conscientiousness. His military knowledge is appropriate for his time of service: his oral and written orders are good. Possesses in addition a good knowledge of French. He is very employable as a platoon leader, understands quickly and circumspectly, sensible and energetic. He treats his subordinates calmly and benevolently.
  • 1.6.1912–28.6.1912 Attended the Pionierkurs (combat engineer instructional course) of 1. Bayerische Pionier-Bataillon
  • 25.9.1912–15.10.1912 Attached to 1. Bayerische Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment under III. Bayerische Armee-Korps
  • 27.4.1914–16.5.1914 Attached for training in Waffeninstandsetzungsgeschäft (weapons repair) to the Gewehrfabrik (artillery factory) in Amberg (a must for all young officers)
  • 2.8.1914–24.9.1914 Adjutant of I. Bataillon/10. Kgl. Bayerisches Regiment on the Western Front
  • 24.9.1914 Severely wounded in the face near Spada in the Chanot Wood, Lorraine, losing half of his nose. He was subsequently hospitalized in the following medical facilities:
    • 26.9.1914–15.10.1914 Festungslazarett in Metz
    • 15.10.1914–10.01.1915 Distriktkrankenhaus in Kaiserslautern
    • 10.1.1915–April 1915 Sanatorium in Reichenhall
  • April 1915 Assigned to Ersatz-Bataillon/10. Kgl. Bayerisches Regiment
  • 17.4.1915–2.6.1915 Returned to active service with 10. Kgl. Bayerisches Regiment, and again assigned as Adjutant of I. Bataillon
  • 2.6.1915–23.6.1916 Führer (leader, not commander) of 10. Kompanie/10. Kgl. Bayerisches Regiment
    • He received the Iron Cross, 1st Class shortly before the regiment’s capture of the French fortification of Thiaumont near Verdun and the occupation of most of the village of Fleury. The regiment’s dead in this battle amounted to 150

men (10 officers and 140 NCO’s and enlisted men), with 17 officers and nearly 1,000 NCO’s and enlisted men wounded). Röhm later wrote: I bled from many wounds and was greatly weakened; but I felt full of pride, that I had been there. The 23rd of June, the regiment’s greatest day of victory, is also the proudest day of my life.

  • 23.6.1916–16.8.1916 Severely wounded during an attack on the French fortification at Thiaumont, and suffered a serious wound (caused by 14 pieces of shrapnel) to the chest. He was then hospitalized at the Reservelazarett Kriegsschule München.
  • 16.08.1916 Hospitalized at the Reservelazarett Hohen-Aschau, and classified as unfit for further frontline duty
  • 30.10.1916–27.5.1917 Adjutant of the Armeeabteilung in the Bayerische Kriegsministerium (Bavarian War Ministry).
  • 29.5.1917–8.5.1918 Ordonnanzoffizier and Nachschuboffizier with the staff of 12. Bayerische Infanterie-Division in Romania and France
  • 9.5.1918–5.11.1918 2. Generalstabsoffizier (Ib) of 12. Bayerische Infanterie-Division
  • October 1918 Contracted Spanish influenza, from which he became very ill. After a lengthy convalescence, he returned to duty.
  • 2.12.1918 Demobilized from 12. Bayerische Infanterie-Division
  • 1.1.1919–31.3.1919 Adjutant of 11. Bayerische Infanterie-Brigade (Ingolstadt, then München)
  • April 1919–May 1919 Assigned as Stabsoffizier (for Verpflegung und Ausrüstung [Provisions and Equipment]) to Freikorps Epp
  • 3.5.1919–July 1919 Chef des Stabes to the Stadtkommandant of München and Offizier für die Abwehr und für politische Angelegenheiten (Officer for Defense and Political Affairs) with the Reichswehr staff in München
  • July 1919–31.12.1920 Ib (Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung, [staff officer] for armaments and equipment) with the staff of Schützenbrigade 21/Bayerisches Schützenkorps (commanded by Franz Xaver Ritter von Epp)
  • 1919 Joined the Deutschnationale Volkspartei (DNVP, German Nationalist Peoples Party)
  • July 1919 Cofounder of the Eisernen Faust (“Iron Fist”) club, an organization of nationalist officers
  • 16.10.1919 Attended the first meeting of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei addressed by Adolf Hitler. He was probably introduced to the eventual Führer by Hauptmann Karl Mayr, and the two soon became close friends; Röhm

was one of Hitler’s few “Duz-Freunden” (a person he permitted to use the informal pronoun “Du”).

  • January 1920 Joined the DAP.
  • 1.10.1920–5.12.1922 Adjutant and 2. Stabsoffizier to the Infanterie-Führer VII (Ritter von Epp); also Leiter of the Feldzeugmeisterei (Quartermaster’s Office) in Gruppenkommando 4 of the Reichswehr.
  • Late 1921–1923 Leiter of the München Ortsgruppe of the Bund Reichsflagge, a Wehrverband (paramilitary organization) established in the summer of 1919 by his friend and fellow Reichswehr Hauptmann, Adolf Heiß.
  • 5.12.1922–3.5.1923 Stabsoffizier with 7. Reichswehr-Division (München)
  • 31.1.1923–April 1923 Member of the Arbeitsausschuβ der Landesleitung (Working Staff of the State Leadership) of Reichsflagge and bevollmächtigter Vertreter (deputized representative) of Reichsflagge’s Führer, Hauptmann Heiß, in


  • 4.2.1923–April 1923 Führer (spiritus rector) of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Vaterländische Kampfverbände (Working Community of Patriotic Fighting Organizations); simultaneously assigned as a representative of the Organisation Niederbayern in München. Within the Arbeitsgemeinschaft were the following: Reichsflagge, NSDAP, Vaterländische Bezirksvereinen Münchens (VVM), Zeitfreiwilligenkorps München, Bund Oberland, and Bund Unterland. Röhm led the Arbeitsgemeinschaft together with Dr. Christian Roth (former Bavarian Justice Minister), who handled political affairs, and Oberstleutnant Hermann Kriebel, responsible for military matters.
  • 3.5.1923–September 1923 Kompaniechef (companie commander) in Bayreuth
  • September 1923–9.11.1923 Member of the Deutsche Kampfbund-Kampfgemeinschaft Bayern
  • 26.9.1923 Submitted his request for discharge from the Reichswehr
  • 12.10.1923 Founded the Reichskriegsflagge in München
  • 8./9.11.1923 Participated in the München-Putsch, directing the occupation of the Bayerische Kriegsministerium building on Schönfeldstraße. Several of his men fired shots at Reichswehr troops who surrounded the building, resulting in the death of two Reichskriegsflagge men, Martin Faust and Theodor Casella. Soon afterward, he surrendered his forces and was arrested by the München police. Röhm recalled the events of 9.11.1923 in his memoirs:
I had ordered no shots to be fired. Thus the Reichswehr advanced unmolested as we watched. The artillery brought up a field gun to Schönfeld-Strasse and aimed it at us. Machine guns were installed in a building facing us in Ludwig-Strasse, and the mortar company set up on the other side of the road. Our own machine guns threatened them silently from our windows. One order, one whistle would have done it. The able Semmelbauer had disciplined the machine-gun detachment well, they would have engaged any target ordered. Occasionally I had a notion to do it but I suppressed it. It must not be…. It was lonely around me. The flag fluttered proudly, my friends were close by, stolid and silent. Blood brothers unto death!
  • 16.12.1923 Discharged from the Reichswehr
  • 1.4.1924 Sentenced in the so-called “Hitler-Ludendorff-Prozeß” to 15 months imprisonment (with 4 months’ credit for time served) as an accessory to high treason. He was in fact released on probation the same day.
  • 1.4.1924 Charged by Hitler with the reconstruction of the SA and the Wehrverbände. In the following note to Röhm, the convicted Führer

wrote: Hauptmann Röhm is military leader of the Kampfbund. I command, therefore, that his ordinances be obeyed by members and particularly leaders of the NSDAP’s SA. Those who can’t unconditionally follow the commands of Hauptmann Röhm are to be considered as no longer belonging to the SA.

  • 1924 Member of the Deutschvölkische Freiheitspartei (DVFP, German Nationalist Freedom Party)
  • 4.5.1924–20.10.1924 Member of the Reichstag (representing the NS-Freiheitspartei)
  • 17.5.1924–March 1925 “(geschäftsführender) Stellvertretender Kommandeur der SA” ([acting] Deputy Commander of the [illegal] SA)
  • c. 1928–June 1934 Member of the Reichsverband Deutscher Offiziere (RDO, Reich Association of German Officers).
  • August 1928–November 1928 Vorsitzender of the reestablished Reichskriegsflagge, under the new name Flaggenklub. His purpose in resurrecting the RKF was not to resume paramilitary activities, but to bring its members into the NSDAP.
  • 25.7.1928-November 1928 Vorsitzender of the Wehrpolitische Vereinigung (WPV, League for Defense Policy)
  • 1.5.1931-30.4.1933 Korpsführer des NSKK (NS-Kraftfahrkorps). Succeeded by Adolf Hühnlein.
  • 11.10.1931 Participated in the Tagung der nationalen Opposition in Bad Harzburg, during which the so-called "Harzburger Front" was established
  • 17.10.1931-18.10.1931 Participated in the “SA-Aufmarsch in Braunschweig”
  • 13.4.1932-14.6.1932 SA banned by the government of Chancellor Brüning
  • 1932 Publication of Halbmast - Heldenbuch der SA und SA, a tribute to Brownshirts (Blutzeugen) killed in service to the movement. The book featured forewords by Röhm and Göring, among others. The SA-Stabschef wrote:
More than 350 SA comrades gave their lives in fulfilment of the oath they had taken to the Führer and their Fatherland. They died fighting for the Holy German Reich, the truly German Germany, the Third Reich. They were comrades, united in noble fellowship, inwardly connected without regard to origin or race, confession or position. They proved their loyalty to their Führer by sacrificing the most precious thing they could give, their young lives, for him and for the idea. We owe our heroes indelible thanks - thanks for their loyalty, dedication and courage. We will never forget them, but we do not want to lament them in paralyzing grief. We want to draw strength and resilience from their past lives and early deaths, to break the chains and lead Germany out of the dark abyss back to the light of freedom and honor. Germany must live even if we have to die!
  • 10.3.1933-13.4.1933 Staatskommissar zur besonderen Verwendung (State Commissioner for Special Assignment) in Bayern
  • April 1933-2.8.1933 Ministerial-Kommissar für die Hilfspolizeibeamten der Sicherheitspolizei (Ministerial Commissioner for the Auxiliary Police Officials of the Security Police) in the Preußische Ministerium des Innern
  • 13.4.1933-1.12.1933 Staatssekretär to the Reichsstatthalter in Bayern (Franz Ritter von Epp)
  • 25.4.1933 Appointed as Staatskommissar z. b. V. in Bayern (State Commissioner for Special Assignment in Bavaria)
  • 1.5.1933-31.12.1933 Kommandeur der Sicherheitshilfspolizei (Commander of the Auxiliary Security Police) in Bayern
  • 29.5.1933 Appointed as Präsident of the Deutschen Akademischen Austauschstelle (German Academic Exchange Office)
  • June 1933-1.7.1934 Reichsleiter der NSDAP
  • 1.7.1933 Appointed as Präsident of the Landesverband Bayern der Deutschen Bühne e. V. (Bavarian State Association of the German Stage)
  • 14.9.1933-1.7.1934 Preußischer Staatsrat
  • 23.9.1933-24.9.1933 Participated in the “Stahlhelm-Reichsfuhrertagung” in Hannover
  • 3.10.1933-1.07.1934 Member of the Akademie für Deutsches Recht, München
  • November 1933-1.7.1934 Member of the Führerrat der Akademie für Deutsches Recht (Leadership Council of the Academy for German Law)
  • 8.11.1933 Participated in the ceremonial presentation, on the Königsplatz in München, of the flags of several major Freikorps (“Heydebreck”, “Kühme”, “Lautenbacher”, “Pfeffer”, “Rossbach”, “Oberland”, etc., as

well as “Sturmregiment Heinz”) to the Obersten SA-Führung. Röhm accepted the flags, which were ultimately transferred to the Braunes Haus.

  • 12.11.1933-1.7.1934 Member of the Reichstag
  • 2.12.1933-1.7.1934 Reichsminister ohne Geschäftsbereich (Reich Minister without Portfolio, sworn in on 4.12.1933) and member of the Reichsverteidigungsrat (Reich Defense Council)
  • December 1933-1.7.1934 Bayerischer Staatsminister
  • December 1933-1.7.1934 Bayerischer Staatsrat
  • 5.4.1934 Appointed as Ehrenführer of the veterans’ organization Deutscher Reichskriegerbund “Kyffhäuser”
  • June 1934 Expelled from the Reichsverband Deutscher Offiziere
  • 30.6.1934 Personally arrested by Adolf Hitler at the Pension Hanselbauer in Bad Wiessee am Tegernsee
  • 30.6.1934 Expelled from the Preußische Staatsrat by order of Hermann Göring
  • 30.6.1934 At 15.00 on that date, Hitler issued a decree to the German press removing Röhm from the SA and NSDAP
  • 2.7.1934 Posthumously expelled from the NSDAP


Grave in Munich (Westfriedhof)
  • 23 July 1906 Zweijährig-Freiwilliger und Fahnenjunker (Officer Candidate)
  • 15 October 1906 (Fahnenjunker-)Unteroffizier
  • 16 February 1907 Fähnrich (Officer Cadet)
  • 12 March 1908 Leutnant with Patent from 9 March 1908
  • April 1915 Oberleutnant mit Patent vom 30 November 1914
  • 17 April 1917 Hauptmann with Patent from 17 January 1917
  • 1928 Teniente Coronel (lieutenant-colonel, Bolivian Army)
  • March to 1 May 1925 Führer der SA
  • 5 January 1931 to 1 July 1934 Chef des Stabes der SA
  • 1 May 1931 to 30 April 1933 Korpsführer des NSKK
  • 13 April to 1 December 1933 Staatssekretär
  • June 1933 to 1 July 1934 Reichsleiter der NSDAP
  • 2 December 1933 to 1 July 1934 Reichsminister ohne Geschäftsbereich

Awards, decorations and honors

Honors (honorary citizenships)

  • 20.4.1933 Ehrenbürgerrecht des Freistaates Bayern
  • 24.8.1933 Ehrenbürgerrecht der Stadt Bad Reichenhall (revoked 10.7.1947)
  • 1933 Ehrenbürgerrecht der Stadt München (revoked after 1946)
  • 1933 Ehrenbürgerrecht der Stadt Ingolstadt
  • 1933 Ehrenbürgerrecht der Stadt Magdeburg (revoked after 1946)
  • 26.5.1934 Ehrenbürgerrecht der Stadt Stettin

Further reading

  • Eleanor Hancock: Ernst Röhm – Hitler's SA Chief of Staff, Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2008
  • Michael D. Miller & Andreas Schulz: Leaders of the Storm Troops Volume I – Oberster SA-Führer & SA-Stabschef and SA-Obergruppenführer (B – J), 2015