The Henchmen: German Government Officials in WWII

Many people have contributed to the cruel treatment of human beings,
specifically Jews, in Nazi Germany during the second World War. This is a
report on the damage carried out by some of the Nazi criminals working
under the rule of Adolf Hitler.

Many people contributed in Hitler’s attempt to carry out his ‘Final
Solution’. Among these people are Ernst Roehm, Joseph Goebbels, Adolf
Himmler, and Hermann Wilhelm Goering. While I discuss how they partook in
World War Two, keep in mind their actions will, and have, left a mark on
the world forever.

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Little is known about Ernst Roehm’s childhood. He was a quiet boy who
never went looking for trouble and didn’t express hatred towards anyone,
mostly because his parents were Libertarians and never paid attention to
the politics in Germany’s heartland. In college, Hitler’s ideas and
notions had a strong impact on Roehm’s personality. Though Roehm never
graduated, he joined the Free Corps, a group of soldiers dedicated to
changing injustices in the German government. After a while, Roehm started
to grow tired of the Free Corp’s non- violent style, and he was tempted to
be more of an activist in government reform. Hitler, looking to recruit
fellow officers in his plan, then in it’s infancy, liked Roehm’s strong
presence and personality. Roehm, jobless and nowhere to go, joined
Hitler’s office. After Hitler was elected into office some years later, he
split his dictatorship into different divisions. Roehm, being one of the
original officers, was chosen as head of the Sturmabteilung, or SA,
commonly referred to as the Brownshirts and storm-troopers. By 1932, the
Brownshirts had reached more than 400,000 members. All types of men who
Hitler saw fit enough to join were members. Among them were ex-Free Corps
soldiers like Roehm, students who weren’t able to find jobs, shopkeepers
who went out of business or weren’t profitable enough, the unemployed,
uneducated, and common criminals. As you can see, they were a very diverse
bunch. Roehm had full power over where they demonstrated and protested.

What was their cause? None really. They were merely an idea of Hitler’s
to spread his popularity, as well as the Nazi Party’s. They roamed the
streets of Munich, often drunk, singing racist stanzas from songs, beating
anyone they thought, judging just from appearance who they thought was a
Jew or a Communist. Roehm screamed to the marching storm-troopers, “We
will brawl our way to greatness.” He enjoyed violence for it’s own sake,
and he is quoted as saying to reporters after they burned down a kosher
diner, in which he also had the left side of his nose shot off, “Since I am
an immature and wicked man, war and unrest appeal to me more than order.”
In one incident, Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Goering, heads of other Nazi
divisions, jealous of Roehm and the rest of the Brownshirt’s public
popularity, even though they had more power internally, conspired against
Roehm and the storm-troopers. They forged letters and documents to Hitler
in Roehm’s name, in which confessions of high treason were written. Many
members of the storm-troopers were executed. When Hitler himself came to
partake in the executions, they started screaming “Heil Hitler”, the salute
to Hitler. Hitler realized that the documents had been forged, and let the
rest, including Roehm go free. Hitler and the storm-troopers never found
out who had written them. Another incident of a much greater magnitude was
‘the night of long knives’, on June 30, 1934. Hitler cut off relations
with all his fellow branches except the SS. He let most of them all go,
except members of the storm-troopers. They were all executed, and Roehm
insisted that Hitler kill him. He felt any other person to kill him would
be considered unfaithful to Hitler and an undignified death. Hitler killed
him and in all of World War Two Ernst Roehm remained the only person to
ever die by Hitler’s bullets.

Another henchman of Hitler’s, Joseph Goebbels, born in 1897, in Rheydt,
Germany and the son of peasants, probably had the most effect on Germany’s
society and public life. A childhood bone disease stunted his growth, so
he didn’t grow more than 5 feet and he walked with a limp. His actions are
well documented since he kept a diary of almost everything in his political
life. Thin-faced and slender, before working for Hitler, he was a
successful playwright of scripts about political satire. He was the man
who convinced Hitler to run for President of Germany on February 22,


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