30 June 1934 – Edmund Heines

Edmund HeinesDeputy to one of Hitler’s henchmen, Edmund Heines was to be picked out as one of 78 key targets in the now infamous ‘Night of the Long Knives’.

They were executed in Nazi Germany by their would-be peers, and this was seen as a purge within the party. It targeted key individuals, who were in conflict with the direction in which the Nazis were headed, namely the stormtroopers – aka the ‘Brownshirts’ or to give them their posh name, Sturmabteilung (SA for short).

Brand new heavies

Far from posh, the stormtroopers had literally been the brawn of the operation up to that point – they’d done all the dirty jobs. A paramilitary group, they were a bunch of thugs tasked with setting the pace of the rise of Nazism.

They paved the way for Hitler’s path to power, violently clashing with socialist groups and getting shot of the opposition. But they were uncouth and their tactics not subtle – Hitler was after a more underhand approach to see him into the next phase of his ascension. And so the sinister SS was born.

Fiends means Heines

Now, the Nazis had two groups, one of which had served its useful purpose. The problem was the SA was headed up by one of Hitler’s mates, Ernst Julius Röhm, of whom Heines was his fiendish deputy.

You know Hitler well enough to know that the Führer wouldn’t let a simple thing like friendship get in the way of world domination. This was compounded by a dodgy dossier, which was drawn up on the unsuspecting SA leader. It pretty much stitched Röhm up, ensuring that Hitler eventually bowed to peer pressure to oust him.

Hatchet job

The SA’s fate was sealed especially after advisors played on Hitler’s insecurities, bigging up the fact that he was vulnerable while these thugs were on the loose. After all, the group’s numbers were into the thousands, although, according to Röhm himself, that number may have been closer to three million.

Allegedly 61 key members were executed in a hush-hush operation, including 36-year-old Heines, while 13 were shot during the brutal round-up and three had committed suicide. However, some sources put the toll at 400.

Out of the can

Apparently Heines was having it away with unidentified 18-year-old man when he was caught in the sting, according to ‘Spartacus Educational’. Hitler himself was there and according to his chauffeur, the leader shouted ‘Heines, if you are not dressed in five minutes I’ll have you shot on the spot!’ He joined the ranks of the people executed by a single gunshot, likewise his boss, but more of Röhm next month…

Hitler only let the secret mission out of the can after the deed was done and the SA leaders had been obliterated.

As for the SA, Hitler took over as leader and the organisation stayed in existence until the close of the Second World War.

Also on this day

30 June 1936 – Frederick Herbert Field

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