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Night of the Long Knives

Episode 3 of 3

Threatened by the ambition of SA leader Ernst Röhm, Hitler is persuaded by Himmler to destroy Röhm and his stormtroopers and make the SS Germany’s only paramilitary force.

Adolf Hitler has been chancellor of Germany for just under a year. It is a challenging balancing act. On the one hand, the Nazis must be mindful of President Paul von Hindenburg and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, who are members of Germany’s traditional aristocratic ruling elite. On the other, there is the Nazis’ own power base – the stormtroopers - millions of angry, disenfranchised men who wreak havoc on German streets.

The stormtroopers are led by Ernst Röhm, one of Hitler’s oldest and closest friends. Röhm wants Hitler to fulfil his promise to sweep away the traditional ruling class. Hitler owes Röhm: he has paved the way for Hitler’s political career, and his stormtroopers have helped to eradicate left-wing opposition to the Nazi Party. Now, though, they’re a potential threat - stormtrooper violence is undermining Hitler’s credibility as chancellor.

In a bid to placate Röhm, Hitler makes him a minister, but Röhm tries to wrestle control of the existing army that reports to President Hindenburg, putting Hitler is in a difficult position, stuck between his president and his old friend.

Röhm’s actions present Hermann Göring with an opportunity to persuade Hitler that his old comrade is no longer a friend, but a threat. But Göring will also need the help of his own rival, Heinrich Himmler. Himmler agrees to help destroy Röhm and his stormtroopers and make the SS Germany’s only paramilitary force.

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59 minutes

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Last on

Thu 10 Oct 2019 00:00

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Credits

Role Contributor
Director Julian Jones
Executive Producer Julian Jones
Executive Producer David Glover
Executive Producer Cate Hall
Series Producer Kate Quine
Line Producer Darapon Vongsa-Nga
Producer Ella Wright
Producer Catalina Bingham
Narrator Kate Fleetwood
Composer Tom Hodge
Production Company 72 Films
Adolf Hitler Andrius Rozickas
Ernst Röhm Ramunas Cicenas
Paul Von Hindenburg Juozas Budraitis
Hermann Göring Mindaugas Capas
Heinrich Himmler Ruslanas Golubovas
Franz von Papen Dainius Svobonas
Edgar Jung Dainius Tarutis

Broadcasts

  • Mon 16 Sep 2019 21:00
  • Sat 21 Sep 2019 20:00
  • Wed 9 Oct 2019 00:05
  • Thu 10 Oct 2019 00:00