The S.A. in the eastern regions of Germany, 1925-1934
This is a study of political violence in the Nazi rise and seizure of power at local and regional levels. Its subject is the SA in the former eastern regions of Germany - East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia and the Border Province of Posen and West Prussia. The thesis is organised thematically, but within a rough chronological framework, and falls essentially into four parts. The first offers background, by examining social, economic and political conditions in eastern Germany during the Weimar Republic and then discussing the rise of the Nazi movement there. The second concerns the SA itself its composition, the nature of membership in the organisation, its relationship to other components of the Nazi movement and to the Reichswehr. The third, the core of this study, is a detailed analysis of SA violence and terror, both in the rise of the Nazi movement and the seizure of power. Finally, the fourth deals with the SA after the seizure of power, the failure of the SA to find a new political role, and the purge in 1934. In conclusion it is argued that the violence of the storm troopers, while ideally suited to attacking the Nazis' political opponents, eventually undermined the position of the SA. After the seizure of power, the SA no longer served a useful purpose for the Nazi leadership, and it fell easy victim to the SS during the purge.