CIE History Component-1: Specimen Questions 1 - 1 of 2

Question number: 1

Essay Question▾

Describe in Detail

Study the sources, and then answer the questions, which follow: “We still know little about the dreadful events of 30 June. We only know that men whom Hitler constantly praised are dead. We are told that they are now dead because they were involved in a conspiracy. But so far no evidence has been produced to prove this conspiracy. ” - A British newspaper article, 1934.

What can be told about Night of the Long Knives? Cite references to support the answer.


Once Hitler came to power in Germany his main motive was to rid himself of possible rivals. Ernst Rohm, leader of the SA, had played a major role in helping Hitler achieve power in Germany. However:

  • The German army saw SA as a rival and to get its support Hitler had to disband the SA.
  • Some members of the SA wanted Hitler to start a socialist programme of reform but he opposed it as he was scared of losing support of the wealthy industrialists.
  • Ernst Rohm who once was an asset became a visible threat to the Hitler’s dominance of the Nazi Party.
  • The German army promised to support Hitler as commander-in-chief of army if SA was disbanded, and if he started rearmament. On 30th June 1934, Hitler’s potential SA rivals were assassinated by assassination squads from the SS (Hitler’s bodyguards).
  • It is estimated that up to 400 people were killed in the ‘Night of the Long Knives’.
  • Through the source we can predict that the people who supported Hitler were murdered by him because of his selfish motives and people didn’t even knew about the politics that going inside. One month after the ‘knight of the long knives’ the president also died and Hitler thereafter combined the post of chancellor and president and also became commander-in-chief of army hence becoming the most powerful authority.