In 1934, the German Nazi Party, in power for a mere two years, falls into a civil war with itself as competing factions attack each other throughout the country.
Night of Long Knives
by Robbie TaylorThe leader of the Sturm Abteilung, Ernst Roehm, was nearly killed by men under the command of Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler, both of whom wished to seize the mighty SA for their own. A small clique of industrialists attempted to oust a few of the other upper party leaders, and bands of the SA roamed the country, attacking people indiscriminately.
After this night of long knives, it was readily apparent that the Nazis had lost control of themselves, and all of the elements of society that they had been repressing - labor movements, democrats, even some of the aristocrats - seized the moment and banded together in Berlin. An ambitious team was able to capture Hitler and assassinate him, which plunged the already-splintered Nazis into further infighting as all of their leaders tried to take control of the party.
The revolutionary movement appointed former chancellor Kurt von Schleicher as Prime Minister of Germany and outlawed the Nazi Party. Prime Minister von Schleicher immediately asked for international assistance to quell the unrest in his country, and troops from around central and western Europe were soon putting the Nazis down. Prime Minister von Schleicher steered Germany away from the authoritarian nightmare the Nazis had been instituting and towards a more workable, French-style democracy, although he had to deal with Nazi remnants for many years after the coup.