I like Phylo's analogy to the Maoist cultural revolution (a view I had not considered), using his radical and violent SA to clean up the streets and subdue the Socialists and Communists.
If you read Philip Metcalfe's "1933" (Metcalfe's book, based on the diaries of a number of notable protagonists of and witnesses to the period, is a classic...and sadly the only one to come from him, he died a few years later from cancer; God knows what other gems we might have got from him http://www.amazon.com/1933-Philip-Metcalfe/dp/093296687X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1327790710&sr=8-2
), you'll see there are remarkable similarities, particularly in how
Hitler refers to the behaviour of the SA - being the "leaders of his NSDAP revolution" and being "the force that will tear down the old ways of doing things". It's the SA
for instance that roamed Berlin and other cities, beating up bystanders for not giving the Nazi salute to passing Swastikas etc. ...thus impressing the "Nazi" way of doing things and behaving on people.
When compared with the French or Russian Revolutions, this was on the whole quite bloodless (the Nazis prided themselves on this point)...
Yes, the Nazis
did....but the SA, now off the leash
- whether intentionally or not - were anything but bloodless, tho' the degree of separation and divergence allowed Hitler to claim that the violence wasn't down to HIM
It was the SA
, not the NSDAP, that was rounding up allsorts for all sorts of "offences" (or none at all!) and throwing them in all the new, SA-run
concentration camps, for instance....
Hitler later had to purge his Brown Battallions at the behest of the reactionary and conservative forces of the army, who felt they had gone far enough
He ALSO got much respect and kudos (in the modern sense) from the average
German for curbing the excesses of the SA as they affected them
. Hitler was thus seen as rescuing Germany from ALL
the bad things that had gone on for many years - including
"Charming's a special town - not many folks take to it. I like to think the town chooses its occupants. Right ones stay, wrong ones...disappear."