Karl Ernst Biographical

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J. Duncan
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Joined: 02 Aug 2008 10:22

Karl Ernst Biographical

Postby J. Duncan » 10 Dec 2014 01:02

I'm not finding much information on Karl Ernst. His Wikipedia article uses William L. Shirer's "Rise and Fall" for almost every single footnote. Ernst seems to vaporize out of nowhere into the years 1933-1934 in much of the literature.
The two main historical events which he is associated is the Reichstag Fire and the Blood Purge. He is an SA big shot and one of Roehm's primary subordinates ( along with Heines). He just "arrives" at the top...or so it would appear. We know more about Heines - a former Freikorps man who spent some time in prison for murder, was amnestied, and kicked out of the NSDAP until Roehm reinstated him. In civilian life he was a businessman of sorts (source: Bessel "Political Violence and the Rise of Nazism").
What was Ernst doing in the years prior to 1933? What year did he join the SA? Source says he was a former bell hop and bouncer at a gay bar (not sure if this is true - Shirer says he was a homosexual and makes this claim) yet he married a woman in whose wedding Goering and Pili Koerner were in attendance. Does anybody know his biographical details or where one can find information on his life? There are a lot of photos of him in Jill Halcomb's SA book but not much detail about his life. Heinz Hoehne ("Order of the Death's Head") is also devoid of much biography on him. I'm just curious as to why not much is known about him prior to 1933?

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Re: Karl Ernst Biographical

Postby freddiefro » 10 Dec 2014 13:07

J. Duncan wrote:What was Ernst doing in the years prior to 1933? What year did he join the SA?

In der nationalen Jugendbewegung aktiv: 1918
Großdeutscher Jugendbund: 1920
Im Freikorpsverband Eskadron Grunwald und in der Garde-Kavellerie-Schützendivision als Radmelder: 1920
Wiking-Bund: 1920 - 1923
Kaufmännischer und Bankangestellter, Einkäufer, Sekretär, Abetilungsleiter, Reisender und Korrespondent in Berlin, Mainz und Danzig, arbeitete auch als Hotelpage und Kellner in Berlin: 1921 - 1923
Mitglied der Roßbach-Organisation "Ulrich von Hutten": 1923
Joined the NSDAP & SA: 1923
Frontbann Nord: 1924 - 1926
Mitglied der Obersten SA-Führung (München): 1927 - 31.03.1931
Adjutant des Gausturms Berlin-Brandenburg: 01.04.1931 - 13.10.1931
Stabsführer der SA-Gruppe Berlin-Brandenburg: 14.10.1931 - 14.12.1931
Adjutant der SA-Gruppe Berlin-Brandenburg: 20.12.1931 - 13.04.1932
Führer der SA-Untergruppe Berlin-Ost: 01.07.1932 - 14.03.1933
Mitglied des Reichstags (Wkr.3; Potsdam II): 31.07.1932 - ab. 05.03.1933
Mitglied des Reichstags (Wkr. 2; Berlin): ab. 05.03.1933 - 30.06.1934

(Source: Lilla, Döring & Schulz "Statisten in Uniform")


Max Williams
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Location: London

Re: Karl Ernst Biographical

Postby Max Williams » 10 Dec 2014 13:28

Hopefully, Mike and Andreas will have more biographical details in one of their upcoming book on SA Generals.

J. Duncan
Posts: 2321
Joined: 02 Aug 2008 10:22

Re: Karl Ernst Biographical

Postby J. Duncan » 12 Dec 2014 01:01

Yes, let's hope. Thanks Fred for the stats...he does go back way before 1933. I had no idea. SA since 1923 but also Wiking and Rossbach prior to that.

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Re: Karl Ernst Biographical

Postby lartiste » 16 May 2018 20:23

no one knows anything more about him?

Br. James
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Joined: 27 May 2013 20:45
Location: Baltimore

Re: Karl Ernst Biographical

Postby Br. James » 17 May 2018 16:39

Yes, SA-Gruppenführer Karl Ernst is an interesting, though elusive, figure. He was apparently the senior SA leader in Berlin during his time. From freddiefro's biographical sketch above we see that Ernst was a consistent member of the SA -- "Joined the NSDAP & SA: 1923; Frontbann Nord: 1924 - 1926; Mitglied der Obersten SA-Führung (München): 1927 - 31.03.1931 -- and as soon as Röhm returned from Bolivia and took up his new position as Stabschef der SA in January of 1931, Karl Ernst was transferred up to SA-Gruppe Berlin-Brandenburg, where he stayed until his untimely death -- "Adjutant des Gausturms Berlin-Brandenburg: 01.04.1931" and higher, and also served as a Member of the Reichstag for Potsdam and then Berlin.

Br. James

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