As explored exhaustively in Max Gallo's bestselling tome The Night of the Long Knives: 48 Hours that Changed the World, the weekend of Friday June 29 - Saturday June 30, 1934 permanently altered the course of history. On those fateful days, Adolf Hitler finally decided to turn on some of his own men. The elusive but deadly Brown Shirts (or Sturmabteilung), a crack paramilitary group assembled by the Nazi party, had been a critical force in Hitler's rise to power, but he witnessed their strength gradually evolving into a threat against himself and his closest allies. Therefore, amid the Shirts' innocuous trip to a meeting in the summer of 1934, Hitler and his troops sprung a surprise massacre on the unsuspecting Shirts, effectively wiping them out. Adapted loosely from Gallo's book, the History Channel documentary Night of the Long Knives recounts these chilling events, and illustrates how they represented critical steps in the eventual rise to power of Hitler and the Nazi party.
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