Swords mightier than pens : Anglo-American press and diplomatic coverage of the Night of Long Knives / by Eric H. Eisenberg.
This paper argues that the press coverage of the Night of Long Knives, a violent purge of political and military figures that occurred from June 30 to July 2, 1934, proved incorrect. While most of the Anglo-American press predicted an imminent end Adolf Hitler's reign as a result of the barbarity and inherent chaos of the events, he instead assumed the office of the Führer with the military's support on August 2, 1934. This paper contends that the discrepancy resulted from the journalists' need to report on the events quickly without having access to the tools necessary to produce accurate reporting, such as personal knowledge, eyewitness reports, information from political contacts, and objective sources. In particular, this thesis focuses on the intricate relationship between Hitler, the Sturmabteilung, or SA, a large paramilitary group partially responsible for the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, and the ambitions of other key German politicians both within and outside of the Nazi party. These connections were not deciphered by reporters and remained largely obscured by the policy of silence and the closed press of Nazi Germany until historians obtained the necessary documents to reconstruct the events as they actually occurred.
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