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Book Launch: Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts

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Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

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The first full history of the Nazi Stormtroopers whose muscle brought Hitler to power, with revelations concerning their longevity and their contributions to the Holocaust

Germany’s Stormtroopers engaged in a vicious siege of violence that propelled the National Socialists to power in the 1930s. Known also as the SA or Brownshirts, these “ordinary” men waged a loosely structured campaign of intimidation and savagery across the nation from the 1920s to the “Night of the Long Knives” in 1934, when Chief of Staff Ernst Röhm and many other SA leaders were assassinated on Hitler’s orders.

In this deeply researched history, Daniel Siemens explores not only the roots of the SA and its swift decapitation but also its previously unrecognized transformation into a million-member Nazi organization, its activities in German-occupied territories during World War II, and its particular contributions to the Holocaust. The author provides portraits of individual members and their victims and examines their milieu, culture, and ideology. His book tells the long-overdue story of the SA and its devastating impact on German citizens and the fate of their country.

Praise

"For the foreseeable future, Daniel Siemens’s study will be the book of reference on the National Socialist stormtroopers." Professor Michael Wildt, Humboldt University Berlin

"This excellent and original book is a tour de force, original, scholarly, and readable, as well as being informed by a solid grounding in the latest theoretical literature. I recommend it with great enthusiasm." Robert Gellately, author of Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany

"An excellent contribution to the vast literature on Nazi Germany. Based on meticulous research, Daniel Siemens’ Stormtroopers is not only the most comprehensive but also the best history of Hitler’s Brownshirts available in any language." Robert Gerwarth, author of Hitler's Hangman

"A definitive study of the Stormtroopers. It offers genuinely new perspectives, integrating the familiar story of SA violence with the important history of that organization from 1934 to 1945. Quite simply, this is the best book on its subject." Richard Bessel, author of Germany 1945

About the Speakers

Daniel Siemens is professor of European history in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University. A specialist of continental European history in the first half of the twentieth century, he is the author of The Making of a Nazi Hero: The Murder and Myth of Horst Wessel (London: 2013), one of the BBC History Magazine’s book of the year for 2013, and of a transnational historical study on the representation of crime in mass media, published in German as Metropole und Verbrechen: Die Gerichtsreportage in Berlin, Paris und Chicago 1919-1933 (Stuttgart 2007).

Nikolaus Wachsmann is professor of modern European history in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London. A world-leading scholar on the history of the Third Reich, he is the author of KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps (New York and London: 2015) and Hitler’s Prison: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany (New Haven: 2004), for which he was awarded several prizes, including the Wolfson History Prize and the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History.

Date and Time

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Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

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