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In the Nazi rise to power a key role was played by the Nazi storm troopers –the SA. This was a paramilitary organization designed for defence of Nazi Party meetings and attacks on its political opponents. It formed the workforce for Nazi political activity in the lead up to the takeover of power in 1933. Despite its pivotal role until 1934, when it was purged and rendered politically powerless by Hitler, the SA has been surprisingly understudied by historians.
Wilfred von Oven's Nazism was linked with the career of Josef Goebbels, both as propaganda minister and as Nazi party regional leader of Berlin in the early 1930s. Von Oven's experience was of the SA in Berlin, perhaps the most extreme of the SA branches. The book is most valuable when it recounts von Oven's own experiences in the SA, his own views at the time and his personal encounters with Goebbels.
This fascinating history is an unapologetic defence of the SA against postwar revelations – the author presents a strongly pro-SA point of view. Von Oven remained unrepentant to the end: indeed, not long before his death he described his experience of Nazi rule as 'paradise'.
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