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Heinrich Himmler book research | from the John Horne Collection

A Gallery of Unpublished Original Photographs of Ernst Röhm, the SA Stabschef, 1933-1934, and other top Nazis

Ernst Röhm was the chief of staff of Hitler's brownshirt Sturmabteilung, the SA, until the purge known as the Night of the Long Knives, June 30, 1934. Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring, and the German army conspired to rid themselves of this dangerous former army officer, who commanded by then a two-million strong army of disgruntled Brownshirts. Röhm was arrested by Hitler personally on the night of June 30, 1934, and shot on the orders of Himmler and Göring in his Stadelheim prison cell, Munich.

These often candid photographs are the only surviving set of original 5x7 inch prints of 640 negatives. Every negative of about thirty rolls of Leica film has apparently been printed. The negatives are now lost. These prints are in pristine condition. Röhm himself is seen in both uniform and plain clothes, relaxing , and reviewing parades, often with his nemesis the SS chief Heinrich Himmler, originally his junior, hovering grinning in the rear. Twice, Röhm is seen rather incongruously with a female on his arm (he was a notorious homosexual).

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In detail, this collection of photographs contains::

Six Ilford boxes with approximately 640 5x7 inch (12.7x17.8cm) black and white original photos printed in recent years, all on one occasion, from original Leica negatives. They are evidently one complete collection, as the photos mostly portray Hitler, Himmler, and other notables in company with Ernst Röhm, who figures in about 50% of the pictures; one background has an inscription "Mini" 1933 indicating therefore that the photos were taken 1933-34. Unfortunately there are no captions and few clues to the locations. The photographer may have been an officer on Röhm's staff. Photos include: Hitler, and Himmler; and more rarely Göring, Bormann, Baur (at his Ju52); ski hut, skis, skiing; several candid photos of Röhm in plain clothes; various goodlooking young females; motor cars with registration numbers including 11A-2759 (a sports car with two young females), 11A-19110 (Mercedes, evidently Röhm's), 11A-6827 (Mercedes), 11A-22006 (Mercedes), 1A-24959 with female and child; Strandkorb and female; six Mercedes parked, incl. 11A-20206; 11A-9256(Mercedes); female at wheel of motor boat on lake; officers wait at airport building (Munich?) for Hitler, Lufthansa plane, one officer with Pickelhaube; Biertisch; Röhm smiling, plain clothes, young lady on his arm; Kapelle in uniform; several parades and much saluting; racing car (HA-18617), racing planes; Kradfahrer-Korps; ski jump copmpetition, and landscape which is evidently Garmisch - the Parkhotel Alpenhof [Garmisch Partenkirchen] helps nail it down; Alpine landscapes in snow; group photo, 70 officers with Hitler in center; lakes, boat rides; snowscapes; sunbathing females; Munich parade (opposite Loden Frey store), with Himmler and Röhm; photos of a naked man swimming and climbing out of the pool; Röhm with an adjutant in black uniform; manoeuvres.

We invite readers to identify other officers seen on these sample prints. Use the feedback button on each photo: who are those officers, where are those steps, what is that lake, etc.? We will constantly update the gallery.

The entire set of six boxes of photographic prints will be sold as one unit for £2,000 plus mail charges. High-grade scans of some are available for a £100 fee.

For further information contact

First posted: Monday, March 31, 2008

All photographs are copyright, and permission must be sought from us before any use whatsoever is made of them

Neal Jackson, an expert on Röhm, provides this information, Tuesday, April 1, 2008:

THE main event is the tenth Anniversary of the November Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 (which would place these in November 1933): Hence all the prominent party members. the "steps" are of the Feldherrnhalle (the Lions are a big give-away - see below). Note that none of the SA or SS men sports the ceremonial dagger designed by Röhm and issued to the SA leaders and ranks from December 1933 onwards.

Nearly all the pictures are of Munich and its environs and the southerly lakes. Röhm lived in a rented house close to a lake, Starnberger See. I believe that his landlady is the young woman posing arm in arm with Röhm; she looks identical to the woman in the picture I have.