Jacques Delarue and Rächer Rohm

Over the summer I was reading Jacques Delarue’s The Gestapo: A History of Horror.

Delarue writes about the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler had SA leader Ernst Röhm murdered. Delarue then goes on to claim that afterward there was a series of revenge killings carried about SA supporters of Röhm,

During the latter months of 1934 and the beginning of 1935 unknown killers murdered nearly 150 S.S. leaders. On the corpses was pinned a little card bearing the initials “R.R.” (this meant Rächer Rohm, the avengers of Rohm). They were probably carried out by an underground group of S.A. who had remained faithful to their former chief, but apparently the Gestapo was never able to identify them.

The problem with this is that, as far as I can tell, Delarue is the only source for this claim of fairly large scale killing of SS members. It is easy to imagine a handful of murders of SS officers going unmentioned, but an organized campaign that resulted in the deaths of 150 SS? Doesn’t seem likely.

This sounds like an urban legend or a case where a real incident has been conflated into a much larger event.

Anyone know if this really happened or if Delarue simply exagerrated or fell for an urban legend?

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One thought on “Jacques Delarue and Rächer Rohm”

  1. “The problem with this is that, as far as I can tell, Delarue is the only source for this claim of fairly large scale killing of SS members”

    It’s not – see “Der SS-Staat” by Eugen Kogon.

    “Der innere Ring der Angehörigen des SD war nur der Führung bekannt; im grossen äusseren Ring wussten sie meist voneinander nichts. Als die “Rächer Röhms” in der zweiten Hälfte des jahres 1934 und Anfang 1935 an die 155 SS-Führer ermordeten – jede Leiche trug einen angehefteten Zettel mit dem Zeichen RR – wurde die Anonymität noch wesentlich verschärft.”

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