SA Stormtroopers Tried for Murder of Alleged Communist in Potempa Hot

SA Stormtroopers Tried for Murder of Alleged Communist in Potempa

SA Stormtroopers, 1930

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Political History

Potempa Murder: The trial of a group of SA men who are accused of murdering a communist sympathizer begins.

As brutal as the attack on Konrad Pietrzuch was, it was not all that remarkable in the overall state of political terror in Germany at this time. Five of the men will be sentenced to death, and Adolf Hitler's expression of solidarity with the convicted criminals becomes a scandal — though if he hadn't, he would have risked alienating the large and very radical SA itself.

Because Hitler refuses to participate in any government that would hand down such sentences, Reich Chancellor Franz von Papen will have the sentences commuted to life imprisonment next month. They will be freed during in a Nazi amnesty in March 1934, which releases people who have been imprisoned for crimes that were committed "for the good of the Reich during the Weimar Republic."

Naturally, that will only apply to Nazis who are in prison — communists who are in prison are left there because communists, like Konrad Pietrzuch, are enemies of the state.

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