Edmund Heines

Edmund Heines ( Munich , 21 of July of 1897 – Prison Stadelheim , 30 of June of 1934 ) was an official Nazi senior and deputy Ernst Röhm in the Sturmabteilung (SA). 1 He was also a recognized homosexual, something that in principle did not pose a problem within the National Socialist movement. It would be executed during the so-called ” Night of the Long Knives “.

Heines was in life one of the most feared and hated figures among the Nazi leaders. In broad sectors of the population he was known for his brutality and cruelty, as well as his unbridled sadism. 2 British journalist Sefton Delmer commented that in his first meeting with Heines he had felt face to face with a murderer. 3 The British Stephen Henry Roberts described Heines as a “murderer and a sadist,” though not as a perverse person. 4 On the contrary, the Nazi jurist Roland Freisler considered Heines a “hero of the nation”. 5


Heines participated in World War I as Kriegsfreiwilliger , being demobilized in 1918 with the rank of lieutenant. Between 1919 and 1922 he was leader of a unit belonging to Freikorps Roßbach . After assassinating a worker in 1920, he had to flee south.

Career in SA

While in Munich, in December 1922 he joined the Nazi Party and its paramilitary militia, the Sturmabteilung (SA). After the failure of the Munich Putsch in November 1923, Heines was arrested and imprisoned for several months, being released in 1924. After his re-entry to the SA, in a few years he was ascending the structure of the Nazi movement and in 1926 Had risen to the rank of SA-Standartenführer . However, he also forged a terrible reputation among his opponents. The Social-Democratic daily Vorwärts defined it in 1928 as “one of the worst phenomena during the Hitler period in Munich.” 6 In 1929 he was sentenced to a prison sentence for the murder of communist Conrad Pietrzuch, who had been beaten to death by a band of HE thugs led by Heines. The trial had to be repeated on a technical matter, and Heines soon received an amnesty because of the alleged “patriotic” motives that led to the murder of Pietrzuch. 7

In the general elections of 1930 was chosen deputy by the Reichstag. In 1931 he became an associate of the SA leader, Ernst Röhm – which gives him enormous power – and also the SA leader in Silesia. On May 12, 1932 Heines staged an incident when, accompanied by other SAs, he assaulted journalist Helmuth Klotz in the restaurant of the Reichstag. 8 Klotz had deserted from the Nazi party to the SPD and a few months earlier had published some letters of Röhm of strong homosexual thematic. Referring to Fig.

After the appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor and the seizure of power by the Nazis , 26 of March of 1933 Heines was appointed chief of police of Breslau ; In addition, this position made him responsible for the Breslau-Dürrgoy concentration camp , which Heines almost became a real private property. 10 Among its first victims were the Social Democrats, and particularly Paul Löbe , former president of the Reichstag , whom Heines had his men (without even knowledge of the Gestapo and the Nazi authorities) seized in revenge because Löbe had excluded him from the parliament in 1932. 11

Night of the long knives

At the end of June 1934 Hitler told the leaders of the SA to meet in the spa town of Bad Wiessee , where a few days later they would meet him for a meeting. In reality, this was a trap hatched by Hitler and his main collaborators with whom they hoped to dismiss the SA once and for all, which would later be called ” Night of the Long Knives .” At dawn on 30 June, motorized columns of police, SS and Gestapo agents arrived at Bad Wiessee, 12 accompanied by Hitler himself. According to Erich Kempka , one of the men present in the raid, the SS found Heines in bed, with an 18-year-old SA soldier. Goebbels would emphasize these data in later propaganda to justify purging as a blow to immorality. 13 Heines would be immediately arrested, taken to the Stadelheim Prison , and shortly after being shot along with other leaders of the SA.


  1. Back to top↑ Lothar Machtan, John Brownjohn (2001). The Hidden Hitler , Oxford: The Perseus Press, p. 111
  2. Back to top↑ Walter Tausk (1988). Breslauer Tagebuch 1933-1940 . Siedler Verlag: Berlin, p. 83
  3. Back to top↑ Sefton Delmer (1962). Die Deutschen und ich . Nannen: Hamburg, p. 110
  4. Back to top↑ Stephen Henry Roberts (1938). Das Haus, Hitler baute . Dear, Amsterdam, pp. 162
  5. Back to top↑ Bernhard Sauer (2004). Schwarze Reichswehr und Fememorde . Metropol-Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 3-936411-06-9 , p. 283
  6. Back to top↑ Irmela Nagel (1991). Fememorord und Fememordprozesse in der Weimarer Republik . Böhlau Verlag: Köln, ISBN 3-412-06290-1 , p. 245
  7. Back to top↑ Eugene Davidson (1997). The Making of Adolf Hitler: The Birth and Rise of Nazism , University of Missouri Press, pp. 333-334
  8. Back to top↑ Herbert Linder (1995). Von der NSDAP zur SPD. Der Politische Lebensweg des Dr. Hemuth Klotz (1894-1943) , Universitätsverlag Konstanz, ISBN 3-87940-607-3 , p. 174
  9. Back to top↑ Burkhard Jellonnek (1990). Homosexuelle unter dem Hakenkreuz. Die Verfolgung von Homosexuellen im Dritten Reich . Schöningh, Paderborn, ISBN 3-506-77482-4 , p. 67
  10. Back to top↑ Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (2005). Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager . CH Beck: München, ISBN 3-406-52962-3 , p. 84
  11. Back to top↑ Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (2005). Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager . CH Beck: München, ISBN 3-406-52962-3 , p. 85
  12. Back to top↑ Alan Bullock (1958). Hitler: A Study in Tyranny . New York: Harper, p. 166
  13. Back to top↑ Ian Kershaw (1999). Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris . New York: WW Norton & Company, p. 514.