The pernicious myth that the Brown-shirted Stormtroopers (Sturmabteilung or SA) of the National-Socialist Movement were “violent thugs” is a popular political slander, concocted by disingenuous “historians” from half-truths, while neglecting inconvenient facts.


It is true that the National Socialists participated in their fair share of brawls, however, they were comparatively much less violent than the other para-military formations of the “Left-Wing” parties. At most, they could be just as violent, but certainly no more than was typical at this particular time in history.

The myth is not so much of the violence itself, but of the alleged one-sided violence that is ascribed only to the National Socialists, while the violence of other political movements is routinely ignored for the sake of presenting a politically white-washed image of left-wing groups as merely on the “defensive” rather than an autonomous political force with goals of their own. This is despite, for example, the self-styled image of the German Communist Party (KPD) as fierce political revolutionaries, inspired by their Russian counterparts who themselves had participated in a violent revolution starting in 1917. For the sake of cleansing the history of the KPD of all possible blemishes, the Communists in Germany are presented not as they were and saw themselves to be, that is, as revolutionaries with a vendetta against the state and its democratic institutions;[1] but instead as mild-mannered, sensible and almost inherently non-violent, which couldn’t be further from the truth. One would have to forget the Communist tradition of violent political action, and the Marxist philosophy which justifies it, in order to believe such a thing. Such a pacifistic view doesn’t align with the sacrosanct political doctrines and images of Communism’s leading political figures whom the KPD idolized: Lenin, Stalin etc.[2]

To give us a glimpse into who was more likely to be responsible for violent clashes just before the ascent of the National Socialists to power, we can see from statistics gathered by the Prussian ministry of the interior that “acts of terror” were largely the result of Communist and other assorted left-wing agitation, whereas the National Socialists were still present but by no means as rowdy as is commonly maintained. From this ministry report we read that cases of terror documented in Prussia a few months prior to the November 1932 election, excluding Berlin, showed that from 1 June to July 20, 1932, in 322 recorded cases of street terror, there were 72 deaths and 497 seriously injured. Those responsible were Communists in 203 cases, National Socialists in 75 cases, and members of the Reichsbanner (a para-military formation dominated of Germany’s Social Democrats) in 21 cases.[3] Those responsible for the remaining 23 cases are unknown. Violence clearly wasn’t a one sided affair.

It’s also a fact that the Prussian police regularly seized more weapons from the Communists, and much more frequently than they did from the National Socialists.[4] The Reich ministry of the interior had built up twelve volumes of files containing information purely on weapons and explosives seized from the KPD.[5] The intentions of what the Communists planned to do with all these weapons and explosives isn’t hard to guess. The Communists obviously had just as much a penchant and capability for violence, and probably more so considering the demands for violence that their Marxist ideology made of them. One has to wonder, are these truly men worthy of the political martyrdom and moral uprightness they’re today bequeathed by the academic establishment who constantly rattles on about how the National Socialists had terrorized the ‘poor Communists’? I don’t think so. It is hard not to appreciate the irony of Marxists complaining about the excesses of revolution.

When discussing these topics, establishment historians do so from a disingenuous perspective. Despite fancying themselves as impartial and reliable in contrast to revisionist historians who they claim are politically motivated and thus unfit to write history, they themselves consistently show how unprofessional and hypocritically partisan they are, particularly in their reverence for Communist thugs whom they have decided are worthy martyrs. Two examples of this will suffice to illustrate the point. First, the highly acclaimed Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw wrote in the preface to a book he authored in the early 1980s that his “admiration for the courageous minority – overwhelmingly communist workers – who fought uncompromisingly against the Nazis, usually paying the price in liberty and even life, is boundless.”[6] Kershaw thus devalues any possibly objective historical judgement with this comment. Highlighting the working-class nature of the Communists he admires seems an odd thing to do, as it implies that he’s ignorant of the fact for a decade at the time his book was published it was widely known that at least one-third of members comprising the NSDAP were people from working-class backgrounds.[7] In fact, in some parts of Germany by 1933, 40 percent or more of the National-Socialist party membership was made up of workers,[8] and even more generally “complex analysis of voting data has shown that some 40 percent of Nazi voters were from the working class, and this same percentage appeared in Nazi Party membership figures. Amongst the brown-shirted SA, this figure rose to 60 percent.”[9] The famous American journalist William L. Shirer observed during his time living in the Third Reich that most of the organized German workers, “with few exceptions, had not becomes Nazis.”[10] Thus, the NSDAP was just as important in politicising and organising working class support as the traditional “workers” parties. Hence, to latch on to the fact that the Communists were working-class as if this were a unique and laudable asset making them righteous is unwarranted.

It’s also worth mentioning that, when the Berlin SA grew from 60,000 to 110,000 men between January and November 1933, easily 70% of these new recruits were former Communists.[11] This is illustrating the rather uncomfortable fact that Kershaw’s admiration for these Communist bullyboys was probably also for the Nazis themselves! Unless, of course, Kershaw is limiting his admiration for the truly militant and hard-line Communist radicals, not those whom he might shrug off as youthful and ignorant political grifters, which was probably also the case.[12] This nonetheless doesn’t do him any favours, for he then must inadvertently admit his political sympathies for the worst of the worst of the Communist rabble. Such people were most certainly not upholders of “liberty”, and were, if they had their way, going to deprive all their political opponents of that same liberty Kershaw seems to covet. Why, then, should the Communists receive any such sympathy when, for the same reasons for which Kershaw reprimands the National Socialists who deprived their political opponents of “liberty,” the Communists have done the same, as we’ve seen in practise around the world? Would establishment historians such as Kershaw honour the sacrifices of those same “Nazis” had they been on the receiving end of the harsh revolutionary terror of the repressive Communist monolith? Probably not.

The second historian to undermine his own objectively is the recent author of a book on the National-Socialist Stormtroopers, Daniel Siemens, who writes that it was his aim “to do justice to all those who directly experienced SA violence between the early 1920s and 1945.”[13] With an attitude like that, one can raise many interesting questions; one such question is: how can a person speak of justice at all, if political orientation is key for determining who deserves justice in the first place? Surely, such persons cannot claim to have written a balanced, impartial book when arbitrarily deciding to put certain segments of the population they are writing about in a position where they are unable to be considered perpetrators, and where others are incapable of being considered victims.[14] There is no justice in this self-serving dichotomy Siemens has concocted. Why should anyone take him seriously? How can anyone be obliged to take at their word historians such as Kershaw and Siemens who so blatantly absconded from the duties entailed by engaging in historical research that demands impartiality to reach fair conclusions? How can we listen to them while these same people ridicule revisionists for alleged nefarious political motives? We simply cannot.

Contemporary research conducted by mainstream academics is not as objective as it claims to be. It is manipulative, albeit not wholly incorrect, yet nonetheless misleading. When one gets down to brass tax, the numbers themselves display a picture that is much less dramatic and more reasonable.

Violence perpetrated by the National Socialists can be seen in the context of a successful campaign for the movement to gain recognition on the street, usually in cities that were overwhelmingly represented by their political rivals, in which the National Socialists were a minority, and thus had to respond forcefully according to the atmosphere of the time to gain a foothold in the political scene.[15] So, when the National Socialists embraced violence, it was to prompt a political breakthrough for the NSDAP from the periphery of politics, which would show Germans who weren’t politically active that there was a contingent of the population who would fight for German interests, and against the injustice their nation had been saddled with. It was this message that resonated with Germans, which can be evidenced by the fact that the NSDAP, more so than any other party, was able to mobilise unprecedented support from non-voters. In both the September 1930 and July 1932 elections, the NSDAP gained, as one historian writes, “the lion’s share” of first-time voters, which coincided with growth in the SA. The same historian writes that “one might ask whether the SA’s recruits were converts from rival organisations or whether it, too, attracted many of the previously unaffiliated.” This was confirmed by statistics gathered on members of the SA.[16] The NSDAP was not only extremely successful at mobilising fresh support, but also at recruiting from their political rivals (mainly the KPD), while also being the least likely to lose members to other political movements. And whereas the violence of the SA was mostly directed at their political opponents who were also willing to engage in brawls, the violence of the KPD was primarily directed at the representatives of the state order.[17] This is contrary to what one expects when all that’s heard is how the “wicked Nazis” were trying to destroy German democracy. This, however, was a fact that Hitler didn’t deny. During his 1932 campaign trail, he openly admitted that the NSDAP was not a parliamentary party, and had no intention of preserving democracy, thus nobody could honestly claim to have been deceived by Hitler.[18] When the Third Reich came, everyone could have had some idea of what to expect, for it didn’t come out of the blue to blindside the German people. And although Hitler’s aims may have been “undemocratic”, despite what may be believed, they were certainly not illegal.[19]

Political violence perpetrated by the National Socialists, due to its highly selective nature, was not unpopular among the masses of Germans who weren’t committed Communists or Social Democrats. In fact, as one prominent historian of the Third Reich admits, if the violence was “targeted at the ‘Reds,’ they often approved of it – even ‘respectable’ sections of society which decried the breakdown of ‘order’ in public life.”[20] An example from the ancient German city of Braunschweig (Brunswick) on March 11, 1933, can be mentioned here. According to another historian, “the SA held its customary band concert in the city center, attracting large crowds. The tunes set in motion the macabre dances of the Nazis; suddenly, according to one (small-town) newspaper account, ‘large numbers of the crowd, including women, poured down Schuhstrasse’ and with a ‘wild hello,’ the ‘hello’ of the new masters, smashed in the show windows of the big department stores. Thereafter, Nazi rowdies scattered across the city to beat up socialists and Jews.”[21] Barring any possible criticisms that could or couldn’t be levied at this rather lurid description of how this event unfolded, the author goes on to remark that, despite this, “greater violence did not keep members of the audience from standing to applaud the Nazis for restoring order in the city.”[22] Which, if one thinks about it for a moment, is rather remarkable. If the crowds of regular Germans were applauding the National Socialists, they certainly couldn’t have been under the impression that they were being “terrorized”. Terror, therefore, can hardly serve as an explanation for why Germans embraced National Socialism, or how they experienced the Third Reich.

After the “Night of the Long Knives” in June 1934, the German people were still not under the impression that they were being “terrorized,” despite how such events are usually portrayed. In fact, after this event, many secret reports that observed the mood of the population remarked that Hitler’s popular reputation had exploded – he is “not only admired; he is deified,” read one report.[23] And of course, even this incident was specifically targeted at elements within Germany who were a danger to the stability of the country, and not the German people as a whole, 95 percent of whom “lived relatively securely and fairly undisturbed under the Nazi regime.” This great majority was “never even remotely endangered by state repression.”[24] These facts are not what one expects to hear when discussing the Third Reich, yet they must be heard and accepted, for one cannot explain the flexibility and endurance of the regime without them.

Even when the National Socialists assumed power in January 1933, the brief period of lawlessness which ensued did not entail an excessive amount of violence. In that year alone, mainstream historians estimate that anywhere from 500-1000 political opponents (mainly Communists and Socialists) of the NS-Regime lost their lives.[25] Yet, when one considers the lives lost on the side of the National Socialists in clashes with the Communists and other left-wing militants in previous years, one can really only marvel at how comparatively restrained the National Socialists were. Dr. Kerry Bolton was surely right when he wrote:[26]

“The fighting between the Nazis and the Reds was a bloody affair. Even the police casualties (1928-1932) from Communist violence resulted in 11 dead and 1,121 injured. Over the same period the Nazi casualties from Red violence were 128 Nazis killed and 19,769 injured. That SA vengeance resulting in perhaps 1,000 dead Communists seems remarkably restrained given the years of conflict.”

Much has also been said about the early concentration camps, but even here, despite excesses that probably occurred and figures that went unreported as a result, the numbers of political opponents arrested and detained in the 1933-34 period was, from what we do know, considerably marginal, and after this early period, it was absolutely negligible. Martin Broszat, the former director of the Munich-based Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute of Contemporary History), the official German body representing government research on the National-Socialist period since 1949, commented that, “compared with the dimensions to which the concentration camps grew in the second half of the war, their importance before 1939 may seem small and almost inoffensive.”[27] Indeed, the facts thoroughly bear this out.

Statistics on “Nazi Violence”.

The highest number of arrests for this early period is estimated to have been around 100,000 people, mainly Communists and other assorted Marxists out of a population of some 60 million Germans. However, this figure is confounded by the fact that a person taken into custody may only have been jailed for a single day, or even just a few hours. At other times, former detainees were released and then arrested again, thus the figure of 100,000 doesn’t represent 100,000 unique individuals.[28] The number of those actually detained in a concentration camp was even lower, anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 in this period.[29] By the end of 1934, there were no more than 3,000 inmates in the five camps that were operational. This figure rose slightly in 1936 to 4,761.[30] At this point in time, Hitler himself even considered closing all the camps for good, but Himmler talked him out of it.[31] On December 31, 1938, the number of concentration camp inmates had risen to 12,921. One third of this number was comprised of political prisoners, leaving their share at around 4,300 in a population that had risen to 80 million after the Anschluss of Austria and the return of the German Sudetenland. Thus, at the end of 1938, the percentage of political prisoners in the Third Reich was a measly 0.0000538%.[32]

When one considers the statistics as they’ve been laid out here, whatever their limitations and whatever side they err to in the realm of degrees, it cannot be denied that in the larger picture “Nazi Terror” was in the grand scheme of things not all-pervasive either in terms of victims, or the ripple effect it may have had on German society as a whole. It was certainly no more violent than one could expect a Communist revolution in Germany to be, had the KPD been in the position of the NSDAP. In terms of violence, historically, the National-Socialist revolution is trivial in comparison.

Historians, despite the statistical facts which put into perspective the extent of violence, nevertheless focus more on the lurid details of individual cases of violent excesses to make their “climate of fear” argument seem all the more impressive, but it cannot help but fall short in light of the big picture. When one zooms out, the clarity is undeniable, the truth much more impressive and enlightening.

More could be said, yet I think it will be just enough to remark about how even hostile historians have to “give the devil his due”. They’re forced to admit that “it’s an undeniable fact that from June 1934 on the brutalities [of the regime] did more or less disappear from the public scene.”[33] Another, less-begrudging concession can be found by another mainstream historian who stated that “most Germans had little reason to think of the Third Reich as particularly sinister. It was possible to live in Germany throughout the whole period of the dictatorship and perhaps witness an incidence of state repression on no more than two or three occasions in twelve years.” In fact, “National Socialism did not terrorize the German population into submission.”[34] Many other historians corroborate these facts to one degree or another, sometimes inadvertently.

It’s also worth pointing out that the National-Socialist revolution was in fact the least bloody revolution the world has ever seen.[35] This was a fact the National Socialists themselves were quite proud of, and which the hostile foreign press attempted to vigorously dispute.[36] A denial of this fact has been commonplace in political and historical discourse ever since. Yet with all the facts behind it, this conclusion cannot possibly be denied.


Notes and References

For the full archival references, see: Michael Grandt, Adolf Hitler: Eine Korrektur, Volume 2 (Reval-Buch, 2020), pp. 141, 143, 145.

[1] In this vein, the “programme of the Communist Internationale” of 1928 spoke of “Such mass action” that “includes… the armed rising against the government authority of the bourgeoisie. The highest form of the struggle follows the rules of warfare, and necessitates as a preliminary plan of campaign an offensive character in the fighting and unlimited devotion and heroism on the part of the proletariat.”; quoted from: Adolf Ehrt, Communism in Germany (Berlin: Eckart-Verlag, 1938), pp. 9. This book reproduces and quotes from many Communist sources as the basis for its information. It cannot be regarded as mere “propaganda” in the pejorative sense. However, if this isn’t convincing enough, the “First Grand Criminal Chamber of the Münster Regional Court” declared on November 30, 1931 that the KPD was “in the eyes of the justice system” a “dangerous military organisation which prepared its members for armed insurrection” and utilised “methods of sabotage.”, see: Christian Striefler, Kampf um die Macht: Kommunisten und Nationalsozialisten am Ende der Weimar Republik (Berlin: Propyläen-Verlag, 1993), pp. 223. Also, Michael Grandt, Adolf Hitler: Eine Korrektur, Volume 2 (Reval-Buch, 2020), pp. 126-127.
[2] To see how German Communusts idolized Stalin, see: Andreas Engwert, Huberts Knabe (eds.), Der rote Gott: Stalin and und die Deutschen (Lukas-Verlag, 2018).
[3] Heinrich Bennecke, Hitler und die SA (München: Ozlog-Verlag, 1962), pp. 189.
[4] Rolf Kosiek & Olaf Rose (eds.), Der Grosse Wendig: Richtigstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte: Volume 1 (Tübingen: Grabert-Verlag, 2006), pp. 319.
[5] Grandt, op. cit., p. 127.
[6] Ian Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich: Bavaria 1933-1945 (Claredon Press, Oxford, 1983), pp. viii.
[7] One third of the party was made up of workers in 1932-33, see: Max H. Kele, Nazis & Workers: National Socialist Appeals to German Labor, 1919-1933 (The University of North Carolina Press, 1972), pp. 215. This is in line with the official NSDAP Partei-Statistik, which showed that by January 1933 the working class accounted for one-third of total party membership. Although these statistics have still been criticized: Detlef Muhlberger, “The Sociology of the NSDAP: The Question of Working-Class Membership,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 15, No. 3 (Jul., 1980), pp. 494ff. It must be kept in mind that the NSDAP had in general a much broader social base than the KPD or SPD, as it saw itself as a Volkspartei (People’s Party) for all members of the German Volk, rather than a class-based party. Significant support from the working classes for the NSDAP and working-class representation among the party itself is an unassailable fact; this has most-recently and comprehensively been shown by Jürgen W. Falter, Hitlers Parteigenossen: Die Mitglieder der NSDAP 1919-1945 (Campus-Verlag, 2020).
[8] Muhlberger, ibid., p. 504.
[9] Martyn Whittock, A Brief History of the Third Reich: The Rise and Fall of the Nazis (Robinson, 2011), pp. 89.
[10] William L. Shirer, The Nightmare Years 1930-1940 (Little, Brown & Company, 1984), pp. 148.
[11] Conan Fischer, Stormtroopers: A Social, Economic and Ideological Analysis 1929-35 (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1983), pp. 57-58.
[12] Fischer notes: “The enormous turnover in membership that the Communist movement had experienced before Hitler came to power leaves the historian hard put to define precisely who among the new recruits to the Nazi movement during 1933 were or were not former ‘Communists’. Most of the KPD’s members had been relative newcomers who were often politically uneducated, and some hint of the problems this created for the Communist movement after Hitler’s takeover are found in the contemporary observation that ‘weaklings in our ranks capitulated’, or in the subsequent assessment that ‘many… who had only recently joined… fell away and did not renew contact with the movement’.” – Conan Fischer, The German Communists and the Rise of Nazism (London: Macmillan, 1991), pp. 190.
[13] Daniel Siemens, Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts (Yale University Press, 2017), pp. xxxvi-xxxvii.
[14] The “Battle of Coburg” is a perfect example of how mainstream historians utilise this dichotomy in the service of their sordid political outlook by seeking to negate the responsibility of the Marxists for inciting and starting a violent confrontation with the SA, clearly displaying their lack of political tolerance and refusal to allow their opponents the liberty to express their views. Justice wasn’t served by the historian in this instance, and instead the National Socialists, purely due to their political ideology, have been framed by the historical establishment. See: R.H.S. Stolfi, Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny (New York: Prometheus Books, 2011), pp. 254ff. Kershaw, ever the uncharitable and disingenuous actor, contradicts his stance on liberty by admitting the Marxists provoked the violence at Coburg, but cleanses them of responsibility on the basis that violence never would’ve occurred had the National Socialists not exercised their civil liberties in the first place. (Stolfi, p, 259). If it had been the National Socialists terrorizing Communists in a predominantly National Socialist area, we can predict that Kershaw would not be so quick to use this argument to absolve the ‘Nazis’. So much for the belief in political freedom.
[15] The National Socialists in the largest Prussian cities were overwhelmingly outnumbered by supporters of the KPD and SPD. Ibid., p. 260ff. And as the Battle of Coburg shows us the Reds weren’t willing to allow peaceful demonstrations by their political enemies to go on without interruption. The statistics gathered by the Prussian police thoroughly bear this out as well; see Grandt, op. cit., p. 141.
[16] Fischer, Stormtroopersop. cit. p. 55.
[17] Kosiek & Rose, op. cit., p. 319.
[18] German historian H.W. Koch writes that “As late as 27 July 1932, Hitler made a speech in Eberswalde in Brandenburg which was filmed by the NSDAP and widely used after Hitler had become chancellor in the election campaign of February and March 1933. In this speech, Hitler warned his opponents against comparing him with themselves; the NSDAP was not a parliamentary party and would never be one. On the contrary, he saw it as his main task to sweep out of Germany the 34 or so parties then existing in the country. Nor was there anything unconstitutional about this aim. The Weimar Constitution had made no provisions for political parties, and they were not anchored in the constitution.” H.W. Koch, “1933: The Legality of Hitler’s Assumption of Power”, Aspects of the Third Reich (Macmillan, 1985), pp. 45.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris (London: Allen Lane, 1998), pp. 409.
[21] Peter Fritzsche, Hitler’s First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich (New York: Basic Books, 2020), pp. 149.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Volker Ullrich, Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939 (London: The Bodly Head, 2016), pp. 471.
[24] Ulrich Herbert, “National Socialist and Stalinist Rule: Possibilities and Limits of Comparison”, in Manfred Hildemeier, (ed.), Historical Concepts between Eastern and Western Europe (Berghahn Books, 2007), pp. 13, 17.
[25] Historian Frank McDonough revises the inflated figure of 7,000 given by the former chief of the Gestapo Rudolf Diels to 1,000. See: Frank McDonough, The Gestapo: The Myth and Reality of Hitler’s Secret Police (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2015), pp. 21. Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw estimates a lower figure at 500-600 casualties. See: Kershaw, op. cit., p. 501. And, Siemens, op. cit., p. 124-125. McDonough, in the first volume of his recent two-volume work The Hitler Years,clearly tries to overstate the violence by describing it as an “orgy,” yet nonetheless cites a miniscule figure between 500 and 1000. Insisting that the terror and violence was more grandiose than the numbers and historical context allow doesn’t make it so.
[26] Kerry R. Bolton, “Reconsidering Hitler’s Gestapo”, Inconvenient History, Vol. 8 (2016), No. 3.
[27] Martin Broszat et al., Anatomy of the SS State (London: St Jame’s Place, 1968), pp. 399. Only “after the outbreak of war” did the concentration camps “assume gigantic dimensions.”, Ibid., p. 400.
[28] Geoffrey P. Megargee (ed.), Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945: Vol. 1: Early Camps, Youth Camps, and Concentration Camps and Subcamps under the SS-Business Administration Main Office, Part A: An introduction to the early camps (USHMM, Indiana University Press, 2009), pp. 5. See also Broszat, op. cit., p. 406. Broszat notes that in Prussia between March and April 1933, the number of persons in “protective custody” went from 15,000 to 13,000, showing how quickly and easily the numbers of those arrested could fluctuate. Later, as of July 31, 1933, there was a total of 26,789 people in protective custody in the whole Reich, 55% of which (14,906) were in Prussia out of all 17 individual German states. Ibid., p. 410. This is surely a remarkable show of restraint from the National-Socialist leadership which believed itself to be facing an impending Communist threat.
[29] Megargee, op. cit., p. 5.
[30] For these numbers see Figure 2 in: Nikolaus Wachsmann, Hitler’s Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany (Yale University Press, 2004), pp. 394.
[31] Thomas Childers, The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017), pp. 320-321.
[32] Karin Orth, Das System der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager. Eine politische Organisationsanalyse (Hamburger Edition, 1999), pp. 53, 54, 55. Historische Tatsachen Nr. 92: Geschehen zum Kriegsende (The Barnes Review, 2004), p. 3.
[33] Pierre Ayçoberry, The Social History of the Third Reich 1933-1945 (New York: The New Press, 1999), pp. 17.
[34] Peter Fritzsche, Life and Death in the Third Reich (Harvard University Press, 2008), pp. 81-82. Similarly, another historian recently wrote that “it was still possible for a foreigner to spend weeks in Germany and experience nothing more unpleasant than a puncture.”, Julia Boyd, Travellers in the Third Reich: The Rise of Fascism Through the Eyes of Everyday People (Pegasus Books, 2018), pp. 415.
[35] The obvious fact that the NS-Revolution was the least bloody of all those in recent memory, from the American, French and Russian Revolutions, is pointed out by many historians, for example: Robert Gellately, Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany (Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 12, 59. And Frank McDonough, The Hitler Years: Triumph 1933-1939 (Head of Zeus, 2020), pp. 12.
[36] For example, the Jewish Chronicle on March 17, 1933, in an article titled “Anti-Jewish Terror in Germany,” stated that “As revolutions go, it can be argued that this has been a quiet one with comparatively little bloodshed.”

[This article first appeared on NS Requiem (old version) and later on Inconvenient History. (updated version, which appears here on]