Ernst Röhm, leader of the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA), Germany, c early1930s. Ernst Julius Röhm (1887-1934) joined the Nazi Party in 1920 and became a close friend and ally of Adolf Hitler. He helped organise the SA, the brown-shirted Nazi paramilitary organisation, and went on to become its leader. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Röhm demanded that the German Army be disbanded and incorporated into the SA. Hitler resisted the demand, not least because he required the support of the ailing German President and former commander of the army, Paul Hindenburg. Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich, head of the SS, a rival to the SA, convinced Hitler that Röhm was planning to move against him, and showed senior army officers falsified evidence of an SA plot against them. Röhm and the rest of the SA leadership were arrested in a purge that became known as 'The Night of the Long Knives' and he was executed in Munch's Stadelheim Prison on 2 July 1934.