SA Members Arrest Communists in Berlin on the Day after the Reichstag Elections (March 6, 1933)
There was resistance to the growing National Socialist movement even before Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor. It mostly took the form of street fighting and beer hall brawls between members of the SA (also known as Brownshirts), and Communists, Social Democrats, and members of other left-wing or militant groups. After using the "Reichstag Fire Decree" to practically abolish basic civil rights, Hitler began subjecting his political opponents – whom he depicted as "Bolshevist" bogeymen – to overt persecution. There are no precise figures on the number of victims involved in this first massive wave of violence, but according to the most conservative data, the Nazis arrested at least 100,000 political opponents in 1933 alone, and of those arrested, 600 died. The German Communist Party leadership, however, put those estimates at 130,000 and 2,500, respectively.
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz