Adolf Hitler Approves Stormtrooper Banner, 1932
In 1932 Germany was in a state of turmoil. Mid the swirling mess in Berlin of political intrigue, rumors and disorder, the S.A., the Nazi stormtroopers, stood out as an ominous presence. In the Spring of that year, many inthe German democratic government came to believe the Brownshirts were about to take over by force. There were now over 400,000 storm troopers under the leadership of S.S. chief Ernst Rohm, an old revolutionary friend of Hitler. Many members of the thug-like S.A. considered themselves to be a true revolutionary army and there were frequent street battles between the Brownshirts and the Communists. This January 25, 1932 document authorizes a flag standard to be named after Arnold Guse, a Stormtrooper who was killed by Communists. The letter is on the stationary of "The National Socialist (Nazi) Party, initialed in red ink by Ernst Rohm, and counter-signed by Hitler with his characteistically tiny signature, "Adolf Hitler." Two years later, Hitler, after becoming convinced that Rohm was planning a coup, had him murdered during "The Night of Long Knives."