Fascism is a political authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to unify their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people through national identity. The unity of the nation is to be based upon suprapersonal connections of ancestry and culture through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of the national community through discipline, [narrowing of the permitted limit of social discourse], physical training, and eugenics. The limiting of the spectrum of acceptable opinion includes the aggressive suppression of dissent. Frequently, fascism seeks to eradicate perceived foreign influences that are deemed to be causing degeneration of the nation or of not fitting into the national culture.
The Night of the Long Knives (German: Nacht der langen Messer (help·info)) or "Operation Hummingbird", was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political executions, most of those killed being members of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary Brownshirts. Adolf Hitler moved against the SA and its leader, Ernst Röhm, because he saw the independence of the SA and the penchant of its members for street violence as a direct threat to his power. Hitler also wanted to conciliate leaders of the Reichswehr, the official German military. They both feared and despised the SA and in particular feared Röhm's ambition to absorb the Reichswehr into the SA under his own leadership. Finally, Hitler used the purge to attack or eliminate critics of his regime, especially those loyal to Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, and to settle scores with old enemies.
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