Concurrent with the arrest of Ernst Rohm on 30 June 1934, and the subsequent purge of his supporters from leadership positions in the SA, Viktor Lutze became the new SA Stabschef (Chief of Staff). His most immediate task on assuming this post was to try and limit the loss of public prestige and political influence sustained by the SA as a result of its close association with the now disgraced Rohm.
To best support his efforts to accomplish this daunting task, Lutze promptly developed and implemented a significantly revised table of organization for the SA from that previously utilized by the organization during the tenure of Ernst Rohm. Completely abandoning Rohm's vision of a "Peoples Militia" role for the SA, Lutze's program alternatively focused on reorganizing the SA's more than two million (2,000,000) members in a manner that would better suit its ability to simultaneously pursue two co-equal strategic objectives.
The first of these was for the SA to cease development of any serious active combat capacity, in favor of becoming a regular major participant in the pre induction military training of German youth at the local level. The second objective was for the SA to pursue an aggressive program of reclaiming its reputation with the German public by assuming a more high profile role in the day to day civilian social welfare programs constantly being operated by the NSDAP.
Despite his many years of faithful membership in the SA, as well as his sincere solidarity on
a personal level with the complaints articulated by many of its members, Stabschef Lutze's
greater loyalty, as a long time (alte kampfer) party member, was to the principles espoused by the NSDAP and Germany's National Socialist Government through the leadership of Der Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler.
Consistent with that perspective, Lutze believed that the only way the SA would be able to reclaim its previous position of influence and dignity with the German public, as well as its former political clout within the NSDAP, would be through a constant repudiation of Rohm's "treason", as demonstrated by its elimination of all embittered Rohm supporters from its ranks. This purging process would also seek to separate from the SA any members, who either openly or passively, resisted the major change in the operational mission of the SA that Lutze was orchestrating, as a departure from Rohm's dream of an SA "people's militia".
That effort became extremely time sensitivity in the wake of the events of 30 June 1934, since Stabschef Lutze, and his new command team, now only had the months of July and August 1934 to weed out disgruntled SA members, without creating a civil war in the organization before the NSDAP Party Congress scheduled to begin in Nuremberg on 2 September 1934. Anticipating extensive press coverage of that annual event, it was a foregone conclusion that any sign of SA unrest at Nuremberg concerning Rohm could quickly become a major embarrassment and threat to the stability of the National Socialist Government.
ABOVE is a full frontal view of this transition 1934 SA Honor Dagger. While produced as an RZM approved item, it should be noted that this particular dagger exhibits many of the characteristics associated with pre RZM period daggers, to include having Nickel Silver cross guards, dagger fittings, scabbard fittings and a silver eagle inserted in its handle, instead of the silver plated fittings, and aluminum eagle insert, more normally found on RZM period SA daggers. Alternatively, it has a painted scabbard, rather than the anodized finish normally expected to be seen in pre RZM period pieces. BELOW is a poor quality, reverse side photograph of the blade found on this 1934 SA Honor Dagger which does not do justice to its shinny bright steel finish. Despite this limitation, this photo does provide a full view of the script handwritten inscription "In herzlicher Kameradschaft" (in true comradeship), authorized for use by Lutze, followed by his signature. The RZM approval stamp, Maker's Code and SA Group "Mi" designation are all also clearly visible at the far right side of this photograph.