Definition of night of the long knives in English:

night of the long knives

noun

  • A treacherous massacre or betrayal, especially the massacre of the Brownshirts on Hitler's orders in June 1934.

    • ‘He purged the party of any left-wing ‘socialist’ influence at the end of the 20s and totally blew them out of the water in the early 30s culminating in the murder of Rohm in the night of the long knives.’
    • ‘Other victims of this quadrennial night of the long knives appear to have disappeared completely.’
    • ‘A night of the long knives would be likely if Brown took over, and it's not just the PR men and spin doctors who would go.’
    • ‘Not only has there just been a night of the long knives at the wife's employer (from which she's thankfully escaped - but you wonder for how long) but the desk in the studio has just stopped working.’
    • ‘There were all the signs of a night of the long knives.’
    • ‘It has also been suggested there will be a campaign position for the former finance minister who was culled with other Cabinet figures in the so-called night of the long knives in 2001.’
    • ‘Career diplomats had feared a night of the long knives and the importation of hard-headed, and sometimes neo-conservative, ideologues from Washington think tanks.’
    • ‘People like the Finance Minister were told there would be no night of the long knives.’
    • ‘Then we had this night of the long knives in which five out of six Labour ministers were axed in an act of numpty municipal factionalism.’
    • ‘Those were the nights of the long knives, when frightened people of colour surveyed the shattered windows of their homes, or counted the bruises on their bodies.’
    • ‘Partly because of conservative pressure, Hitler arrested and executed the SA's leadership on 30 June 1934-the night of the long knives.’
    • ‘He has asked me to re-iterate and re-emphasise the commitment we gave prior to the last election that there will be no night of the long knives should he become Prime Minister.’
    slaughter, wholesale slaughter, mass slaughter, wholesale killing, indiscriminate killing
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