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Ernst Julius Günther Röhm (German pronunciation: [ˈɛɐ̯nst ˈʁøːm]; 28 November 1887 – 1 July 1934) was a German military officer and founding member of the Nazi Party. As one of the first members of its predecessor, the German Workers' Party he was a close friend and early ally of Adolf Hitler and a co-founder of the Sturmabteilung (SA, "Storm Battalion"), the Nazi Party's militia, and later was its commander. By 1934, Hitler had come to see him as a potential rival and some claim he was executed during the Night of the Long Knives. The cause of Roehm's death is controversial. According to an article published in the New York Times on July 1, 1934, Roehm committed suicide.