"the German brownshirts, she said, were exactly the same as the Italian black, only more reliable"
Like Mussolini's Fascist Party, Hitler's Nazi party had a paramilitary wing.

It was known as the Sturmabteilung or SA (usually translated as stormtroopers) and given the name 'brownshirts' because of the type of uniform worn by its members.

The SA lost most of its power and significance in 1934 when many of its members were assassinated by Hitler (during the operation known as the Night of the Long Knives) as Hitler perceived them to be a threat to his own power.

However, a sub-group of the SA known as the Schutzstaffel (SS) which had been established in 1925 as Hitler's personal protection unit increased in power at this time. Under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler they were to be responsible for perpetrating some of the worst atrocities of the Nazi regime.