The precise number of victims of the Night of the Long Knives is disputed and will probably never be known with certainty. Adolf Hitler claimed in his speech in the Reichstag on July 13 that 61 persons had been shot during "the action", 13 had died resisting arrest and three committed suicide. This understates the number killed. The British historian Richard J. Evans, whose books on the subject have been called "the definitive study for at least a generation," said that at least 85 people were killed, and more than 1,000 were arrested. The noted historian Ian Kershaw, author of a two-volume biography on Hitler, also cites the number of deaths at 85. Kershaw also notes that "some estimates...put the total number killed at between 150 and 200." The journalist and historian William L. Shirer writes in his Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, that "The White Book of the Purge, published by émigrés in Paris claims 401 deaths, but lists only 116 of them. At the 1957 trial in Munich the figure 'more than 1,000' was used." It must be noted that both of those figures are much higher than the ones most historians of the period rely on, and that Shirer himself was not necessarily citing the figures as accurate, but was simply relaying them in his book. Finally, it should be noted that many—but not all—of the victims had some role in bringing Hitler to power.
↑Evans, Richard (2005). The Third Reich in Power. Penguin Group. pp. 39. "At least eighty-five people are known to have been summarily killed without any formal legal proceedings being taken against them. Göring alone had over a thousand people arrested."
↑Kershaw, Ian (1999). Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 517.
↑Shirer, William J. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Simon and Schuster. pp. 221–222.