Heinrich Himmler Poster


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Overview (5)

Born in Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Died in Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany  (suicide by poisoning)
Birth NameHeinrich Luitpold Himmler
Nickname Reichsheini
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in 1900, Heinrich Himmler was the godson of a Bavarian prince and became an officer cadet during the First World War. Never actually seeing combat, Himmler was discharged at the war's end and went to a technical college, where he majored in agriculture. During the turbulent years of the 1920s in which Germany's economy had been destroyed, Himmler managed to secure work as a chicken farmer and also joined one of the numerous paramilitary groups that had sprouted during that time. In 1923 he participated in the failed attempt by the Nazi Party to take over the Bavarian government (even though he was not yet a member of the party). In 1925, after the Nazis had regrouped, Himmler became a minor member of the Nazi Party in its Central Bavarian Office. Also, at that time, he accepted the position as Deputy Leader of a small group called the SS.

In 1929 Himmler became the Reich Leader of the SS, which at the time numbered less than 200 and was a suborganization of the SA. The SA, commonly known as the brownshirts, was the Nazi paramilitary wing, the group that did the actual dirty work--street fights, attacks against political opponents and outright political murders--of the party. Himmler at once expanded the SS, recruited hundreds of new members and introduced racial screening of members and changed the uniform to the much more familiar black jacket with red armband. In 1934 he orchestrated the destruction of the SA, which both he and Adolf Hitler had feared was becoming too powerful a force within the Nazi party, and many SA officials, from top generals on down to common street thugs, were either tried and executed or murdered outright. His actions secured the position of the SS as an independent group within the Nazi Party. He was made "Reichsfuhrer-SS" and now commanded not only the SS proper, but also the forces of the SD (internal security service) and Gestapo (state security police) as well as the fledging military SS then called the Verfungstruppe (later known as the Waffen-SS). In 1936 Himmler gained total police authority in the country by being named as Chief of German Police, and incorporated all of Germany's regular police forces into the SS. Three years later the Second World War began.

Himmler was the official head of the military Waffen-SS, yet in actuality he had little to do with this organization and left its running to such men as Paul Hausser and Sepp Dietrich. Himmer's most notorious activity during the war was setting in motion the extermination of all European Jews, the so-called "Final Solution", in which wholesale genocide was carried out against groups the Nazis considered "undesirable" or racially inferior, resulting in the murders of more than six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of others, a task that was assigned to the infamous Reinhard Heydrich.

By 1944 Himmler's SS had amassed total security and police authority in Germany, had a large armed force in the Waffen-SS and was also quite wealthy through the exploits of the SS Economics Office. Meanwhile, the concentration and death camps continued to be run by men of the SS Death's Head (Totenkopf) units. As the fortunes of war turned against Germany and Allied forces invaded the country and drew closer to Berlin, Himmler was given further power and appointed a military commander both of the Home Army and a frontline Army Group. His lack of military experience proved embarrassing and he was soon relieved of those duties. Meanwhile, however, he had climbed the political chain and been appointed Reich Minister of the Interior, which put him in line to be Hitler's successor. By 1945, with Germany crumbling under relentless Allied pressure, Himmler was on the brink of mental collapse and began to convince himself that he would be the postwar leader of Germany and Minister of Police for the Allies. He secretly offered to negotiate the German surrender, but Allied commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower flatly turned the offer down, refusing to have anything to do with the hated Himmler or his SS. When Hitler learned what Himmler had done, he stripped the former chicken farmer of all his ranks and titles and ordered his arrest. Himmler, however, still had much of the SS under his control and commanded it up to the end, even though Karl Hanke had been appointed the new Reichsfuhrer-SS.

After the surrender of Germany, Himmler wandered aimlessly about Bavaria until he was captured by the British. During his interrogation, he bit down on a cyanide capsule hidden in one of his teeth and died within seconds. Feared by many but respected by few, it can be argued that Himmler was more a creation of those who worked under him, like Heydrich, Pohl, Dietrich, Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Hausser, than by his own designs. Heinrich Himmler was survived by his wife and daughter Gudrun, who still lives in Germany and has long been suspected of connections with neo-Nazi groups.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Spouse (1)

Margarethe Boden (3 July 1928 - 23 May 1945) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trivia (10)

He was the leader of the SS (Schutzstaffel), which began as Adolf Hitler's personal "Praetorian Guard" and was expanded by Himmler into a ruthless and murderous internal security apparatus that not only ran the concentration camps but also kept an eye on the regular army and even fielded its own military units, the famous Waffen-SS.
One daughter: Gudrun Margarete Elfriede Emma Anna Himmler ( Munich, Germany, 8 August1929-- 24 May 2018, Munich, Germany) married Wulf-Dieter Burwitz .
Was a poultry farmer.
Believed Adolf Hitler was the Messiah, appointed by God to lead Germany back to greatness and its "rightful" role as protector of the Christian faith and the Aryan race.
Adolf Hitler made him the leader of his personal detail, the Schutzstaffel (SS), in January 1929. At that time the SS had only 280 members; by the time the Nazi Party seized power on 30 January 1933, the SS had grown to 52,000 fanatical and devoted protectors of Hitler and National Socialism.
Although he was the mastermind of the Holocaust, Himmler was, oddly enough, remembered by contemporaries as an inconspicuous, even amiable person.
Although forever remembered as the commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS), he actually had nothing to do with the formation of the organization in 1925; he only became Reichsführer-SS in 1929. An associate of Adolf Hitler, Emil Maurice, was the original member #2 of the SS, effectively crediting him with the founding of the SS, and Julius Schreck was its first commander.
In order to avoid being recognized, he shaved off his trademark mustache while attempting to escape from Bavaria after the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany.
Although widely criticized as a military commander in January-March 1945 it is unlikely anyone could have performed successfully at that late stage in the war when Germany lacked an air force, fuel and tanks.
The film Der Vater eines Mörders (1987) ("The Father of a Murderer") is based on the autobiographical novel by Alfred Andersch, who attended the Bavarian school run by Himmler's father (the murderer's father of the title).

Personal Quotes (3)

It's one of those things that is easily said: The Jews will be eliminated. It's simply our policy. We'll do it.
[addressing SS members in 1944 about the extermination of the Jews] Most of you know what it means to see 100 corpses piled up, or 500, or 1000. To have gone through this and--except for cases of human weakness--to have remained decent, that has made us tough. This is an unwritten, never to be written, page of glory in our history.
Islam is a practical and sympathetic religion for soldiers.

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