Have you ever wondered whose idea it was to exterminate all the Jews, or who started the concentration camps? Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s right-hand man, was the main architect of the Holocaust, using elements of mysticism and a fanatical belief in the racist Nazi Ideology to Justify the murder of millions of victims. In his entire lifetime, Himmler coordinated the killing of approximately six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Italians, and millions of Soviet prisoners of war. Heinrich Himmler was born on October 7, 1900 In Munich.
HIS father was Joseph Gebhard Himmler, a secondary-school teacher and principal, and his mother was Anna Maria Himmler, a devout Roman Catholic and attentive mother. Heinrich had one older brother, Gebhard Ludwig Himmler, and one younger brother, Ernst Hermann Himmler. Himmler’s childhood was quite normal for the time. His father and mother were strict but were actively involved in the rearing of their three children. Growing up Himmler struggled in athletics, but did well in his schoolwork. He enjoyed playing chess, harpsichord, stamp collecting, gardening, and other extracurricular activities.
From 1919 to 1922 Himmler studied agronomy and had an apprenticeship on a farm. On July 3, 1928, Himmler married Margarete Siegroth. She gave birth to their first and only child, Gudrun, on August 8, 1929. Himmler adored his daughter, and called her “Puppi” meaning dolly. Margarete later adopted a son although Himmler showed no Interest towards him. Heinrich and Margarete separated In 1940 without seeking divorce. By this time Heinrich was too involved with Nazi activities to be a competent husband and father. Himmler became friendly with a secretary, Hedwig Potthast, who eft her Job In 1941 and became his mistress.
He fathered her two children with her – a son, Heldge, and a daughter, Nanette Dorothea. In 1925, Himmler Joined the SS. The members of the SS were bound by a personal oath of loyalty to Hitler himself. He then became the deputy of the SS in 1927. In 1 929, Hitler appointed him head of the SS, which at that time numbered about 300 men and served mainly as a bodyguard for Hitler. By 1933, Himmler had expanded the SS to 52,000. By 1936, he had consolidated police power in Germany and was named Chief of the German police on June 17 of that year.
A quote from Himmler at the time: “l know there are many people In Germany who feel sick at the very sight of this black (SS) uniform,” said Himmler in 1936. “We understand this and we do not expect to be loved… All those who have Germany at heart, will and should respect us. All those who in some way or at some time have a bad conscience in respect to the Fјhrer and the nation should fear us. For these people we have constructed an organization called the SD (SS security service) and in the same way… the Gestapo (secret state police)… This Just shows how much Himmler believed and had he rest.
Himmler gained only partial control of the uniformed police. The actual powers granted to him with the appointment were those previously exercised in police matters by the ministry of the interior, and not even all of those. It was only in 1943, when Himmler was appointed minister of the interior, that the transfer of ministerial power was complete. Germanys political police forces came under Himmler’s authority in 1934, when he organized them into the Gestapo, as well as Germanys entire concentration camp system.
His brilliance at organization had terrible consequences for the Jews. It was Himmler who made sure that the “cattle” trains ran on time and that each camp was run on business lines so that they paid for themselves and made profits where possible. Ironically, for a man associated with the spilling of so much blood, Himmler himself would nearly faint at the sight of blood. Himmler opened the first of the concentration camps at Dachau on March 22, 1933. At first, the prisoners were mostly opponents of the Nazi government, but by 1938, some 10,000 Jews were interned at Dachau.
As in other Nazi concentration camps, the conditions were deplorable. Prisoners were not only used for forced labor, but for medical experiments by German doctors. Dachau was divided into two areas: the living quarters and the crematorium. Between 1933 and 1945, more than 188,000 prisoners were held at Dachau. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, at least 28,000 people died there, but many more unregistered prisoners were unaccounted for. On April 29, 1945, the concentration camp at Dachau was liberated along with 30,000 surviving inmates by troops from US Third Army.
Himmler wanted to breed a master race of Nordic Aryans in Germany. His experience as a chicken farmer had taught him the basics of animal breeding which he proposed to apply to humans. He believed that he could engineer the German populace, through selective breeding, to be entirely “Nordic” in appearance within several decades of the end of the war. He established the State-registered human stud farm known as Lebensborn, where young girls who were selected for their perfect Nordic traits could procreate with SS men and their offspring would be better cared for than in maternity homes for married mothers.
In October 1939 Himmler old the SS that women, single or married, should, out of patriotic duty, get themselves pregnant by soldiers who were about to go to war. The idea of racial purity and racial excellence came to dominate Himmler’s mind. Unlike Hitler, Himmler inspected concentration camps. In August 1941, he witnessed a mass shooting of Jews in Minsk and was said to have turned green in the face after brain matter from a victim splashed onto his coat. After that the Nazis searched for a new and more expedient way to kill, which brought about the use of the gas chambers. people during a secret SS meeting in the city of Poznan.
His words have been described as “one of the most horrifying testaments in the German language”. The following is an excerpt from his speech: “l also want to mention a very difficult subject before you here, completely openly. It should be discussed amongst us, and yet, nevertheless, we will never speak about it in public. I am talking about the Jewish evacuation: the extermination of the Jewish people. It is one of those things that is easily said. “The Jewish people are being exterminated,” every Party member will tell you, “Perfectly clear, it’s part of our plans, we’re eliminating the Jews, exterminating them, ha! small matter. ”
Unwanted by his former colleagues and hunted by the Allies, Himmler wandered for several days around Flensburg near the Danish border. He attempted to evade arrest by disguising himself as a sergeant major of the Secret Military Police. Heinrich Himmler, the embodiment of police terror, captured by the British under false identity and wearing the uniform of a Werhrmacht sergeant, crunched a phial of potassium cyanide in his prison cell at Luneburg on May 23 as soon as his true identity had been established (Kershaw).
Himmler had been scheduled to stand trial with other German leaders as a war criminal at Nuremberg, but committed suicide before interrogation could begin. Shortly afterwards, Himmler’s body was buried in an unmarked grave on the Luneburg Heath. The precise location of Himmler’s grave remains unknown. Heinrich Himmler may not have been as recognized as Hitler, but that does not mean he was not as involved in the Holocaust as Hitler was. Heinrich Himmler was the main racist Nazi ideology to Justify the murder of millions of victims.