Heinrich Himmler

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Heinrich Himmler (1942)

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (born October 7, 1900 in Munich , † May 23, 1945 in Lüneburg ) was a German politician of the NSDAP . In the 1920s he made a career as a Reich speaker and party functionary and in 1929 was appointed by Adolf Hitler to head the Schutzstaffel (SS), which at that time was still subordinate to the Sturmabteilung (SA) . During the Nazi era, Himmler succeeded in gaining more and more powers within the Nazi regime for the organization he headed , especially in the years 1934–36, particularly through the so-called Röhm Putsch . This included in particular gaining complete control over the police, the concentration camps and the domestic secret service, as well as the establishment of military associations not directly subordinate to the Wehrmacht ( Waffen-SS ).

As Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police as well as Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Volkstum (from 1939), later also Reich Minister of the Interior (from 1943) and Commander of the Replacement Army (from 1944), Himmler held a position of power, especially during the Second World War , that was only supported by which Hitler's was surpassed. With the help of the SS, the Security Service , the Secret State Police (Gestapo) and other organs under his direct or indirect control, Himmler had established a system of surveillance, arbitrariness and terror with which people under the influence of the Nazi regime were intimidated and controlled , alleged or actual political opponents were persecuted, imprisoned, disenfranchised and murdered. He is one of the main culprits for the Holocaust , the Porajmos , the murder of millions of civilians and prisoners of war as part of his Master Plan East, and for numerous other crimes against humanity .

With his orders in the final phase of the war, Himmler ensured the expansion of terror and vigilante justice even to German civilians and at the same time explored his personal options for a time after Adolf Hitler in a variety of ways. Unauthorized attempts to negotiate with the Western allies , which were rejected by them and made public, led to Hitler removing him from all his offices and titles in his political testament on April 29, 1945 and issuing an arrest warrant against him. While trying to evade arrest by the Allies after the war ended, Himmler was taken prisoner by the British and committed suicide a few days later after his identity had been revealed. His body was buried in an unknown location south of Lüneburg.



Himmler (approx. 7 years old)
Joseph Gebhard and Anna Himmler (standing) with their three children Heinrich (left), Ernst (middle) and Gebhard (right) in a photo from 1906

Heinrich Himmler was the second of three sons of the principal studies director Joseph Gebhard Himmler (born May 17, 1865 in Lindau (Bodensee) ; † October 29, 1936 in Munich) and his wife Anna Maria Heyder (born January 16, 1866 in Bregenz , Austrian Empire ; † September 10, 1941 in Munich). The family came from a bourgeois Catholic Bavarian environment. Heinrich's brothers, Gebhard Ludwig (1898–1982) and Ernst Hermann (1905–1945), later also joined the SS, but did not play a major role in the further history of this organization. The father was the rector of the respected humanistic Wittelsbacher Gymnasium in Munich. Heinrich got his first name after his godfather Prince Heinrich of Bavaria , who was brought up by Gebhard Himmler.

Himmler grew up in an orderly bourgeois family on Amalienstraße 16 in the Maxvorstadt district of Munich . He attended the humanistic Wilhelmsgymnasium in Munich until he was 13 years old. Then the family moved to Landshut , where he continued his high school time at the Humanist Gymnasium Landshut, today's Hans-Carossa-Gymnasium , and graduated in 1919 with the Abitur . He was considered an extremely hardworking student. At the end of the First World War he had completed his officer training, but had not finished it, but had to retire from the army at the end of the war in 1918 without ever having served at the front ( war youth generation ). This appeared to him as a personal flaw. After the DC circuit of the press in the Nazi regime was officially falsely claims that Himmler was at the front.

After the failure of the Munich Soviet Republic , in whose suppression Himmler had participated as a member of the Freikorps Oberland , he studied agriculture from 1919 to 1922 at the Technical University of Munich . On November 22, 1919 he joined the striking black student union Apollo Munich (today: Fraternity Franco-Bavaria Munich ) in the Rothenburg Association of Black Associations (RVSV). He completed his studies with the main diploma examination for farmers. He then worked as a laboratory assistant in a factory for artificial fertilizers in northern Munich until the Hitler putsch .

Himmler had been married to Margarete Boden since July 3, 1928 and had a biological daughter Gudrun (1929–2018) and the adopted son Gerhard von der Ahé (July 28, 1928 - December 2010).

With his private secretary and later lover Hedwig Potthast he had two children, a son, Helge (born February 15, 1942) and a daughter, Nanette-Dorothea (born July 20, 1944). This second marriage corresponded to his family concept since the end of the 1930s, which he saw as legitimate with the reference to a second or peace marriage with the "good-bred, free Teutons" as well as with other SS people, provided that common children were planned.


Gudrun (left) with mother Margarete and father Heinrich Himmler
Himmler with his wife in November / December 1936 in front of the Wiesbaden Kurhaus .
Portrait of Hedwig Potthast, 1933
Hedwig Potthast around 1933

From 1919 to 1923, Himmler was involved in the Catholic-oriented Bavarian People's Party (BVP) , from which he left. Through his membership in the Artamans , Himmler came into contact with the NSDAP , which he joined on August 1, 1923 ( membership number 42,404). On November 9, 1923, in his capacity as a member of Röhm's " Bund Reichskriegsflagge ", he participated in the failed Hitler-Ludendorff putsch .

In early 1924, Himmler joined the National Socialist Freedom Movement (NSFB) Erich Ludendorff . In February 1924 he was their party speaker in northern Bavaria. He also renewed his old contacts with Ernst Röhm and other Freikorps members when he joined the German Völkisch Officers' Union (DVOB) and the Old Reich flag . Himmler belonged to these organizations until 1926.

At the beginning of 1925 his ascent in the NSDAP began . In 1925 he also joined the SA and transferred to the SS on August 8, 1925 (SS No. 168). Until 1927 he carried out numerous full-time party activities, sharpened his anti-capitalist and anti-Semitic rhetoric as a speaker and distinguished himself as an agricultural expert until he was appointed deputy Reichsführer SS in 1927 .

Reichsführer SS

Hermann Göring appoints Himmler as inspector of the Prussian Secret State Police Office, April 20, 1934
Himmler visits the Dachau concentration camp , 1936
Hitler and Himmler look at a captured regimental flag of the Polish army in Poland in September 1939
Himmler as a speaker

Before Himmler became Reichsführer SS in 1929, he held the following positions:

  • 1925: Reich speaker of the NSDAP
  • 1925: Head of NSDAP party propaganda for Lower Bavaria
  • 1925: Secretary of the Lower Bavaria Gauleitung
  • 1926: Gau managing director and deputy Gau leader for Lower Bavaria-Upper Palatinate
  • 1926: Deputy Gauleiter for Upper Bavaria-Swabia
  • 1926: Gau-SS-Führer Niederbayern
  • 1926: Deputy Reich Propaganda Leader
  • 1927: Deputy Reichsführer SS
  • 1927: Member of the staff of the Supreme SA leadership

After Erhard Heiden was deposed as Reichsführer SS, Himmler was appointed to the head of the Schutzstaffel by Adolf Hitler on January 6, 1929 . Between 1926 and 1934, the title “Reichsführer SS” was purely a service position within the SA and initially had no legal significance. This only changed in August 1934.

1933, after the takeover of the Nazis , Himmler was appointed Chief Constable of Munich appointed. In the same year he became a member of the board of trustees of the Dirksen Foundation , which promoted contacts between the traditional elites and NSDAP representatives , expressing "how excellent" and "extremely welcome" he considers this foundation. Furthermore, in 1933 Himmler was one of the founding members of the Academy for German Law . One of the first committees of the Academy for German Law was the Committee for Police Law. There is a photo of a lecture by Himmler to the Police Law Committee, which is printed in Longerich's biography about Himmler. On April 20, 1934 he was appointed head of the Gestapo Office in Berlin by Hermann Göring . On June 30 and July 1, 1934, Himmler and the SS subordinate to him played a major role in the covert disempowerment and murder of the leadership of the SA and other opponents, such as the former Reich Chancellor and General of the Reichswehr Kurt von Schleicher , known as the Röhm Putsch . Himmler, who until then had been Röhm's subordinate, had therefore not exposed himself in preparation for the murders. The fact that he supported the murder of Röhm and Strasser, his two most important supporters within the party, could be interpreted as evidence of his unconditional loyalty to Hitler.

As early as August 23, 1934, Himmler was raised by Adolf Hitler to the post of " Reichsleiter of the NSDAP" (official name: "Reichsleiter SS") in "recognition of his loyalty to the Führer" and the SS was detached from the superordinate SA. With the appointment of Himmler as Reichsleiter, " Reichsführer SS " had become the highest official rank within the SS, and Himmler was only personally responsible to Hitler.

Hitler's decree of June 17, 1936 was the most important step in transforming the police apparatus into an instrument of absolute dictatorship. From now on, in the person of Himmler, the party office of the Reichsführer SS was linked personally and institutionally to the newly created state office of a chief of the German police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior . The decree marked the end of the partially existing police sovereignty of the federal states in favor of the central authority ( making the police available). At the same time, the politically desired process was initiated to separate the centralized police from the Reich Ministry of the Interior through the initiated merger with the SS , to subordinate them to the party functionary Reichsführer SS, who was subordinate to Hitler only , and thus to disenfranchise them. Because Himmler was also appointed Reich Minister of the Interior on August 24, 1943 , Nazi domestic policy and the police were reunited.

Himmler was thus subordinate to the entire police apparatus, consisting of the offices of the Ordnungspolizei , the Secret State Police (Gestapo) and the Reich Criminal Police Office . As Reichsführer SS, he was still subordinate to the Security Service (SD) as an internal party intelligence service. In his new capacity, Himmler was given the same rank as the commanders of the army and navy as well as the Reich ministers and received cabinet rank. This made him one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. Himmler also tried his hand at foreign policy by supporting Mohammed al-Husseini's anti-Jewish activities and giving him space for activities after his escape to Germany.

Himmler was also the driving force behind the persecution of homosexual men under National Socialism and in 1936 founded the Reich Central Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortion as a special department of the police. He also headed the Lebensborn program for the preservation of “Aryan blood” until the last years of the war.

By secret decree, Himmler was also appointed by Hitler on October 7, 1939, "Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Volkstum". In this function he was responsible for the "Germanization" of the occupied territories in Poland . This led on the one hand to the expulsion and murder of the established Polish and Jewish-Polish population and on the other hand to the settlement of so-called ethnic Germans in the occupied territories (especially in the Wartheland ).

Although Himmler was one of the pillars of the Nazi regime, from the summer of 1943 onwards, in an increasingly hopeless military situation, he secretly sought a role for himself and the SS in a Germany after Hitler. He took up explorations to possibly conclude a separate peace with the western allies, but to continue the war against the Soviet Union. Apparently, through intermediaries, Himmler offered his interlocutors to disempower Hitler, while he himself continued to guarantee internal order with the SS. Himmler had a certain knowledge of the resistance movement consisting of officers and conservative politicians around Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Colonel General Ludwig Beck , as can be seen from Ulrich von Hassell's diaries , but did not intervene. One of his interlocutors was the lawyer Carl Langbehn , who arranged a meeting with the Prussian Finance Minister Johannes Popitz on August 26, 1943 - in which Popitz proposed Hitler's removal. Langbehn was arrested a month later, after intercepting a radio message about a trip by Langbehn to Allied representatives in Switzerland, apparently with Himmler's knowledge. Himmler continued to negotiate and (partly with Hitler's knowledge) offered to exchange Jewish prisoners. Himmler's vague knowledge of resistance plans and his opaque contact details cannot be precisely reconstructed due to the lack of documentary evidence; There is only speculation about the motives and seriousness of these activities by Himmler. Peter Longerich only mentions it briefly in his comprehensive biography of Himmler from 2008, while Karl-Günter Cell, in his dissertation on Hitler's doubting elite published in 2010, places this aspect at the center of the argument about growing doubts and distancing himself from Hitler - an approach that, however, is of is rejected by most historians.

As a result of the coup attempt of July 20, 1944 , Himmler became chief of armaments and commander of the reserve army . However, he did not exercise this office himself, but commissioned the head of the SS leadership main office, Hans Jüttner . On August 3, 1944, he gave a speech in front of the Gauleiter in which he explained his (and that of the NSDAP) view of the events of July 20, 1944 and assigned the Wehrmacht all responsibility for the difficult situation. In it he called for a " blood revenge " for all members of the families of the assassins and defended - according to Theodor Eschenburg - his contact with representatives of the resistance.

Contribution to the Nazi Germanic ideology

"Heinrichsfeier" 1938: Himmler lays a wreath at the grave of Heinrich I in the collegiate church in Quedlinburg.

Himmler was confirmed on December 21, 1929 on a "Reichs thing " of the Artamans in Freyburg an der Unstrut as "Gaufführer" of the "Bund Artam" in the Gau Bavaria, an office that he had already been awarded in mid-1928 by Hans Holfelder .

Since 1933, Himmler, together with co-artaman Walther Darré , sought to anchor the SS in Westphalia, because Darré was convinced that there were still more remnants of ancient Germanism there than in other areas of Germany . In 1934 the SS took over the Wewelsburg near Paderborn with a lease . According to Karl Hüser, there was later “no doubt that the SS ideologues [d. i. the time when the castle was built] in the time of King Henry I's defensive battles against the Hungarians or 'Huns' ”.

When in 1935 the city of Quedlinburg asked the highest Reich authorities for support in organizing the celebrations for the 1000th anniversary of Henry I's death on July 2, 1936, Himmler determined in December 1935 that “the SS and the city of Quedlinburg should be the sole bearer of the celebrations on July 2, 1936 July 1936 should be ”. Since the 19th century, Heinrich I has been considered in German national historiography as the most originally Germanic medieval ruler and initiator of eastern colonization . With the establishment of the “ Ahnenerbe ” foundation in 1935, Himmler wanted to find out everything that could be found out and documented about Heinrich's time with little sources. With the death anniversary celebration and the Himmler speech broadcast throughout Germany on the radio, Himmler made the collegiate church of St. Servatius (Quedlinburg) a "national pilgrimage site", in which until 1944 the "Heinrich celebrations" took place every year on July 2nd. In 1938, Himmler founded the "König-Heinrich-I-Gedächtnisstiftung" there, after Heinz Höhne the most important of the Himmler foundations, in which selected "King Heinrich cities" ( Braunschweig , Enger , Fritzlar , Wetzlar , Bad Gandersheim , Erfurt , Goslar , Meißen , Nordhausen , Schleswig , Wallhausen and Quedlinburg) became members. In 1939 the Lord Mayor of Quedlinburg presented Himmler with the “König-Heinrichs-March” composed especially for him. During the war, the Heinrich celebrations took place without Himmler.

Himmler conspicuous reference to Henry I (and generally on the name Heinrich) - he called his special train used since the war began "Heinrich", its close to the Führer's headquarters located field command post also, his operations in Eastern Europe were running for him under the name " program Heinrich "- led to him being called" King Heinrich "in his environment (from which the political joke in National Socialism made the" Reichsheini "). Himmler's lover Hedwig Potthast, whom he regarded - according to alleged old Germanic customs - as a quasi-official "concubine", still spoke of her "King Heinrich" after the war. His friend and chronicler Hanns Johst would have had to write the "Heinrich Saga" from the acts of war.

Peter Longerich sums up Himmler's ideological principles in his Teutonic reception as follows:

“Although his thoughts and actions clearly permeate a certain constant - the leitmotif of the eternal struggle of 'Germanic heroes' against 'Asian' subhumans - this worldview was so general and vague that it applied in very different ways to the respective political situation could crop. This flexibility to combine ideology with power politics was his real strength. "

Another noticeable expression of Himmler's ideas about Germanism was found in his settlement plans , in the terminology of the “ General Plan East ”: Based on the medieval feudal system , the future settlers are called “feudal takers”. Other terms used in this context are "fief", "fiefdom", “fiefdoms and places”, “temporary loan”, “inheritance”, “feudal courts”. The word “fief” as a property lent for use goes back to the old Germanic language and determined the feudal legal and social order of the Middle Ages since the 8th century . The various drafts also mention the settlement areas to be created as “settlement marks” or “imperial marks” “on the forefront of German folk compared to Russian and Asian” (draft of May 28, 1942), with one at the top "Markhauptmann" should come to stand.

Himmler with Karl Wolff at a meeting with Francisco Franco in Spain, October 20, 1940
Subhash Chandra Bose at Himmler's field command post (1942)
Himmler visits
Mauthausen concentration camp with Ernst Kaltenbrunner (far left) in 1941

Behind these outward borrowings from Germanism and what Himmler thought it was, it was about much more to him, namely to create a world explanation model based on history, historical myth, German cult, star observation, star interpretation and reincarnation theory, which “actually is a substitute for religion "Should be in the form of a" Germanic original religion ". However , Himmler never went public with these ideas, for which he relied primarily on the controversial occultist Karl Maria Wiligut at times . Traces are shown today in the Wewelsburg, the expansion of which should be completed by 1964 without the public. Based on Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke's study on the occult roots of National Socialism, Hans Thomas Hakl states: “[...] with Himmler, like with Hess , Rosenberg or Darré (whose occult- folk tendencies are not referred to so often) is in any case true always one thing: the primacy belongs to politics! "

Settlement plans

Himmler's ultimate goal was the creation of a "Greater Germanic Empire", which he characterized in a speech to SS group leaders on November 8, 1938 as follows:

“What Germany has in front of it in the future is either the great Germanic empire or nothing. I have the belief that if we do our duty in this Schutzstaffel, that the leader will then create this Greater Germanic Empire, the Greater Germanic Empire, the greatest empire that was established by this humanity and that the earth has ever seen. "

To this end, Himmler planned “to subject the conquered areas to a gigantic expulsion , resettlement and extermination program. In his perspective, the murder of the Jews was only the first step on the way to a much broader racist 'reorganization'. "This was primarily intended to serve the elaboration of the General Plan East commissioned by him, the realization of which with a border-colonizing " Germanization " was postponed until the Urals until the time after the war and the envisaged victory, after first attempts at settlement under the direction of his "outpost in the east" (Peter Black), Odilo Globocnik , failed in the Zamość action . Himmler would have liked to continue to employ him in the East instead of pushing him on from many sides, because he saw in him someone who was "like no other made for the colonization of the East", as he wrote in a letter to his brother-in-law Richard Wendler on April 4 August 1943 wrote. (See also: Hunger Plan or Agriculture in the German Empire .)

In the run-up to the war against the Soviet Union , Himmler's tasks and powers had been considerably expanded again. In June 1941, immediately before the Russian campaign, Himmler made a secret speech to the SS group leaders in the Wewelsburg, determining its purpose as the decimation of the Slavic population by thirty million. As a result, Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD under the orders of the SS murdered almost one million people in the first summer of the war. In addition to the task forces, the particularly brutal SS special unit Dirlewanger , which Himmler had at the suggestion of Gottlob Berger, who was close to him , set up from legally convicted poachers at the beginning of 1940 stood out. From autumn 1940 she was initially deployed in the General Government in the Lublin area, in 1942 she was relocated to Belarus for the so-called anti-partisan campaign and was instrumental in the suppression of the Warsaw uprising in 1944 , for which Himmler said in a speech on September 21, 1944 that it should be ended as soon as possible, even to deserve the designation “a terrible barbarian”: “Yes, that's me, if it has to.” Because even then it was still about the realization of his Eastern visions: “But then Warsaw, the capital, the head, the intelligence of this former 16, 17 million people wiped out, this people who have blocked the East for 700 years and have stood in our way since the first battle near Tannenberg . Then the Polish problem will no longer be a major problem for our children and for everyone who will come after us. "

The "Greater Germanic Empire" announced in his 1938 speech should have its borders on the Urals. In August 1944, Himmler was still raving in front of Gauleiters in Posen about "our political, economic, human, military tasks in the splendid East". As a young man, after a lecture by Rüdiger von der Goltz , he wrote in his diary on November 21, 1921: “I know that more clearly now than ever, when there is another campaign in the East, I'll go with you. The east is the most important thing for us. The west dies easily. In the east we have to fight and settle. ”“ Siedeln ”is the German word for“ colonize ”. As Himmler explains in the description of Odilo Globocnik as a colonizer, this “settling” included genocide, as committed by Globocnik in Aktion Reinhardt , as a prerequisite. While Himmler already spoke of the murder of the Jews in his Posener speeches in the past tense and presented it to generals on May 5, 1944 in Sonthofen as part of the "dispute with Asia", all settlement plans in the living space in the east had long since been for one time Himmler still postponed the dream of a victory, but in reality it was lost in the war of annihilation .

In his biography of Himmler, Peter Longerich sums up the idea of ​​the Greater Germanic Empire that Himmler had formed as follows:

“The Greater German Reich should not simply be a Greater German Reich enlarged by annexation area, but a qualitatively new, supranational and totalitarian ruling structure that was consistently built on a racial hierarchy. A ruling class made up of members of the Germanic peoples should in future dominate the entire European continent and assign the other European peoples their respective place according to their racial quality: as allies of the new empire, as peoples under its "protection" or - the role intended for the Slavic population - as his work slaves who had no right to a national life of their own. "

Worry about the fame

In 1998, Frank-Lothar Kroll found that Himmler's restless activity did not correspond to an action plan that was comprehensible to those around him: “His worldview [...] has not found a generally applicable expression that would have enabled a larger contemporary audience to become familiar with it. Its official broad impact was accordingly limited, its scope limited […]. ”So Himmler was all the more anxious to have his actions approved by historians at the beginning of the war, accompanied by chroniclers and recorded.

In 1939 Albert Brackmann , “the highest-ranking German historian” ( Wolfgang J. Mommsen ) and “gray eminence of Eastern research ” ( Mathias Beer ), had written a 61-page propaganda pamphlet on Himmler's order within three weeks: Crisis and Reconstruction in Eastern Europe. A picture of world history . In it, the task of the Germans in Eastern Europe as a huge colonization project is historically legitimized, mainly by referring to Heinrich I, who worked in the 10th century, and his son Otto I. The Wehrmacht also used it with 7000 copies from 1940 for training management . Before the war began, the writer and doctor Werner Jansen , who had inspired Himmler as an author of novel-like depictions of Germanic myths since his youth, approached him to “let me, as your historian, be a part of the big events”. In 1940 Jansen was assigned to a "skull" association ; he died in December 1943 after a long illness.

At the only SS group leader conference that ever took place on the Wewelsburg as the future ideological headquarters of the SS from June 11 to 15, 1941, i.e. immediately before the start of " Operation Barbarossa ", and in the course of which Himmler "the decimation of the Slavic population Neighboring countries around 30 million ”, Hanns Johst , President of the Reich Chamber of Literature , also took part. As a chronicler, Johst, who was also a member of Himmler's " Personal Staff " from autumn 1944 , was frequently present at Himmler's field command post from October 1939 to November 1944, sometimes for up to three months. A first work in preparation for the no longer to be written "Heinrich Saga" or "Saga of the Greater Germanic Empire" was presented in 1940 after accompanying Himmler on the special train "Heinrich" to "Kolonialland" Poland: Call of the Reich - Echo of the People ! A trip east .

In June 1941, Himmler also sought another author, namely Edwin Erich Dwinger (1898–1981), who was supposed to accompany and represent the planned SS ventures in the East. About him as a successful writer, he hoped, albeit in vain, that the descriptions of his war acts would be widely disseminated in the form of historical novels. Because Dwinger had a few books about his war experiences in World War I and as a prisoner of war in Russia, and another bestseller in 1940 was Death in Poland. The Volksdeutsche Passion about the Bromberger Blutsonntag published and, unlike Johst, already gained experience in Eastern European war affairs.

Himmler's intentions to have his deeds glorified in a literary manner correspond to the tradition which, after antiquity, led to the writing of epics in the Middle Ages after foreign countries had been conquered and the colonizers needed "founding documents, so to speak". Sun also had Widukind of Corvey as the most important chronicler of the 10th century by the first two Saxon rulers painted a picture boasting of their deeds. Himmler presented his point of view in a speech at the meeting of the commanders of the Navy in December 1943 as follows: “[...] the saga of our people is the history of our people from the earliest times. And the heart of the people in Germany hears this form of legend, the story [...] much, much more in a fine voice than science can teach men or women with its teaching. ”The SS-Leithefte prepared accordingly the historical material in the form of heroic sagas, in 1937 and 1939 for example in relation to Heinrich I.

For his dealings with the Ottonians and at the same time his view of the Middle Ages, Himmler wanted to be scientifically proven. For example, Josef Otto Plassmann , who had appeared in publications on Heinrich I since 1928 and was a member of Himmler's “personal staff” before Hanns Johst, tried at the end of the 1930s for a habilitation, with which, according to Walther Wüst, “the image of history the Saxon Emperor build on an old Germanic basis, thus finally wresting this historical image from the Roman historical distortion and thus helping to realize the intentions of the Reichsführer SS in a way and strength that could not be imagined more impressively ”. After some hesitation, the font was finally accepted by Hermann Schneider in Tübingen in October 1943 .

While Hitler pressed for the realization of his plans on various occasions, arguing that the period of time remaining was short due to his state of health (cf.e.g. Hoßbach transcript ), Himmler calculated from the beginning of the 1940s that he would have 20 active years left. So he caused his general planner Konrad Meyer to reduce the implementation of the General Plan East from initially 30 years to 25 and finally to 20 years. The expansion plans for the Wewelsburg up to 1964 were designed in a very similar way, when he saw himself exercising the office of "Reichsverweser" for a future Greater Germanic electoral king and world ruler, while after Hitler's visions Berlin was gigantic under the name Germania based on plans by Albert Speer Capital of a desired Greater Germanic empire would have been expanded.

Persecution and extermination of the European Jews

It was Himmler who initiated the annihilation of the European Jews, the Holocaust . Between 5.6 and 6.3 million people fell victim to this. But he was not alone: ​​on the one hand, he acted on behalf of Hitler, on the other hand, the SS was available to him as a willing tool, and numerous Gauleiter and other high-ranking National Socialists pressed for it.

For Hitler, the extermination of Judaism was a primary and declared goal, as early as 1924 in his program Mein Kampf . In his Reichstag speech on January 30, 1939, he openly proclaimed: “If international financial Jewry in and outside Europe were to succeed in plunging the peoples into a world war again, then the result would not be the Bolshevization of the world and thus the victory of Judaism his, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe! ”He came back to this saying several times and thereby reinforced it.

Himmler had been an anti-Semite since his youth, but Hitler's utter destructiveness was initially alien to him. In the 1930s he spoke of an imminent confrontation with Bolshevism and Judaism, but apparently expected it in a more distant future. He apparently considered the German Jews, who were increasingly being marginalized, to be harmless. However, in his opinion, they should leave Germany. This changed in autumn 1938 with the Sudeten crisis . In his speech to the SS group leaders on November 8, 1938, he described his expectations: The tightening of German Jewish policy would lead to the Jews attacking the Germans and exterminating them without exception. But initially the official policy of increasing pressure to emigrate remained . It was only given up in May 1941.

Heinrich Himmler with Reinhard Heydrich (May 1939)

After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Reinhard Heydrich's Einsatzgruppen decimated the Polish elite and also killed numerous Jews. Essentially, the Jewish population was rounded up in ghettos and, depending on the local rulers' discretion, either abandoned to starvation or exploited for the armaments industry. The Jews of Germany and from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were also to be housed here in closed settlement areas. After the first transports in October 1939, this action was canceled. For Himmler, as Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Volkstum, it was now more important to settle the ethnic Germans released by Stalin in the annexed areas, especially in the Warthegau . To this end, he had 87,000 non-Jewish and an unknown number of Jewish Poles deported. This led to massive disruptions, especially in arms production, which is why Himmler had to refrain in February 1940 from bringing more Jews to Poland.

At the end of May 1940, after the German victory over France, he proposed that the Jews under German control be taken to Africa. Hitler agreed, because he had already approved the Madagascar Plan in 1938 . In the autumn of 1940 the plans to deport the Jews to Madagascar had to be abandoned: when the planned invasion of England ( Operation Sea Lion ) proved impossible, Madagascar became inaccessible. For the time being, Poland was once again seen as the destination of the deportations, but later this was to be in newly conquered areas of the Soviet Union. Himmler's actions in these first two years of the war seem hectic and unplanned, but he always saw himself covered by Hitler: "I do nothing that the Führer does not know."

At Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941 and the ensuing German-Soviet War , Himmler was given the task of eliminating the exponents of the Soviet system: the political commissars of the Red Army , the communist functionaries and the “ Jewish-Bolshevik intelligentsia ”. In a short time this became the systematic killing of the entire Jewish population, including women and children. By the end of 1941, Himmler's Einsatzgruppen had killed around half a million people. Himmler personally took care of these murders, had reports made to him on a daily basis, repeatedly visited the locations and also watched mass shootings . But he was also in constant contact with Hitler; in the first quarter of the campaign he saw him about 26 times. There are no records of these conversations, but the increasing radicalization of the murders was probably exactly what Hitler thought.

Himmler saw the shooting actions as a severe psychological burden on his task forces. When it was proposed to him in October 1941 that an extermination camp with gas chambers be set up in Belzec , he immediately agreed and had others built. Even earlier, in September 1941, Hitler had ordered the Jews to be deported eastwards from the Reich and the Protectorate by the end of the year. At this point in time, however, admission to the destinations was not regulated, so that the deportations had to be broken off after several attempts. When, after the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, the organization was worked out and the extermination camps were ready, the systematic evacuation of European Jews began.

After the assassination attempt on Heydrich in Prague on May 27, 1942 and his death on June 4, 1942, Himmler initially took over the management of the Reich Security Main Office himself until he appointed Ernst Kaltenbrunner as the new head of the RSHA on January 30, 1943. He appointed the chief of the regulatory police, Kurt Daluege, to succeed Heydrich as Deputy Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia .

Himmler was therefore the organizer of the “ Final Solution ”, but repeatedly referred to Hitler's orders. However, it is not believed that there would have been an explicit, written or oral such command. However, Hitler ordered or approved individual measures, which often turned out to be impracticable and had to be canceled again first. After initial experience with gassing vehicles in the “euthanasia” campaigns of 1941 provided the National Socialists with results on the division of labor and industrial killing, the mass extermination could be carried out effectively.

In his secret speeches in Poznan on October 4, 1943, before the SS group leaders and on October 6, before the Gauleiters, Himmler looked back at the now largely completed extermination of the Jews, which, as the first representative of the Nazi leadership, he called the "extermination of the Jewish people ”(see also Contemporary Knowledge of the Holocaust ). He praised the SS for doing what he described as a “never-to-be-written glory sheet”: Even in the face of hundreds of murdered people, it had always remained “decent”, a perversion of positive soldier values ​​typical of Himmler's world of ideas. He saw this assignment as the “hardest and most difficult thing there is”. All listeners should “take the secret with them to the grave” - and, according to a widespread view of the historians, be held responsible as accomplices. Bernward Dörner sees the involvement of the audience as an attempt to exonerate Himmler himself. The speeches are in the context of the loss of Italy as an ally and the increasingly difficult war situation as well as the prioritization of the extermination of the Jews as the most important war goal.

Failure at the front

Himmler, who was inexperienced in military leadership , was appointed Commander-in-Chief Upper Rhine in November 1944 after he had had combat units set up in the occupied western territories and from October as preparation for a militia the Volkssturm and werewolf units as a militia group largely complete occupation of France to build a defensive front, which he tried to organize from Triberg in the Black Forest. On January 21, 1945, he moved from there to Schneidemühl , where Himmler took command of the Vistula Army Group - with the task of stopping the advance of the Red Army. Goebbels noted in his diary that the troops had "pretty much fallen apart" as they advanced; The reorganization needed “a strong hand”, which Himmler was “absolutely capable of” - as a possible preparation for giving him supreme command of the entire army. Himmler had little to contribute to overcoming the extremely difficult situation and realized that he was overwhelmed with the task. The general staff officer Hans-Georg Eismann, for example, recalled that during the briefing, one "involuntarily had the impression that a blind man was talking about the color". After a series of failures and a stay in a sanatorium, Himmler was severely criticized by Hitler in March 1945 and recalled on March 21.

Final attempts at negotiations and terrorist orders

On January 15, 1945, Himmler met secretly in Bad Wildbad with the former Swiss Federal President Jean-Marie Musy . The agreement between Himmler and Musy made it possible for 1200 Jewish prisoners from the Theresienstadt concentration camp to emigrate to Switzerland.

On February 17, 1945, Himmler spoke to the Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte , Vice President of the Swedish Red Cross. This was able to achieve some prisoner releases. Above all, he was allowed to bring the Scandinavian prisoners together in the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg and take care of them (see White Buses' rescue operation ).

In April 1945, Himmler issued the so-called flag order , according to which every male person from a house with a white flag was to be shot immediately. This allowed members of the armed forces and the SS to simply execute civilians without a court martial and in arbitrary vigilante justice.

On April 14, Himmler ordered that no inmate of labor or concentration camps should be left alive. This was the occasion for mass executions and the death marches .

On April 21, 1945, Himmler was even ready to speak to a representative of the World Jewish Congress , the Swedish Jew Norbert Masur . He promised the release of 1,000 Jewish women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp . On the same day, Bernadotte also spoke to Himmler and achieved the extension of the promise to the handover of all transportable female prisoners from this concentration camp.

Two days later, on the night of April 23rd to 24th, Himmler met Bernadotte for the last time. He released all Scandinavian prisoners, and as many as Bernadotte could transport away. In return, he was supposed to establish contact with Dwight D. Eisenhower , the commander in chief of the allied forces in northwestern Europe. Himmler offered him a unilateral surrender to the Western powers. In doing so, he acted as if he were already the successor to Hitler, who was trapped in Berlin. As an excuse he mentioned that Hitler was seriously ill, maybe already dead and that his death could be expected in two days at the latest. Walter Schellenberg added that it was a cerebral haemorrhage . The Allies passed Himmler's offer to talk to the press. Hitler reacted with a fit of rage and expelled Himmler from the NSDAP and from all party and state offices. On April 29, Hitler appointed Karl Hanke , the Gauleiter of Lower Silesia, to succeed Himmler as Reichsführer SS . Longerich suspects that Hitler, who had already declared on April 22nd that he would no longer give orders and thus opened the way for negotiations, tried to distance himself in this way in order not to be associated with the shame of giving up.

Uelzener Strasse 31a, Lüneburg
The body of Himmler on the day of his suicide, May 23, 1945, in the interrogation room of the headquarters of the 2nd British Army in Lüneburg.

Escape, capture and suicide

At the beginning of May 1945, Himmler and his personal RFSS staff, which consisted of 150 people, took the so-called Rattenlinie Nord to Flensburg . After his attempt to participate in the Dönitz government in Flensburg- Mürwik had failed and the war in Europe ended on May 8 with the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht , he probably fled with some companions on May 11, 1945, initially in vehicles. south of the Elbe then walk back south. On the evening of May 21, Himmler and two of his remaining companions were taken prisoner by the British while attempting to cross a road near the town of Meinstedt . As identification paper , Himmler presented a "Provisional Release Certificate " from military service, made out to Sergeant Heinrich Hizinger , and initially remained undetected.

In the following two days, Himmler was brought to Lüneburg via several stations . On the afternoon of May 23rd, he revealed his true identity. Thereupon Himmler was driven to an office of the British intelligence service, which was located in a villa at Uelzener Strasse 31a. Before he was questioned, Himmler should be examined by a doctor. While examining his oral cavity, he bit into a cyanide capsule and died a little later around 11:15 p.m. In the early morning hours of May 26th, Himmler's body was buried by a small group of English soldiers in an unknown place in a forest near Lüneburg.



In December 1945 Eugen Kogon wrote the foreword to his book Der SS-Staat - The System der Deutschen Concentration Camps , published in 1946 and published again and again since then . Himmler experiences the following characteristics: “Brutality and romanticism. He could change them like day and night shirts: - Just think of the midnight SS-Fahnenjunker consecrations in the cathedral in Quedlinburg, where Himmler in front of the bones of Heinrich I, the founder of the medieval Germans, were in front of the bones of Heinrich I, the founder of the medieval Germans Eastern power, the mysticism of the 'conspiratorial community' used to unfold, in order to then, when the sun was shining, witness the lashing of political prisoners in some concentration camp . From the symbolism of the sun wheel, the swastika path led in a straight line to the glowing ovens of Auschwitz. "

Hannah Arendt commented on Himmler in her major political work, Elements and Origins of Total Rule, first published in English in 1951 : “Himmler, the potentially most powerful man in Germany after 1936, was neither one of the 'armed bohemians' (K. Heiden) nor actually a mob. The organizer of the extermination factories was "more normal" than any of the original leaders of the Nazi movement, was a philistine and neither a depraved intellectual like Goebbels, nor a charlatan like Rosenberg, nor a sex criminal like Streicher , nor a hysterical fanatic like Hitler, nor an adventurer like Göring . "

In 1974, Joachim C. Fest attested Himmler's way of explaining his political ascent to a way of thinking that was “an expression of romantic exaggeration by suggestive poverty and intellectual poverty”, namely “the extension of a childhood experience shaped by Indians and opera Germans into politics”. At the same time he spoke of his "paternalic authority", the "'King Heinrich', as some of his subordinates called him with some respect, alluding to his reincarnation splits [...]".

In 2008, Peter Longerich's first comprehensive academic biography of Himmler came to the conclusion that Himmler created “a position of power that is entirely tailored to his person and determined by his specific preferences and peculiarities”, which “is an extreme example of almost total personalization of political power "Let me describe:" The charismatic leadership, the lawlessness and irregularity of this system of rule, the permanent compulsion to adapt power structures to changed political objectives, resulted in large parts of the ruling apparatus being given direct orders to the 'Führer 'but these confidants had extremely large room for maneuver to carry out their orders. "


In 1944, in the 16th chapter of his novel Kaputt , Curzio Malaparte presented an encounter with Himmler in 1942 under the heading “Naked Men” in Finland, first in the elevator of the hotel “Pohjanhovi” in the Lappish capital of Rovaniemi occupied by German troops and later in one Sauna in the headquarters of the Northern Front High Command at General Eduard Dietl . He reminds the narrator of Igor Stravinsky , has "short-sighted fish eyes that shimmered white behind two thick glasses like behind an aquarium wall". One conversation is about whether he could be pictured in a painting “with the gospel in his right hand and the prayer book in his left” or with a pistol and a whip. In the sauna it seems to the narrator, "as if this man were dissolving in the water before our eyes, I was afraid that within a short time nothing would be left of him but an empty and slack skin". In 1980 Alfred Andersch's story The Father of a Murderer was about the character of Himmler's father, by using his nature to illustrate the conflict between authority and humanism . In the same year Earthly Powers (Eng. The Prince of Phantoms ) by the English novelist and satirist Anthony Burgess appeared . Here the homosexual protagonist unwillingly saves Himmler's life and is celebrated as a hero by the National Socialists for this. In Jonathan Littell's novel Die Wohlgesinnten (German 2008), too, a homosexual, SS officer Max Aue, repeatedly encounters Himmler personally. Both detailed original quotes from him and fictitious advice are given, such as the one to Aue that he should father as many children as possible: "Why not through the institution Lebensborn , Obersturmbannführer!"


Feature films



A large collection of private documents from Himmler and his wife Marga was captured by two American soldiers in the family seat of Haus Lindenfycht in Gmund am Tegernsee. These included the young Himmler's diaries from 1914 to 1922, which Werner Tom Angress and Bradley F. Smith published in English translation in 1959 in the Journal of Modern History. Together with letters from Marga Himmler to Heinrich Himmler and other documents, they came to the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and were acquired by the Federal Archives in Koblenz in the mid-1990s. Another part of the Himmler estate appeared in Israel in the 1980s. From this, Marga Himmler's diaries came into the possession of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC from 1937 to 1945. There were also other letters from Himmler to his wife, photos and other documents. The documents were examined by the Federal Archives in Koblenz in 1982/83 when negotiations about a purchase were ongoing and found to be authentic. This part of the documents later became the property of the filmmaker Vanessa Lapa's family.

The first part of Himmler's service calendar for the years 1941/42 was published in 1999 after it had been made accessible by the Soviet side from the KGB archives . The files of Himmler's Adjutantur, which had been handed over to the Soviet Interior Ministry in 1946, had been there since 1954. The whereabouts of the second part of the service diaries for the years 1943 to 1945 remained unknown in the West until 2013, but then became known through a digitization project of the central archive of the Russian Defense Ministry in Podolsk . They were published in 2020 - supplemented by parts of the desk calendar, Himmler's telephone book notes and the part of the service calendar from January to March 1945 that is in the Federal Archives - and document almost every day - except for six - from January 1, 1943 to March 14, 1945.

See also


  • The Reichstag in 1930. The dying system and National Socialism. Rather, Munich 1931, DNB 580192261 .
  • The Schutzstaffel as an anti-Bolshevik fighting organization. Rather, Munich 1936, DNB 58019227X .
  • The SS. Industrieverlag Spaeth & Linde, Berlin 1938, DNB 366193686 .
  • The Organization of Terror - Heinrich Himmler's Service Calendar (January 1, 1943 to March 14, 1945). Edited by Matthias Uhl , Thomas Pruschwitz, Martin Holler, Jean-Luc Leleu and Dieter Pohl. Piper 2020, ISBN 978-3-492-05896-4 .



Web links

Commons : Heinrich Himmler  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Manfred Wichmann: Heinrich Himmler. Tabular curriculum vitae in the LeMO ( DHM and HdG )
  2. ^ Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. 2nd Edition. Siedler, Munich 2008, pp. 28–34.
  3. Klaus Mües-Baron: Heinrich Himmler - Rise of the Reichsführer SS (1900-1933). V&R unipress, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-89971-800-3 , pp. 102-110.
  4. Helge Dvorak, Christian Hünemörder: Biographisches Lexikon der Deutschen Burschenschaft: Politiker , Vol. I, Part 2 (F – H). Heidelberg 1999, pp. 339-341, here: p. 339; Munich Burschenschaft Apollo: Festschrift for the centenary 1865–1965. Munich 1965, p. 160 (list of members - 2. Die Toten 1940–1965). Apollo only became a fraternity in 1933.
  5. Jürgen Matthäus: "It was very nice". Excerpts from Margarete Himmler's diary, 1937–1945. In: Workshop history . Vol. 25, 2000, p. 75 (PDF; 7.92 MB) .
  6. ^ Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Munich 2008, p. 482.
  7. ^ Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Munich 2008, p. 389.
  8. ^ Andreas Schulz, Günter Wegmann, Dieter Zinke: Germany's Generals and Admirals. Part V: The generals of the Waffen SS and the police 1933–1945. Vol. 2. Biblio, Bissendorf 2004, p. 226.
  9. Joachim Lilla , Martin Döring, Andreas Schulz: Extras in Uniform: The members of the Reichstag 1933-1945. A biographical handbook with the inclusion of the Volkish and National Socialist members of the Reichstag from May 1924. Droste, Düsseldorf 2004, p. 245; Klaus Mües-Baron: Heinrich Himmler - Rise of the Reichsführer SS (1900–1933). V&R unipress, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-89971-800-3 , p. 188.
  10. ^ Andreas Schulz , Günter Wegmann, Dieter Zinke: Germany's admirals and generals. Part V: The generals of the Waffen SS and the police 1933–1945. Vol. 2. Biblio, Bissendorf 2004, p. 226 f.
  11. ^ Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Berlin 2008, pp. 97–111.
  12. George WF Hallgarten , Joachim Radkau : German industry and politics from Bismarck to the present . Reinbek 1981, p. 319.
  13. ^ Yearbook of the Academy for German Law , 1st year 1933/34. Edited by Hans Frank. Schweitzer Verlag, Munich / Berlin / Leipzig, p. 254.
  14. ^ Yearbook of the Academy for German Law , 1st year 1933/34. Edited by Hans Frank. Schweitzer Verlag, Munich / Berlin / Leipzig, p. 169.
  15. ^ Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Siedler, Munich 2008, p. 216.
  16. ^ Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography . Siedler, Munich 2008, p. 183 f.
  17. On this complex Hedwig Maier : The SS and July 20, 1944. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte . Vol. 14, 1966, Issue 3, pp. 299-316, here pp. 311-314 (PDF) ; Bernd Martin : German opposition and resistance circles and the question of a separate peace treaty in World War II. In: Klaus-Jürgen Müller (Ed.): The German Resistance 1933–1945. Paderborn 1986, pp. 79-107; Richard Breitman : A Deal with the Nazi Dictatorship? Himmler's Alleged Peace Emissaries in Autumn 1943. In: Journal of Modern History. Vol. 30, 1995, pp. 411-430; see also Ingeborg Fleischhauer : The chance of a separate peace. German-Soviet secret talks 1941–1945. Siedler, Berlin 1986, and Karl Heinz Roth : From the officer opposition to the action group of July 20, 1944. In: ders., Angelika Ebbinghaus (ed.): Red chapels, Kreisau circles, black chapels. New perspectives on the resistance against the Nazi dictatorship 1938–1945. VSA, Hamburg 2004, pp. 91-182.
  18. Yehuda Bauer: Free ransom from Jews? Negotiations between National Socialist Germany and Jewish representatives from 1933 to 1945. Jüdischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-633-54107-1 , pp. 272–382.
  19. ^ On Popitz Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Berlin 2008, p. 717 and p. 962, end note 5, on possible peace feelers before 1945 ibid., P. 728–730 and p. 740 f.
  20. ^ Karl-Günter cell: Hitler's doubting elite: Goebbels - Göring - Himmler - Speer. Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2010, ISBN 978-3-506-76909-1 , pp. 205-233.
  21. See the reviews by Klaus-Jürgen Bremm : At most indifference. Karl-Günter cell introduces “Hitler's doubting elite”: Goebbels, Göring and Himmler had nothing against the extermination policy of their “Führer”. In: Literaturkritik.de , July 7, 2010; Stephan Malinowski : incoherence and chaos. Karl-Günter Cell: “Hitler's doubting elite. Goebbels - Goering - Himmler - Speer ”. In: Deutschlandradio Kultur , August 15, 2010; Oliver Werner: Review. In: H-Soz-Kult , October 19, 2010; Katrin Paehler: Review. In: Francia-Recensio . No. 3, 2011 (English).
  22. ^ Theodor Eschenburg (ed.): Himmler's speech to the Gauleiters on August 3, 1944. In: Quarterly books for contemporary history . Vol. 1, 1953, Issue 4, pp. 357-394 (PDF). See Eschenburg's assessment of the direction of attack against the Wehrmacht and the “damnation of the officer corps” p. 359, for contact p. 361, the defense itself p. 375 f.
  23. Heinz Höhne, Orden unter dem Totenkopf , p. 49. Another co-Artamane Himmler from this time was Rudolf Höß , later the mass murderer in Auschwitz .
  24. Richard Walther Darré: New nobility from blood and soil. JF Lehmann , Munich 1930, p. 32.
  25. ^ Karl Hüser: Wewelsburg 1933 to 1945: Cult and terror site of the SS. A documentation , 2nd, revised edition. Bonifations-Druckerei, Paderborn 1987, ISBN 3-87088-534-3 , p. 8 f.
  26. ^ Klaus Voigtländer: The collegiate church of St. Servatii in Quedlinburg. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1989, p. 38.
  27. Heinrich I and Otto the Great in the “Third Reich”: Speech by the Reichsführer SS in Quedlinsburg Cathedral. On July 2, 1936. (PDF; 1.9 MB) In: Frank Henzel: Himmler's and Hitler's symbolic politics with medieval rulers , pp. 18–24.
  28. Heinz Höhne: The order under the skull. The history of the SS. Weltbild, Augsburg 1995, p. 144.
  29. Michael H. Kater : The "Ahnenerbe" of the SS 1935-1945. A contribution to the cultural policy of the Third Reich. 4th edition. Oldenbourg, Stuttgart 1974, pp. 94, 385.
  30. Joachim C. Fest in the introduction to Bradley Smith, Agnes Peterson (ed.): Heinrich Himmler. Secret speeches 1933 to 1945 and other speeches , with an introduction by Joachim C. Fest. Propylaeen Verlag, Berlin 1974, p. 21.
  31. Katrin Himmler: The Himmler Brothers. A German family story. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 265.
  32. Rolf Düsterberg : Genocide and saga poetry under the sign of the “Greater Germanic Empire”. Hanns Johst's friendship with Heinrich Himmler. In: International Archive for the Social History of German Literature (IASL). Vol. 24, 1999, No. 2, pp. 88-133, here pp. 110, 123 f., 127.
  33. ^ Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. 2008, p. 769.
  34. ^ Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. 2008, p. 295 f.
  35. Karl Hüser (1987), pp. 62-72; 294-298.
  36. HT Hakl: National Socialism and Occultism. In: Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke : The Occult Roots of National Socialism. Marix, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 3-937715-48-7 , pp. 194-217.
  37. Hans Booms: The Origin of the Second World War - Revision or Expansion? In: Gottfried Niedhart (Hrsg.): Beginning of the war in 1939, unleashing or outbreak of the Second World War? Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1976, p. 93. More detailed in: Bradley Smith, Agnes Peterson (eds.): Heinrich Himmler. Secret speeches 1933 to 1945 and other speeches , with an introduction by Joachim C. Fest. Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 1974, p. 49.
  38. ^ Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. 2008, p. 766 f.
  39. Peter Jahn : 27 million . In: Die Zeit , No. 25/2008.
  40. Quoted in Wlodzimierz Borodziej: The Warsaw Uprising 1944. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, p. 121.
  41. See p. 322-330 in the chapter "Race and Land Reclamation" in David Blackbourn : Die Eroberung der Natur. A history of the German landscape. Pantheon, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-570-55063-2 .
  42. ^ Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. 2008, p. 272 ​​f.
  43. ^ Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Siedler, Munich 2010, 2nd edition, p. 660 f.
  44. ^ Frank-Lothar Kroll: Utopia as Ideology. Historical thinking and political action in the Third Reich. Schöningh, Paderborn u. a. 29999, p. 210; ISBN 3-506-74827-0 .
  45. Also in 1939, Ahnenerbe-Stiftung Verlag published a 64-page publication in the west with the same subtitle by another propaganda specialist, namely Wilhelm Ziegler : What will happen to France? A picture of world history .
  46. ^ Michael Burleigh : Germany Turns Eastwards. A Study of Ostforschung in the Third Reich. Pan Macmillan, London 2002, pp. 132, 134, 168; ISBN 0-330-48840-6 .
  47. ^ Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. 2008, p. 437.
  48. Breitman: Heinrich Himmler. The architect of the "final solution". 2000, p. 393, note 12.
  49. ^ Rolf Düsterberg : Johst, Hanns. In: Polunbi.de , 2004.
  50. Breitman: Heinrich Himmler. The architect of the "final solution". 2000, p. 237 f.
  51. Robert Bartlett: The birth of Europe from the spirit of violence. Conquest, colonization and cultural change from 950 to 1350. Kindler, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-463-40249-1 , pp. 122–127.
  52. ^ Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. 2008, p. 325.
  53. Otto Buchholz: Heinrich the German. In: SS-Leithefte , issue 3, 5th year, June 15, 1939, ed. from: The Reichsführer SS, SS = main office = training office, Berlin SW 68, Hedemannstrasse 24, pp. 39–42.
  54. On November 6, 1935, all matters relating to Wewelsburg were also handed over to the “Personal Staff Reichsführer SS” (Hüser [1987], pp. 28, 32).
  55. Michael H. Kater, The "Ahnenerbe" of the SS 1935–1945. A contribution to the cultural policy of the Third Reich , 4th edition. Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, pp. 135, 204 (pages identical to the 1974 edition).
  56. Karl Hüser (1987), p. 294.
  57. Joe J. Heydecker, Johannes Leeb (1995), p. 527.
  58. ^ Bradley F. Smith: Heinrich Himmler 1900–1926. His way into German fascism. Bernard and Graefe, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-7637-5215-3 ; Orig .: Heinrich Himmler. A Nazi in the Making. Hoover, Stanford 1971.
  59. ^ Cell: Hitler's doubting elite: Goebbels - Göring - Himmler - Speer. 2010, pp. 181-185.
  60. Peter Longerich: Politics of Destruction: An overall representation of the National Socialist persecution. 1998, pp. 243-272.
  61. Hans Jansen: The Madagascar Plan: The intended deportation of European Jews to Madagascar. Langen / Müller, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-7844-2605-0 .
  62. ^ Cell: Hitler's doubting elite: Goebbels - Göring - Himmler - Speer. 2010, pp. 191-193.
  63. Peter Longerich: Politics of Destruction: An overall representation of the National Socialist persecution. 1998, pp. 293-418.
  64. Peter Longerich: Politics of Destruction: An overall representation of the National Socialist persecution. 1998, pp. 419-532.
  65. Christopher R. Browning: The unleashing of the "Final Solution": National Socialist Jewish Policy 1939–1942 , Propylaen, Berlin 2006, pp. 604–609: Longerich: Politics of Destruction: An overall presentation of the National Socialist persecution. 1998, p. 559.
  66. ^ A b Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Berlin 2008, p. 710.
  67. Bernward Dörner: The Holocaust - The "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". In: Wolfgang Benz (Ed.): Prejudice and Genocide. Ideological premises of genocide. Böhlau, Vienna, Cologne, Weimar 2010, pp. 87–118, here p. 110.
  68. ^ Peter Longerich: Heinrich Himmler. Biography. Berlin 2008, pp. 736-740, quotation Goebbels p. 736, quotation Eismann p. 737.
  69. ^ Fritz Barth: Secret negotiation shortly before the end of the war in Wildbad in the Black Forest. Wildbader Werbungblatt, May 28, 2008, accessed on April 29, 2019 .
  70. ^ Elisabeth Kohlhaas: "From a house from which a white flag appears, all male persons are to be shot." Perseverance of terror and violence against civilians . In: Cord Arendes , Edgar Wolfrum , Jörg Zedler: Internal Terrorism: Crimes at the End of the Second World War. ( Dachau Symposia on Contemporary History , Volume 6). Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 3835300466 , p. 65 ( online in the Google book preview ).
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  72. Gabriele Hammermann : The death marches from the concentration camps 1944/1945 . In: Cord Arendes , Edgar Wolfrum , Jörg Zedler: Internal Terrorism: Crimes at the End of the Second World War. ( Dachau Symposia on Contemporary History , Volume 6). Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 3835300466 , pp. 126–127 ( online in the Google book preview ).
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  75. ^ Gerhard Paul : Landunter. Schleswig-Holstein and the swastika. Westphalian steam boat, Münster 2001, p. 347.
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  84. ^ Curzio Malaparte: Broken. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-596-17412-6 , pp. 411, 413, 435. - Cf. chapter section Sauna ( Memento of October 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
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  86. Quoted from Ariane Thomalla: Violation of taboos at all costs. The fictional memories of an SS henchman ( Memento from May 20, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (review). In: Arte , September 1, 2008.
  87. The anniversary of the East Coming-out ; taz. November 9, 2009
  88. the decent one in the Internet Movie Database (English)
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  91. Himmler film "The Decent" before world premiere . welt.de, January 26, 2014; Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  92. The extent of the estate is listed on the associated website of the Federal Archives .
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  95. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung April 6, 2020 / Rudolf Walther: Review