Was Heinrich Himmler's death a suicide?

The corpse of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler lying on the floor of British 2nd Army HQ, May 23, 1945. Source: Rare Historical Photos

Background - I'm intrigued by Martin Allen's theory that Himmler did not commit suicide, but rather was killed by British Intelligence upon his capture to keep him quiet about Churchill's Political Warfare Executive (PWE), which included operations that stood in stark contrast to public pronouncements (and Allied policy) that nothing less than Germany's unconditional surrender would be acceptable, and no separate peace negotiations with any individual Allied power would be allowed or pursued.

Question - is there any historical documentation which could lend support to this theory?

The answer to your question "is there any historical documentation which could lend support to this theory?" would be no.

The entire story was based on forged documents planted at the UK National Archives. This was uncovered by an internal investigation carried out by the National archives, the results of which were made public back in 2006.

As the article cited above observes:

Police interviewed Allen, who is believed to be the only person to check out all the files that contained the forged documents. After a 13-month police investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that it was not in the public interest to prosecute, in part because of Allen's deteriorating health. Allen has repeatedly refused to comment but has previously denied involvement in the forgeries.

Heinrich Himmler suicide death.

This 8 page newspaper has a three column headline on the front page:
"Himmler, Captured by British Forces, Swallows Cyanide When Searched" with photo of Himmler. See photos for 1st report coverage on the capture and suicide of Nazi leader, Heinrich Himmler. He is considered by many as the most evil of the Nazis, even above Adolph Hitler. He was the architect of the Jewish Holocaust.

This newspaper contains other news of the day throughout. It has a little margin wear and chipping, but is otherwise in good condition.

wikipedia notes: Unwanted by his former colleagues and hunted by the Allies, Himmler wandered for several days around Flensburg near the Danish border. Attempting to evade arrest, he disguised himself as a sergeant-major of the Secret Military Police, using the name Heinrich Hitzinger, shaving his moustache and donning an eye patch over his left eye,[18] in the hope that he could return to Bavaria. He had equipped himself with a set of false documents, but someone whose papers were wholly in order was so unusual that it aroused the suspicions of a British Army unit in Bremen. Himmler was arrested on 22 May by Major Sidney Excell, and in captivity, was soon recognized. Himmler was scheduled to stand trial with other German leaders as a war criminal at Nuremberg, but committed suicide in Lüneburg by potassium cyanide capsule before interrogation could begin. His last words were Ich bin Heinrich Himmler! ("I am Heinrich Himmler!"). Another version has Himmler biting into a hidden cyanide pill when searched by a British doctor, who then yelled, "He has done it!". Several attempts to revive Himmler were unsuccessful.[19] Shortly afterwards, Himmler&rsquos body was buried in an unmarked grave on the Lüneburg Heath. The precise location of Himmler&rsquos grave remains unknown.

Heinrich Himmler

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Heinrich Himmler, (born October 7, 1900, Munich, Germany—died May 23, 1945, Lüneburg, Germany), German Nazi politician, police administrator, and military commander who became the second most powerful man in the Third Reich.

Where did Heinrich Himmler attend school?

Although Heinrich Himmler’s education was interrupted by World War I, he completed high school in 1919 but did not see combat. He graduated with a degree in agriculture from the Technical University in Munich in 1922.

Why is Heinrich Himmler significant?

Heinrich Himmler was one of the most powerful figures in the Third Reich, overseeing the creation and management of the vast Nazi police state as well as the infrastructure of the Holocaust. He established the first concentration camp at Dachau and organized extermination camps throughout occupied Europe.

How did Heinrich Himmler die?

With Soviet armies fighting in the streets of Berlin, Heinrich Himmler tried to circumvent Adolf Hitler and make a separate peace with the Western Allies. Hitler ordered Himmler's arrest, and Himmler tried to escape disguised as a German soldier. He was captured by the Allies and committed suicide by ingesting cyanide.

Where is Heinrich Himmler buried?

Heinrich Himmler was buried in an unmarked grave by British military authorities somewhere near Lüneburg, Germany.

The son of a Roman Catholic secondary-school master, Himmler studied agriculture after World War I and joined rightist paramilitary organizations. As a member of one of those, Ernst Röhm’s Reichskriegsflagge (“Imperial War Flag”), he participated in November 1923 in Adolf Hitler’s abortive Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. Himmler joined the Nazi Party in 1925, rose steadily in the party hierarchy, and was elected a deputy to the Reichstag (German parliament) in 1930. The foundations of his future importance, however, were laid with his appointment as Reichsführer of the SS (Schutzstaffel “Protective Echelon”), Hitler’s elite bodyguard, which was nominally under the control of the Sturmabteilung (SA “Assault Division”). Himmler immediately began expanding the SS, which reached a membership of more than 50,000 by 1933. After Hitler gained power on January 30, 1933, Himmler became head of the Munich police and soon afterward became commander of all German police units outside Prussia. As such, he established the Third Reich’s first concentration camp, at Dachau.

In April 1934 Himmler was appointed assistant chief of the Gestapo (Secret State Police) in Prussia, and from that position he extended his control over the police forces of the whole Reich. He masterminded the June 30, 1934, purge in which the SS eliminated the SA as a power within the Nazi Party. That purge strengthened Hitler’s control over both the party and the German army, which had viewed the SA as a serious rival. Himmler then began to build the SS into the most powerful armed body in Germany next to the armed forces. He assumed full command of the Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo Security Police) and the Ordnungspolizei (Orpo Order Police) as Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police on June 17, 1936. Under Himmler the SS acquired vast police powers in Germany and the territories it occupied, and it also gained primary responsibilities in the areas of security, intelligence gathering, and espionage.

World War II brought a vast extension of Himmler’s empire and the resources at his command. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Himmler was entrusted with the administration of the conquered territory with the goal of eliminating the Soviet system. In July 1942 Hitler appointed Himmler to head the German antipartisan campaign in the occupied areas behind the front lines that campaign targeted the racial and political enemies of the Third Reich and was characterized by widespread acts of mass murder and atrocity. He oversaw the deployment of the Einsatzgruppen (“deployment groups”) in the massacre of Jews and other victims at sites such as Babi Yar, in Ukraine, during the early war years. Himmler organized the extermination camps in German-occupied Poland at which millions of Jews were systematically slaughtered. The camps also provided workers for cheap forced labour and subjects for involuntary medical experiments.

By 1943 Himmler had become minister of the interior and plenipotentiary for Reich administration. He expanded the Waffen-SS (“Armed SS”) until, with 35 divisions, it rivaled the army. He also gained control of the intelligence network, military armaments (after the abortive attempt on Hitler’s life of July 20, 1944), the Volkssturm (“People’s Storm Troop”), a mass levy of mostly older men, and later the Werwolf, a guerrilla force intended to continue the struggle after the war. He also unsuccessfully commanded two army groups.

Not content with military power alone, Himmler attempted to set up an autonomous SS industrial empire. When that provoked resistance from Hitler’s minister for armaments and war production, Albert Speer, Himmler apparently orchestrated an attempt on the latter’s life in February 1944.

In the final months of the war, Himmler suffered increasingly from psychosomatic illnesses and was progressively shunted aside by Hitler’s entourage. In April 1945 it became known that Himmler hoped to succeed Hitler and that he had negotiated with both Swedish Greve (Count) Folke Bernadotte (to surrender to the Western allies) and the Western Allies (to form an alliance against the Soviet Union). Hitler promptly stripped Himmler of all offices and ordered his arrest. Disguised as a common soldier, Himmler attempted to escape. Captured by the Western Allies, he committed suicide by taking poison.

Himmler was a highly effective administrator and a ruthless and adroit power seeker who was slavishly devoted to Hitler until the final weeks of the war. He combined a penchant for philosophical mysticism with a cold-blooded, fanatical adherence to Nazi racist ideology in his role as the prime architect of the Holocaust. More than any other individual, Himmler was the man who created the network of state terror by which the Third Reich suppressed its opposition, eliminated its internal enemies, and compelled obedience from the German citizenry.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Jeff Wallenfeldt, Manager, Geography and History.


Himmler actually died of a ruptured aortic aneurism. He was under severe stress for fear of being executed as a war criminal and being the despicable little coward which he was, this stress proved too much. Himmler had suffered from “stomach” cramps for some time towards the end of the war and had received treatment for the same.

Comment by richelieu100 — October 7, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

What is your source for the information that Himmler died of a ruptured aortic aneurism? I did a google search on this and found nothing.

A very interesting page. Something that has always troubled me about Himmlers ‘suicide’ was that in the official version, he admits his identity so quickly, he must have known that to reveal his real name would mean certain death, and yet the story goes that he meekly confirmed his identity within minutes of being captured. Also why go to the trouble of making a perfect set of documents and wearing a different set of clothes , if you are going to carry a penknife in your pocket with the letters ‘RF-SS’ on it ? or a glasses case with the same four letters, it doesn’t make sense.
Also, didn’t a British NCO who was involved later claim thet thay gave Himmler ‘A good beating’ or simlar ? understandable, I guess.
Is it possible that during this ‘good beating’ that the cyanide capsule in his false tooth cracked and killed him ?
That would provide a reason for official reticence.

Comment by Mahler — February 14, 2011 @ 4:04 am

Where did you get the information that Himmler had a false tooth? In Padfield’s autobiography of Himmler, it was claimed that Himmler had a “perfect set of teeth” and that he was proud of his perfect teeth he allegedly had only one small filling in his teeth. It was also claimed that the first SS men had to have perfect teeth in order to be in the SS because Himmler was obsessed with perfect teeth.

Comment by furtherglory — February 14, 2011 @ 4:11 am

To answer your questions about “nahtzees” caught by Soviets: there was none of the reported, as far as I recall, who were able to swallow any cyanide after being captured. All of them were treated humanly before the execution, of course. As a matter of fact, The Soviets executed significantly less POW’s than Britain or US. There was not a routine execution of the soldiers with SS insignia on their collars, as we have seen on the “History Channel”. For as bad as ole USSR was, there were no laws of “common knowledge” or “common design”.
About Dr. Rascher: You are giving him too much of credit. It is my understanding, that he was experimenting with hypothermia patterns and “killed people in the cold water”, “brought gypsy naked girls to warm them up” and other nonsense. If you have seen his pictures, you would notice that he is wearing the Luftwaffe (Air Force) uniform. Now, about the capsules with cyanide. Dr. Rascher was a therapist, based on his activities, according to official history, even his alleged “experiments”. At which point he became a pharmacist, who was able to create capsules with poison of any kind? You are giving him too much credit
Let me give you an example:
How possible it would be for a German-Lutheran church organist to go to China and teach them how to play a Chinese ethnic string or wind instrument? Any thing wrong with it? All musicians can do the job, right? No, it is wrong.
Sigmund Rascher would not qualify to deal with any type of poisons, unless he has a degree in pharmacology, which we haven’t heard of.
And, if “nahtzees” wanted to get such capsules, wouldn’t they talk to the pharmacology specialists not a therapist?
I think that the story of Rascher supplying anyone with cyanide capsules is a lie.

Comment by Gasan — January 11, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

Even more curiously, it was Dr Leo Alexander who first made this (unevidenced?) claim in 1949

Well I am not disagreeing with you that a broken nose seems to indicate that Himmler may have been killed. I just suspect these documents are too good to be true.

Just on the side, it is commonly credited to Dr Rascher that he invented and supplied the cyanide capsules (cf his wikipedia page). I don’t know how well evidenced that is.

If true either all senior Nazis were carrying around cyanide capsules from March 1944 – or every supposed cyanide capsule was an Allied murder.

Did the Russians report anyone falling into their hands chomping down on cyanide?

What I have learned from Suvorov’s books, is that whenever you see more than one “coincidence” in a story, then it stops being “a coincidence” and become the rule.
We could debate forever if the documents are genuine or fake. I personally can’t find anything wrong with the wording used by “Mr.Thomas of Bremen” (“I have issued orders that my presence at Luneberg is not to be recorded in any fashion”). The more important for me was, if that person could really travel from Bremen to Lüneburg even in one day. The distance is 69 miles and the answer is yes. I would not pay that much attention to the documents, but the name of Robert Bruce-Lockhart looked like another “coincidence”. Let us talk about him for a second. Was he an respectable nobleman of Scotland, or was he a cold-blooded conspirator and murderer? And this KSMG (Knight of St. Michael & St. George) was associated throughout his life with the scam such as Sidney Reilly, Boris Savinkov and Sefton Delmer. (The last one will be my special project). Lockhart’s biography, just by itself, is the proof that the conspiracies DO exist.
For whatever reason, Heinrich Himmler must be “permanently silenced” and never be able to talk to the Americans.
And here are some more coincidences:
Odilo Lotario Globocnik, SS Obergruppenführer.
“On November 9, 1939, Himmler appointed Globocnik SS and Police Leader in the Lublin district of the General Government. After a disappointing party career, Globocnik now had a second chance in the ranks of the SS and the police. The following years proved what he was capable of. Globocnik was responsible for:

Liquidating the Warsaw Ghetto, which contained about 500,000 Jews, the largest Jewish community in Europe and the second largest in the world after New York
Liquidating the Bialystok Ghetto, which stood out for its strong resistance to German occupation
Resettling a large quantity of Poles under the premise of ethnic cleansing.
Implementation and supervision of the Lublin reservation, to which 95,000 Jews were deported, with its adjacent network of forced labour camps in the Lublin district. He was also in charge of over 45,000 Jewish labourers”
So we are talking here about the person who was responsible for holocaust in the first degree and should be prosecuted, right?
And what happened to him?
“According to some accounts, Globocnik was tracked down and captured by British troops at the Möslacher Alm, overlooking the Weissensee on May 31 1945, and may have committed suicide the same day in Paternion by biting on his capsule of cyanide. To corroborate this, there are at least two contemporary photographs showing Globocnik’s body shortly after his death. Furthermore, there are several reliable reports, including the Regimental Diary and Field Reports of the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, detailing the circumstances of his capture and suicide. However, Globocnik actually was arrested in Carinthia at the end of the war by Sgt John Sowler of the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars. Sowler was under the command of a Major Ramsey from SIS (MI6), and this group had been tracking and arresting potential war criminals in Austria. Shortly after capture, Globocnik committed suicide by means of a cyanide capsule hidden in his mouth. He was taken to be buried in a local churchyard, but the priest reportedly refused to have ‘the body of such a man’ resting in consecrated ground. A grave was dug outside the churchyard, next to an outer wall, and the body was laid to rest without ceremony.
Urban legends
Other sources put his death in either early May or June 1945 at the hands of either partisans or a Jewish revenge squad.

A false version of Globocnik’s fate has circulated indicating that he was turned over to U.S. intelligence by the British. This is based on an “official US document signed by US CIC S/A Operations Officer Andrew L. Venters, dated 27 October 1948, more than three years AFTER his supposed death”. However this document was exposed as a forgery in the 1980s by the investigative writer and historian, Gitta Sereny she gives all details in a long article in the Observer newspaper (“Spin Time For Hitler”, London, April 21 1996).”

In short: Globocnik was “permanently silenced”, nobody made any further inquires, the case is closed.

Richard Glücks, SS -Gruppenführer

Glücks’s responsibilities at first mainly covered the use of concentration camp inmates for forced labour. In this phase, he urged camp commandants to lower the death rate in the camps, as it went counter to the economic objectives his department was to fulfill. Other orders of his were to ask for the inmates to be made to work continuously. At the same time, it was Glücks who recommended on February 21, 1940, Auschwitz, a former Austrian cavalry barracks, as a suitable site for a new concentration camp to Himmler, Pohl, and Heydrich. The camp opened on June 14, 1940, and Glücks was quick to provide slave labour from the camp to the new coal-oil and rubber plant erected nearby by I.G. Farben.

From 1942 on, Glücks was increasingly involved in the implementation of the “Final Solution”, along with Oswald Pohl. In July 1942, he participated in a planning meeting with Himmler on the topic of medical experiments on camp inmates. From several visits to the Auschwitz concentration camps, Glücks must have been well aware of the dire conditions, and he certainly was aware of the mass murders and other atrocities committed there. Orders for the extermination went through Glücks’ office and hands and he specifically authorized the purchase of Zyklon B for gassing in Auschwitz.

Here we go! Who should be on trial for holocaust crimes, if not Richard Glücks? Did he make it to the trial? Not a chance!

“When the WVHA offices in Berlin were destroyed by Allied bombing on April 16, 1945, the WVHA was moved to Born on Darß in Nordvorpommern on the Baltic sea. Owing to the advances of the Russian forces, Glücks and his wife fled to Flensburg at the end of April. It is known that Glücks met Himmler for the last time there. After the capitulation of Germany, he is BELIEVED to have committed suicide on May 10, 1945 by swallowing a capsule of potassium cyanide at the Mürwik naval base in Flensburg. Since there are no official records or photos to confirm Glücks’ suicide, some historians believe that he escaped in the same manner as other Nazis such as Friedrich Wilhelm Kruger and Odilo Globocnik .

Leonardo Conti, SS SS-Obergruppenführer

Conti held the posts and titles of Head of the Reich Physicians’ Chamber (German: Reichsärztekammer), Leader of the NSDÄB, and Leader of the Main Office for the People’s Health. In 1939, Conti was appointed Reichsgesundheitsführer (Imperial Leader of Health Department) and State Secretary in the Interior Ministry.

After Germany’s surrender, Conti was to have been tried his involvement in the Action T4 Euthanasia Program at the Doctors’ Trial. However, he hanged himself on his cell on October 6, 1945 (over a year before the trial began).

Conti should know everything about experiments at the concentration camps. But he conveniently hanged himself.

So we have three more “permanently silenced” holocaust perpetrators. Please note, that the deaths of Globocnik and Glücks had never been ever confirmed and what is most surprising, nobody actually cared! There were no further investigations or searches for them. They were pronounced dead in absentia and everyone was happy. Was it because the Allies did not want them to testify at the tribunals?

This is my point: Himmler, Glücks, Globocnik and Conti deserved a fair trial for what they did, or probably, did not. If they had committed those crimes as we always had been told, the were, why they were “silenced permanently”?

Comment by Gasan — January 11, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

This is the photo that shows a bent nose most clearly

Re the documents, they don’t read genuine to me. A line like: “I have issued orders that my presence at Luneberg is not to be recorded in any fashion” look like a forger trying to cover his butt. If you really want to get conspiratorial about it, real documents might have been found, replaced with fakes and then subjected to forensic analysis.

Regardless, Himmler’s nose still looks broken.

I looked at the page on the link that you provided and found this information:

“He (Fenton) had engaged a forensic expert to examine the documents, he said, and the PRO had allowed this. In that part of her (the forensic expert) report quoted by Fenton (at this point he has not released the whole report), she claims upon superficial examination under a high powered microscope to detect signs of forgery, even of the use of modern laser-printing technology.”

This does not convince me that the documents are not authentic. Why didn’t the PRO (Public Records Office) do a forensic examination of the documents? Notice the term “superficial examination”? Why didn’t she do an “in depth” examination?

I find it odd that you were quick to pronounce Rasher’s letter to Himmler as a forgery, but when presented with evidence of a microscope examination of the documents which shows evidence of forgery, you dismiss it.

Anyway, like Irving, I have a relatively open position on them. I would like to see more evidence for their authenticity before concluding that Himmler was murdered, but I’m open to it.

Comment by Wahrheit — January 11, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

I have put up a new post to address the issue of the Rascher letter to Himmler.

Comment by furtherglory — January 12, 2011 @ 9:30 am

Rascher’s letter is a FORGERY.
It is my understanding, that SS officers did not use words “Herr” or “Sehr Geehter” when talking or writing to each other. The same applies to Himmler. The letters addressed to him should have only “Reichsführer”.
“In contrast to the Imperial military tradition, promotions in the SS were based on the individual’s commitment, effectiveness and political reliability, not class or education.[8] Consequently the SS officer schools offered a military career option for those of modest social background, which was not usually possible in the Wehrmacht.[8] The relationship between officers and soldiers was also less formal than in the regular armed forces.[8] SS-officers were referred to as Führer (“leader”), not Offiziere, which had class connotations.[8] The military rank prefix Herr (“Sir”) was forbidden, and all ranks were addressed simply by their title (for example, a SS private would address a SS Major general as Brigadeführer, never Herr Brigadeführer).[8] Off duty, junior ranks would address their seniors either asKamerad (“Comrade”) or Parteigenosse (“Party collegue”), depending on if both were members of the Nazi party.
Elie Wiesel made the similar mistake when he wrote his immortal opus, proving that he had never been around any SS officers.
Also, the using word “sowieso” (anyway) twice in the same sentence is very un-German, (as well as un-English).
Oh well, German is a difficult language, isn’t it? First of all, I was not able to find the word “Hochsehrgeehrter” in any German dictionary. Maybe this would shed some light:
Aussprache: haikei
Kanji Buchstabe: 拝 , 啓
Stichwort: Grammatik , Begrüßung
Übersetzung: Briefkopf wie etwa Hoch (Sehr) geehrter Herr, Hoch (Sehr) geehrte Dame (Frau)

The Japanese-German dictionary shows that there combination of words “hoch (high) and sehr (very) is not quite possible. The word “Hochsehrgeehrter” is an overstatement which should not be “misunderestimated”.
Where did I hear that one?
The concentration camps in Germany were called “KZ” (pronounced Kah-Tset), not “KL” as it written in the letter.
“Die Invalidentransporte” translates actually as a “transport of disabled persons. “In bestimmte Kammern” means in specific (certain) chambers.
Further Glory, there is one more sentence in the letter, you have probably forgot to translate.
“Wegen dieses Absatzes schicke ich den Brief als “Geheimsache.”
“Because of this paragraph I am sending the letter as “secret case.” Just like that, Hochsehrgeehrter Herr “Rascher”? Which paragraph, in particular, he is referring to? Didn’t Himmler, or administration of concentration camps have some procedures regarding how to send secret letters/documents. Or, they just write at the end of the dispatch: “I have decided to make it a “secret case”. As simple as that!
You are absolutely right about Hartheim Castle. The installation does not look as a gas chamber at all.
Rascher also was talking about “combat gases”. That means the gases such as “sarin”, “tabun” or “soman”, not “Zyklon B”. The Germans have tons of those “combat gases” and have never used them in WWII.
Why “Rascher” would want to test them in “specific chambers” when these agents were developed to be used in the open battlefields. It is my understanding that he was doing experiments with hypothermia and high altitude pressure. Who would allow him even to touch any of that chemical stuff? Did he have enough expertise to conduct such experiments? Oh, I forgot, he was also making invisible cyanide capsules for high-ranking government officials. This guy was multi-talented, or what?
The letter is definitely a forgery

Comment by Gasan — January 12, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

Hasn’t the authenticity of the documents been in doubt? Irving cites a forensic examination done, which suggested that these documents were printed with modern laser technology?

If they are authentic, then the case is clear. That does seem to be a big ‘if’ though.


HIMMLER, HEINRICH ° (1900–1945), Nazi leader and one of Hitler's principal lieutenants. Son of a Bavarian school teacher, Himmler received military training in 1918 but never participated in military action during wwi. After the war he studied agriculture, was active in right-wing and paramilitary organizations, joined the Nazi Party in 1923, and participated in November of the same year in the Munich putsch. In 1929, appreciating Himmler's devotion and organizational talents, Hitler appointed him chief of the *ss, the elite guard of the Nazi leadership, which, under his rule, increased from several hundred members to a huge organization of several hundred thousand men. On June 30, 1934, it played a key role in the "Night of the Long Knives," the purge of the leadership of the sa ("storm troops"), the old rival of the ss. By 1939, with the aid of *Heydrich, Himmler had made the ss the mainstay of Nazi rule. Himmler molded the ss into a racist order, based on the presumed existence of a "Nordic race" to be improved and restored to its former greatness by eugenics. Himmler therefore admitted only "Nordics" as members of the order on the basis of their right to rule "inferior races."

With the Nazi accession to power, Himmler became first chief of the Munich police and then commander of the Bavarian Political Police. By spring 1934 he had managed to get the Political Police Forces of all German states, including the Prussian Gestapo, under his control, and by June 1936, he was appointed chief of German police. He incorporated existing concentration camps in Germany into his system of police terror. The defeat of *Poland in September 1939 enabled Himmler to realize his social fantasies further. Appointed Reichskommissar "for the strengthening of Germandom," he ordered the deportation of the Jewish and Polish population from the annexed provinces into the territory of the Generalgouvernement, to be replaced by "Reichsdeutsche" and ethnic Germans from all over Eastern Europe, and carried out the confiscation of the evacuees' property. When Hitler charged the ss in 1941 with the "Final Solution" (see *Holocaust: General Survey), Himmler became the butcher of Europe's Jews. He regarded the murder of the Jews as a glorious chapter in German history and gave orders to adapt death camps for the "Final Solution," enabling them to effect the mass murder – the Nazi term was liquidation – of thousands of persons daily and the disposal of their corpses. In a speech to ss Gruppenfuehrer at Posen in October 1943 Himmler praised the integrity of his men, "To have stuck this out and – excepting cases of human weakness – to have kept our integrity, that is what has made us hard." He spoke but urged silence. "This is an unwritten and never-to-be-written page of glory [in German history]." In the rear of the room his words were recorded for history. In late 1941 and 1942, Himmler ordered the utilization of the concentration camp inmates for war production. Hundreds of thousands of prisoners, including Jews set aside in the "selections" from immediate death in the gas chambers, died as slave laborers of malnutrition and ill-treatment. Thousands more were victims of pseudoscientific experiments that were carried out on Himmler's specific orders. Himmler gradually changed his tactics as Germany began to suffer defeat. In May 1944 he permitted negotiations to exchange Hungarian Jews for trucks needed for the war effort (see Joel *Brand). In November 1944 he assumed that for all practical purposes the Jewish question had been solved, and ordered the dismantling of the gas installations. Before the end of World War ii, he allowed the transfer of several hundred prisoners to Switzerland and Sweden, hoping thus to exact better peace terms. As a result, Hitler ordered the arrest of Himmler, before committing suicide himself. In May 1945 Himmler was finally dismissed by Doenitz, Hitler's successor, and killed himself the same month following his capture by the British Army.

Was Heinrich Himmler's death a suicide? - History

By Blaine Taylor

The wide-scale murder of Jews by Nazi Germany’s Einsatzgruppen began in Poland in September 1939, protested only by German Army Generals Johannes Blaskowitz and Georg Kuchler.

This article was published in
WWII History
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Indeed, in some cases the Army even aided the Death’s Head units of the SS in the Polish campaign by killing Jews under the thin guise that they were, in fact, enemy partisans operating behind the German lines. This stratagem would be vastly expanded when the Soviet Union was invaded on June 22, 1941, the rule being, “Where there is a Jew, there is a partisan where there is a partisan, there is a Jew.”

In the Soviet Union, the killing escalated as SS General Reinhard Heydrich, head of the RSHA (Reich Security Main Office), established, organized, and dispatched to the Baltic Republics and Western Russia six major units attached to the German Army for the specific purpose of killing what he termed “hostile elements,” above all, the Jews.

The Origin of the Einsatzgruppen: the German “Special Task Forces”

These so-called Einsatzgruppen (Special Task Forces) were commanded in the field by young, motivated, highly educated soldiers who in civilian life were lawyers, and their ranks consisted of members of Heydrich’s Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service, or SD), the overall General SS, the Nazi Party’s Storm Troopers(SA), the German State Regular Police, and later combat troops from the Waffen SS Death’s Head and Wiking Divisions.

Immediately after the war and for many decades thereafter, various German veterans’ organizations falsely denied that the combat arm of the SS had anything at all to do with atrocities known to have been carried out by their organizational cousins in the dreaded Einsatzgruppen.

Mobilized initially during the 1939 Polish Campaign, the major heinous activities perpetrated by the Einsatzgruppen occurred during 1941-1942 with the outright murder of hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews in both Russia and Ukraine.

Working closely with the local police and the native non-Jewish populations, the German Order Police jointly served as the primary moving force of the Nazi Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe prior to the establishment of the more infamous death camp extermination combines.

It Wasn’t Just the Jews They Rounded Up

And that was not all, either. Besides Jews, and often assisted directly by the local police of the invaded territories, the Nazi Einsatzgruppen murdered gypsies, homosexuals, and Communist Party officials.

Together, the locals and their invaders rounded up entire populations of occupied towns, executing them by shooting and then throwing their bodies into pits that served as mass graves.

Tiring of this time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining effort, the killers soon deployed gas vans, sealed truck passenger compartments into which the vehicles’ fumes were diverted, to kill their prisoners while in transit from one spot to another.

Originally, Heydrich organized his Einsatzgruppen into six units that would eventually encompass some 20,000 men and women. Each unit included Waffen SS, motorcycle riders, administrators, SD personnel, criminal police, state police, auxiliary police, regular police, female secretaries and clerks, interpreters, and teletype and radio operators. These units were, in effect, completely mobile, and self-contained.

Himmler & Heydrich

In addition, at a time when the regular German Army was only partially mobilized in June 1941, with much of its field artillery still being horse drawn, Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, ensured that his individual killing units were fully mobile with a complement of 180 trucks each. The troops themselves were well armed with either rifles or automatic weapons.

Himmler and Heydrich, acting on the direct orders of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler verbally and Reich Marshal Hermann Göring in writing in July 1941, fully intended to kill not only Jews, but also 25 to 30 million Slavs all the way to the far-off Ural Mountains in Soviet Asia. This would clear the vast grassland steppes for future German colonization.

At first, during June-July 1941, the SS members themselves were not fully and closely involved in the killings, instead encouraging the local populations of the invaded territories to kill their own Jews in alleged spontaneous uprisings that they both aided and abetted.

Indeed, to further enflame these locals the Germans opened up all the communist jails and displayed the dead left behind by the retreating Red Army political commissars, blaming these grisly killings on the Jews.

But even as they were actively encouraging these domestic killings and also participating in them, the SS nonetheless nervously approached their gory tasks. One SS man remembered, “We all said to one another, ‘What on earth would happen if we lost the war and had to pay for all this?’”

“If Hitler were to say I should shoot my mother, I’d do it, and be proud of his confidence!”

This was precisely the problem that General Blaskowitz had identified in German-occupied Poland in the fall of 1939 and that Himmler encountered as well. As the direct result of the brutal mass killings, moral depravity was spreading through the SS like an epidemic.

It was, therefore, all well and good for Himmler to boast, “If Hitler were to say I should shoot my mother, I’d do it, and be proud of his confidence!”—as long as Himmler was not the man actually pulling the trigger, that is.

By all accounts, Himmler was, first, last, and always, a desk murderer who ordered other people to do the dirty work. The same was also true of both Heydrich and his own deputy, SS Lt. Col. Adolf Eichmann.

The anecdote is told that when Himmler first witnessed an actual Einsatzgruppen massacre in the East, he got sick and vomited on the spot. In similar fashion, his Einsatzgruppen commanders were losing their minds and being relieved of duty, while the men who actually performed the shootings were becoming alcoholics and experiencing emotional distress.

At one such action on September 15, 1941, fully 12,000 people were formed by the police into marching columns and sent down a street toward a local airport, with the small children and elderly being trucked. Upon reaching the airfield, all the prisoners were duly marched across an open meadow about 50 yards to an open pit. They were then murdered with automatic weapons. The killing lasted a full day, after which both water and quicklime were splashed over the bodies, causing the dead and the still living among them to boil.

10,000 Victims In A Single Day

On a single day, September 22, 1941, the Einsatzgruppen slaughtered 10,000 people in one such action. One of their commanders, Artur Nebe, later renowned as an executed plotter in the July 20, 1944, attempt to assassinate the Führer, wanted to herd Russian mental patients into a building and blow it up with dynamite.

Justifying this technique to relieve his hard-pressed men from having to shoot incurably insane patients, Nebe had a subordinate chemist set up a reinforced concrete machine-gun post rigged with dynamite. With the patients trapped therein, the dynamite would be detonated.

The result proved to be far more demoralizing than Nebe had envisioned, with both cement blocks and blasted body parts raining down on the Nazi killers, arms and legs landing in trees and then having to be retrieved to hide the evidence of this foul deed.

Nebe was also the first to experiment with the mobile gas vans. This was done not to kill more humanely, but rather as a means of making the killing more bearable for the executioners. Because pure carbon monoxide was found to be too expensive to use in this way, Nebe decided to experiment with the vehicles’ own automobile exhaust fumes instead. These, in turn, led to the stationary and ever larger death camp chambers beginning in mid-1942, where the killing took place on an overwhelming scale until late 1944.

Even though the crematoria and gas chambers of the Nazi death camps have come to be grimly iconic of the Holocaust, they were, according to some sources, exceptional, and not the standard killing method.

Shooting Accounted for More Deaths For the Slavs

If Slavs are counted among the victims of the Holocaust along with Jews and gypsies, then shooting accounted for far more deaths than gas. The van gassing began late in 1941, and the camps became operational afterward.

The men of the Einsatzgruppen obeyed their dire orders willingly, if uneasily, for no judges looked over their shoulders, at least not during the war. They were also told that they acted on the direct orders of their Führer, the Supreme Justice of the German State, making them “judge, jury, and executioner” all rolled into one.

The German Armed Forces, when not directly involved, simply looked away.

One infamous Special Task Force commander, Friedrich Jeckeln, invented the “packing” method of killing, wherein the intended victims were funneled in groups of 50 by troop gauntlets shouting at and beating them along the way to their deaths. For instance, at Babi Yar in Russia the pits were manned by such packers, who placed the people to be killed on top of those who already had been murdered. Once so positioned, they were shot in the back of the head, in what the Germans called the Genuckschuss. When one shooter fired a full clip, he was given a break by another, and so on.

On January 20, 1942, Heydrich and Eichmann convened their infamous top secret meeting at a villa at Wannsee outside Berlin to take the Final Solution of the Jewish Question to its next logical level, the railway deportation of all Jews by train “to the East” and their extermination in gas chambers. This process commenced in earnest in mid-1942, when Heydrich himself was assassinated in Prague by the Czechs.

First Auschwitz, Then Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka

The first such camp was at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Upper Silesia, followed by three more in eastern Poland, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. Extermination at Belzec started on March 17, 1942. In time, the other SS death camps included Chelmno and Majdanek, for a total of six major facilities.

The notorious prussic acid insecticide Zyklon B crystallized gas was used only at Auschwitz, while reportedly Sobibor, Treblinka, and Belzec used engine-produced carbon monoxide exhaust fumes. Majdanek used both Zyklon B and pure bottled carbon monoxide.

Himmler toured Auschwitz on July 17-18, 1942, the month after Heydrich died, and watched a Zyklon B demonstration staged especially for him. The camp commandant, Rudolf Hoess, noted later of Himmler that “He just looked on in total silence.”

The following February, Hoess’ aides noted that the priggish Himmler seemed to enjoy seeing women tortured. At a special demonstration for him at Sobibor, 300 young Jewish women were sent on what was euphemisticall called “the road to heaven” from Camp 2 into the gas chamber. Reportedly, the dour Himmler enjoyed wine and cigarettes with his staff aides afterward.

Conquest Put On Hold The Holocaust Continues

The catastrophic defeat and surrender of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad in early 1943 put all Nazi plans for colonization of the East on hold, but the murder of the Jews continued unabated.

However, that same year it was felt prudent to disband the Einsatzgruppen and take steps to cover up what had been done. One who did not advocate this reversal of policy was Hitler, and in June 1943 the continued killing of the Jews became a more important political war than winning the military conflict it had engendered.

Hitler and Himmler committed suicide a few weeks apart, leaving behind their bloody minions to pay for the deeds of the Einsatzgruppen and others.

The military government of the United States in occupied West Germany brought to trial 24 former commanders and officers of the Einsatzgruppen in the ninth of 12 overall war crimes trials held at Nuremberg.

The case of Otto Ohlendorf et al. was heard by a panel of three judges from September 15, 1947, to April 10, 1948, with American Justice Michael A. Musmanno of Philadelphia presiding.

The Nuremberg Trials

Amazingly, at first there was no such trial planned for the criminals of the notorious Einstazgruppen, but this changed with the discovery of a single set of its reports that survived the war. It was found on the fourth floor among two tons of other documents at Gestapo headquarters in Berlin in September 1945.

It took prosecutors more than a year to sort through the literally thousands of such papers that had fallen into the hands of the Allies with the total collapse of Nazi Germany.

At the first of the trials, the International Military Tribunal of 1945-1946 in Nuremberg, Ohlendorf had let slip in open court testimony that his own Einsatzgruppen D had murdered 90,000 people. It was not until much later, though, that the fuller and much grimmer overall picture emerged via the newly found documents, the Nazis’ records of their deeds.

The 24 accused included Ohelndorf, Heinz Jost, Erich Naumann, Otto Rasch, Edwin Schulz, Franz Six, Paul Blobel, Walter Blume, Martin Dandberger, Willy Seibert, Eugen Steimle, Ernst Bilberstein, Werner Braune, Walter Hansch, Gustav Nosske, Adolf Ott, Eduard Strauch, Emil Haussmann, Woldemar Klingelhofer, Lothar Fendler, Waldemar von Radetsky, Heinz Schubert, and Matthias Graf.

What Became of the SS Elite

Only four of the accused were hanged in 1951, including Ohlendorf. Despite being the sole American prosecution witness in other trials, he was eventually executed after many appeals to superior courts in the United States had been denied.

One who was not hanged was the Austrian SS General Odilo Globocnik, an Eichmann crony and a former Nazi Gauleiter of Vienna, who founded four death camps in Poland: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Majdanek. He died a mysterious death either by suicide, partisans, or an alleged Jewish death squad in May or June 1945.

SS General Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski was responsible for antipartisan warfare on the Eastern Front during the war and boasted in writing, “There isn’t a Jew left in Estonia!” He also testified for the Allied prosecution at Nuremberg and died at Munich-Harlaching on March 8, 1972, long after most of his fellow co-conspirators. SS General Curt von Gottberg succeeded Bach-Zelewski and committed suicide.

SS General Friedrich Jeckeln was hanged at Riga. Eduard Strauch was named SD commander of central Russia in 1942 and diagnosed as insane in 1947.

SS Police General Otto Waldmann became SS Leader and Police Leader for Hungary and transferred to police duties in southern Europe, while Carl Zenner became SS and Police Leader for White Ruthenia in May 1942. They were given, respectively, a five-year sentence in 1945 and a 15-year prison term in 1961.

What Became of Dr. Oskar Dirlewanger?

SS and Police Leader Heinz Reinefarth put down the Warthe, Poland, uprising, and in 1965 was elected mayor of Westerland-Sylt. That same year, Otto Winkelmann, former director of the Order Police Head Office and later SS and Police Leader in occupied Hungary, retired as a fully pensioned policeman.

SS General Kurt Daluege was both head of the German Order Police and Acting Reich Protector succeeding Heydrich at Prague until illness forced his early retirement in 1943. After the war, Daluege was returned to Prague and hanged by the Czechs.

The notorious Dr. Oskar Dirlewanger was head of the infamous Special Battalion Dirlewanger during 1942-1944 and was killed while a captive in 1945.

Amazingly, few of the remaining guilty perpetrators were either indicted or convicted, much less confined or hanged for their nefarious crimes against humanity.

Conversely, Artur Nebe was reportedly a “broken” man by November 1941, writing, “I’ve looked after so many criminals, and now I’ve become one myself.”


To understand Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich better you need to know from the outset their joint-criminal intention was to create the United States Of Germany, a nation of Anglo-Saxons and people of a certain type, colour, stance and background. This was a criminal act, it was cruel and unfair and to be financed by the confiscation of others wealth, land and property. Human rights were to be ignored, love and sympathy for others outlawed and huge population genocidal clearances were to take place. Similar acts had taken place elsewhere, in the USA the Red Indian clearances and Apache murders, in Africa, the killing of blacks and the introduction of workplace slavery, in Brazil the killings of various tribespeople and in Australia the Aborigines suffered. Russia under Stalin was operating in a similar fashion. Germany’s policy was racist, it was accompanied by the use of death camps and mobile killing squads. And you had the strange situation of a proud and prosperous nation being led by a madman and his gangster accomplices. It lasted 9 years before the German public began to regret what was occurring but this return to normality and lawful conduct was mostly prompted by Germany’s heavy defeats in the East, the loss of million’s of troops and the entry of the USA into the war. In December 1942 the war was considered to be lost and after that, it was a hopeless cause. What is sad is the death of 6 million harmless innocent Jews, the killing of babies and young people, and the mass arrests and torture of dissidents and non-Nazis, the Poles and the Ukrainian nation stood idly by and they share a huge part of the blame for what occurred. In 1945 all was revealed and Hitler and Himmler decided it might be best if they swallowed cyanide. The trials that took place in Germany during 1945-1952 allowed over 100 000 German war criminals to go free, Justice was defeated.

Was Heinrich Himmler's death a suicide? - History

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsfuhrer of the Schutzstaffel and a leading member of the Nazi Party of Germany. Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and one of the people most directly responsible for the Holocaust. Take a look below for 30 more shocking and interesting facts about Heinrich Himmler.

1. As a member of a reserve battalion during World War I, Himmler didn’t see active service.

2. He studied agronomy in university, and joined the Nazi Party in 1923 and the SS in 1925.

3. In 1929, he was appointed Reichsfuhrer-SS by Hitler.

4. Over the next 16 years, he developed the SS from a mere 290 man battalion into a million-strong paramilitary group, and, following Hitler’s orders, set up and controlled the Nazi concentration camps.

5. He was known to have good organizational skills and for selecting highly competent subordinates, such as Reinhard Heydrich in 1931.

6. From 1943 onwards, he was both Chief of German Police and Minister of the Interior, overseeing all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo.

7. Himmler had a lifelong interest in occultism, interpreting Germanic neopagan and Volkisch beliefs to promote the racial policy of Nazi Germany, and incorporating esoteric symbolism and rituals into the SS.

8. On Hitler’s behalf, Himmler formed the Einsatzgruppen and built extermination camps.

9. As facilitator and overseer of the concentration camps, Himmler directed the killing of some six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Romani people, and other victims the total number of civilians killed by the regime is estimate at 11 to 14 million people. Most of them were Polish and Soviet citizens.

10. Late in World War II, Hitler briefly appointed Himmler a military commander and later Commander of the Replacement Army and General Plenipotentiary for the administration of the entire Third Reich.

11. He was given command of the Army Group Upper Rhine and the Army Group Vistula however, he failed to achieve his assigned objectives and Hitler replaced him in these posts.

12. Realizing that the war was lost, he attempted to open peace talks with the western Allies without Hitler’s knowledge, shortly before the war ended.

13. Hearing of his betrayal, Hitler dismissed him from all of his posts in April, 1945, and ordered his arrest.

14. Himmler attempted to go into hiding, but was detained and then arrested by British forces once his identity became known.

15. While in British custody, he committed suicide on May 23, 1945.

16. Himmler was born on October 7, 1990, in a German Roman Catholic family in Munich.

17. His father, Gebhard Himmler, was a school teacher and his mother, Anna Maria Himmler, was a devotee Catholic woman.

18. Himmler received his education from a grammar school as his father was the principal of the school.

19. Himmler didn’t like athletics as a child and was a studious kid.

20. He was shy and awkward. However, his father forced him to work hard in sports in order to make him strong.

21. Himmler spent a lot of time as a child studying religion, mysticism and sex.

22. As a teenager, Himmler showed a lot of patriotism and wanted to serve his country in the First World War.

23. At the age of 17, his father got him enrolled into the reserve Battalion of the 11th Bavarian regiment using his connections with the royal family. However, those were the very last days of the First World War and Germany was already on the verge of losing.

24. Himmler met his future wife, Margarete Boden, in 1927. Seven years older than him, she was a nurse who shared his interest in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and was part owner of a small private clinic.

25. Himmler and Boden were married in July 1928, and their only child, Gudrun, was born on August 8, 1929. The couple were also foster parents to a boy named Gerhard von Ahe, son of an SS officer who had died before the war.

26. After the Nazis seized power, the family moved first to Mohlstrasse in Munich, and in 1934 to Lake Tegern, where they bought a house. Himmler also later obtained a large house in the Berlin suburb of Dahlem, free of charge, as an official residence.

27. Hedwig Potthast, Himmler’s young secretary starting in 1936, became his mistress by 1939. She left her job in 1941.

28. Himmler fathered two children with Potthast: a son, Helge, born on February 15, 1942, and a daughter, Nanette Dorothea, born July 20, 1944.

29. Hitler called Himmler’s mystical and pseudoreligious interests “nonsense.”

30. Himmler wasn’t a member of Hitler’s inner circle the two men weren’t very close and rarely saw each other socially. Himmler socialized almost exclusively with other members of the SS.

6. Martin Adolf Bormann Jr.: a son of Martin Bormann, Hitler’s private secretary

Martin Bormann (1900-1945) was Hitler’s private secretary. He gained tremendous power since he controlled access to Hitler. By 1943, he had complete control over all internal affairs in Germany. Bormann supported the extermination of Jews and Slavs.

At the end of the war, he committed suicide to avoid capture by the Soviets.

In 1929, Martin Bormann married Gerda Buch. The couple had ten children: Martin Adolf, Ilse, Ehrengard, Irmgard, Rudolf Gerhard, Heinrich Hugo, Eva Ute, Gerda, Fritz Hartmut, and Volker.

The enormous family didn’t stop Borman from having a series of mistresses.

Martin Adolf Bormann Jr. (1930-2013) was the eldest son of Martin Bormann. He had the nickname “Crown Prince.” As a teenager, he lived a life of plenty and was an ardent young Nazi.

After the war, he felt the burden of his father’s sins and became a Roman Catholic priest. He rejected his middle name, “Adolf.” Martin worked in Congo as a missionary. There he was abducted three times and almost killed. He believed that his suffering was God’s punishment for his father’s sins.

“Every day I pray for the souls of millions who died through the fault of my dad, Jews, Russians, Poles.”

— Martin Bormann Jr.

Later, he fell in love with a nun, married her in 1971, and left the priesthood. He toured schools in Germany and Austria, speaking about the horrific crimes of the Nazi regime. In Israel, Martin met with the survivors of the Holocaust.

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Jeremy Dixon » 05 Sep 2017, 21:34

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Bokkop » 05 Sep 2017, 21:47

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Jeremy Dixon » 06 Sep 2017, 00:22

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by phillip burke » 07 Sep 2017, 17:47

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Jeremy Dixon » 07 Sep 2017, 18:09

I've seen it and he says that he spoke to a friend of his who was/is a pathologist and he said it looks as though Himmler had a swollen face and said he thought he had been beaten. But thats Irvings story we have no proof that he has a friend or even if he exists and nobody else has come forward to say they think the same. It may be informative but. is it actually true ?

Again its only Irvings opinion

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Max Williams » 07 Sep 2017, 20:22

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Jeremy Dixon » 07 Sep 2017, 20:40

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Untersberg » 08 Sep 2017, 02:05

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Max Williams » 08 Sep 2017, 12:50

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by steve248 » 08 Sep 2017, 13:31

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Untersberg » 09 Sep 2017, 02:24

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Jeremy Dixon » 09 Sep 2017, 10:09

He hid the poison capsule and the British missed it, errors do happen. the whole episode was an embarrassment for the British and thats the only reason this is shrouded in mystery. the British were embarassed by his suicide they swore everyone involved to secrecy. Also the British lost another "big fish" a few days earlier when SS-Obergruppenführer Hans-Adolf Prützmann committed suicide right under their nose.

It's a typical conspiracy theory which are usually wrong. (Hess, Hitler still alive, etc.)

Re: The Death of Heinrich Himmler

Post by Gorque » 09 Sep 2017, 13:40

The vial of poison was hidden in a gap between Himmler's teeth in the lower right jaw. Another vial had been found on his person and his captors were concerned that he might have another one in his mouth and therefore chose not to do an oral exam at first. When a doctor came in to do a second examination, this time an oral one as well, he saw a gray object wedged in between a gap in his teeth. When he put his fingers in Himmler's mouth, Himmler bit the doctor and then the glass vial.

Steve248's book provides all the relevant testimonies of Himmler's captors as well as from Himmler's associates on his trip to and from Flensburg. I highly recommend it.

Private life

Mysticism and symbolism

From an early age, Himmler was interested in mysticism and occultism. He linked this interest with his racist philosophy, looking for evidence of Aryan racial superiority and the Nordic countries since antiquity. He promoted a cult of ancestor worship, especially among members of the SS, as a way of maintaining the pure race and providing immortality to the nation. Seeing the SS as a “order” in the style of the Teutonic Knights of medieval times, he took over the Church of the Teutonic Order in Vienna in 1939. He began the process by which he intended to replace Christianity with a new moral code Which rejected humanitarianism and challenged the Christian concept of marriage. 188 The Ahnenerbe , a research society founded by Himmler in 1935, conducted research around the world to seek evidence of the superiority and ancient origins of the Germanic race. 189 190

All the badges and uniforms of Nazi Germany, and especially those of the SS, used the symbolism in its design. The SS adopted the runic symbols, chosen by Himmler, as official insignia. The stylized rays of the “SS” runes came from the Armanen runes of Guido von List , which had relied freely on the runic alphabets of the Germanic peoples . 191 Himmler modified a variety of existing customs to emphasize elitism and the central role of the SS: an SS nomination ceremony replaced baptism, marriage ceremonies were altered, and celebrations were instituted for the winter and summer solstices at Style of the SS. 192 The symbol Totenkopf (skull), used by German military units for hundreds of years, was chosen for use in the SS by Julius Schreck . 191 Himmler attached particular importance to the SS Rings of Honor Could not be sold, and when their owners died, they would have to be returned. Himmler interpreted that the symbols of the skull symbolized the solidarity to the cause and the commitment until the death. 194

Relationship with Hitler

First as second commander of the SS, and then as Reichsführer-SS , Himmler was in regular contact with Hitler controlling the SS who acted as Hitler’s bodyguard 195 in the years before the seizure of power by the Nazi Party, Himmler was not associated with the party leaders and strategists decision makers. 196 Since the late 1930s, the SS were independent of the control of other state agencies or the government, and only answerable to Hitler. 197

Hitler’s leadership style was to give contradictory orders to his subordinates and place them in positions where their roles and responsibilities overlapped with those of others. In this way, Hitler fomented mistrust, competition and internal struggle among his subordinates to consolidate and maximize his own power. His cabinet never reconvened after 1938, and discouraged his ministers from carrying out their functions independently. 198 199 Hitler normally not issued written orders, but gave them orally in meetings or telephone conversations Also counted on Bormann to transmit orders. 200 Bormann used his position to control the flow of information and access to Hitler, 201 earning him many enemies, including Himmler himself.

Hitler promoted and practiced the Führerprinzip . This principle required the absolute obedience of all subordinates to their superiors Consequently, Hitler regarded the structure of government as a pyramid, with himself at the apex. 202 Consequently, Himmler was placed in a subordinate position with respect at Hitler, and went on to be interested unconditionally obedient. 203 However, Himmler-like other senior officers Nazis had the aspiration that one day happen to Hitler as leader of the Reich. 204 For example, Albert Speer Himmler regarded as a particularly dangerous rival, both in the Reich administration as a potential successor to Hitler. 205 Speer refused to accept the high rank of SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer Himmler offered him, since he understood that this would put indebted to Himmler and this would require it to allow a voice and decision – making in the production of armaments. 206

Hitler went on to say that Himmler’s mystical and pseudoreligious interests were “nonsense.” 207 Himmler did not belong to the inner circle of Hitler The two men did not have a very close relationship, and were rarely seen together in public. 208 198 Himmler socialized almost exclusively with other members of the SS. 209 His unconditional loyalty and efforts to please Hitler earned him the nickname der treue Heinrich ( “the loyal Heinrich”). However, during the last days of the war, when it became clear that Hitler planned to die in Berlin, Himmler did not hesitate to abandon the one who had been his idolized superior to save himself. 210

Marriage and family

Himmler met his future wife, Margarete Boden , in 1927. Seven years older than her husband, she was a nurse who had an interest in herbal medicine and homeopathy , and was the partial owner of a private clinic. Married in July 1928, and their only child, Gudrun , was born on August 8, 1929. 211 The couple also exercised as adoptive parents of a boy named Gerhard von Ahe, son of an SS officer who had died before war. 212 Margarete sold his share of the clinic and used the money to buy a plot of land in Waldtrudering, near Munich, where they built a prefabricated house. Due to party affairs, Himmler was constantly out of the family, so his wife took over – mostly unsuccessful – efforts to raise cattle for sale. They also had a dog, Töhle. 213

After the Nazis seized power the family moved first to the Möhlstrasse in Munich and in 1934 to Lake Tegern, where they acquired a house. Later, Himmler also received a large house in Berlin, located in the district of Dahlem and tax free since it was an official residence. However, by that time the pair had little contact with each other, since Himmler was completely absorbed by the work. 214 The relationship became strained. 215 216 From then on, the couple only met to attend social events Were frequent guests at the home of the Heydrich family. Margarete saw in this a social role that she had to fulfill, and she used to invite the wives of the leaders and high SS officers to have tea on Wednesday afternoon. 217

Hedwig Potthast , who since 1936 was the young secretary of Himmler, by 1939 had become his mistress. He quit his job in 1941. Himmler arranged for accommodation for her, first in Mecklenburg , and later in Berchtesgaden , a Bavarian mountain refuge where Hitler had his resting place. Himmler was the father of two children with Hedwig: a son, Helge (born February 15, 1942) and a daughter, Nanette Dorothea (born July 20, 1944 in Berchtesgaden). Margarete, who by then lived in Gmund with his daughter, was aware of the relationship to 1941 She and Himmler were already virtually separated, although she decided to tolerate this relationship because of the love that Himmler had for his daughter. Working as a nurse for the German Red Cross during the war, Margarete was appointed supervisor in the Third Military District (Berlin-Brandenburg). 218 Unlike his wife, Himmler himself had a close relationship with her first daughter, Gudrun, whom he called Püppi ( “doll”) I used to call her every few days and visit her whenever I could. 218 diaries reveal that Gerhard Margarete had to leave the Institute of Political Education in Berlin because of their poor academic results. At the age of sixteen he joined the SS in Brno and shortly afterwards marched “to battle”. Destined to the Eastern Front , it was captured by the Soviets, although later returned to Germany and lived in the North of Germany. 219

Hedwig and Margarete remained loyal to Himmler. Margarete and Gudrun left Gmund when Allied troops advanced over that area. They were arrested by the American troops in Bolzano , Italy, and for some time they were under arrest in several internment camps in Italy, France and Germany. They were taken to Nuremberg to testify at the trials, and were released in November 1946. Gudrun came out bitter about the experience – for his alleged mistreatment – and has since dedicated himself to claiming the memory of his father. 220