Heinrich Himmler

Heinrich Himmler

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( 7 October 1900–23 May 1945) was Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) of Nazi Germany. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler later appointed him Commander of the Replacement (Home) Army and General Plenipotentiary for the entire Reich's administration (Generalbevollmächtigter für die Verwaltung). Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and one of the persons most directly responsible for the Holocaust.

As a member of a reserve battalion during World War I, Himmler did not see active service. He studied agronomy in college, and joined the Nazi Party in 1923 and the SS in 1925. In 1929, he was appointed Reichsführer-SS by Hitler. Himmler developed the SS into a powerful group with its own military, and, following Hitler's orders, set up and controlled the Nazi concentration camps. He was known to have good organisational skills and for selecting highly competent subordinates, such as Reinhard Heydrich in 1931. From 1943 forward, he was both Chief of German Police and Minister of the Interior, overseeing all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo (Secret State Police).

On Hitler's behalf, Himmler formed the Einsatzgruppen and built extermination camps. 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 estimated at eleven to fourteen million people.

Late in World War II, Hitler charged Himmler with the command of the Army Group Upper Rhine and the Army Group Vistula; he failed to achieve his assigned objectives and Hitler replaced him in these posts. Shortly before the end of the war, without the knowledge of Hitler, he attempted to open peace talks with the western Allies. Hearing of this, Hitler dismissed him from all his posts in April 1945. Upon realizing that the war was lost, Himmler attempted to go into hiding. He was detained and then arrested by British forces once his identity became known. While in British custody, he committed suicide on 23 May 1945.

Read more about Heinrich HimmlerEarly Life, Rise in The SS, World War II, The Holocaust, Capture and Death, Mysticism and Symbolism, Relationship With Hitler, Marriage and Family, Historical Views

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... Against the orders of Heinrich Himmler who wanted to draw distance between the Schutzstaffel and the Church, Muhs participated in the funeral of Archbishop Karl Joseph Schulte in an SS ... cabinet Adolf Hitler – (Chancellor Führer) Hermann Göring – (President of the Reichstag) Heinrich Himmler – (Reichsführer-SS) Rudolf Hess – (Deputy Führer) Franz Von Papen – (Vice-Chancellor ...
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... Albert Speer notes that though Himmler seemed pedantic and insignificant on the surface, he was a good decision maker, had a talent for selecting highly competent staff ... Historian Peter Longerich observes that Himmler's ability to consolidate his ever-increasing powers and responsibilities into a coherent system under the auspices of the SS led him to become one of ... Sauer says that "although he was pedantic, dogmatic, and dull, Himmler emerged under Hitler as second in actual power ...
Erhard Heiden
... keep the tiny group from going under, he hired Heinrich Himmler to serve as his deputy ... Heiden regarded Himmler as a "keen young clerk" but did not see him as leadership material ... On 5 January 1929 he was dismissed by Adolf Hitler and succeeded by Heinrich Himmler as Reichsführer-SS ...

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