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Heinrich Himmler: The big man of the dreaded SS


Heinrich Himmler was born near Munich, Germany, on 7th October, 1900. The son of a Catholic schoolmaster, he was educated at the Landshut High School. During the First World War Himmler joined the 11th Bavarian Regiment and by the end of the conflict he had become an officer cadet in the German Army.

After the war Himmler was active in the Freikorps. He also joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) and in 1923 took part in the Munich Putsch.

In 1928 Himmler married and became a poultry farmer. He also joined the Sturm Abteilung (SA) and was a devout follower of Adolf Hitler. Himmler believed Hitler was the Messiah that was destined to lead Germany to greatness. Hitler, who was always vulnerable to flattery, decided in January, 1929, that Himmler should become the new leader of his personal bodyguard, the Schutzstaffel (SS).

By the time of his appointment the SS had only 280 members. They wore the same uniform as the SA except for a black cap with a silver death's head badge and a black tie. It was only after 1932 that they wore an all-black uniform.

With the agreement of Adolf Hitler, Himmler expanded the size of the SS. Himmler personally vetted all applicants to make sure that all were good 'Aryan' types. By the time the Nazi Party gained power in 1933 Himmler's SS had grown to a strength of 52,000. He was also made head of all German political police outside Prussia, where Hermann Goering was the minister of the interior.

Himmler agreed with Goering that the Sturm Abteilung (SA) posed a threat to the German Army and in June 1934, along with his loyal assistants, Reinhard Heydrich, Kurt Daluege and Walter Schellenberg, he arranged what became known as the Night of the Long Knives.

As a result of this purge the Schutzstaffel (SS) was now the principal instrument of internal rule in Germany. In 1936 the Gestapo also came under Himmler's control. Himmler was also able to put SS men in all the key posts in Nazi Germany.

In December, 1940 Himmler established the Waffen SS. This new army grew rapidly and within six months grew to over 150,000 men.

During the Second World War the SS Death's Head Units were put in charge of Germany's Concentration Camps. The SS also followed the German Army into the Soviet Union where they had the responsibility of murdering Jews, gypsies, communists and partisans. By June 1944 the SS had over 800,000 members: Hitler's Body Guard (200,000) Waffen (594,000) and Death Head Units (24,000).

There was great competition between the SD (Sicherheitsdienst) and the German military intelligence organization, Abwehr. In June, 1944 Himmler took over Abwehr and after the July Plot the organization was absorbed into the SD.

In 1944 Himmler was put in charge of the German Army facing the advancing United States Army. In January, 1945, he was switched to face the Red Army in the east. Unable to halt the decline in fortunes of the German forces, Himmler became convinced that Germany needed to seek peace with Britain and the United States. When Adolf Hitler discovered on 28th April that Himmler had been attempting to make contacting with the Allies, he ordered his arrest.

Himmler now took the name and documents of a dead village policeman. Although in heavy disguise, Himmler was arrested by a British army officer in Bremen on 22nd May. Before he could he interrogated, Himmler committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule.


Himmler makes a trip to the front


All of us, who are members of the Germanic peoples, can be happy and thankful that once in thousands of years fate has given us, from among the Germanic peoples, such a genius, a leader, our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler, and you should be happy to be allowed to work with us.

Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State.  

Now it is just this world we like the best, the Germanic world, the world of Nordic life. 

The best political weapon is the weapon of terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don't ask for their love; only for their fear.

The decision, therefore, lies here in the East; here must the Russian enemy, this people numbering two hundred million Russians, be destroyed on the battle field and person by person, and made to bleed to death . 

We know that these clashes with Asia and Jewry are necessary for evolution.  

We have only one task, to stand firm and carry on the racial struggle without mercy.  


Himmler in the uniform of Allgemeine SS

More On Himmler



The end of the man. Was it suicide or was he killed by the British Intelligence?


History states that Heinrich Himmler, to cheat the gallows, bit on a cyanide tablet embedded in one of his teeth and died as a result. Himmler, after the death of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, was probably the most prized catch out of all the senior figures in Nazi Germany.  

Arrested with two other men by a British soldier at a bridge at Bremervorde in Northern Germany as he travelled to Switzerland, the small dishevelled figure with a patch over his left eye, was put into a guardroom. Here he was interviewed by two British Army sergeants who decided that the small man was a member of the 'field police' - men who shot anyone in non-occupied Germany who spoke out against the war as it reached its final stages of defeat for Nazi Germany. From the guardroom, 'Heinrich Hitzinger' (as his papers stated) was taken to an internment camp where he could be further questioned. It was only at this internment camp that it became obvious that Hitzinger was, in fact, Himmler.

Himmler was searched and two cyanide phials were found on him and removed. It is said that as an Army doctor was about to give Himmler a more thorough examination, he bit on a cyanide capsule embedded in one of his teeth and died as a result.

However, research done by Martin Allen questions this traditional story. He claims that Himmler was killed by British Intelligence to stop any chance of his inter-war peace dealings with the Allies from being made public. These covert dealings started in 1943 - at a time when publically the Allies were calling for the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Any revelations about clandestine peace deals with one of the most notorious men in Nazi Germany, would have been highly embarrassing for the British government.



Himmler relaxes at his home


Few people are aware of Himmler's views on religion.  Himmler wanted a restoration of ancient paganism in Germany.  This was not a casual interest.  Himmler set up a major research institution, the Ahnenerbe, inside the SS.  He financed an expedition to Tibet.  This quote gives a very good perspective on his views.  Note the date.  This speech was given on the same day as Heydrich's funeral in Berlin, an event that clearly concentrated Himmler's mind on his top priorities in life.

Speech to top leaders of the SS, June 9, 1942  Berlin

"We will have to deal with Christianity in a tougher way than hitherto.  We must settle accounts with this Christianity, this greatest of plagues that could have happened to us in our history, which has weakened us in every conflict.  If our generation does not do it then it would I think drag on for a long time.  We must overcome it within ourselves.  Today at Heydrich's funeral I intentionally expressed in my oration from my deepest conviction a belief in God, a belief in fate, in the ancient one as I called him - that is the old Germanic word:  Wralda.

We shall once again have to find a new scale of values for our people:  the scale of the macrocosm and the microcosm, the starry sky above us and the world in us, the world that we see in the microscope.  The essence of these megalomaniacs, these Christians who talk of men ruling this world, must stop and be put back in its proper proportion.  Man is nothing special at all.  He is an insignificant part of this earth.  If a big thunderstorm comes, he can do nothing about it.  He cannot even predict it.  He has no idea how a fly is constructed - however unpleasant, it is a miracle - or how a blossom is constructed.  He must once again look with deep reverence into this world.  Then he will acquire the right sense of proportion about what is above us, about how we are woven into this cycle.

Then, on a different plane, something else must happen:  we must once again be rooted in our ancestors and grandchildren, in this eternal chain and eternal sequence.  By rooting our people in a deep ideological awareness of ancestors and grandchildren we must once more persuade them that they must have sons.  We can do a very great deal.  But everything that we do must be justifiable vis-à-vis the clan, our ancestors.  If we do not secure this moral foundation which is the deepest and best because the most natural, we will not be able to overcome Christianity on this plane and create the Germanic Reich which will be a blessing for the earth.  That is our mission as a nation on this earth.  For thousands of years it has been the mission of this blond race to rule the earth and again and again to bring it happiness and culture."



Himmler with his orderly


The small, diffident man who looked more like a humble bank clerk than Germany's police dictator, whose pedantic demeanour and 'exquisite courtesy' fooled one English observer into stating that 'nobody I met in Germany is more normal', was a curious mixture of bizarre, romantic fantasy and cold, conscienceless efficiency. Described as "a man of quiet unemotional gestures, a man without nerves," he suffered from psycho-somatic illness, severe headaches and intestinal spasms and almost fainted at the sight of a hundred eastern Jews (including women) being executed for his benefit on the Russian front. Subsequent to this experience, he ordered as a "more humane means" of execution the use of poison gas in specially constructed chambers disguised as shower rooms.



Himmler with children of Belarus. Hitler considered all peoples in the east as barbarians. Himmler thought so too but he was keen to raise more SS armies with these people.


From the outset of his career as Reichsfuhrer of the SS, Himmler had introduced the principle of racial selection and special marriage laws which would ensure the systematic coupling of people of "high value." His promotion of illegitimacy by establishing the State-registered human stud farm known as LEBENSBORN where young girls selected for their perfect Nordic traits could procreate with SS men and their offspring were better cared for than in maternity homes for married mothers, reflected Himmler's obsession with creating a race of "supermen" by means of breeding. Himmler's notorious procreation order of 28 October 1939 to the entire SS that "it will be the sublime task of German women and girls of good blood acting not frivolously but from a profound moral seriousness to become mothers to children of soldiers setting off to battle" and his demand that war heroes should be allowed a second marriage expressed the same preoccupation.


Making a private visit

Himmler's notorious speech on 4 October 1943 to the SS Group Leaders in Poznan: 

"One principle must be absolute for the SS man: we must be honest, decent, loyal, and comradely to members of our own blood and to no one else. What happens to the Russians, what happens to the Czechs, is a matter of utter indifference to me. Such good blood of our own kind as there may be among the nations we shall acquire for ourselves, if necessary by taking away the children and bringing them up among us. Whether the other peoples live in comfort or perish of hunger interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our Kultur. Whether or not 10,000 Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests me only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany. We shall never be rough or heartless where it is not necessary; that is clear. We Germans, who are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude to animals, will also adopt a decent attitude to these human animals, but it is a crime against our own blood to worry about them and to bring them ideals."

Himmler in the nineteen twenties. From his salesman days.


Some see him as dominated by Hitler, fully under his influence and essentially a tool carrying Hitler's views to their logical conclusion. 

Others see Himmler as extremely anti-Semitic in his own right, and even more eager than his boss to commit genocide.

Still others see Himmler as power-mad, devoted to the accumulation of power and influence.

Wolfgang Sauer, historian at University of California, Berkeley, felt that "although he was pedantic, dogmatic, and dull, Himmler emerged under Hitler as second in actual power. His strength lay in a combination of unusual shrewdness, burning ambition, and servile loyalty to Hitler."

Himmler told his personal masseur Felix Kersten that he always carried with him a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, because it relieved him of guilt about implementing the Final Solution; he felt that, like the warrior Arjuna, he was simply doing his duty without attachment to his actions. Himmler's ideas were probably influenced by Jakob Wilhelm Hauer's concepts of duty derived from his interpretation of the Gita.

In 2008, Himmler was named "the greatest mass murderer of all time" by German news magazine Der Spiegel, reflecting his role as architect of the Holocaust. While reflecting his continued public perception in modern Germany, statistical research on democide shows this claim to be a severe overestimate, even when his personal responsibility is considered collectively with Hitler and his other lieutenants.



On a visit to the front. With the elite SS Viking Division


The art of combat is to strike hard when the fire is waning,
and to stop and dig in when a massed enemy force is being
hurled at you. The warriors of the 5th SS Viking Division
did not always follow that formula. At times they charged
forward, firing rapidly from their tanks and trucks, as they
crashed into an advancing enemy force in a meeting
engagement. Above the sound and fury, smoke and blood of
the death-strewn SS battlefield could be heard the ancient
Viking hunting horn. That horn was blown by ancestors who
looked down from the clouds on the exploits of their latest

Himmler with his adjutant, Karl Wolff


During the early part of World War II Wolff was probably "Himmler's eyes and ears" in Hitler's headquarters. Here at the centre of power, he would undoubtedly be aware of all significant events or could easily have access to the relevant information. Apart from the information passing across his desk, Wolff received (as Chief of Personal Staff Reichsführer-SS) copies of all letters from SS officers...

After the assassination of Heydrich, Wolff fell out of favor with Himmler. Himmler after making Wolff a full SS-Obergruppenführer, dismissed him in 1942. In 1943, Hitler assigned Wolff SS adjutant to Benito Mussolini's Italian Government, personally granting him equivalent General's rank in the Waffen-SS.


Gracing the occasion of  marriage of an underling

In Buchenwald

Buchenwald concentration camp was one of the largest on German soil, with one hundred and thirty satellite camps and extension units. The name “Buchenwald” was given to the camp by Heinrich Himmler on 28 July 1937.

At  a concentration camp

Himmler with his favourite daughter, Gudrun. Hard to understand but the monster turned so gentle when with Gudrun


Gudrun Burwitz (née Himmler) was born 8 August 1929. Her parents were Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer-SS and head of the German police, and Margarete (born Boden). Gudrun was the first child of Himmler's marriage; they later adopted a son. In 1940, Heinrich Himmler started an affair with the secretary Hedwig Potthast with whom he had two children.


Gudrun Himmler's reaction to her father's role was completely opposite of the Frank brothers'. Her father had one of the most powerful roles during the Holocaust, but Gudrun refused to see it. Her love and respect for her father kept her alive and constantly fighting for her name. "At fourteen . . . she cut out every picture of him from the newspapers and glued them into a large scrapbook"  After they were captured, Gudrun and her mother were put in jail after jail and left with nothing. Even through the ruthless interrogations at the Nuremberg trials, "she vowed herself to him. She did not weep, but went on hunger strikes. She lost weight, fell sick, and stopped developing" . When Gudrun found out that her father had committed suicide, "the fifteen-year-old suffered a psychological and medical breakdown. Shivering . . . day and night she lay delirious on the bed in her cell" . Even after the trials were over, Gudrun and her mother were forced to live in a protestant nursing home at Bethel under an alias, because they did not have any money or valuables. Gudrun struggled with her everyday life because of her name. She was denied acceptance to schools, turned down by scholarship programs, and was unable to receive a job. Due to the fact that she refused to take on another name, she constantly had "to start from scratch, introduce herself, say her name, her father' s name" . Even through her adulthood, Gudrun stayed faithful to her father. In a 1999 interview she talked about trying to save enough money to go to America and examine the evidence that would help her compare her childhood memories with the documents stating her father's views, and the orders he gave. Ultimately, her goal is to write a book called "simply Heinrich Himmler . . . to clear her father' s name"


With the men of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front

With troops on the Russian Front. Himmler looks glum. So does the soldiers. Bad news had started coming in from this front after the attack on Moscow failed


Himmler, Josef Kirmayer and Fritz von Scholz


Fritz von Scholz was an Austrian Austro-Hungarian Army and later German Waffen SS officer who served in both the First and Second World Wars.

During the intense combat for the Narva, von Scholz's leadership had a strong impact on the spirit of his men. His jovial, caring attitude towards his troops resulted in him being granted the affectionate nickname Papa Scholz. Scholz was frequently at the front line, visiting his men and ensuring that they were as comfortable as possible. The Nordland together with the rest of Steiner's corps, held the line against overwhelming odds for nearly five months. For his actions, von Scholz was awarded the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross on 12 March, 1944, as well as the Finnish Order of the Cross of Liberty (2nd class) with Swords. On 20 April, von Scholz was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer.

In late July, the launch of the Soviet Operation Bagration and the impending collapse of Army Group Centre meant that Steiner's corps had to fall back to secondary positions behind the Narva river. On 27 July, while visiting the front line on Lastekodumägi (Orphanage Hill), von Scholz was caught in an artillery barrage and struck in the head by a shell splinter. Despite the best efforts of the medics and field hospital staff, von Scholz died on July 28 1944. He was posthumously awarded the Swords to the Knight's Cross.


Himmler at the front


Making a visit to Galicia. 1942


With Ernst Kartenbrunner


Ernst Kaltenbrunner (4 October 1903 – 16 October 1946) was a senior Austrian official during World War II, holding the offices of Chief of the RSHA, and (from 1943 to 1945) President of Interpol. He was the highest-ranking SS leader to face trial at the first Nuremberg Trials, having the full rank of Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and executed.


Toward the end of the war, Kaltenbrunner's power increased greatly, especially after the attack on Hitler of 20 July 1944, upon which he gained direct access to the Führer. He was also responsible for conducting kangaroo trials and calling for the execution of all the people who were accused of plotting against Hitler. It was often said that even Heinrich Himmler feared him and he managed to be an intimidating figure with his height, facial scars and volatile temper. It was rumored that he was responsible for Adolf Eichmann's failure to attain the rank of SS-Colonel. Kaltenbrunner was also long-time friends with Otto Skorzeny and recommended him for many secret missions, allowing Skorzeny to become one of Hitler's valued agents. Kaltenbrunner was also responsible for heading Operation Long Jump, the attempt to assassinate Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt. Following Himmler's appointment as Minister of the Interior in August 1943, Kaltenbrunner sent him a letter wherein he argued that Himmler's new powers must be used to reverse the party cadre organisation's annexation.

Himmler with Gottlob Berger


Gottlob Berger (16 July 1896 – 5 January 1975) was a German Nazi war criminal who held the rank of Obergruppenführer during World War II. In 1939, he was Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler's main recruiting officer. From 1940, he was Chief of Staff for the Waffen-SS and head of SS-Hauptamt

He was a co-author of Heinrich Himmler's pamphlet Der Untermensch, and also promoted the pamphlet Mit Schwert und Wiege (With Sword and Cradle) for the recruitment of non-Germans. He was the father-in-law of SS-Sturmbannführer Karl Leib, the head of the Norwegian recruitment office at Drammensveien, Oslo. In SS ranks he was known as one of Himmler's 'Twelve Apostles' and was nicknamed 'der Allmaechtige Gottlob' - 'the Almighty Gottlob'. His organizational abilities contributed to the amazing expansion of the Waffen-SS in World War II, but he also became ensnared in typical in-fighting among the SS hierarchy.

The softer loving side of Himmler. With Gudrun

GUDRUN YEARS LATER.....{From The Scotsman, November 2, 2007}

Silent Help, which claims to be a charity, is partly run by Himmler's daughter, Gudrun Burwitz. It has helped some of the Third Reich's most prominent officers, including Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie - "the Butcher of Lyons" - and Erich Priebke, the slaughterer of Italian civilians and partisans.

Burwitz, now aged 77, does not deny her involvement with Stille Hilfe, describing herself in one of her rare interviews as simply one of the few members in a dying organisation: "It's true I help where I can, but I refuse to discuss my work."

She is the only child of Himmler - the architect of the Final Solution. He nicknamed her "Puppi" - little doll.

The group was established in 1951 and branded by the Wiesenthal organisation as an organiser of the "ratlines" - secret escape routes out of Germany to South America and the Middle East for former Nazis, and later of helping those that remained to evade discovery and prosecution for their crimes.

Burwitz, who reveres the memory of her father despite the fact that he has the blood of six million on his hands, is fêted by SS veterans and has attended one of their rallies in Austria.

Like the children of Martin Bormann and Hermann Göring, she knows the infamy attached to having such a man as a father. Unlike them, she keeps alive the memory of her father - the architect of history's greatest industrial-scale mass murder.

Himmler killed himself with a cyanide pill minutes after capture by British soldiers in 1945. It has fallen to "Puppi" to keep his memory, and his fanatical ideals, alive among the monsters the group still aids.

She is grandmotherly in her appearance. But when she attended the rally in Austria in the 1990s, no-one who saw her was not in awe of her.

"They were terrified of her," said Andrea Ropke, an authority on neo-Nazism who attended the rally in Ulrichsberg, northern Austria, with Frau Burwitz.

She lives in the Munich suburb of Furstenried with her husband and student daughter. She carried her family surname until she married in her late thirties.


"The first man to enter my office was small, ill-looking and shabbily dressed, but he was immediately followed by two other men (Grothmann and Macher), both of whom were tall and soldierly-looking, one slim, and one well-built. The well-built man walked with a limp. I sensed something unusual, and ordered one of my sergeants to place the two men in close custody, and not to allow anyone to speak to them without my authority. They were then removed from my office, whereupon the small man, who was wearing a patch over his left eye, removed the patch and put on a pair of spectacles. His identity was at once obvious, and he said "Heinrich Himmler" in a very quiet voice."


The bad boys all together. Himmler, Dietrich, Heydrich and Wolff

Giving a good impression. Plays with children in Belarus


On 23 May, 1945, Himmler was taken to the Security Force Headquarters at Uelzener Straße 31a in Lüneburg.

He had to undress himself and was inspected by the military doctor, Captain C. J. Wells, accompanied by Colonel Michael Murphy (Secret Service), Major Norman Whittaker, and Company Sergeant Major Edwin Austin.

When the doctor saw a dark object in a gap in Himmler's lower jaw, he ordered him to come closer to the light and tried to remove the glass capsule. Suddenly Himmler bit on the cyanide capsule and at the doctor's fingers. Himmler fell to the ground (or: he was thrown to the ground) and someone shouted "The bastard beats us!" The smell of prussic acid spread through the room. "We immediately upended the old bastard and got his mouth into the bowl of water which was there to wash the poison out", noted Major Whittaker in his diary. "There were terrible groans and grunts coming from the swine." Himmler's tongue was secured in an attempt to prevent him from swallowing the poison. Dr Wells tried resuscitation but it was in vain. After a quarter hour they stopped. "... it was a losing battle and this evil thing breathed its last at 23:14 hours."

Himmler's children

On a trip to the Eastern Front


Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi SS, made a secret wartime mission to an abbey in Spain in search of what he believed was the Aryan Holy Grail, a new book claims.

Himmler visited the famous Montserrat Abbey near Barcelona where he thought he would find the Grail which Jesus Christ was said to have used to consecrate the Last Supper.

According to The Desecrated Abbey, by Montserrat Rico Góngora, the Reichsführer-SS thought if he could lay claim to the Holy Grail it would help Germany win the war and give him supernatural powers.

The book claims that, far from being the King of the Jews, Himmler shared the outlandish belief with other leading Nazis that Jesus Christ was actually descended from Aryan stock.


Himmler buys his first car. 1920s

Himmler wife Marga (or Margherita) with another lady


Ann Stringer met Margherita Himmler at the end of the war. This is an extract of the recently unearthed interview

I visited Margherita Himmler, wife of the most hated man in the world, after Hitler, naturally. She has been interned by the allied authorities and now lives in a luxurious villa in the suburbs of Rome. With her is her 15-year-old daughter, Gudrun.

An expression of stiff coldness emanates from all her being. Not a movement of her face, no lowering of her eyes or eyebrows, no gesture of the hands marked, during all of the interview, the manifestations of any particular emotion or revealed any repentance.

She sits in an armchair with her legs crossed, her hands nobly extended, her head erect and her cold, light-blue eyes immovably fixed on me. Up to this moment she has not known the fate of her husband. As she suffers from heart trouble, the allied authorities have up to now not told her that the sanguinary chief of the Gestapo, captured by the troops of the Fifth Army, went to his death by crushing between his teeth a capsule of poison.

I tell her the news. She receives my words with the same indifference as if I had announced the death of the household cat. Then, interrupting what I was saying, she begins to talk about the last conversation she had with her husband.

'I was near Munich and he was in Berlin. He called me by telephone. It was during last summer.' I try to lead the conversation back to the subject I had been questioning her on, and ask her if she knows the manner by which Himmler died and if she has been informed that he has been buried in a common grave.

But Frau Margherita is not moved: no surprise, apparently no interest. I have the impression of being before the most inhuman phenomenon of indifference and coldness which I have ever encountered. I then ask her if she knew the activities of her husband in his capacity of chief of the secret police. She answers 'certainly'.

'And do you know the opinion which the world holds of him?' 'I also know this,' she answers. 'But I also know that before the war my husband was held by many in the highest consideration.' 'And after the war? Don't you think that he became the man most deeply hated by humanity?' She shrugs her shoulders a little and says: 'Perhaps, it is the destiny of all policemen to have heaped on them the hate of man, and my husband was a policeman.' And in pronouncing these last words there seemed to come to the surface from the coldness of her voice a strange sense of pride. I ask her if she knows that the Allies had given Himmler the first place on the list of war criminals, and she answers me drily: 'My husband? How could that be when the Fuhrer was Hitler?'

Shakes hands with Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's personal photographer. Karl Wolff looks on genially

Himmler with Hans Baur, Hitler's personal pilot

With Rudolph Schmundt. Wolff is in the middle

Keitel shakes hands with Himmler. Rudolph Schmundt gives a Nazi salute. The fourth person is Hitler.

Himmler with his wife

Taking part in a Nazi rally

Himmler with Norwegian volunteers of the SS


Himmler, wishing to expand the Waffen-SS, advocated the idea of SS controlled foreign legions. The Reichsführer, with his penchant for medieval lore, envisioned a united european 'crusade', fighting to save old Europe from the 'Godless bolshevik hordes'. While volunteers from regions which and been declared Aryan were approved almost instantly, Himmler eagerly pressed for the creation of more and more foreign units.

In late 1940, the creation of a multinational SS division, the Wiking, was authorised. Command of the division was given to SS-Brigadeführer Felix Steiner. Steiner immersed himself in the organisation of the volunteer division, soon becoming a strong advocate for an increased number of foreign units. The Wiking was committed to combat several days after the launch of Operation Barbarossa, proving itself an impressive fighting unit.

Soon, Danish, Flemish, Norwegian and Dutch freiwilligen (volunteer) formations were committed to combat, gradually proving their worth. As the success of his experiment became apparent, the Reichsführer began to look for recruits from further afeild, planning the formation of legions from ethnic groups viewed as inferior to the Nordic races of Northern Europe.

Hitler however, was hesitant to allow foreign volunteers to be formed into formations based on their ethnicity, preferring that they be absorbed into multi-national divisions. Hitler feared that unless the foreign recruits were committed to the idea of a united Germania, then their reasons for fighting were suspect, and could damage the German cause.

Source: Jewishvirtuallibrary

With his adorable Gudrun

At a parade in 1939

A portrait

Looking disturbed. With Richard Schulze Kossens and the ubiquitous Wolff

KOSSENS DIES OF LUNG CANCER {Obituary in The New York Times, July 10, 1988}

DUSSELDORF, West Germany, July 10— Richard Schulze-Kossens, an SS officer who was an adjutant to Adolf Hitler for several years, died of lung cancer on July 3, according to the West German newspaper Die Welt. He was 73 years old.

Mr. Schulze-Kossens served as one of Hitler's adjutants from 1941 to 1944. He was promoted to a lieutenant colonel in the SS in 1944 and named head of an SS training school.

After the Nazi defeat in 1945, Mr. Schulze-Kossens spent three years in an American internment camp and later worked as a salesman and writer.

Mr. Schulze-Kossens first served as an aide to Nazi Germany's Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and was present when Germany signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union in 1939.

Die Welt said more than 100 former members of SS units attended the funeral last Friday, many wearing the insignia of a group formed by SS veterans to assist comrades after the war.

Hitler's last personal adjutant, Otto Guensche, reportedly accompanied Mr. Schulze-Kossens's widow to the services. Mr. Guensche reportedly was the Nazi aide who burned the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun after they committed suicide in Hitler's Berlin bunker.

The newspaper said Mr. Schulze-Kossens's casket was draped with wreathes bearing tributes from several former SS units.

Die Welt said the former chief aide to SS leader Heinrich Himmler, Werner Grothmann, a long-time friend of Mr. Schulze-Kossens, was among two former Nazi officers who delivered eulogies.

On yet another visit to the Eastern Front

With his wife

With soldiers of the elite Viking Division

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Jack Glasser said...

Himmler was one of the greatest criminals known to mankind, his actions proved him to be like no other criminal man has known, he sired his daughter Gudren in his image and taught her the meaning of infamy, Himmler cheated mankind out of his public execution by the cowardly act of suicide, yes Himmler was also a coward like Hitler who couldn't fess up to the civilized world about the horrible crimes he committed in the name of Nazi purification, the world will never forget Himmler the animal, nor Gudren his daughter who still lurks on this earth like the animal that her father was before her.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fascinating and brilliant photos, from an historical perspective. Thank you for sharing them.

Joerg Karkosch said...

It isn't that simple, every person would like it to be. Yes, there where terrible things ...done be... people, thinking doing the right things - from their perspective. And there where enough facts concerning the world in the early 20th century to lead to these decisions just a logically way from the perspective of the leaders of Germany and of the german people, too. And: there was the assumption / impression in Germany, that there is no other way if any at all ... to get rid of the supression by the so called victory mights of the WW1. And: to avoid the destruction of Germany by Churchill, Judäa, Roosevelt, France or Russia - just who would act / strike first. I have exact historical (official) sources not only "supporting" this, but proving it. Otherwise I wouldn't even think about discussing things related to so much ... suffering and dying.
I'm just very disappointed of the lies in our history books. It's just for the normal people. My parents were lied to and me children are lied to. No this is over - I make it being over all around me. These disgusting lies will end just now. It took me 4 whole weeks to collect data form just official sources, books and so on. Just this year the first professor of history spoke out on german TV, that there where war mongerers in just every capitol of Europe. Even Stalin laid this down in an article in the "Prawda" on 29th of november 1939. So be it.

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May 1945 - If hell on earth existed, than it existed in Prague after May the 5th. 1945. Old men, women and children were beaten to death and maimed. Rapes, barbaric cruelties, horror-scenarios of hellish proportions - here they had been let lose.

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"History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are."

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.


HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
-- Ambrose Bierce

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.


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"Patriotism ruins history."

Snippets from History

This short but important battle played a key role in the decision to use atomic bombs when attacking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The battle showed just how far Japanese troops would go to defend their country.

Snippets From History

Paulus didn't give the order to 6th Army to surrender, but his troops no longer had much fight left in them. Resistance faded out over the next two days, with the last die-hards finally calling it quits. One Red Army colonel shouted at a group of prisoners, waving at the ruins all around them: "That's how Berlin is going to look!


History is Philosophy teaching by examples.


"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

Points to Ponder: Why Is China Unstable?

The aim of individuals in any society is money and power. Societies that give equal chance to all its members to get them will be the most stable. That is why democracies are more stable than other systems of governance.

China after Deng's reform gave the chance to get rich but power is in the hands of an elite; the Communist Party of China. Membership to the party is at the whims of the local party bosses. This leaves out many people who crave political power dissatisfied and disgruntled. There in lies the roots of instability. The Party suppressed these demands once at Tiananmen in 1989. But force is hardly the way to deal with things like these.

READ MORE: Tiananmen Square Massacre