Heinrich Himmler: Reichsfuhrer-SS, WWII and his surviving relatives.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Relics of Nazi Leaders, Goebbels, Goering, Waffen SS, WWII, SS Uniforms, Reinhard Heydrich.
Award-winning documentary The Decent One is based on trove of SS leader`s personal papers
As portrayed in `The Decent One,` Heinrich Himmler, the commander of the SS was capable of fretting over what Christmas gifts to send his darling daughter while also planning and executing the annihilation of European Jewry. The movie makes use of a hitherto unknown collection of hundreds of letters, diaries and family photos, to profile one of the most notorious mass murderers of all times. The title was inspired by one such letter, sent by Himmler to his daughter Gudrun in1941, in which he wrote: `In life, a person must always be decent, brave and good.`
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The Decent One - A Heinrich Himmler Documentary, In His Own Words
Vanessa Lapa, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, has made a documentary called The Decent One, based on Himmler`s letters to his wife and other personal documents. Lapa bases her fillm, called The Decent One, solely on these documents. There are no eyewitness accounts, no interviews with historians — nothing to create the often obligatory balanced view. Just archive footage, family photos and two main voices, those of Himmler and his wife as read by actors.
Himmler`s love letters to wife to be revealed for the first time, 70 years on
SS leader Heinrich Himmler`s love letters to his wife are to be revealed for the first time. Hundreds of the notorious SS commander`s private letters, notes and photographs dating from 1927 to 1945 will be published on Sunday by Germany`s Die Welt newspaper. Heinrich met his future wife Marga, who ran a Berlin nursing home, in 1927. The trove of letters give an insight into the early days of their relationship and also document the breakdown of the marriage from 1938 onwards when Himmler had an affair with his private secretary.
Author Mathias Tietke talks about Heinrich Himmler`s fascination with ancient India
Mathias Tietke: "As early as 1925, when Heinrich Himmler was only 24 years old and had joined the SS, and just two years after Hitler`s beer hall putsch, he wrote: "Kshatriyakaste, that is how we need to be. (Kshatriyakaste referred to the military and ruling elite of the Vedic-Hindu social system of ancient India.) Himmler was deeply influenced by the Indologist, yoga scholar and SS Captain Jakob Wilhelm Hauer of the University of Tübingen. According to his personal massage therapist, Felix Kersten, Himmler carried a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in his pocket from 1941 until his death."
Himmler was a good boy, always sending a postcard to his mother after invading a nice country
To his elderly mother, Heinrich Himmler was a good boy. He kept in touch, remembered birthdays – and always made sure to drop her a line whenever he invaded a nice country. As nations across Europe toppled to Nazi Germany, Himmler`s mother Anna amassed a collection of cheerful postcards from the monster responsible for the murder of millions. One was posted from Paris only 3 days after the Nazis took control of the French capital in June 1940. "My dearest Mummy! Today I am sending you very warm greetings from Paris. I hope you are well. Your Heinrich," wrote the head of the Gestapo and the SS.
Photos of Himmler in his SS uniform and his communion certificate among Nazi memorabilia expected to fetch £40,000 at auction
A rare printed communion certificate - showing that SS leader Heinrich Himmler was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1911 - will be auctioned off. It will be sold alongside a number of other fascinating Nazi memorabilia which belonged to an American woman whose father, Lieutenant Richard J Wills, was tasked with remodelling Himmler`s home in the Alps into a senior officers` club after the Second World War. One of the rarest items at Mullock`s auction house in Shropshire is a postcard from Hitler wishing Himmler`s mother a happy 75th birthday. Another lots in the auction show photographic and oil portraits of Himmler in his SS uniform.
Heinrich Himmler: A Life By Peter Longerich (book review)
The pale and ordinary-looking man who surrendered himself to the British army on May 20th, 1945, was disguised as a German military policeman, but it quickly dawned on his captors that they had arrested one of the most powerful men in the Third Reich. As chief of the SS, Heinrich Himmler commanded more than a million men. As head of the German police and interior minister, he was in charge of suppressing the opposition on the home front, as well as the murder of millions of Jews and other "racially undesirable" people. Often portrayed as a schoolmaster with an interest in ancient German mysticism and the occult, Himmler appeared to possess few obvious traits for such gruesome tasks. How was it possible for such a man to emerge as one of the most powerful figures in Nazi-controlled Europe?
Himmler`s daughter Gudrun Burwitz works with neo-Nazis and helps SS officers evade justice
Gudrun Burwitz, the 81-year-old daughter of SS leader Heinrich Himmler, still works hard to keep the Nazi flame alive and helping the ageing remnants of the Nazi regime to evade justice. As the leading figure in the shadowy support group Stille Hilfe (Silent Help), she helps those still at large. And recently Gudrun`s work has taken an even more sinister turn: She has become "grandmother" to a new breed of female Nazis on the radical right. These disciples of Hitler wear the traditional dirndl dresses of Bavaria and their hair in plaits.
Suicide photograph of Heinrich Himmler withdrawn just before auction
As he lies dead on a makeshift bed, it is difficult to believe that this pathetic figure of a man was responsible for the Holocaust. Taken just minutes after he had taken a cyanide capsule, this previously unseen picture shows the still warm body of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler. It was snapped by Corporal Guy Adderley of the Intelligence Corps in May 1945. Adderley`s family planned to sell the photograph at auction, but just before the sale, the picture was withdrawn. Speculation that this was because the family feared backlash over selling such a provocative image were dismissed by Malcolm Claridge, head of medals and militaria at Dreweatt`s auctioneers.
Photograph of Heinrich Himmler - taken just moments after he swallowed cyanide pill - to be auctioned off
The photograph of Heinrich Himmler - taken by British intelligence officer Guy Adderley soon after the SS Chief killed himself in May 1945 - is to be auctioned off at auctioneer Dreweatt`s militaria sale in Bristol on March 29.
Adderley`s collection - which includes his id card with his photo confirming he was a lance-corporal and stating `The bearer of this card is a member of the Intelligence Corps (Field Security Wing) and is authorised to wear civilian clothes` - has received strong interest from Third Reich militaria and memorabilia collectors.
Adderley, a member of the team who arrested Himmler at Bremervoerde, was not initially aware of his captive`s true identity because Himmler - using the alias `Heinrich Hitzinger` and wearing a sergeant-major`s uniform - had shaven his moustache and placed an eye patch over his left eye.
Nazi Princess: Heinrich Himmler`s daughter Gudrun still supports Stille Hilfe - An organization that helps S.S. members
Heinrich Himmler`s daughter Gudrun Himmler (now Gudrun Burwitz) has for decades been active in Stille Hilfe (Silent Aid) - a group which helps S.S. members who are in trouble. Oliver Schroem, author of a book about Stille Hilfe, called Gudrun a "dazzling Nazi princess, a deity among these believers in the old times".
The final moments of SS leader Heinrich Himmler revealed in soldier`s WWII diary
The discovery of Corporal Harry Oughton Jones`s war diaries reveals the last moments of Heinrich Himmler. The SS leader bit on a cyanide capsule and dropped down dead - and while his last words are believed to have been: "I am Heinrich Himmler", the diaries state he laughed in the face of an officer before taking the pill. Himmler - disguised in a sergeant`s uniform - was among the Germans captured after the Nazi surrender, but his own comrades told the British captors of his presence. After burying Himmler, Jones was made to sign the Official Secrets Act - and the case is classified by the Ministry of Defence until 2045.
Hilter`s Alchemists - The Secret Attempts to manufacture gold in Dachau (book review)
SS chief Heinrich Himmler set up a secret unit in the Dachau after alchemist Karl Malchus convinced him he could turn sand into gold - which was vital for the Nazis to buy armaments from abroad. "Hilter`s Alchemists" by academic Helmut Werner is the first account of this amazing trick pulled on the SS leader. Malchus told Himmler that: stones and the soil from the bed of the Isar River "will allow me to produce gold in abundance for the future and security of the Third Reich". Malchus was the second charlatan who fooled Himmler: The first was Heinrich Kurschildgen, who claimed to be able to make petrol from water.
Heinrich Himmler’s Third Reich Reichstag Gold Tapestry seized by 101st Airborne for sale
Affiliated Auction Galleries announces the sale of Heinrich Himmler`s Third Reich Gold & Red Velvet Tapestry in its December military & firearm catalog auction. This rare U.S. 101st airborne war capture piece is an original one-of-a-kind museum quality German WWII antiquity. As provenanced in "World War II German War Booty" Volume II by Ltc Thomas M Johnson. Page 66. This piece hung in the Reichstag, but was relocated to Himmler`s residence after the fire which destroyed a similar piece. The 7x9 feet tapestry was seized from Reichsführer-SS`s residence in Berchtesgaden in 1945 by a member of the 506th Parachute Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
Guy Bishop arrested SS chief Heinrich Himmler
Guy Bishop was born Günther Brüg on April 9, 1926, in Germany. 12 years later on Nov. 9, 1938, the Nazis launched Kristallnacht and in 1939 Günther`s mother sent him to England. Günther enrolled in the British army in 1943 under the name Guy Bishop and trained with the elite Black Watch. Realizing Guy`s fluency in German, the Black Watch recommended the British Intelligence Corps to take him. And they did, never finding out that Guy had been born in Germany. in May 1945, Guy was at a release camp near Zeven, when he saw 3 German men together, each wearing the long leather coats that German generals wore - and two of the men were very respectful to the third.
SS chief Heinrich Himmler`s knife for sale - Inscribed with Himmler`s signature
A hunting knife which belonged to Heinrich Himmler is to be auctioned off by Mullocks auctioneers in Ludlow. The horn-handled knife with 4-inch blade is inscribed with the SS chief`s signature. Himmler gave it to his friend Herman Barth - a high-ranking Nazi responsible for the SS Education School in Berlin during World War II. After the Third Reich collapsed Himmler tried to escape, was caught, and committed suicide, but his friend lived until 2005. The blade comes with a letter from Himmler to Barth. Richard Westwood Brookes said it "serves as an artefact of historical importance as a significant reminder of the evil of the Nazis".
British spy Tommy Sneum planned to kill Heinrich Himmler with longbow
Tommy Sneum lay in ambush in Nazi-occupied Copenhagen armed with a bow and arrows to kill Heinrich Himmler. He planned to shoot from a penthouse of Danish actress Oda Pasborg, who he had seduced. Sneum chose a longbow because he did not want the sound of a bullet to be traced back to her flat. He had a quiver of arrows, marked April 9, 1940, the date the Nazis had invaded Denmark. SS boss was due to visit Copenhagen in Feb. 1941 en route to Berlin after seeing SS recruits in Norway. The exploits of Sneum are told in "The Hornet`s Sting" by Mark Ryan, who interviewed Sneum before the former spy died aged 89.
The original Indiana Jones, Otto Rahn, worked with Heinrich Himmler
Not much is known about Otto Rahn. Like Indiana Jones, he was an archaeologist, like him he fell foul of the Nazis and like him he was obsessed with the Holy Grail. Rahn became confident that the Cathars held the secret to the Grail`s location. He explored their Montsegur Castle in 1931. He didn`t find the Grail, but he did find caves that the Cathars had used, and wrote "Crusade Against the Grail" about his quest. In 1933 Rahn got a telegram, from SS-chief Heinrich Himmler, offering him 1,000 reichsmarks a month to write the sequel to his book. Himmler was so sure of finding the Grail that he`d prepared Wewelsburg castle for its arrival.
Portrait of the SS commander Heinrich Himmler
Charles Saatchi`s acquisition, a portrait of the SS chief Heinrich Himmler, has generated protests and made headlines. However, Saatchi, who is of Jewish descent, has not purchased the painting for shock value, he simply liked it. The portrait is part of The Beauty Show, an exhibition of paintings by British artist Jasper Joffe, which opened at the V22 gallery in east London. One room focuses paintings inspired by Vogue fashion models in the 1970s; the other to portraits of "ugly" people, such as Heinrich Himmler.
Katrin Himmler - Out of the Attic: Family Memoirs With a Nazi Past
As a young girl, Katrin Himmler asked her grandmother about the man in a photograph hanging on living-room wall. Her grandmother didn`t say much, but she cried. The man in the picture was Ernst, a brother of Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler. The little that Katrin`s family did tell her about her grandfather, who disappeared during fighting in Berlin in 1945, was that he was apolitical. Decades later she discovered that her family`s story was untrue. Her father encouraged her in 1997 to go dig in wartime archives that the U.S. had returned to Germany. She learned that Ernst Himmler joined Hitler`s Nazi Party as early as 1931. Two years later, he joined the SS.
How Himmler`s daughter Gudrun Burwitz helps Nazi death-camp guard
A group of Nazi sympathisers is aiding a former death-camp guard Erna Wallisch to avoid prosecution. Silent Help, which claims to be a charity, is partly run by Heinrich Himmler`s daughter Gudrun Burwitz. It has helped some of the Third Reich`s most prominent officers, including Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie and Erich Priebke. Gudrun - the only child of Heinrich Himmler who nicknamed her "Puppi" (little doll) - 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, but unlike them she keeps alive the memory of her father.
Katrin Himmler - Yes, I’m related to Heinrich Himmler
Katrin`s surname suddenly struck one of her classmates during a history lesson. "Are you related to the Himmler?" When Katrin managed to stammer out "Yes", the rest of the class, until then bored by the endless detailing of Nazi atrocities, turned round as one and stared at her. -- Her book "The Himmler Brothers" has been acclaimed in Germany, but not all of her relatives are willing to cope with its contents head-on. Heinrich Himmler’s daughter Gudrun, his legitimate offspring with wife Marga, declined to cooperate with the book. The other two children, a son and daughter by his mistress Hedwig, found anonymity when she married after 1945, and have clung to it.
Inside Heinrich Himmler’s spooky Wewelsburg castle - SS Shrine
Wewelsburg Castle: Inside the guard house museum are displays of the plans Heinrich Himmler had for Wewelsburg. "He wanted to make Wewelsburg the centre of the SS world. ...it appears he wanted to make the north tower of the castle into an SS shrine of some sort. Where people could remember the SS dead. It would be at the centre of a new SS village. This would be where the Germanic elite group would live." We stop at a cabinet with a copy of an SS "death head" ring, an SS belt buckle "My honour is my faith" written on it, and a copy of a letter written by Himmler signed off with "Heil Hitler!" Normally tours can’t come into the swastika crypt...
USHMM pictures of Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, Gudrun Himmler (Article no longer available from the original source)
Photographs related to Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler (Margarete Himmler, Gudrun Himmler, in the company of Waffen-SS Armored Division Wiking chief SS-Brigadefuehrer and Major General Felix Steiner, etc) from the photo archives of USHMM.
Heinrich Himmler`s Last Days - The commander of the German SS
7-11 May 1945 Heinrich Himmler and 5 attendants stayed at a farm near Satrup. Himmler decided to travel to Bavaria, joined by a few SS-officers and perhaps 7 NCOs. They removed all insignia from their uniforms and placed false documents in their pockets in the expectation that these would prove that they were recently released NCOs of the Geheime Feldpolizei. Himmler’s papers identified him as "Ex-Sergeant Heinrich Hitzinger of a Special Armoured Company, attached to the Secret Field Police, demobilized on 3 May 1945". ... Himmler and his two companions were captured on 21 May by 3 Russians (assigned to a British post at the River Oste) in Meinstedt.
Angora - Nazi rabbit project by SS chief Heinrich Himmler
The bound volume covered in woven gray wool, titled "Angora," in the Wisconsin Historical Society`s collections is chilling. It belonged to Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS in Nazi Germany. Himmler`s "Angora" album, which he hid in his Alpine villa with his other papers near the end of World War 2, tells the story of the angora rabbit project. Photographs, charts and maps from Heinrich Himmler`s "Angora" are now among the 25,000 WHS images that are on its site, and will be featured in an online gallery. The rabbits were raised for their warm fur, which was used for the linings of jackets for Luftwaffe pilots.
Heinrich Himmler`s secret quest to locate the Aryan Holy Grail
Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi SS, made a secret wartime mission to Montserrat abbey in Spain in search of the Aryan Holy Grail. According to a book The Desecrated Abbey, by Montserrat Rico Góngora, the Reichsführer-SS thought if he could lay claim to the Holy Grail it would help Nazi Germany win the war and give him supernatural powers. A former monk Andreu Ripol Noble was ordered to greet Himmler during the visit in 1940. Ripol related how Himmler came to Montserrat inspired by Richard Wagner`s opera Parsifal, which mentions the Holy Grail could be in kept in "the marvellous castle of Montsalvat in the Pyrenees".
The Master Plan: Himmler`s Scholars and SS Ahnenerbe
"Nazi Science": the phrase sounds absurd. But for Heinrich Himmler, the stargazing Reichsfuhrer who ran the SS, Hitler`s elite praetorian guard, Nazi science was going to build a future world full of genetically pure Aryans. Himmler insisted that science had to serve the Nazi party. He set up the SS Ahnenerbe institute to scientifically prove Nordic racial superiority. Himmler brought together a motley collection of fanatics, madmen and opportunists under the auspices of the Ahnenerbe. In its early stages, the institute sent archaeologists to search the globe for documentation of the origins of Nazism in a mythical ancient Aryan civilization.
Auction: Rare Photo Album of SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler (Article no longer available from the original source)
Manion`s International Auction House has recently listed a rare photo album assembled by a witness to one of SS leader Heinrich Himmler`s official wartime meetings with the command staff of the feared 2nd SS Panzer Division (Das Reich). The album provides a candid glimpse `behind the scenes` at one of the Third Reich`s most infamous personalities. It includes 38 original black and white photos chronicling the meeting. Himmler is clearly visible in about 90% of the shots. The album even includes a shot of him in a strange and rather jaunty pose, the caption detailing his `good mood.`
Heinrich Himmler`s ring part of Nazi memorabilia stolen from museum
The silver death`s head ring that once belonged to the SS leader, Heinrich Himmler, has been stolen from a museum in Adolf Hitler`s holiday town of Berchtesgaden. The ring is signed inside by Himmler. Also seized was a 1938 medallion commemorating Hitler`s visit to the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini. The two items are worth thousands to Nazi memorabilia collectors. The Documentation Centre has proved one of the biggest tourist draws in Bavaria since it was opened up. Last month Adolf Hitler`s gold Nazi party badge was stolen from a Moscow archive.
Katrin`s choice: how do I tell my son about great-uncle Heinrich
Frau Himmler, a political scientist, is the great-niece of Heinrich Himmler, head of Hitler’s SS and mastermind of the concentration camp system. She is married to an Israeli whose family was confined to the Warsaw ghetto, which was burned to the ground by troopers acting on her great-uncle’s orders. Sometime soon her son will have to be told of the 20th-century tragedy that is part of his heritage.
The Nazi Expeditions- Himmler`s search for the remnants of the original master race
Himmler founded the Ahnenerbe, the ancestral heritage research foundation, whose specific purpose was to furnish a scientific underpinning for the Nazi doctrine of racial superiority. The Ahnenerbe was a vast organisation with thousands of staff: 100 researchers were employed simply to look at the role of the forest in German culture. Soon, sycophant scholars were falling over themselves to find proof of the Nazis` Aryan superiority.
Wewelsburg Castle - Himmler`s Fortress of Fear
Rumours of prominent Nazis` involvement with the realm of the occult have persisted for decades. Nick Brownlow and Jonathan Turner visited the SS headquarters at Wewelsburg Castle to unearth the truth behind SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler`s vision of an ancient and noble Aryan prehistory that verified the superiority of the Master Race.
Heinrich Himmler`s daughter Gudrun (Article no longer available from the original source)
[Link no longer active, and we cannot find this story from our archive] -- A charity partly run by Heinrich Himmler`s daughter to help ex-SS veterans is rallying support for a former concentration camp guard who faces prosecution for war crimes. The group Stille Hilfe (Quiet Aid) supports former high-ranking Nazis, and in the past it has helped some of the Third Reich`s most prominent officers, including Klaus Barbie and Erich Priebke. Gudrun Burwitz daughter of Adolf Hitler`s leading henchman, does not deny that she is currently involved with Stille Hilfe.
I told Margherita Himmler that her husband, Heinrich Himmler, has committed suicide
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. 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. I tell her the news. She receives my words with the same indifference as if I had announced the death of the household cat. I then ask her if she knew the activities of her husband in his capacity of chief of the secret police. She answers `certainly`.