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Heinrich Himmler

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Heinrich Himmler
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S72707, Heinrich Himmler.jpg
Reichsführer-SS Collar Rank.svg Reichsführer-SS
In office
6 January 1929 – 29 April 1945
Leader Adolf Hitler
Preceded by Erhard Heiden
Succeeded by Karl Hanke
Chief of German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior
In office
17 June 1936 – 29 April 1945
Leader Adolf Hitler
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Karl Hanke
Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationhood
In office
7 October 1939 – 29 April 1945
Leader Adolf Hitler
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by None
Director of the Reich Main Security Office (acting)
In office
4 June 1942 – 30 January 1943
Preceded by Reinhard Heydrich
Succeeded by Ernst Kaltenbrunner
Reich Minister of the Interior
In office
24 August 1943 – 29 April 1945
Chancellor Adolf Hitler
Preceded by Wilhelm Frick
Succeeded by Wilhelm Stuckart
Personal details
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler

7 October 1900[1]
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Died 23 May 1945(1945-05-23) (aged 44)
Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
Political party National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)
Spouse(s) Margarete Bode
Children Gudrun, Helge, Nanette Dorotha
Alma mater Technical University Munich
Profession Agronomist
Cabinet Hitler Cabinet
Military service
Allegiance German Empire German Empire
Branch/service Heer
Years of service 1917–1918
Rank Fahnenjunker
Unit 11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars World War I

Heinrich Himmler (7 October 1900 - 23 May 1945) was the leader of Germany's SS and Gestapo organisation. Hitler ordered his arrest after Himmler offered peace to allies. He killed himself by cyanide poisoning when he was a prisoner of the British Army after Germany had lost World War II. Himmler's father was a teacher and headmaster.

Himmler and the Holocaust

Himmler's SS (theTotenkopfverbände) organized and administered Germany’s regime of concentration camps and, after 1941, the holocaust in Poland. The SS, through its Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst, or SD), hunted down Jews, Gypsies, communists and any persons who the Nazis believed to be either Untermensch (sub-human) or against the regime. They were brought to concentration camps. Himmler opened the first of these camps at Dachau on 22 March 1933.

Unlike Hitler, Himmler inspected concentration camps. In August 1941, he saw many Jews being shot in Minsk. It was said that he turned green in the face after brain matter from one of the Jews splashed onto his coat. His assistant had to jump forward and hold him steady.[source?] After that, the Nazis searched for a new and easier way to kill. This led to the use of the gas chambers.

Posen speech

On 4 October 1943, Himmler spoke of the extermination of the Jewish people during a secret SS meeting in the city of Poznań (Posen). The following are parts from an audio recording of the speech:
I also want to mention a very difficult subject before you here, completely openly. It should be discussed amongst us, and yet, nevertheless, we will never speak about it in public. I am talking about the Jewish evacuation: the extermination of the Jewish people. It is one of those things that is easily said. "The Jewish people are being exterminated," every Party member will tell you: "Perfectly clear, it’s part of our plans, we’re eliminating the Jews, exterminating them, ha!, a small matter."
British war propaganda


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