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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
LeaderAdolf Hitler
Preceded byErhard Heiden
Succeeded byKarl Hanke
Chief of German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior
In office
17 June 1936 – 29 April 1945
LeaderAdolf Hitler
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byKarl Hanke
Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationhood
In office
7 October 1939 – 29 April 1945
LeaderAdolf Hitler
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byNone
Director of the Reich Main Security Office (acting)
In office
4 June 1942 – 30 January 1943
Preceded byReinhard Heydrich
Succeeded byErnst Kaltenbrunner
Reich Minister of the Interior
In office
24 August 1943 – 29 April 1945
ChancellorAdolf Hitler
Preceded byWilhelm Frick
Succeeded byWilhelm Stuckart
Personal details
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler

7 October 1900[1]
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Died23 May 1945(1945-05-23) (aged 44)
Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
Political partyNational Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)
Spouse(s)Margarete Bode
ChildrenGudrun, Helge, Nanette Dorotha
Alma materTechnical University Munich
CabinetHitler Cabinet
Military service
AllegianceGerman Empire German Empire
Years of service1917–1918
Unit11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsWorld War I

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈluːɪtˌpɔlt ˈhɪmlɐ] ( listen); 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was a German Nazi politician and leader of the SS.

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. 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."
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