It grew from three regiments to over 38 divisions during World War II, serving alongside the Heer army , but never being formally part of it. Since the Reserve Army consisted of two million men, Himmler hoped to draw on these reserves to fill posts within the Waffen-SS. Göring had created a Prussian secret police force, the Geheime Staatspolizei or Gestapo in , and appointed Rudolf Diels as its head. Himmler seldom left the train, only worked about four hours per day, and insisted on a daily massage before commencing work and a lengthy nap after lunch.
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Will usually ship within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. If you have questions about this VAT tax, please contact the seller. Attended by top Nazi officials, it was used to outline the plans for the " final solution to the Jewish question ". Heydrich detailed how those Jews able to work would be worked to death ; those unable to work would be killed outright. Heydrich calculated the number of Jews to be killed at 11 million, and told the attendees that Hitler had placed Himmler in charge of the plan.
At least 1, people were executed by firing squads. Initially the victims were killed with gas vans or by firing squad, but these methods proved impracticable for an operation of this scale.
Nauseated and shaken by the experience,  he was concerned about the impact such actions would have on the mental health of his SS men. He decided that alternate methods of killing should be found. He was given a demonstration of a mass killing using the gas chamber in Bunker 2 and toured the building site of the new IG Farben plant being constructed at the nearby town of Monowitz. After witnessing a gassing, he gave 28 people promotions, and ordered the operation of the camp to be wound down.
In a revolt that October, prisoners killed most of the guards and SS personnel, and prisoners escaped. Two hundred managed to get away; some joined partisan units operating in the area. The remainder were killed. The camp was dismantled by December The Nazis also targeted Romani Gypsies as "asocial" and "criminals". Himmler was a main architect of the Holocaust,    using his deep belief in the racist Nazi ideology to justify the murder of millions of victims.
The Nazis planned to kill Polish intellectuals and restrict non-Germans in the General Government and conquered territories to a fourth-grade education. As an agronomist and farmer Himmler was acquainted with the principles of selective breeding , which he proposed to apply to humans.
He believed that he could engineer the German populace, for example, through eugenics , to be Nordic in appearance within several decades of the end of the war. Ausrottung of the Jewish people. I also want to refer here very frankly to a very difficult matter.
We can now very openly talk about this among ourselves, and yet we will never discuss this publicly. Just as we did not hesitate on 30 June , to perform our duty as ordered and put comrades who had failed up against the wall and execute them, we also never spoke about it, nor will we ever speak about it.
Let us thank God that we had within us enough self-evident fortitude never to discuss it among us, and we never talked about it. Every one of us was horrified, and yet every one clearly understood that we would do it next time, when the order is given and when it becomes necessary.
I am talking about the "Jewish evacuation": It is one of those things that is easily said. They say the others are all swines, but this particular one is a splendid Jew. But none has observed it, endured it. Most of you here know what it means when corpses lie next to each other, when there are or when there are 1, To have endured this and at the same time to have remained a decent person—with exceptions due to human weaknesses—has made us tough, and is a glorious chapter that has not and will not be spoken of.
Because we know how difficult it would be for us if we still had Jews as secret saboteurs, agitators and rabble-rousers in every city, what with the bombings, with the burden and with the hardships of the war. If the Jews were still part of the German nation, we would most likely arrive now at the state we were at in and ' Because the Allies had indicated that they were going to pursue criminal charges for German war crimes, Hitler tried to gain the loyalty and silence of his subordinates by making them all parties to the ongoing genocide.
Hitler therefore authorised Himmler's speeches to ensure that all party leaders were complicit in the crimes, and could not later deny knowledge of the killings. As laid out in the General Plan for the East, the aim was to enslave, expel or exterminate the native population and to make Lebensraum "living space" for Volksdeutsche ethnic Germans. He continued his plans to colonise the east, even when many Germans were reluctant to relocate there, and despite negative effects on the war effort. Himmler's racial groupings began with the Volksliste , the classification of people deemed of German blood.
These included Germans who had collaborated with Germany before the war, but also those who considered themselves German but had been neutral; those who were partially "Polonized" but "Germanizable"; and Germans who were of Polish nationality. The plan also included the kidnapping of Eastern European children by Nazi Germany.
Obviously in such a mixture of peoples, there will always be some racially good types. Therefore, I think that it is our duty to take their children with us, to remove them from their environment, if necessary by robbing, or stealing them.
Either we win over any good blood that we can use for ourselves and give it a place in our people, The "racially valuable" children were to be removed from all contact with Poles, and raised as Germans, with German names. We are convinced that our own philosophy and ideals will reverberate in the spirit of these children who racially belong to us.
By January , Himmler reported that , ethnic Germans had been resettled; however, most resettled Germans did not live in the envisioned small farms, but in temporary camps or quarters in towns.
Half a million residents of the annexed Polish territories, as well as from Slovenia, Alsace, Lorraine, and Luxembourg were deported to the General Government or sent to Germany as slave labour. On 20 July , a group of German army officers led by Claus von Stauffenberg and including some of the highest-ranked members of the German armed forces attempted to assassinate Hitler, but failed to do so. The next day, Himmler formed a special commission that arrested over 5, suspected and known opponents of the regime.
Hitler ordered brutal reprisals that resulted in the execution of more than 4, people. General Friedrich Fromm , commander-in-chief of the Reserve or Replacement Army Ersatzheer and Stauffenberg's immediate superior, was one of those implicated in the conspiracy.
Hitler removed Fromm from his post and named Himmler as his successor. Since the Reserve Army consisted of two million men, Himmler hoped to draw on these reserves to fill posts within the Waffen-SS.
By November Himmler had merged the army officer recruitment department with that of the Waffen-SS and had successfully lobbied for an increase in the quotas for recruits to the SS. As head of the Reserve Army, Himmler was now responsible for prisoners of war. He was also in charge of the Wehrmacht penal system, and controlled the development of Wehrmacht armaments until January All males aged sixteen to sixty were eligible for conscription into this militia, over the protests of Armaments Minister Albert Speer , who noted that irreplaceable skilled workers were being removed from armaments production.
Because of severe shortages in weapons and equipment and lack of training, members of the Volkssturm were poorly prepared for combat, and about , of them lost their lives in the final months of the war. The goal was to break through the lines of the US 7th Army and French 1st Army to support the southern thrust in the Ardennes offensive , the final major German offensive of the war. After limited initial gains by the Germans, the Americans halted the offensive.
The train had only one telephone line, inadequate maps, and no signal detachment or radios with which to establish communication and relay military orders. Himmler seldom left the train, only worked about four hours per day, and insisted on a daily massage before commencing work and a lengthy nap after lunch.
General Heinz Guderian talked to Himmler on 9 February and demanded, that Operation Solstice , an attack from Pomerania against the northern flank of Marshal Georgy Zhukov 's 1st Belarusian Front , should be in progress by the 16th.
Himmler argued that he was not ready to commit himself to a specific date. Given Himmler's lack of qualifications as an army group commander, Guderian convinced himself that Himmler tried to conceal his incompetence.
Hitler sent Wenck with a "special mandate", but without specifying Wenck's authority. That night Wenck was severely injured in a car accident, but it is doubtful that he could have salvaged the operation, as Guderian later claimed. Himmler ordered the offensive to stop on the 18th by a "directive for regrouping". Himmler was unable to devise any viable plans for completion of his military objectives. Under pressure from Hitler over the worsening military situation, Himmler became anxious and unable to give him coherent reports.
By this time Himmler, who had been under the care of his doctor since 18 February, had fled to a sanatorium at Hohenlychen. In early , the German war effort was on the verge of collapse and Himmler's relationship with Hitler had deteriorated. Himmler considered independently negotiating a peace settlement.
Letters were exchanged between the two men,  and direct meetings were arranged by Walter Schellenberg of the RSHA. Himmler and Hitler met for the last time on 20 April —Hitler's birthday—in Berlin, and Himmler swore unswerving loyalty to Hitler. At a military briefing on that day, Hitler stated that he would not leave Berlin, in spite of Soviet advances.
Along with Göring, Himmler quickly left the city after the briefing. He also claimed very high survival rates for the camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen , even as these sites were liberated and it became obvious that his figures were false.
Representing himself as the provisional leader of Germany, he claimed that Hitler would be dead within the next few days. Hoping that the British and Americans would fight the Soviets alongside what remained of the Wehrmacht, Himmler asked Bernadotte to inform General Dwight Eisenhower that Germany wished to surrender to the West.
Bernadotte asked Himmler to put his proposal in writing, and Himmler obliged. Meanwhile, Göring had sent a telegram , a few hours earlier, asking Hitler for permission to assume leadership of the Reich —an act that Hitler, under the prodding of Martin Bormann , interpreted as a demand to step down or face a coup.
Hitler, who had long considered Himmler to be second only to Joseph Goebbels in loyalty he called Himmler "the loyal Heinrich" , flew into a rage at this apparent betrayal. Hitler told those still with him in the bunker complex that Himmler's act was the worst treachery he had ever known and ordered his arrest. Fegelein was court-martialed and shot. This report, combined with Himmler's treachery, prompted Hitler to write his last will and testament.
In the testament, completed on 29 April—one day prior to his suicide —Hitler declared both Himmler and Göring to be traitors. He stripped Himmler of all of his party and state offices and expelled him from the Nazi Party. Hitler named Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor. Himmler met Dönitz in Flensburg and offered himself as second-in-command.
He maintained that he was entitled to a position in Dönitz's interim government as Reichsführer-SS , believing the SS would be in a good position to restore and maintain order after the war. Dönitz repeatedly rejected Himmler's overtures  and initiated peace negotiations with the Allies. He wrote a letter on 6 May—two days before the German Instrument of Surrender —formally dismissing Himmler from all his posts.
Rejected by his former comrades and hunted by the Allies, Himmler attempted to go into hiding. He had not made extensive preparations for this, but he carried a forged paybook under the name of Sergeant Heinrich Hitzinger. With a small band of companions, he headed south on 11 May to Friedrichskoog , without a final destination in mind. They continued on to Neuhaus , where the group split up. Over the following two days, he was moved around to several camps  and was brought to the British 31st Civilian Interrogation Camp near Lüneburg , on 23 May.
The duty officer, Captain Thomas Selvester, began a routine interrogation. Himmler admitted who he was, and Selvester had the prisoner searched. Himmler was taken to the headquarters of the Second British Army in Lüneburg, where a doctor conducted a medical exam on him. The doctor attempted to examine the inside of Himmler's mouth, but the prisoner was reluctant to open it and jerked his head away.
Himmler then bit into a hidden potassium cyanide pill and collapsed onto the floor. He was dead within 15 minutes. The grave's location remains unknown. Himmler was interested in mysticism and the occult from an early age. He tied this interest into his racist philosophy, looking for proof of Aryan and Nordic racial superiority from ancient times. He promoted a cult of ancestor worship, particularly among members of the SS, as a way to keep the race pure and provide immortality to the nation.
He began the process of replacing Christianity with a new moral code that rejected humanitarianism and challenged the Christian concept of marriage. All regalia and uniforms of Nazi Germany, particularly those of the SS, used symbolism in their designs. The stylised lightning bolt logo of the SS was chosen in The logo is a pair of runes from a set of 18 Armanen runes created by Guido von List in He interpreted the deaths-head symbol to mean solidarity to the cause and a commitment unto death.
As second in command of the SS and then Reichsführer-SS, Himmler was in regular contact with Hitler to arrange for SS men as bodyguards;  Himmler was not involved with Nazi Party policy-making decisions in the years leading up to the seizure of power.
Hitler's leadership style was to give contradictory orders to subordinates and to place them into positions where their duties and responsibilities overlapped with those of others. In this way, Hitler fostered distrust, competition, and infighting among his subordinates to consolidate and maximise his own power. His cabinet never met after , and he discouraged his ministers from meeting independently. Hitler promoted and practised the Führerprinzip. The principle required absolute obedience of all subordinates to their superiors; thus Hitler viewed the government structure as a pyramid, with himself—the infallible leader—at the apex.
Hitler called Himmler's mystical and pseudoreligious interests "nonsense". In the last days of the war, when it became clear that Hitler planned to die in Berlin, Himmler left his long-time superior to try to save himself. Himmler met his future wife, Margarete Boden , in Seven years his senior, she was a nurse who shared his interest in herbal medicine and homoeopathy , and was part owner of a small private clinic.
They were married in July , and their only child, Gudrun , was born on 8 August Himmler was constantly away on party business, so his wife took charge of their efforts—mostly unsuccessful—to raise livestock for sale. They had a dog, Töhle. After the Nazis came to power the family moved first to Möhlstrasse in Munich, and in to Lake Tegern , where they bought a house.
Himmler also later obtained a large house in the Berlin suburb of Dahlem , free of charge, as an official residence. The couple saw little of each other as Himmler became totally absorbed by work. Margarete saw it as her duty to invite the wives of the senior SS leaders over for afternoon coffee and tea on Wednesday afternoons. Hedwig Potthast , Himmler's young secretary starting in , became his mistress by She left her job in He arranged accommodation for her, first in Mecklenburg and later at Berchtesgaden.
He fathered two children with her: Margarete, by then living in Gmund with her daughter, learned of the relationship sometime in ; she and Himmler were already separated, and she decided to tolerate the relationship for the sake of her daughter. Himmler was close to his first daughter, Gudrun, whom he nicknamed Püppi "dolly" ; he phoned her every few days and visited as often as he could. Margarete's diaries reveal that Gerhard had to leave the National Political Educational Institute in Berlin because of poor results.
At the age of 16 he joined the SS in Brno and shortly afterwards went "into battle", He was captured by the Russians but later returned to Germany. Hedwig and Margarete both remained loyal to Himmler. Writing to Gebhard in February , Margarete said, "How wonderful that he has been called to great tasks and is equal to them.
The whole of Germany is looking to him. Anderson, Benedict July—August From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Death to Bourgeois Society: The Propagandists of the Deed. The Day Wall Street Exploded: Retrieved April 8, The Science of Revolutionary Warfare: Internationaler Zeitung-Verein, ; Desert Publications, reprint.
Fire in the minds of men: Retrieved October 26, According to some analysts, in post-war Germany , the prohibition of the Communist Party KPD and thus of institutional far-left political organization may also, in the same manner, have played a role in the creation of the Red Army Faction. Galleani's writings are clear on this point: Princeton University Press , p. Anarchism and Political Modernity. Anarchist Ideology and the Working-class Movement in Spain, University of California Press.
Famous Assassinations in World History: Men, Mobs, and Law: Anti-Lynching and Labor Defense in U. A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1. To Kill a Sultan: Explicit use of et al. An ethnography of militancy, emotions and violence. The Politics of Attack: The politics of revolutionary anti-imperialism" PDF. Prairie Fire Distributing Committee.
Retrieved 15 September University of Nevada Press. Comparable to the Pope speaking ex cathedra. Retrieved May 11, Retrieved 7 January Anarchism portal Criminal justice portal History portal Politics portal Socialism portal Sociology portal Terrorism portal. Retrieved from " https: