World War I and II both have some strong-minded personalities who either did the destruction or saved many lives from it. You call it hyper-nationalism or obsession for power, but people at powerful posts didn’t think twice before making a plan to kill others. One of them who was involved in the planning to kill the Jews was Himmler.
Heinrich Himmler was the second most powerful man in Germany after Adolf Hitler. He started his career as a soldier in World War I, and by the Second World War, he became the commander of Adolf Hitler’s Schutzstaffel. Himmler gained so much power later-on that history mentioned him as the Architect of the Nazi Genocide. In WW II, he played an important role in convincing and implementing the plan of killing the Jews in Europe. Though he was so powerful, still he could not save himself and attempted suicide. It’s interesting to know about a person who came from a very general background became one of the most powerful men in Germany.
Background Of Himmler
Heinrich Himmler was born on October 7, 1900, in a conservative Catholic family in Munich, Germany. His father was a teacher in a Roman Catholic secondary school. He used to keep a diary with him since he was ten years old. He worked in the German Army at the end of World War I. After WW I Germany had to face many restrictions, so he left his job from the Army. Then he involved in many roles like ‘chicken farmer’ and a few others. His parents were not capable enough to finance his doctorate, so Himmler chose these small works. In the 1920s, during the rise of Nazi ideology, he liked it and later on joined the Nazi party in 1923.
Leadership In SS
Himmler rose steadily after joining the Nazi Party. Like many other Germans, he was also inspired by the personality of Hitler, and his aggressive nature made him a well-known face in the Nazi Party. In 1930 he was elected as a Deputy to the Reichstag. That’s how he entered into the politics of Germany, which was to be dominated by Hitler. His appointment in Reichsführer of the SS (Schutzstaffel; “Protective Echelon”) was the incident that created a base for Heinrich to grow in Germany. SS was Hitler’s elite bodyguards, to which he increased up to 50,000 and more till 1933.
Himmler created a new team within the security services with the name of SD. The main work of this team was to keep an eye on Hitler’s opponents within the party or outside. When in 1933 Nazis came in power, Heinrich controlled the police department. By June 17, 1936, he was appointed as the Chief of Police department. He was obsessed with the Aryan Supremacy and racial purity in Germans, so he was in favor of killing the Jews to establish Aryans in their place. He organized the extermination camps in Poland to exterminate the Jews.
End Of The WW II
In early 1945, the relationship between Hitler and Himmler reached its worst phase. In 1945 Hitler passed the orders to arrest Heinrich as he was trying to negotiate with western Allies. As a result, Himmler had to run from his people and the enemy’s forces as well. British Army caught him, and he took a pill of potassium cyanide and killed himself.