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The Manipulator Behind Hitler-Heinrich Himmler

Updated on August 19, 2017
John Everette profile image

While I was in the Arny, this history buff, spent a total of 9 years in Germany, where I gained a curiosity about its historic figures.

Young Himmler
Young Himmler | Source

Heinrich's early years

Perhaps the one man in Nazis Germany that was more feared than Hitler was a rather mild mattered bureaucrat looking man who worked his way from farmer to the head of national security in Nazi Germany with an unshakeable desire to “purify” the German race-Heinrich Himmler.

Heinrich Himmler was born in Munich on October 7, 1900, the second son of three boys. His father, Gehardt Himmler, once taught Prince Heinrich a member of the Wittelback family that ruled Bavaria. Later he became a tyrannical headmaster of the school that his three sons attended.

Not only was his father a strict teacher at school but was just as stern at home. He instilled in Heinrich respect for authority, and worship of the military. When it came to religion both his mother and father were strict Catholics for whom attendance at church on Sundays was a must.

As Heinrich grew up he kept dairies that his father often read. The diaries reveal, among other things, a frightened boy laboriously striving to be liked and a star sportsman. Because of his father’s tendency to read his diaries, Heinrich recorded very little about sexual matters. Apart from his diaries Heinrich proved to be of average intelligence, nearsighted, and often suffering from poor health.

When World War I began he was very patriotic and longed to be like his older brother who had enlisted in the armed forces and became a hero. When he tried to enlist in the army, he was told he was too young. When he tried to enlist in the Navy he was rejected because he wore glasses. Finally a reserve unit accepted him, but did not see any action at the front. Still he followed the war dreaming of being an officer as he romanticized his time in the service.

After high school Heinrich had trouble deciding what he wanted to do until he decided to pursue a career in agriculture which his parents was socially a step down. In time he found work as a trainee on a farm but attacks of typhoid fever that made it impossible to continue. While he was in the hospital he read a great deal of books about the eccentric/reactionary/ right that was popular in Bavaria.

He later enrolled at the agricultural department of Munich University where he joined several right-wing organizations and a dueling fraternity

As he grew up Heinrich greatest past time was recording all kinds of information from how many times he went swimming at a nearby lake, how much he spent, to the number of delays the local trains experienced. This love of recording the littlest details latter grew into an almost manic desire to write everything down on paper especially the smallest details and rumors about “friends” and potential enemies. It also resulted in Heinrich inventing a machine that had an enclosed rotary wheel containing thousands of index cards with all kinds of information on them. It was also electric powered so that at the touch of a few buttons the desired card would soon come into view. This invention came about with help from a friend-Reinhardt Heydrich.

1922 and 1923 proved to be a busy years for Heinrich for it was in 1922 that he received a diploma and then took a job at a chemical factory in Schileisheum. He later quit the job in order to travel around on his motor bike distributing and pushing the right-wing politics of the Nazi Party. It was also during this time that he met a married a woman 7 years older than him who got him interested in healing herbs, spices, and folk medicine. In return he bought a farm near Munich (with his wife’s money) that he spent less and less time at as more and more of his time was taken by distributing political leaflets and talking with other farmers about the Nazi Party. More and more Heinrich Himmler was embracing hate towards: homosexuals Jews, loose women, and Communists. His own political interests became more and more radical as he listened to political philosophers who promised simple formulas to solve life’s problems.

A couple of these radical philosophies came to shape Himmler’s beliefs. One of these philosophers preached a returned to “blood and soil” that elevated farmers to the level of saviors of Europe and cities were “cesspools.” Another radical philosopher preached that the vast plains in the East had to be taken away from the subhuman Slavs and repopulated by German farmers and warriors.

At the same time Heinrich had a growing tendency to get what he wanted through his insatiable appetite to gather information, catalogue this information, and file this information into dossiers on not only real and potential enemies, but friends as well. This tendency, this gift, of his was noticed by Adolf Hitler. Hitler may also have noticed Himmler’s desire to make Germany strong by “purifying” Germany’s Nordic race for in 1929 Hitler gave him the title of Reichfuhre SS. At the time the SS consisted of only a small group of men within the SA that Himmler was responsible for. Himmler first met Roehm in 1923 and admired what he had done with the Nazi Party’s paramilitary organization. However, Himmler held stricter requirements for his SS in that he required candidates to submit a “clan book” that traced their Aryan heritage back into the 18th century. If any of his SS were to get married, their prospective wives were also expected to submit a “clan book.”

SS Chief Himmler
SS Chief Himmler | Source

Himmler's rise to power

With the help of Reinhadr Heydrich Himmler went on to have an elite training academy built at Bad Tolz. He also established his own intelligence network the SD designed to spy on rival factions. His dossiers soon expanded to unprecedented proportions as it contained anything that he may find useful to use on anyone he had a file on. Extra attention was given to prominent personalities in all fields with their sexual orientation carefully noted.

It was one’s sexual orientation, especially one’s homosexual tendencies, that came so troublesome to Himmler for his hatred of homosexuals was equal to his hatred of Jews. He tended to see little difference between the two when it came to matters of sex in that he saw Jews capable of various sexual misdeeds including the corruption of German girls. It was also this reason that he felt a need to eliminate these two groups of people as well as other “contragenics” he deemed responsible for weakening Germany, but most especially homosexuals and Jews.

In 1933 he had the first concentration camp built at Dacchau. It was initially built to house 5.000 prisoners and serve as a model for other concentration camps that were soon built, were ruled by SS officers trained at Bad Tolz and given the title of “Order of Death’s Head.”

Then in 1934 “Night of the Long Knives” occurred that did away with Roehm’s SA, thanks in part to Himmler and some friends.

In 1935 new anti-homosexual laws were put into effect, as Paragraph 175laws against homosexuals were expanded and SS judges given greater power in judging what constituted a homosexual act. This allowed Himmler to use his files to roundup thousands of homosexuals that Himmler considered social-sexual saboteurs. Himmler saw homosexuals virtually weakening the country in that they sired no babies. The fewer babies born, the fewer manly men there were to not only fight for the country, but to sire more babies.

In 1936 Himmler was appointed chief of all SS and police forces. He later established Federal Security Office for Combating Abortion and Homosexuals.

By 1939 homosexuals had discovered that they could escape persecution by Himmler and his Gestapo/ SS for neither he nor they had authority over the military. This only gave rise for Himmler to seek authority over the military as far as homosexuals were concerned. It wasn’t until 1942/ 1943 that he gained this authority.

Himmler's belief about homosexuals
Himmler's belief about homosexuals | Source

Himmler v Homosexuals

For much of his life Himmler seemed to be very prudish when it came to sex though he rarely if ever wrote about sex in his diaries, and he never wrote about homosexuality. That is not to say that he did not have some beliefs about homosexuality as it pertained to Germany’s strength and purity. These beliefs he often voiced. It is believed that some of his loathing of homosexuality may have been rooted in a belief that homosexuals were endowed with some gift(s) denied him in that homosexuals seemed to have a gift of encouraging one another.

None the less, Himmler saw homosexuality, and homosexuals, as something that needed to be combated if not exterminated. To this end he had armed forces establish officially supervised brothels. These brothels were not only meant to provide a sexual outlet for servicemen other that homosexuality, they were set up to collect certain body fluid to be analyzed for fertility and other qualities.

Homosexuals were not the only people whom Hitler blamed for the decline in Germany’s strength in regard to the number of babies being born. Of all the reasons that would explain the sharp decline in the birth rate in Germany in 1933, Himmler calculated that along with as many as 2 million babies lost due to homosexuality, Germany had lost a million and a half babies through abortion. To him, this meant that if the birth rate in Germany continued to decline it would be the end of Germany in 200 years. Because of this Himmler came to believe that sex was no longer just a private matter, but a public concern. It was essential for the nation to guide sex in the right direction. This right direction being to make sure heterosexuality was encouraged as much as possible so a male would not be easily seduced into homosexuality.

Himmler's  vision of women
Himmler's vision of women | Source

Himmler and women

To combat the decline in Germany’s birth rate Himmler not only encouraged his SS to sire as many children as possible but he encouraged German women, of pure blood, to look upon giving birth, even an illegitimate child, as a point of pride. He also established “Spring of Life” hostels. These hostel became homes for unmarried women and their offspring. It also provided barren women suitable quarters and conception partners.

Himmler also had a plan for a “Women’s Academy for Wisdom and Culture” where especially chosen women blue-eyed blondes who were quick witted, and graceful) would be taught to ride, dance, swim, speak foreign language, shoot a pistol, after graduation would united with SS and create future noble generations, when Kersten pointed out that even SS fighter might prefer a more pliable wife, conceded that some brunettes might be among chosen

The end of Himmler's dream

While Hitler was out to conquer the world, Himmler dreamed of changing it. In his world he would be the founder of an empire of Nordic worker-peasants who would no longer: eat white bread but whole grain, not smoke tobacco, and would not drink alcohol. In his world his Nordic subjects would live in the large territories to the east once Slavi sub-humans were either eradicated or made into illiterate slaves. His subjects would live in thatched cottages and cultivate herbs and fruit gardens. Couples would produce at least 4 blue-eyed, blonde haired children so that within 5 generations Germans would all be tall, blue-eyed blondes. This utopia would be complete after it got rid of rid of princes and aristocrats. The SS would be the new nobility.

In May of 1945, after British forces captured him, Himmler’s idea of an Aryan utopia came to an end as he committed suicide by taking a cyanide capsule that was hidden in a tooth.

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