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.
– Heinrich Himmler(1900 to 1945), speech given at Wannsee Conference on October 4th, 1943
Heinrich was born in Munich whose father was a respectable headmaster and tutor of Wittelsbach royalty, and his mother, Anna Maria. He was always small in stature and preferred playing chess and collecting stamps instead of playing sports. He was actually not a model of Aryan ideology in respect to physical features. But then, neither was Adolf Hitler. He eventually married a divorcée – Margarete Siegroth, meeting by chance in a hotel lobby. He couple had one daughter, Gudrun, who was born in 1929. His daughter, her father’s favorite accompanied him when performing official duties such as inspecting concentration camps (photo left). She married a journalist and author, Wulf Dieter Burwitz, and had two children of her own. Gudrun and her mother spent four years in prison after Heinrich’s death by suicide via a hidden Cyanide capsule. Gudrun has been, since 1951, in support of the Nazi community, Neo-Nazi movement, and a member of Stille Hilfewho helped support former SS members when arrested, condemned or were fugitives. In 1952 she helped to found the Wiking-Jugend, an organization modeled after Hitler’s Youth. In recent history, Gudrun (Himmler) Burwitz has intensified her support for Nazi war criminals in the 1980s. In 2008 she endorsed the American Neo-Nazi Party.
Himmler met the future Nazi leadership in the paramilitary organization called the Freikorpsafter the First World War ended. Heinrich supported Hitler from the very start and joined the Nazi Party in 1925, where his loyalty, administrative abilities, and ruthlessness led to his appointment as Reichsführer-SS, head of the Schutzstaffel(SS) in 1928. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Himmler created the non-uniformed intelligence service – SD (Sicherheitsdienst). He was the second most powerful man in Germany throughout most of the war and oversaw all police and security forces and organized the murder of over 6 million Jews.
In 1934, Heinrich organized the Night of the Long Knivesiin which Ernst Rõhmand the SA leadership – Sturmabteiling(Storm Troopers) – were murdered. By 1936 he controlled the plain-clothed political police, the dreaded Gestapo, and all uniformed police.
When war broke out in 1939, Himmler was appointed Commissioner for the Consolidation of the German Race and given authority to oversee eliminating “inferior” people from the Reich, so he began to expand the concentration camps to detain political opponents and inferior races, primarily Gypsies, Slavs and Jews. Mental institutions and retarded citizens had already been cleaned outand the “inferior” Germans exterminated.
In September of 1939, Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler’s protégéand head of the SD and Gestapo, ordered the forcible eviction of Jews in the Third ReichGermany and put into ghettos in Poland, where thousands were executed, starved, or died from disease.
In May of 1940, following mass deportations of Jews and Gypsies, Himmler presented to Hitler plans to rid Europe of all Jews through “forced evacuation to the East” – which was a hidden way to describe physical extermination, called the “final solution to the Jewish problem”. Hitler, of course, approved.
In June of 1941, special killing squads, the SS Einsatzgruppen, murdered a million Jews, Gypsies, and communists following the invasion of the Soviet Union. Himmler was present as a witness of executions and when, in August 1941, brains from one of the victims spattered his SS uniform, he demanded that concentration camps be equipped with gas chambers as a more efficient means of killing and more humane form of execution.
In January of 1942, Heydrich, who was assassinated later that year by Free Czechagents, described to Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference plans to deport all European Jews to new modern death factories – extermination camps mainly located in the East. Camps like Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belsec, and Treblinka were hastily constructed. Bergen-Belsen held over 60,000 Jews, of whom over 35,000 died of starvation, overwork, disease and medical experiments. ii
Dachau was built in 1933 to hold political prisoners that functioned as a labor camp and center for medical experiments. Those too sick to work were executed or sent to the nearby Hartheim killing center. Three million Russian prisoners of war were deliberately starved to death via Hitler and Himmler’s orders.
The most notorious death camp was Auschwitz-Birkenau that was established by Himmler in May of 1940 and in 1942 equipped with gas chambers that was used to dispose of 2.5 million bodies, of which it has been estimated that two million were Jews, Poles, Gypsies, and Soviet POWs. Only about 200,000 survived, the rest were cremated or piled into mass graves with bulldozers.
In June of 1942, Himmler ordered the deportation of 100,000 Jews from France and approved plans to move 10 million Slavs from Eastern Europe to Siberia. The following month he ordered the “total cleansing” of Jews from the Polish General Government – 6,000 per day from Warsaw alone were transported to death camps.
In 1943, Himmler was appointed Minister of the Interior, and in 1944, Hitler disbanded the military intelligence service (Abwehr) and made Himmler’s SD Nazi Germany’s sole intelligence service.
In 1944, as the Allies advanced from the west, Himmler attempted to destroy evidence of the death camps, then attempted to seek peace with Britain and America. Hitler ordered his arrest. Himmler fled in disguise but was arrested in Bremen, when he swallowed a cyanide capsule.
The bespectacled ex-chicken farmer suffered from nervous ailments (maybe from what little conscious he had) and had a second family with his mistress who was his ex-secretary whom he called “Bunny”. The attic of their house contained furniture and books made from bones and skins of Jewish victims. His administration skills oversaw the organized extermination of 6 million Jews that was two-thirds the population of Jews in Europe, 3 million Russians, 3 million Poles (non-Jewish), 750,000 Slavs, 500,000 Gypsies, 100,000 mentally ill, 100,000 Freemasons, 15,000 homosexuals and 5,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses making him pretty much the record holder of genocide.
Few of the participants of the Wannsee Conference were punished appropriately in the after war trials held at Nuremberg and during the conference, not one protested against the “final solution” of Henrich Himmler. The following is a list of those individuals and their fates: