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Himmler by Peter Padfield

The pages of human history daubed in bloodshed, ask a crying question. How to make the Planet Earth the paradise of peace? The answer is simple and direct. Eyes full of understanding, heart full of love and the life that refuses conflicts-these alone are enough! Himmler, are you shifting in your grave? This two-legged devil, Lord Death’s own agent, was moving on this Planet Earth, not very on ago-just six decades! His name is Heinrich Himmler, and his deeds are too chilling for the printed page to capture. He was the SS police and Gestapo chief, and he was in charge of the camps in Eastern Europe.

He presided over the empire of death. How absolute power corrupts absolutely-ask Himmler! Himmler’s deadly hammer strokes on the Jews…. In his biography, Peter Padfield doesn’t defend Himmler’s actions in any page or paragraph, but like a true and impartial biographer, he gives the balanced account of the life and actions of this man. He presided over the biggest murder spree of the 20th century, in the years 1941-44. After the initial struggles, when he eventually reached the inner circle of the Nazi elite, he became a world-renowned power through his dastardly deeds.

But what he did was done methodically. He built a power structure around him, which ‘legally’ permitted him to work with impunity. But the guilty men always carry the guilty conscience along with them. His inner insecurity chased him, even when he was acting most cruel. Himmler proved how a single individual can knock out the portal of human history in the most heinous manner one can imagine. Some of the ‘defense lawyers’ of Himmler are still alive-they are the revisionists- who plead that Himmler meant, not extermination, but deportation of the Jews.

This is nothing but the bluff game. Here are the two quotes from the mouth of the devil. (Padfield, 1990, pp. 188, 334): “(1) In a lecture on the history of Christianity, in January, 1937, Himmler told his Gruppenfuehrers: I have the conviction that the Roman emperors, who exterminated [ausrotteten] the first Christians, did precisely what we are doing with the communists. These Christians were at that time the vilest scum, which the city accommodated, the vilest Jewish people, the vilest Bolsheviks there were.

(2) In June, 1941, Himmler told Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz (not to be confused with Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy) that Hitler had ordered the Endloesung, or Final Solution of the Jewish question, and that Hoess would play a major role at Auschwitz: It is a hard, tough task which demands the commitment of the whole person without regard to any difficulties that may arise. You will be given details by Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann of the RSHA who will come to see you in the near future. The department taking part will be informed at the appropriate time.

You have to maintain the strictest silence about this order, even to your superiors. The Jews are the eternal enemies of the German people and must be exterminated. All Jews we can reach now, during the war, are to be exterminated without exception. If we do not succeed in destroying the biological basis of Jewry, some day the Jews will annihilate the German Volk. ” The importance of Himmler in the holocaust in the 1940s needs no further explanation, elaboration or appreciation. That which is evident needs no introduction or epilogue.

Himmler’s political leap was fast from 1939 onwards. He was given to control over newly annexed Polish territories, with the additional job of getting back people of German descent from outside, within he newly expanded territories. Himmel began his work in right earnest of replacing Poles and Jews from the Baltic lands, Poland and elsewhere. Within one year 300,000 Jews and over a million Poles had been uprooted to be driven eastwards. Hitler got the best man to implement the “Final Solution” to the Jewish problem.

So, when Hitler gave his word of approval, Himmler was ready with the action plan. He had the apparatus ready for its execution. Himmler carried out the orders of Hitler with precision. But he would always proclaim that he was not particularly anti-Semitic. He would defend himself by saying that he simply obeyed the orders of Hitler. Killing is killing no matter how one kills. Himmler and the Nazi elite wanted the quick elimination of the unwanted populace. No mercy was shown to children and women. The first murders were carried out by shooting.

Soon, Himmel realized that the task could not be accomplished with the speed with which he intended to do. Jews were hoarded in to mobile and stationary gas chambers in Poland. In the final analysis 6 million Jews and an equal number of non-Jews were gassed to death. Himmler was growing like the octopus, and he wished to carryout the annihilation game on all fronts. He was waging the war against the defenseless. At the time of invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Himmler totally controlled the Police and security services.

It was Himmler who instructed Odilo Globocnik, the SSPF Lublin, to erect extermination camps for the elimination of the European Jews. Himmler who created and controlled Waffen-SS, expanded its strength from three to thirty five divisions. It was a powerful private army, a rival military force to the Wehrmacht. Meanwhile, Renhard Heydrich, Himmler’s right hand man was killed in Prague by the Czech Special Forces. The reprisal attack ordered by Himmler wiped out the entire male population and much of the female population in the village of Lidice.

That was in 1942. By now, Hilmmler had sucked blood and hankered after more blood of the race which he hated. As the annihilation of the Jew population gathered momentum ‘German race turned pure and purer! ’ Himmler’s promotions were quick. The big leap related to his political career was in 1943, when he was appointed German Interior Minister. His long cherished dream of gaining real power over the non-Gestapo police, was about to be fructified. But his ambition on this score was checkmated by Martin Bormann, Hitler’s Secretary and Party Chancellor.

Hitler also did not like Himmler’s secret ambitions, and hidden agendas, plans to usurp power in this area as Nazi administrative thinking and traditional Civil Service approach were not on identical lines. The love-hate drama between Himmler and Hitler’s top Officials and Generals continued. Himmler lost trust of Hitler for some time, regained it due to circumstances that turned in his favor, and in late 1944, Himmler became Commander-in-Chief of army group Upper Rhine, and subsequently wherever he was placed he failed, as he had no experience of the field commands.

Some of his unilateral decisions, regarding fighting war on one front and ceasefire with other Nations, were not to the liking of Hitler and he was striped of all offices. Following the German surrender Himmler took on a false identity and tried to escape, but was captured with a number of other SS men in (or near) Bremervorde (Lower Saxony) by British Forces. Himmler committed suicide on 23 May 1945. His body was buried in an unmarked grave near Luneburg. The photograph of this evil genius lies in a small museum in Munich.

Conclusion: To analyze Himmler is an extraordinary job for any biographer. The scale of his crimes is massive. Is it possible to block a furiously advancing avalanche with the fence of straw? Himmler’s crimes against humanity are monumental and any scale is too small for the measurement. Each and every human being shot, gassed and faced death in other forms of cruelty have to be resurrected from the grave to give witness against Himmler –that would to some extent throw light on his mammoth misdeeds.

Any punishment is too small for this man, whose neck can be hanged but once. There cannot be salvation for such individuals. Emotions apart, Padfield has done a wonderful job, within the limitations of a biographer. Another five years in the office, and the German victory in the war, the sincere intention of the Nazis to wipe out the last Jew from the Planet Earth, would not have remained a dream. The concept of purity can not be the trademark of a particular race as envisaged by men like Adolph Hitler and Himmler. Purity has to be from with in.

How long will this ethnic and race hatred continues? Hitler’s dying remarks, “Brutal force has not won anything durable,” bear witness to the fact that permanent peace and happiness can not be gained through violence. A problem, however serious and bitter that may, can only be solved by changing the thought process of an individual. ‘Isms’ whether Communism, Capitalism or Nazism have failed to bring peace to humanity. When the thought process of an individual changes, one’s action process will also change, hopefully for the better!

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