Heinrich Himmler

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Have you ever wondered whose idea it was to exterminate all the Jews, or who started the concentration camps? Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s right-hand man, was the main architect of the Holocaust, using elements of mysticism and a fanatical believe in the racist Nazi ideology to justify the murder of millions of victims. In his entire lifetime, Himmler coordinated the killing of approximately six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Italians, and millions of Soviet prisoners of war (Heinrich Himmler).

Heinrich Himmler was born on October 7, 1900 in Munich. His father was Joseph Gebhard Himmler, a secondary-school teacher and principal, and his mother was Anna Maria Himmler, a devout Roman Catholic and attentive mother. Heinrich had one older brother, Gebhard Ludwig Himmler, and one younger brother, Ernst Hermann Himmler. Himmler’s childhood was quite normal for the time. His father and mother were strict but were actively involved in the rearing of their three children. Growing up Himmler struggled in athletics, but did well in his schoolwork. He enjoyed playing chess, harpsichord, stamp collecting, gardening, and other extracurricular activities. From 1919 to 1922 Himmler studied agronomy and had an apprenticeship on a farm (Heinrich Himmler).

On July 3, 1928, Himmler married Margarete Siegroth. She gave birth to their first and only child, Gudrun, on August 8, 1929. Himmler adored his daughter, and called her “Puppi” meaning dolly. Margarete later adopted a son although Himmler showed no interest towards him. Heinrich and Margarete separated in 1940 without seeking divorce. By this time Heinrich was too involved with Nazi activities to be a competent husband and father. Himmler became friendly with a secretary, Hedwig Potthast, who left her job in 1941 and became his mistress. He fathered her two children with her – a son, Heldge, and a daughter, Nanette Dorothea (Heinrich Himmler).

In 1925, Himmler joined the SS (Heinrich Himmler). The members of the...
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