ALEXANDER KIMEL - HOLOCAUST UNDERSTANDING & PREVENTION
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HIMMLER - THE BUTCHER
Himmler received Hitler's oral orders to murder all the Jewish population, and with the help of his SS organization, he diligently executed those orders. Himmler organized the Einsatzgrouppen, and convinced the mass murderers that they are doing a necessary job of cleansing the Fatherland of their enemies. It was Himmler, who after witnessing an exemplary execution in Minsk, ordered the search of more efficient killing methods - gassing. Himmler was in total command of the vast network of death factories, various concentration camps.
Himmler, born in 1900, was brought up in the strictest observance of the Catholic faith, but soon drifted away from the Church. He remained a deep mystic with romantic notions about the German past and the role of the blood and peasants in the future of Germany. After drifting away from the Catholicism, Himmler needed a substitution hero to worship, and he found his idol in the new German Messiah- Adolph Hitler.
Himmler was strongly devoted to Hitler, and followed his orders blindly. Himmler is quoted saying that:
"Hitler is a genius such as only appears once in every thousand years, and the greatest among them. He is a predator being, one inspired. He is all wise, all powerful. The German people have only to follow him blindly in order to reach the zenith of their history."
Himmler started the SS organization with 280 men, and through shrewd and patient work, compiling dossiers on all real and imaginary enemies he built up Hitler's trust by his devotion, organizational skills and thoroughness. In 1931 Himmler found an unexpected ally, Rheinhard Heydrich. Heydrich had a superior intelligence, imaginative cruelty, complete lack of moral restraints, superior manipulative skills, and he helped him with ideas in the constant infighting at Hitler's court. The combination of Himmler' organizational talent, and Heydrich's superior intelligence and ruthlessness changed the destiny of Germany.
Himmler was successful in amassing personal power, within a short period of time of a few years, he extended the SS from a platoon size to an independent Army of 370,000 people. The SS commanded a vast empire of concentration camps, multiple economic enterprises, armament factories based on the slave labor of millions of concentration camp inmates.
Himmler the Mass Murderer of the modern times, was a man of limited intelligence and intellectual ability, with romantic delusions of being a Teutonic Knight who will extend the historical expansion of the German nation eastwardly; he believed in Hitler's extraordinary powers. Himmler had only brute force at his command, but he was not powerful in his own right, his power depended on Hitler.
In the last days of war he was trying to negotiate a separate peace but with his indecisiveness, when acting on his own, he failed completely. " Given his respectable background and bourgeois appearance, it seem hard to believe that he will become the greatest criminal of all time. Colorlessly average and dependent, but devoid of feelings and overeager in the carrying out of all plans.
Himmler was a shy inhibited person.
"Among Himmler's characteristics was an almost neurotic shyness. At big receptions he always avoided crowds and went from group to group. When important generals came to report to him, he humiliated and demoralized them by making them wait three or four days before seeing them.... After each interview , Himmler would say to Kersten, "Thank God, I wont have to see them for another two months." Himmler was only at ease behind his desk; he fought a paper war."
"For Himmler-the puny, sickly pedant, as undernourished physically as well as morally, and whose life was strictly regulated between his paperwork, his diet, his wife and his mistress, all equally insignificant-dreamed of being the embodiment of the superman.
Himmler was afraid of Hitler's scolding, and even at the last stages of war, when Himmler commanded the S.S. a private army of half a million people , and Hitler's health and position deteriorated significantly, Himmler could not stand up to his Fuhrer. Himmler was more of realist, who understood the hopeless military situation of Germany, he secretly conducted negotiation with Count Bernadette of Sweden, released some prisoners form the concentration camps, even met an emissary of the American Joint Committee, but did not have the guts to depose Hitler and finish the war. With all his realism Himmler did not understand his own responsibility for the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime, the concentration camps, the slave labor, etc.
Himmler was building an independent Totalitarian SS State, a State within a State and he had economic interest in the Holocaust. The SS was officially only the military organization of the Nazi Party, and as such it was not supported by the State; looting of the victims possessions and income from the many economic enterprises exploiting slave labor was the sole means of support of the SS. At the height of the war Himmler commanded a force of half million people that had to be fed and armed, without receiving a penny from the Reich. It is doubtful that without the Holocaust Himmler could have achieve his goals.
Like any dependent person Himmler had a rationalization for his actions; at the meeting with the representative of the Jewish Congress at the final days of the war, made the following explanations about the reasons of murdering the eastern Jews:
"These men helped the Resistance, they fired on our troops from their ghettos. And, moreover, they carry diseases such as typhus. It was to stop epidemics that we sent them to the ovens....The concentration camps! They should be called education camps. Thanks to them, Germany had her lowest crime rate in 1941. It's true that the prisoners had to work hard there. But all Germans work hard".
On October 4, 1943 Himmler addressed the SS generals at Poznan and gave quite another explanation for the Holocaust.. .. I also want to talk to you frankly on a grave matter...the extermination of the Jewish race. This is one of those things that are easily said. "the Jewish people is gong to be annihilated." says every party member. "Sure, it's in our program, elimination of the Jews, annihilation-we'll take care of it." And then they all come trudging, eighty millions worthy Germans, and each one has his one decent Jew. Sure, the others are swine, but this one is an A1 Jew. Of all those who talk this way, not one has seen it happen, not one has been through it. Most of you know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side by side, or 500, or 1000. To have stuck it out and at the same time-apart from exceptions caused by human weaknesses-to have remained decent fellows, that is what made us hard. This page of glory in our history which has never been written and it's never to be written.... FALL P 966
Himmler's contributions to the Final Solution are twofold; he created the S.S. machinery and the death industry. He also romanticized the cruelty as a historical necessity.