Heinrich Himmler: The Exermination Of The Holocaust

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LEADER OF THE SS PARTY: HEINRICH HIMMLER AND THE DESTRUCTION OF EUROPEAN JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST
All the attention was directed to Heinrich Himmler when he stood in front of the SS squad commanders in Posen on October 4, 1943. Himmler promised that every Jew would be killed when he spoke;
“I am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people. It is one of those things that is easily said: The Jewish people are being exterminated. Every party member will tell you, perfectly clear; it’s part of our plans.”1
Heinrich Himmler was the head of the Schutzstaffel and chief of Nazi police. He was an significant figure for the Nazi Party in Germany and was a symbolic character throughout the Holocaust, as he played
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This verdict certainly had many factors behind it and it goes to show how complex the Holocaust really was and that it did not just happen overnight. In this essay I will point out that it was the amalgamation of: Himmler’s problems with holding relationships with others in his adolescent years, the heavy increase of German anti-Semitism at the beginning of the 20th century and the emergence of the extreme dictatorship of Adolf Hitler and the overall ideologies of Jewish destruction by the Nazi party as a whole. For Himmler, “the Nazi party offered a second chance”2 as his family was experiencing financial problems. This was the case for many people who joined the Nazi party as Hitler began to solve the economic decline and poor standards of living caused by the destruction and reparation costs of WWI and the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
Heinrich Himmler was born in Munich in 1900 to Gebhard Himmler and Anna Maria Himmler. Heinrich’s childhood was very church oriented and his family brought him up in a loving, compatible and affectionate way. Himmler seemed like a very normal boy, often quite shy and not the one you would think to order the mass murder of millions of people. Himmler’s diary is filled with “the records of peaceful walks, playing piano, church-goings, doing his homework and working on his stamp collection.”3 Although his father was
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“ ‘I think I am heading for conflict with my religion’ Himmler noted in his diary, revealing that although he sympathised with racial anti-Semitism he could not yet make up his mind to adopt fully a radical anti-Semitic position.”8 When historians look back through Himmler’s childhood one might wonder how he could be born into a middle-class, conservative, Roman Catholic family but yet still being able act the way he did throughout the Holocaust. However, the radical increase of anti-Semitism in Germany began to expand throughout the 1920’s. Therefore, due to the built up undertone of anti-Semitism, Himmler grew up in a society filled with the ideology towards Jewish hatred. Smith mentions that, “From some of his comments in late 1919 and 1920 it seems probable that he had not yet accepted the Jewish conspiracy doctrine although he was moving in that direction and harboured a considerable amount of conservative antipathy to Jews.”9 Himmler has always been interested in the military and connections with politics and

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