By , he had manoeuvred himself into a position where he was head of a newly unified national police. Himmler was obsessed with racial purity in Germany and encouraged Aryan 'breeding programmes'. The outbreak of World War Two allowed Himmler to pursue another racial goal - the elimination of Jews and other so-called 'sub-humans'. After Germany's invasion of Poland, Himmler was given total control of the annexed parts of the country. Within a year more than one million Poles and , Jews had been forced out to be replaced with German settlers.
By June , when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Himmler controlled not only the police but the political administration of the occupied territories and, through his control of the SS, the concentration camp system. In , Hitler appointed Himmler minister for the interior. In this post he oversaw the 'Final Solution' - the attempt to exterminate all the Jewish people in Europe - and administered the system of forced labour. After the failed attempt on Hitler's life in July , Himmler's position was strengthened still further. But as Germany's defeat became imminent, Himmler made attempts to negotiate with the Allies.
Hitler was furious and stripped Himmler of all his offices.
Following Germany's surrender, Himmler tried to escape under a false identity but was captured by the Allies. On 23 May he committed suicide in custody. Search term:. Read more. Hitler promptly stripped Himmler of all offices and ordered his arrest. Disguised as a common soldier, Himmler attempted to escape.
Captured by the Western Allies, he committed suicide by taking poison. Himmler was a highly effective administrator and a ruthless and adroit power seeker who was slavishly devoted to Hitler until the final weeks of the war. He combined a penchant for philosophical mysticism with a cold-blooded, fanatical adherence to Nazi racist ideology in his role as the prime architect of the Holocaust.
More than any other individual, Himmler was the man who created the network of state terror by which the Third Reich suppressed its opposition, eliminated its internal enemies, and compelled obedience from the German citizenry. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.
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Heinrich Himmler: Insight into the orderly world of a mass murderer - WELT
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