Himmler’s Diaries Unveiled

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Himmler’s Diaries Unveiled

The diaries of Heinrich Himmler, the man responsible for the Holocaust, have been discovered and made public. The diaries, written by his staff, were held in Soviet archives for over 70 years. Whilst they do not express any emotion, they provide historians with a valuable insight into the way that the second most powerful man in the Nazi regime lived and worked.

Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler

Himmler held a number of positions within the Nazi State. He was Minister for the Interior, incorporating being head of the Gestapo and SS. His role included establishing concentration camps and the expansion of this network during the Holocaust.

Himmler’s diaries are being published on the German newspaper Bild‘s website. They have selected key sections of the diary, reflecting significant periods of history. The first sections come from 1938 and are around the time of Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht was a state sponsored pogrom against the Jews. Other sections relate to the period around the start of the ‘Final Solution’ and the height of the Nazi’s extermination camps.

A thousand pages of the diary have been serialised by Bild. The Daily Mail report that it includes excerpts such as Himmler having a massage, then casually ordering the execution of people in a concentration camp. Another extract shows how Himmler nearly fainted when splattered by blood at a mass shooting. It also portrays him as a family man, noting how much time was devoted to his wife and children, even when the demands of his role meant he was not with them.

Further Reading

Daily Mail article about the Himmler Diaries. The article is detailed and includes examples of Himmler’s political and social calendars. It notes engagements at the Berghof, Hitler’s mountaintop retreat, as well as visits to banquets.

Himmler’s letters and a number of personal effects were discovered two years ago in Israel. There is a Guardian article about those here. They have been serialised by Welt am Sommtag, a German newspaper.

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