Heinrich Himmler Biography

Heinrich Himmler was a German Nazi military commander and a close associate of Adolf Hitler. This biography profiles his childhood, family, personal life, role in concentration camps and his death.

Quick Facts

Birthday: October 7, 1900

Nationality: German

Famous: Military Leaders German Men

Died At Age: 44

Sun Sign: Libra

Also Known As: Heinrich Luitpold Himmler

Born in: Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany

Famous as: Nazi Commander

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

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political ideology: National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)


Spouse/Ex-: Margarete Himmler

father: Gebhard Himmler

mother: Anna Maria Himmler

siblings: Ernst Hermann Himmler, Gebhard Ludwig Himmler

children: Gerhard von Ahe, Gudrun Burwitz, Helge Potthast, Nanette Dorothea Potthast

Died on: May 23, 1945

place of death: Lüneburg

City: Munich, Germany

Ideology: Nazis

Cause of Death: Suicide

More Facts

education: Technical University of Munich

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Heinrich Himmler was a German Nazi military commander and a close associate of Adolf Hitler. He rose to power during the Second World War and is known as one of the very few men responsible for one of the most notorious holocausts in the known human history - the massacre of Jews. In 1925, he joined the Nazi party and by the next decade, he made his place as the Reichsfuhrer of the SS, and was later appointed as a police commander. Under his command, SS grew larger than ever in terms of manpower and force. By 1934, he had made his place among the most feared and respected Gestapo officers. He became the second most important officer of the Gestapo after Hitler, and on his orders he set up and controlled the concentration camps. He formed Einsatzgruppen and on behalf of Hitler, he laid the foundation of extermination camps and hence, he was held responsible for the brutal massacre of the Jew that followed, ending the life of about six million. Hitler had immense faith in him and made him in-charge of Army Group Upper Rhine and Army Group Vistula towards the end of Second World War. In April 1945, Hitler held him responsible of conspiring against him and had him arrested, and on 23rd May 1945, Himmler committed suicide in British custody.

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Childhood & Early Life
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  • He became interested in the actions of the rightist paramilitary organizations and went on to meet Ernst Rohm in 1923, joined Reichskriegsflagge, and participated in Hitler’s abortive Beer Hall Putsch, which took place in Munich in November 1923. He slowly moved up the ladder, joined the Nazi party in 1925 and was later elected as a deputy in the German Parliament, Reichstag. He was just 30 years old by then and this success was not small, but when he began his term as Reichsfuhrer for the SS (Hitler’s elite bodyguards), his stature further grew.
  • Under his command, SS became a strong force and its manpower increased to more than 50,000 within a very short period of time. When Hitler rose to political prominence in 1933, Himmler was made the head of Munich police and it didn’t take him much time to become the commander of all German police apart from Prussia. Doing his duties and following Hitler’s order, he came up with the first concentration camp for the Third Reich in Dachau.
  • Hitler appointed him the assistant chief of Gestapo in 1934, enabling him to attain the control of all the police forces in Germany. He also played a major role in SS vs SA, which the former won, giving Hitler the control of German army. Under his command, SS grew larger to be the most powerful armed body after the army, which also happened to be under Hitler’s command by then. They had become invincible and when finally the Second World War broke out, Germany looked up to Himmler, along with Hitler.
  • Meeting everyone’s expectations, Himmler grew SS to make it practically impenetrable and in 1941, Hitler ordered him to invade Soviet Russia. A widespread massacre took place when Himmler got the chance to do anything he willed in order to wipe out all the political enemies of the ‘Third Reich’. He organised extermination camps in the German occupied Poland, and systematically slaughtered millions of Jews. Another place where Jew murders took place was Babi Yar in Ukraine.
  • Until then, everything was fine but the downfall of Himmler started in 1943, when Hitler appointed him the interior minister of Reich administration. He then indulged in the expansion of Waffen SS, it grew as large as 35 divisions, close to army in terms of manpower. He also managed to attain the control of intelligence units, military armaments, Volkssturm and later a guerrilla force named Werwolf. He also got the command of two army groups.
  • With growing power under his command, Himmler’s aspirations rose beyond military and he started planning for a SS industrial empire, a step which was protested by Albert Speer, who wanted to concentrate only on the war. Himmler’s recurrent stomach illnesses had him ignored by the Hitler’ entourage quite a number of times and in a fit of rage, he started plotting to overthrow Hitler’s empire in mid 1945, but Hitler came to know his intentions.
Final Days
  • Hitler ordered Himmler’s arrest, but he hid and while planning an escape disguising as a common soldier, he was caught, not by Hitler, but by the British Army. In their custody, he committed suicide by taking poison.
  • Heinrich Himmler was one of the key reasons causing Hitler’s rise to power and remained devoted to him till the last few weeks of his life, but somehow, a clash in ideals and distrust resulted into parting ways from Hitler. He set up the concentration camps, played a huge role in growing the manpower of the SS by inspiring the common Germans to fight for their country, and during his reign, he wiped out most of Hitler’s enemies within and outside.
Personal Life
  • Heinrich Himmler met Margarete Boden in 1927, and the couple started dating and got married the next year. Margarete Boden gave birth to Himmler’s son, and the couple adopted one boy.
  • Although, he was in a happy marriage with Margarete, he got attracted to his secretary, Hedwig Potthast, and kept her as his mistress for a year in 1939. His wife protested, but eventually gave up and didn’t even consider a divorce, staying loyal to him. Meanwhile, Hedwig gave birth to two of his children - a son and a daughter. Both the women admired Himmler for what he did for his country and hence, remained loyal to him till the very end.

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Article Title
- Heinrich Himmler Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- July 26, 2017
Heinrich Himmler

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