Icon by Sue LeeHimmler Timeline

Born in Munich in 1900, to a strict Roman Catholic father.

Received secondary education at a school in Landshut.

Obtained a diploma in agriculture from the Munich Technical High School in 1922.

Ironically, Himmler worked as a salesman for a firm of fertilizer manufacturers before joining a para- military organization in the Munich Beer-Hall Putsh in November of 1923.

1927-Poultry farmer.

After his failure with chickens, Himmler was appointed leader of the SS in January 1929.

In 1930, he was elected to the Reichstag as Nazi Deputy for Weser-Ems.

Himmler was given control over both the political police, which later became the Gestapo; and he was also given control of the Prussian police in 1933- 1934.

Set up the first concentration camp in Dachau in 1933.

In June of 1934, Himmler successfully crushed the para-military SA(headed by Röhm), making the SS the dominant organization in Germany.

In June of 1936, a power-thirsting Himmler gets full control of Gestapo, and becomes Reichsführer of the SS.

Heinrich Himmler and Hans Frank at dinner during a visit by the
former to Krakow castle.
Photo from the USHMM Archives.

In 1943, Himmler becomes interior minister.

In July of 1944, Himmler attains the rank of chief of the army's home organization (Due to an attempt at Hitler's life).

In April of 1945, Hitler sends for Himmler's arrest due to Himmler's attempt to make peace with the allies. Before he could be arrested, Himmler poisoned himself in May of 1945.

It would be a correct assessment to say Heinrich Himmler was one of the most ruthless henchman Hitler had. He was the leadership of the Waffen SS, a powerful and destructive para-military organization in Germany. Himmler was the mainstay of the fulfillment of Hitler's anti-semitic views in the term coined "The Final Solution". He was the man to create the first concentration camp in Dachau, and was the right hand of Hitler to expand these horrific prisons. Himmler was a small, humble-looking man who did not seem the type to aid in the destruction of other nations, so that the superior nation of Germany (with a superior race) could take over Europe. Himmler had great pride for his nation, yet also believed in the superior race, termed the "Aryan" race. He believed any race which was different from Aryan decent, was a sub-race with sub-humans as that race's followers. Therefore, since he also believed these sub-humans were inferior to German blood, these people were to work to death, or simply be killed.

Waffen-SS member of Einsatzgruppe D prepares to shoot an Ukrainian Jew kneeling on
the edge of a mass grave filled with corpses.
Library of Congress, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives

Two very harsh options no one would ever consider taking...even though it was imperative to do as the Nazis said. This ideology was acted upon with the aid of these concentration and death camps. These camps were mainly run by the SS, and extreme cruelty and abhoration towards Jews was not only expected, but was encouraged by Himmler himself. The small man who looked harmless was actually an ani-semitie with the power to exterminate at the blink of an eye. He was a monster and a threat to all humans beside his 'Aryan' brothers. This image is inherently evident in a speech given by Himmler addressing the SS group leaders on October 4, 1943, while in Poznan. This speech is his actual thoughts and ideas of how one of his men, on the Waffen SS, should act and hate anyone who is not of their own 'blood'.