‘I was following orders.’ The answer most commonly quoted by SS men accused of atrocious crimes after Germany had surrendered in 1945. But who gave those orders? Who was the mastermind behind the sophisticated machinery which allowed men from normal family backgrounds to kill on such a scale? The right man at the right time, fate steered Heinrich Himmler to take control of an organisation destined to carry out Hitler’s racial policies. This study not only sets out in detail how Heinrich Himmler’s daily routine allowed him to implement Nazi strategy, but it also provides illustrations of the man behind much of it, both at work and at home. Of all the personalities of history demonized by post-war writers, Heinrich Himmler ranks among the most reviled. His legacy is one of hatred, violence and cold blooded murder on a vast scale. A Jekyll and Hyde character, variously described by his generation and those who followed as charming, loyal, polite, a pedant, an eccentric, an organizational genius, a fool, a desk killer and a loving father. The camera allows us into his world, albeit temporarily, and we can equate his busy, but mostly mundane schedule with contemporary images frozen in time.
What makes this book unique is the astonishing amount of photographic material, following Himmler on his day to day routine. It is a must read for anyone interested in the enigmatic man and the operations of the Third Reich.
248 x 172 mm
15 October 2014
1100 black and white photographs
Max Williams is a retired police officer with a strong fascination in history. He has spent many years collecting autographs, original images and information about personalities of the Third German Reich which he has built into a private archive. He is the author of a two volume pictorial biography of SS General Reinhard Heydrich and is often acknowledged as an expert on the SS organization and for assisting other authors with historical studies of Hitler’s regime. He is married and lives with his wife and son in the London area.
Heydrich was determined to succeed at every challenge he encountered. An ambitious sportsman, a loving family man and a ruthless executive, Heydrich possessed all the qualities necessary to carry out Hitler’s policy in Himmler’s name. This book illustrates the life of the architect of genocide, his background, upbringing and career.