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Himmler: The Father of the Holocaust

Himmler: The Father of the Holocaust

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Published by Kyle Snyder
Kyle Snyder's final paper for Dr Robert Sackett's History 337 course Hitler and German National Socialism at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The paper was written on 27 July 2006 and is entitled Himmler: The Father of the Holocaust. It discussed Himmler's role and impact on the Nazi regime and how he is the responsible party for the attrocities that were conducted.
Kyle Snyder's final paper for Dr Robert Sackett's History 337 course Hitler and German National Socialism at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The paper was written on 27 July 2006 and is entitled Himmler: The Father of the Holocaust. It discussed Himmler's role and impact on the Nazi regime and how he is the responsible party for the attrocities that were conducted.

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Published by: Kyle Snyder on Apr 06, 2012
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Snyder 1Kyle SnyderDr Robert SackettHistory 337 Hitler and German National Socialism27 July 2006Himmler: The Father of the HolocaustThe Holoc
aust, a term not given to the “Final Solution”, the mass executions directed
towards the Jewish culture, could be linked to a variety of individuals in the Nazi regime.Reinhard Heydrich, Joseph Goebbels, and Hermann Göring are names heard quite often in Ian
Kershaw‟s book 
HITLER
in reference to the “Final Solution.” Each of thes
e men played a keyrole in the execution of over six million European Jewish citizens. Although these three menplayed important roles, no one played a bigger role that Heinrich Himmler, the Officer in Chargeof all Nazi concentration camps.
Himmler‟s ro
les in being the Reichsführer-SS, the head of theGestapo, the head of the Waffen-SS, and the minister of the interior gave him the power and thefollowing needed to commit the horrendous acts carried out through the Holocaust. His totalcontrol over all parties directly involved in the Holocaust is how Heinrich Himmler became themain person responsible for over six million deaths.Heinrich Himmler was born on October 7, 1900 in Munich, Germany (Wistrich).Throughout his youth Himmler intended to become a farmer and earned his degree in agronomy.Near the end of World War One Himmler joined the army as an officer cadet in the 11
th
BavarianRegiment where he stayed until the end of the war (Sackett, 22 June 06). After the war hebecame involved in one of the many right wing soldiers organizations, the Freikorps, which werecommon at the time. In 1923, Himmler applied for membership with the Nazi party which wasaccepting members of the Freikorps as possible members of the Sturmabteilung (storm troopers,
 
Snyder 2referred to as the SA.) It was in this organization that Himmler first came in contact with
Adolph Hitler. In November of 1923 Himmler took part in Hitler‟s Beer 
-Hall Putsch in Munichas a standard-bearer (Kershaw Hubris, 301). For the next few years Hi
mmler‟s good graces with
Hitler would continue to improve and pay many dividends.Himmler continued to play a major role in the Nazi party while Hitler was in prison forhis organization of the Beer Hall putsch. In 1925, shortly after the re-founding of the Nazi partymarked by the release of Hitler from prison, Himmler joined the Schutzstaffel. TheSchutzstaffel, or the SS, was designed to be the protection squad of Hitler. Then in 1927 he hadbeen appointed as Deputy Reichsführer-SS by Reichsführer-SS Erhard Heiden, making him thenumber two guy in the SS (Kershaw Hubris, 301). Heiden saw Himmler as a smart young manbut did not believe he had leadership potential (Sackett, 27 June 06). After the Reichsführer-SSHeiden resigned in 1929, Himmler was named as the new Reichsführer-SS by Hitler (KershawHubris, 301)
. This marked the beginning of Himmler‟s climb to becoming one of the most
powerful men in the Nazi regime as well as Germany.If Hitler had never gained power, then it is doubtful that Himmler would have been
anything more than a name in a political party. On January 30, 1933 Germany‟s president Paul
Von Hindenburg appointed Hitler to become chancellor of Germany despite his own misgivingsabout Hitler. Himmler on the other hand had increased the number of SS members from around280 when he became Reichsführer-SS to 52,000 by the time Hitler took power (Sackett, 27 June06). Himmler had also established strict membership criteria to become a member of the SSfocusing on the Aryan supreme race that Hitler had envisioned (Kershaw Hubris, 50). By the fallof that year Himmler had already begun to separate the SS from the SA through a variety of tactics including changing their uniform from brown to black (Kershaw Hubris, 506). This made
 
Snyder 3the SS stand out from the SA
‟s brown shirts. Shortly after this was implemented in the fall of 
1933 Himmler was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführerund Reichsführer-SS. This made himequal in rank to senior SA commanders, who greatly despised the SS and the power they wereawarded. From here tensions between the SS and the SA only grew greater and greater.The SS and the SA were both formed for a reason in the early Nazi political scheme.Himmler though was beginning to feel threatened by the SA leadership, Ernst Röhm, in thepower struggle that constantly seemed to be going on inside the Nazi regime (Kershaw Hubris,506). Himmler along withHermann Göringboth agreed that the SA was posing a real threat tothe German army and the Nazi leadership. They saw some of Röhm
‟s actions as if he was
planning a coup. Röhm constantly was stating how the revolution had not yet begun eventhough Hitler and the Nazi party were now in complete control of Germany. Himmler andGöring
were able to play on Hitler‟s constant paranoia an
d convince him that Röhm was
 becoming a real problem. With Hitler‟s approval Himmler, Göring, and 
Reinhard Heydrichnowbegan a purge of the SA by eliminating its leadership on June 30, 1934 and became known as theNight of Long Knives (Kershaw Hubris, 511). The SA had been devastated by the execution of almost all its senior leadership and was now not considered a threat. The very next day Himmlerwas appointed Reichsführer-SS by Hitler and the SS became a sovereign establishment of the
 Nazi party. Then in 1936 Himmler gained further control over the public by the SS‟s attainmentof control over all local police agencies. Germany‟s secret police force also fell under 
the
Himmler‟s control. The SS was now turning into its
own private military force and would nowbecome known as the Waffen-SS. These new controls over his own military branch gaveHimmler all the resources and suppor
t he needed to allow the “Final S
olution
to raise.

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