Heinrich Himmler, the Holocaust, Today's Suicide Bombers and Militant Islam
June 1, 2010
By Emerson Vermaat
Heinrich Himmler, one of the greatest mass murderers in history, grew up in a conservative Catholic Bavarian family. But later did he evolve into a radical opponent of the Church finding new religious inspiration and consolation in Germanic paganism, eastern religions and occultism.
Himmler's rather fanatical and obsessive confrontation with Christianity and the Catholic and protestant churches played a much more central role in his life and thinking than some biographers assume. Himmler and his close associate Reinhard Heydrich even clashed with the Roman Catholic bishops of Austria, even though these bishops were rather pro-Hitler at the time.
Himmler and his murderous SS-organization were responsible for the death of 6 million Jews during the Second World War. The allies were informed as early as the summer of 1942 about the fate the Jews. The British and Americans then received information from a reliable source in Germany that the Nazis planned to exterminate millions of Jews by using ‘prussic acid' (Zyklon B). Himmler had visited the Auschwitz extermination camp in July 1942 and pressed for acceleration of the extermination programme. Through a peephole in the gas chamber door he personally witnessed how 499 Dutch Jews were being gassed by using Zyklon B.
Recent investigations into the number of Jews killed by the Nazis confirm that the total number is at least 6 million, possibly even higher. These recent findings specifically provide more information about the more than 2 million Jews executed in cold blood by Himmler's SS-killing commandos – the so-called "Einsatzgruppen" and the formations of the "Ordungspolizei" ("Order police") – in Nazi occupied Russia, White Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic and Poland.
An additional four million Jews were killed in death camps like Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka and Belzec. About 150,000 died in death marches.
It was on March 31, 1943 that Himmler's own SS-Inspector for Statistics, Dr. Richard Korherr, reported to his boss, the "Reichsführer-SS" (=leader or head), that ‘from 1937 to the beginning of 1943 the number of Jews in Europe should have diminished by an estimated 4 million.' Even this was a low estimate, as Korherr added the following dramatic line: "It must not be overlooked in this respect that of the death of Soviet Russian Jews in the occupied Eastern territories only a part was recorded."
After March 1943, an additional two million Jews would die in gas chambers, or be excuted or starve to death or perish during death marches organized by Himmler's SS in the cold winter of 1944/45.
Himmler and the murderous SS-organization led and inspired by him were devoted to the cult of death, a pseudo-religious and primitive urge to kill millions of innocent and defenseless people – not just Jews, but also gypsies and other "inferior non-Aryans." It is no coincidence that the "death's head" or "Totenkopf" – skull and cross bones – was the official symbol of the SS. (Every SS-officer also wore his own death's head ring.) It is precisely the same primitive urge that drives many of today's so-called Islamist "suicide bombers" some of whom justify their evil deeds as follows: "You love life and we love death."
Becoming an efficient and unstoppable killing machine – that was the core business of Himmler's SS. Not only did all these killings have the full backing of Germany's "Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor" Adolf Hitler, also did this maniacal psychopath personally order genocide and mass murder. On at least seven occasions did he say that the "Jewish race" would have to be eliminated.
Himmler took a keen interest in what was happening in occupied Holland and Belgium. He visited the Netherlands at least five times and was on rather close terms with Dr. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Hitler's "Reichskommissar for the occupied Netherlands," although they occasionally did have differences of opinion. Hanns Albin Rauter, the brutal ‘Higher SS and Police Leader' (HSSPF) was a typical Himmler appointee.
There was no ‘Higher SS and Police Leader' in Belgium until the summer of 1944. Instead, Hitler opted for military rule there. Although there were differences of opinion between the military administration and the SS, the military usually fully cooperated with the SS with regard to the persecution of Jews. Fortunately, the Belgian Catholic church saved a significant number of Jews – especially Jewish children – by hiding them.
Himmler often clashed with the local Dutch Nazi leader Anton Mussert as well as with a number of Flemish Nazi collaborators. They opposed Himmler's view that Holland and Flanders would have to be incorporated into the German Reich – just like Austria was. Mussert and the Flemish collaborators, however, preferred some kind of autonomy for Holland and Flanders, something Himmler, the SS and Hitler were unwilling to accede to. In the end, Mussert usually gave in to Himmler's and Hitler's wishes. He had even sworn an oath of loyalty to the Nazi Fuehrer.
Belgian King Leopold III visited Hitler in November 1941. He raised the question of Belgian prisoners of war, food scarcity and Belgian "independence." Afterwards, Hitler complained about "this damned king in Belgium." "If only he'd cleared out like the others," Hitler said in one of his table talks. "It was a mistake not to have made King Leopold a prisoner." "In Holland, thank goodness, things are much easier," he said on another occasion. (See H.R. Trevor-Roper, Hitler's Table talk.) Dutch Queen Wihelmina fled to England, so her wishes and "disturbing presence" did not have to be taken into account, Hitler said. (Hitler's "Tischgespräche," edited by Henry Picker, March 23, 1942). Himmler, no doubt, agreed.
Himmler's remarkable fascination for eastern religions (Buddhism, Hinduism), "Tibet" and Islam cannot be ignored. He took an equal interest in the occult and astrology. The latter interest was not widely accepted in Nazi Germany nor was it a common feature of Himmler's own SS. Security and Intelligence Chief Reinhard Heydrich, for example, did not hesitate to have occultists an astrologers arrested with a view to sending them to jail or a concentration camp. And Hitler once lashed out publicly against those who wanted to turn Nazism into a "mystical cult." It would be wrong, therefore, to portray Hitler's ‘Third Reich' as a huge occult conspiracy.
What made Himmler admire Islam and the Muslims? It was the Muslim way of facing the enemy with total contempt of death and die as "martyrs." Himmler, therefore, called Islam ‘a practical and sympathetic religion for soldiers.' His best friend was Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the grandmufti of Jerusalem and a notorious hate cleric and Jew hater. Like Hitler and Himmler the grandmufti called on all Muslims to kill all the Jews and to wage a holy war (jihad) against them. He was the first to introduce the method of suicide bombing in what was then known as Palestine.
Himmler was totally opposed to allowing protestant or Roman Catholic chaplains to serve in the ranks of the SS. Those SS-officers who were still Catholic or protestant were encouraged to leave the church. But Muslims in the SS-ranks were fully entitled to have their own Imams. Himmler didn't want "moderate" imams, rather did he prefer fanatical hate clerics who called on their followers to die for Allah and so deserve heaven or paradise.
At the end of the war Himmler somehow tried to ingratiate himself with the Western Allies in a futile attempt to conclude a separate peace with the Americans and British. General Eisenhouwer was not interested in dealing with a man who was now considered a war criminal.
Shortly before the end of the war, Himmler even met a representative of the Jewish World Congress.
Just before he committed suicide in May 1945, he said: "Am I responsible for the crimes of my subordinates?"
It was in October 1943 that Himmler said that he would never speak about the extermination of the Jews in public. It was a state secret. He told high ranking SS officers to "take this secret with us to our graves." Not only was Himmler the architect of the Holocaust, also was he the very first Holocaust denier.
Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands. This article is based on his new 410 page Dutch study "Himmler en de Cultus van de Dood ("Himmler and the Cult of Death"), Aspekt Publishers, Soesterberg, Netherlands.