Heinrich Himmler

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The best political weapon is the weapon of terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don't ask for their love; only for their fear.

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (7 October 190023 May 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. As Reichsführer-SS he controlled the SS and the Gestapo. He was the founder and officer-in-charge of the Nazi concentration camps and the Einsatzgruppen death squads.

Quotes[edit]

  • Ich bin Heinrich Himmler.
  • I am Heinrich Himmler.
    • Last words. Quoted in "Himmler, the Evil Genius of the Third Reich" - Page 257 - by Willi Frischauer - Germany - 1953
  • The best political weapon is the weapon of terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don't ask for their love; only for their fear.
    • Quoted in "Visions of Reality - A Study of Abnormal Perception and Behavior" - by Alberto Rivas - Psychology - 2007 - Page 162
  • I still lack to a considerable degree that naturally superior kind of manner that I would dearly like to possess.
    • Diary entry (November 1921), quoted in The Hidden Files (1992) by Derek Raymond
  • In the course of history periods of capitalism and socialism alternate with one another; capitalism is the unnatural, socialism the natural economic system...The National Socialists and the Red Front have the same aspirations. The Jews falsified the Revolution in the form of Marxism and that failed to bring fulfilment.
    • Speech in Potsdam (13 October 1926), quoted in Peter Longerich, Heinrich Himmler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 92-93.
  • I know there are some people in Germany who become sick when they see these black uniforms, we understand the reason for this, and do not expect we shall be loved by all that number of people; those who come to fear us in any way or at any time must have a bad conscience towards the Fuhrer and the nation. For these persons we have established an organisation called the Security Service.
    • From his treatise The Security Squadron as an Anti-Bolshevik Battle Organisation, 1936
This is a page of glory in our history, which has never been written and is never to be written...
  • My honor is my loyalty.
    • Formulated as the watchword of the S.S. Nazi elite, as translated in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), by Hannah Arendt Ch. 10
  • In the brief monthly reports of the Security Police, I only want figures on how many Jews have been shipped off and how many are currently left.
    • To Ernst Kaltenbrunner. Quoted in "Hitler and the Final Solution" - Page 137 - by Gerald Fleming - History - 1987
  • I also want to mention a very difficult subject before you here, completely openly. It should be discussed among us, and yet, nevertheless, we will never speak about it in public. Just as we did not hesitate on 30 June to carry out our duty, as ordered, and stand comrades who had failed against the wall and shoot them. About which we have never spoken, and will never speak. That was, thank God, a kind of tact natural to us, a foregone conclusion of that fact, that we have never conversed about it amongst ourselves, never spoken about it, everyone shuddered and everyone was clear that the next time he would do the same thing again, if it were commanded and necessary. I am talking about the "Jewish evacuation"; the extermination of the Jewish people. It is one of those things that is easily said. "The Jewish people are being exterminated," every party member will tell you, "perfectly clear, it's part of our plans, we're eliminating the Jews, exterminating them, Ha! A small matter." And then along they all come, all the 80 million upright Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. They say: all others are swine, but here is a first-class Jew.
    • The Posen speech to SS officers (6 October 1943)
  • One basic principle must be the absolute rule for the S.S. men. We must be honest, decent, loyal, and comradely to members of our own blood and nobody else. What happens to a Russian and a Czech does not interest me in the least. What the nations can offer in the way of good blood of our type we will take, if necessary by kidnapping their children and raising them here with us. Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our culture: otherwise it is of no interest to me. Whether ten thousand Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an anti-tank ditch interests me only in so far as the anti-tank ditch for Germany is finished. We shall never be tough and heartless where it is not necessary, that is clear. We, Germans, who are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude towards animals, will also assume a decent attitude towards these human animals. But it is a crime against our blood to worry about them and give them ideals, thus causing our sons and grandsons to have a more difficult time with them. When somebody comes up to me and says: 'I cannot dig the anti-tank ditch with women and children, it is inhuman, for it would kill them,' then I have to say: 'You are the murderer of your own blood, because if the anti-tank ditch is not dug German soldiers will die, and they are the sons of German mothers. They are our own blood....' Our concern, our duty, is our people and our blood. We can be indifferent to everything else. I wish the S.S. to adopt this attitude towards the problem of all foreign, non-Germanic peoples, especially Russians....
    • The Posen speech to SS officers (6 October 1943)
Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our culture: otherwise it is of no interest to me.
  • Most of you know what it means when a hundred corpses are lying side by side, or five hundred, or a thousand. To have stuck it out, and at the same time — apart from exceptions caused by human weakness — to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history, which has never been written and is never to be written.... We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us.
  • Anti-Semitism is exactly the same as delousing. Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology, it is a matter of cleanliness. In just this same way anti-Semitism for us has not been a question of ideology but a matter of cleanliness.
    • Quoted in "Conscience and Memory: Meditations in a Museum of the Holocaust" - Page 29 - by Harold Kaplan - History - 1994
  • We won't waste much time on the Jews. It's great to get to grips with the Jewish race at last. The more that die the better; hitting them represents a victory for our Reich. The Jews should feel that we've arrived. We want to put half to three-quarters of all Jews east of the Vistula. We will crush these Jews wherever we can. Everything is at stake. Get the Jews out of the Reich, Vienna, everywhere. We have no use for Jews in the Reich. Probably the line of the Vistula, behind this line no more. We are the most important people here.
    • November 25, 1939. Quoted in "Approaches to Auschwitz: The Holocaust and Its Legacy" - Page 160 - by Ismail K Merchant, Richard L. Rubenstein, John K. Roth - History - 2003
I hope to see the very concept of Jewry completely obliterated.
  • I hope to see the very concept of Jewry completely obliterated.
    • March 23 1941. Quoted in "Murderous Science" - Page 48 - by Benno Müller-Hill - History - 1998
  • I must really say that he is a veteran Communist, this Herr Josip Broz, a consistent man. Unfortunately he is our enemy. He really has earned his title of Marshal. When we catch him we shall do him in at once; you can be sure of that; he is our enemy. But I wish we had a dozen Titos in Germany... The man had nothing at all. He was between the Russians, the British and Americans for a ride and to shit on them in the most comical way. He is a Moscow man ... He has never capitulated.
    • Jasper Ridley, Tito: A Biography (Constable and Company Ltd., 1994), p. 247.


Disputed[edit]

  • Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA — ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State.
    • This quotation has not been confirmed to come from Himmler, its attribution to him on the Internet coming from some point before 2000, as in the Site of the Sentient quotelist

Quotes about Himmler[edit]

This is a hard job, but if the act is not carried out at once, instead of us exterminating the Jews, the Jews will exterminate the Germans at a later date.
  • In my eyes, Himmler was worse than Hitler. The assassination attempt should have been directed against Himmler in the first place.
  • At the time of the shooting of these 120, there was a young Jewish boy of twenty who had a Nordic appearance, with blue eyes and blond hair. Himmler called that boy aside from the pit where he was to be shot and asked him if he were Jewish, whether his grandparents were all Jewish. The boy replied that as far as he knew, his entire family was Jewish. Then Himmler said that he couldn't help the boy, and the boy was executed along with the others. You could see how Himmler tried to save the boy's life.
    • Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, to Leon Goldensohn (14 February 1946)[citation needed]
  • He was not a man who was hard-hearted in the sight of blood. He was hard-hearted by reason of a fanatic ideology. But he was undoubtedly soft and cowardly.
    • Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, to Leon Goldensohn (14 February 1946)[citation needed]
  • In the summer of 1941, I was called to Berlin to see Himmler. I was given the oder to erect extermination camps. I can almost give you Himmler's actual words, which were to the effect: "The Fuhrer has ordered the final solution to the Jewish problem. Those of us in the SS must execute these plans. This is a hard job, but if the act is not carried out at once, instead of us exterminating the Jews, the Jews will exterminate the Germans at a later date."
    • Rudolf Höss in The Nuremberg Interviews (2004) by Léon Goldensohn, p. 300
  • In Krakow, a Criminal Police officer, over fifty years of age, shook hands with a Jew. Himmler was informed and ordered a two-year term in Dachau for this employee. This was at the time of the battle of Stalingrad. It shows that Himmler had time to think of these ridiculous things.
  • Himmler was the most feared man in Germany by everyone, including the most loyal German.
  • Himmler hated Poles and Slavs and was quite capable of not only making such a statement but of putting it into practice if given the opportunity.
  • Himmler was not sadistic — he was a stingy, small person. He was formerly a schoolteacher and he was always of that kind of mentality. He obtained pleasure from punishing others, like a schoolteacher who hits a child with a cane more than necessary and derives pleasure from it.
  • The only difficulty with Himmler was that he was of a sneaky nature. I never knew whether I would be alive or imprisoned the next day. But I gained new strength from my firm idea that Germany — that I must save Germany from chaos.
  • Himmler hated Russia but I had him convinced that Russia could not be defeated.
  • Himmler was such a coward he refused or was afraid to act because of Kaltenbrunner and Hitler.
  • He was a schoolmaster type outwardly, and that was as far as his foreign political horizon went. Therefore, in the field of foreign affairs I had an easy time convincing him. As far as other things are concerned, Himmler was a sphinx, hard to understand. He was a coward, not a brave man.
  • There was also Himmler the crusader and visionary, the man who built a romantic castle in a German forest where the knights of the S.S., many of whom could hardly read or write, were required to repair at intervals to contemplate the glory of their order and establish spiritual contact with the heroes of mediaeval Germany.
  • For him the Russian war offered a glorious opportunity for comparative anatomy: while immense armies were manoeuvring over the frozen plains and smashing each other to pieces, Himmler set himself the urgent task of building up a collection of skulls of Jewish-Bolshevik Commissars: such things were impossible to come by in Germany.
    • Edward Crankshaw in Gestapo: Instrument of Tyranny (1956)
  • He had a pale, round, expressionless face, almost Mongolian, and a completely inoffensive air. Nor in his early years did I ever hear him advocate the race theories of what he was to become the most notorious executive.
  • He looked to me like an intelligent elementary schoolteacher, certainly not a man of violence. I could not for the life of me see anything outstanding or extraordinary about this middle-sized, youthfully slender man in grey S.S. uniform. Under a brow of average height two grey-blue eyes looked out at me, behind glittering prince-nez, with an air of peaceful interrogation. The trimmed moustache below the straight, well-shaped nose traced a dark line on his unhealthy, pale features. The lips were colourless and very thin. Only the inconspicuous, receding chin surprised me. The skin of his neck was flaccid and wrinkled. With a broadening of his constant, set smile, faintly mocking and sometimes contemptuous about the corners of the mouth, two rows of excellent white teeth appeared between the thin lips. His slender, pale, and almost girlishly soft hands, covered with blue veins, lay motionless on the table throughout our conversation.

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