Heinrich Himmler

Himmler Famous People Tragedies and Triumphs Visual Arts World History World War II

This image, from the German Federal Archives, depicts Heinrich Himmler at the Dachau Concentration Camp.

One of the most powerful men in Hitler’s Germany, Himmler was head of the SS. As such, he was closely involved in the development of Nazi genocide.

Himmler’s power grew after an assassination attempt against Hitler happened in the summer of 1944. However, as the defeat of Germany seemed more and more likely, Himmler tried to negotiate - on his own behalf - with the Allies.

When Hitler learned that his trusted colleague was attempting to “sell out,” he was not only furious at Himmler, he stripped him of his authority.

Himmler’s efforts to help himself, near the end of WWII, did little to actually help him. After Germany surrendered, in early May of 1945, Himmler used a false identity and tried to escape. He was captured by the Allies, despite his best efforts to flee.

Later that month - on May 23 - Himmler committed suicide while in Allied custody.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The date for this image, assigned by the German Federal Archives, is “8 May 1936.”  Dachau opened, in 1933, when it was used as a place for political prisoners.  This image, therefore, depicts Himmler at Dachau before it became infamous as a Nazi death camp (with crematoria).

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image online, via German Federal Archives.




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