Heinrich Himmler: A Life, By Peter Longerich


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The Independent Culture

In this epically gripping portrait, Longerich notes that the SS leader's squalid end – chewing a cyanide capsule in prison – explained the lack of a "Himmler legend".

The Nazi chief moulded an organisation "behind which he could… hide his own weaknesses". Longerich provides many examples of Himmler's micro-management, from weird to unspeakable, which resulted in "office and individual becoming indistinguishable".

There is a crumb of comfort: he "amassed a potential for destruction that far exceeded the catastrophes that Nazism itself actually caused."