Nation & World News

Heinrich Himmler’s Private Letters Published In German Newspaper

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on January 26th, 2014

“The Handwriting of a Mass Murderer” is how Germany’s Die Welt newspaper bills its eight-part series featuring excerpts of Heinrich Himmler’s personal letters accompanied by family photos, which are reportedly being published for the first time.

(An English-language version is here.)

The excerpts, published this weekend, come from roughly 700 letters that Himmler, leader of the Nazis’ notorious, black-uniformed SS corps, wrote to his wife, Margarete — a nurse he called his “dear, precious woman.” In later letters, while Himmler was having an affair with his secretary who eventually bore him two daughters, he addressed his wife as “Dear Mommy.”

In the letters, Himmler does not describe in any detail his role in the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities committed during World War II. But Die Welt editors say his writings show the intimate thoughts of a “clearly cold, feeling-less, self-righteous bureaucrat” who orchestrated the mass extermination of millions of Jewish men, women and children.

For example: In a letter sent to his then-fiancée in June 1928, Himmler wrote to Margarete: “You have to fight with these wretched Jews because of the money…Don’t get frustrated over the Jews, good lady — If only I could help you.”

Die Welt says he was referring to Margarete selling her share of a private clinic in Berlin to a fellow occupant of the building, who was Jewish.

Himmler’s letters belong to the family of Israeli film director Vanessa Lapa. Editors at Die Welt say she approached them three years ago and that the letters’ authenticity was independently verified by historians.

Lapa is expected to debut a documentary on Himmler next month at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Die Welt says two U.S. soldiers originally found the letters inside a safe in Himmler’s home in Bavaria. He committed suicide toward the end of World War II.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

‘Post And Courier’ Of Charleston, S.C., Wins Pulitzer For Public Service

The newspaper’s series examined why South Carolina is among the deadliest states for women in the United States. Anthony Doerr won the prize for fiction for All the Light We Cannot See.


A shipwreck is seen near the coast in Lake Michigan, where clear waters recently allowed a Coast Guard helicopter to take striking aerial photos of several wreck sites.

Shipwrecks Ahoy: Coast Guard Shares Pics From Crystal-Clear Lake Michigan

All of that cold, fresh water has helped preserve wrecked ships over the years. A Coast Guard helicopter recently captured some striking images of historic ships.


Iran Charges ‘Washington Post’ Reporter With Espionage

Jason Rezaian’s lawyer says he has been charged with four serious crimes. The Washington Post‘s Tehran bureau chief has been detained for nine months and held in the notorious Evin prison.


FBI Director James Comey's comments about Poland's role in the Holocaust have angered officials in that country.

FBI Chief’s Comments Linking Poland To Holocaust Draw Angry Response

In a speech last week, James Comey appeared to suggest that Poles had been complicit in the Holocaust. Polish leaders, who have long recoiled at that assertion, demanded an apology.


Tim Tebow Will Reportedly Return To NFL With Philadelphia Eagles

It would be the former Heisman winner’s fourth NFL team. The New York Jets released Tebow in the spring of 2013; later that same year, he was cut by the New England Patriots.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments