Himmler was one of the most diabolical members of the Nazi party. His activities as the head of the SS made him invincible to those who opposed him. A former chicken farmer, Himmler was a very simple looking man who might have been mistaken for a banker. This normal, mundane exterior concealed the cold, ruthless and cruel man who masterminded the Nazi plot against the Jews. Like Hitler and Goebbels, Himmler was a great propagandist, and knew how to gain allies to the movement.
The dual nature of the Nazi personality is displayed perfectly in Heinrich Himmler. He joined the party at the urging of Ernst Rohm, his good friend, and later conspired with others to kill him. At the time he joined the party in 1923, very few would have picked Himmler to eventually be the second most powerful man in Germany. Himmler knew quite early that he was capable of achieving great things as a Nazi. In order to create the post he desired, Himmler would allow nothing to stand in his way. It was this characteristic that gave Himmler the edge over other men in the regime with more flashy credentials and better education.
Himmler represents the great duality of Nazi leaders- a fertilizer salesman who became head of an empire. What he lacked in education and experience, he made up for in desire and ruthlessness. In these respects he was just like Hitler. Hitler prized individuals like himself who would stop at nothing to gain their objectives. This may be the reason that the Nazi personality had such an ambitious nature. Heydrich, Goering and Himmler were all prime examples of ambitious Nazis. Their lust for power called for them to eliminate the competition within the party, SA head Ernst Rohm was that competition. Rohm, forever wanting to create an SA police state, was targeted by these three for elimination. Himmler and Heydrich created reports in their departments to give Hitler the idea that Rohm was a threat, and that he needed to be dealt with.
|Himmler (left) and Rohm|
Showing the unquenchable thirst for power that is indicative of the Nazi personality, Goering, Himmler and Heydrich through their intervention signed Rohm’s death warrant and snatched up as much power as they could in the wake of “the Night of Long Knives.” No Nazi would allow anyone or anything stand in his way, whether it was a fellow Nazi, political opponent or a racial subordinate. While many might see this maniacal ambition as a horrible flaw, Hitler prized this quality above all, and encouraged his inner circle to jockey for position within the regime. All the while, however, Hitler knew exactly how to use them without giving up any control.