Catalogue


Heinrich Himmler /
Peter Longerich ; translated by Jeremy Noakes and Lesley Sharpe.
imprint
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2012.
description
xviii, 1031 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0199592322 (acid-free paper), 9780199592326 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2012.
isbn
0199592322 (acid-free paper)
9780199592326 (acid-free paper)
contents note
Himmler's early years: Childhood and youth ; The student of agriculture ; Struggle and renunciation ; A new start in Lower Bavaria ; The Party functionary ; Reichsführer-SS -- Inside the Third Reich: The takeover of the political police ; From Inspector of the Prussian Gestapo to Chief of the German Police ; The State Protection Corps -- The Order: Ideology and religious cult ; Himmler's leadership style ; Himmler as educator ; The SS family -- Into war : ambition and disappointment: War preparations and expansion ; War and settlement in Poland ; A new racial order ; Repression in the Reich ; Shifting borders : The year 1940 -- The greater Germanic Reich : living-space and ethnic murder: An ideological war of annihilation ; From mass murder to the 'Final Solution' ; The murder of the European Jews ; Settlement policy and racial selection ; The 'Iron law of ethnicity' : recruitment into the Waffen-SS ; A Europe-wide reign of terror -- Downfall in stages: A turn in the war : a new opportunity? ; Collapse -- Conclusion.
general note
Originally published in German as: Heinrich Himmler : Biographie. München : Siedler, 2008.
abstract
"In this, the first-ever comprehensive biography of the Reichsführer-SS, leading German historian Peter Longerich puts every aspect of Himmler's life under the microscope. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skillfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. In the process, he illuminates the extraordinary degree to which Himmler's own personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies, and predilections made their mark on the organizations for which he was responsible--especially the SS, which in so many ways bore the characteristic hallmarks of its leader, and whose history remains incomprehensible without a detailed and intimate knowledge of its deeply sinister commander-in-chief"--Dust-jacket.
catalogue key
7837852
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [749]-991) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-07-01:
This may be the most thorough study of Heinrich Himmler yet written. From Himmler's suicide as his US interrogators overlooked the poison capsule in his mouth, the next thousand pages analyze his boyhood diary entries as he wrestled with adolescent fantasies and soldierly virtues, mythical race theory, and anti-Semitism. Devastated by Germany's defeat in WW I and toughened by postwar political chaos, Himmler became embroiled in the fledgling Nazi party, climbing through the Byzantine labyrinth of paramilitary politics. The majority of this huge volume carefully follows this colorless, crafty bureaucrat who assembled power by tirelessly nurturing contacts and nimbly playing various factions. He created or consolidated the armed SS, the Gestapo, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), Criminal Police (Kripo), Auxiliary and Order Police, and the entire concentration camp system--the Third Reich's permanent instruments of terror and control. Eventually, Himmler was also promoted to Reich Settlement Commissar for the whole of Germany. His interest and control extended even to National Socialist marriage policy and sexuality. Longerich (Royal Holloway, Univ. of London) explores every relationship along the way, as well as Himmler's murderous policies in dealing with Jews, concentration camp inmates, and suspects of every stripe. A superb book, wonderfully translated, whose endnotes alone run to 200 pages. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. A. P. Krammer Texas A&M University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2011-08-22:
With access to new material, Longerich (Holocaust), professor of history at the University of London, delivers an exhaustive biography of the notorious Nazi. Himmler (1900-1945) grew up in a stable, middle-class family, entering adulthood deeply resentful of Germany's defeat in WWI. Needy and self-critical, he was a good student and voracious reader whose belief in Aryan superiority was not rare in his generation. Joining the Nazis, he played a minor role in Hitler's 1923 beer hall putsch. In 1929 Hitler appointed him head of the SS, a small organization of bodyguards which Himmler expanded to an elite force. The SS's fierce loyalty to Hitler won Himmler command of all Nazi security (police, concentration camps, extermination camps, and mobile killing squads) when Hitler liquidated the rowdier, independent paramilitary SA in 1934. Longerich does not reveal why this modestly neurotic man committed so many unspeakable acts; his diligence may render earlier works obsolete, but he includes so many administrative details and political maneuvers that general readers may prefer the shorter (if not short) 2001 Peter Padfield biography. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Appeared in Library Journal on 2011-09-15:
Noted Holocaust scholar Longerich (history, Royal Holloway, Univ. of London; Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews) presents a thorough, well-researched, and clearly written account of Himmler's life and the history of the SS. Rather than providing groundbreaking new sources or research, this work reframes the existing materials by "integrating biography and structural history" to paint a fuller picture of the infamous Nazi leader and his organization. Longerich successfully weaves primary sources and reputable scholarship into a logical, comprehensive, and unified work. However, with a matter-of-fact tone, a structure more concerned with chronology and clarity than a dramatic arc, and nearly 1000 pages of text and endnotes, it will not appeal to readers of popular biography. -VERDICT For popular readers, Katrin Himmler's The Himmler Brothers: A German Family History is a better choice. Scholars of Himmler and the SS at all levels will find this solid, inclusive book an excellent resource.-Audrey Barbakoff, Milwaukee P.L. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A comprehensive biography." --Macleans
A highly impressive biography, resting on exhaustive exploration of available sources.
A masterpiece
[An] almost encyclopaedic coverage
A superbly researched account
a work of staggering scholarship
Excellent ... well crafted and engaging ... comfortably surpassing the offerings of previous biographers, it is surely set to become the definitive work for a generation.
Gigantic book
"Longerich manages to combine the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider institutional context in a unique way, and in doing so provides a startling insight into the broader history of the Nazi dictatorship" --Der Neue Tag, 23.09.2010
Review from previous edition: "Both as a biography of the man and an analysis of the role of the SS in Nazi Germany, Longerich's book is unlikely to be surpassed for a long time" --Neue Zurcher Zeitung
"Splendid."
Splendid...Longerich gives it a depth and breadth it has previously lacked.
"Splendid" -The Sunday Telegraph "A masterpiece." - Richard J. Evans, author ofThe Coming of the Third Reich
"Splendid" -The Sunday Telegraph "Longerich's study of Himmler's banal evil promised to bear the standard --The Village Voice "A masterpiece." - Richard J. Evans, author ofThe Coming of the Third Reich
"Splendid" -The Sunday Telegraph "Longerich's study of Himmler's banal evil promises to bear the standard" --The Village Voice "A masterpiece." - Richard J. Evans, author ofThe Coming of the Third Reich
supremely enlightening
"[S]upremely enlightening." --Jacob Heilbrunn,The New York Times Book Review "Splendid" -The Sunday Telegraph "Longerich's study of Himmler's banal evil promises to bear the standard." --The Village Voice
"[S]upremely enlightening." --Jacob Heilbrunn,The New York Times Book Review "Splendid" -The Sunday Telegraph "Longerich's study of Himmler's banal evil promises to bear the standard." --The Village Voice "A masterpiece." - Richard J. Evans, author ofThe Coming of the Third Reich "Peter Longerich, already the author of a distinguihed history of the Holocaust, has written a biography that tells us everything that the world could ever need to know about this most terrible, yet dreery, of Hitler's creatures....an authoritative record."--Max Hastings, NYORB "A remarkable and wholly fascinating new book by Peter Longerich, a German historian who is among the world's leading scholars of the Holocaust and the Third Reich." --Jewish Journal
[The book's] bulk is consummate with the seriousness of its subject matter and, as the definitive life if this why-faced monster of terror, it is unlikely to be bettered.
The most thorough study of Himmler yet written ... A superb book, wonderfully translated.
There have been many attempts to describe the life and opinions of Heinrich Himmler, but this one ... is the first thorough scholarly biography to appear
There have been several studies of this enigmatic man, but Peter Longerich's massive biography, grounded in exhaustive study of the primary sources, is now the standard work and must stand alongside Ian Kershaw's Hitler, Ulrich Herbert's Best and Robert Gerwarth's Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich as one of the landmark Nazi biographies. As the author of a celebrated study of the Holocaust, Longerich is better able than his predecessors to situateHimmler within the vast machinery of genocide. And he brings to his task a gift for capturing those mannerisms that are the intimate markers of personality.
very well documented
'Review from previous edition Both as a biography of the man and an analysis of the role of the SS in Nazi Germany, Longerich's book is unlikely to be surpassed for a long time 'Neue Zürcher Zeitung'Longerich manages to combine the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider institutional context in a unique way, and in doing so provides a startling insight into the broader history of the Nazi dictatorship 'Der Neue Tag, 23.09.2010
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, August 2011
Library Journal, September 2011
Booklist, December 2011
New York Times Full Text Review, January 2012
Washington Post, January 2012
Kirkus Reviews, February 2012
Choice, July 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is a comprehensive biography of Heinrich Himmler, SS-Reichsfuhrer, Nazi Interior Minister, and Chief of Police, whose name has become a byword for the terror, persecution, and destruction that characterized the Third Reich.
Long Description
As head of the SS, chief of police, 'Reichskommissar for the Consolidation of Germanness', and Reich Interior Minister, Heinrich Himmler enjoyed a position of almost unparalleled power and responsibility in Nazi Germany. Perhaps more than any other single Nazi leader aside from Hitler, his name has become a byword for the terror, persecution, and destruction that characterized the Third Reich. His wide-ranging powers meant that he bore equal responsibility for the repression of the Germanpeople on the home front and the atrocities perpetrated by the SS in the East. Yet, in spite of his central role in the crimes of the Nazi regime, until now Himmler has remained a colourless and elusive figure in the history of the period.In this, the first-ever comprehensive biography of the SS-Reichsf hrer, leading German historian Peter Longerich puts every aspect of Himmler's life under the microscope. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skilfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. In the process, he illuminates the extraordinarydegree to which Himmler's own personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies, and predilections made their mark on the organizations for which he was responsible - especially the SS, which in so many ways bore the characteristic hallmarks of its leader, and whose history remains both incomplete and incomprehensiblewithout a detailed and intimate knowledge of its deeply sinister commander-in-chief.
Main Description
As head of the SS, chief of police, "Reichskommissar for the Consolidation of Germanness", and Reich Interior Minister, Heinrich Himmler enjoyed a position of almost unparalleled power and responsibility in Nazi Germany. Perhaps more than any other single Nazi leader aside from Hitler, his name has become a byword for the terror, persecution, and destruction that characterized the Third Reich. His wide-ranging powers meant that he bore equal responsibility for the repression of the Germanpeople on the home front and the atrocities perpetrated by the SS in the East. Yet, in spite of his central role in the crimes of the Nazi regime, until now Himmler has remained a colourless and elusive figure in the history of the period. In this, the first-ever comprehensive biography of the SS-Reichsfuhrer, leading German historian Peter Longerich puts every aspect of Himmler's life under the microscope. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skilfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. In the process, he illuminates the extraordinary degree to which Himmler's own personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies, and predilections made their mark on the organizations for which he was responsible - especially the SS, which in so many ways bore the characteristic hallmarks of its leader, and whose historyremains both incomplete and incomprehensible without a detailed and intimate knowledge of its deeply sinister commander-in-chief.
Main Description
As head of the SS, chief of police, "Reichskommissar for the Consolidation of Germanness", and Reich Interior Minister, Heinrich Himmler enjoyed a position of almost unparalleled power and responsibility in Nazi Germany. Perhaps more than any other single Nazi leader aside from Hitler, hisname has become a byword for the terror, persecution, and destruction that characterized the Third Reich. His wide-ranging powers meant that he bore equal responsibility for the repression of the German people on the home front and the atrocities perpetrated by the SS in the East. Yet, in spite ofhis central role in the crimes of the Nazi regime, until now Himmler has remained a colourless and elusive figure in the history of the period.In this, the first-ever comprehensive biography of the SS-Reichsfuhrer, leading German historian Peter Longerich puts every aspect of Himmler's life under the microscope. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazidictatorship, Longerich shows how skilfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. In the process, he illuminates the extraordinary degree to which Himmler's own personal prejudices, idiosyncrasies, and predilections made theirmark on the organizations for which he was responsible - especially the SS, which in so many ways bore the characteristic hallmarks of its leader, and whose history remains both incomplete and incomprehensible without a detailed and intimate knowledge of its deeply sinistercommander-in-chief.
Main Description
Heinrich Himmler, an unremarkable looking man, was Hitler's top enforcer, in charge of the Gestapo, the SS, and the so-called Final Solution. We can only wonder, as biographer Peter Longerich asks, how could such a banal personality attain such an historically unique position of power? How could the son of a prosperous Bavarian Catholic public servant become the organizer of a system of mass murder spanning the whole of Europe? In the first comprehensive biography of this murderous enigma, Longerich answers those questions with a superb account of Himmler's inner self and outward acts. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skillfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. Himmler's actual strength, he writes, consisted in redrawing every two or three years the master plans for his sphere of power. Himmler expanded that sphere with ruthless efficiency. In 1929, he took the SS--a small bodyguard unit--and swelled it into a paramilitary organization with elite pretensions. By the end of 1934 he had become Reich Chief of the Political Police, and began to consolidate all police power in his own hands. As Germany grabbed neighboring territory, he expanded the Waffen SS and organized the "Germanization" of conquered lands, which culminated in systematic mass murder. When the regime went on the defensive in 1942, Himmler changed his emphasis again, repressing any opposition or unrest. The author emphasizes the centrality of Himmler's personality to the Nazi murder machine--his surveillance of the private lives of his men, his deep resentments, his fierce prejudices--showing that man and position were inseparable. Carefully researched and lucidly written,Heinrich Himmleris the essential account of the man who embodied Hitler's apparatus of evil.
Main Description
Heinrich Himmler was an unremarkable looking man. Yet he was Hitlers top enforcer, in charge of the Gestapo, the SS, and the so-called Final Solution. We can only wonder, as biographer Peter Longerich asks, how could such a banal personality attain such a historically unique position of power? How could the son of a prosperous Bavarian Catholic public servant become the organizer of a system of mass murder spanning the whole of Europe? In the first comprehensive biography of this murderous enigma, Longerich answers those questions with a superb account of Himmlers inner self and outward acts. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmlers personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skillfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. Himmlers actual strength, he writes, consisted in redrawing every two or three years the master plans for his sphere of power. Himmler expanded that sphere with ruthless efficiency. In 1929, he took the SS-a small bodyguard unit-and swelled it into a paramilitary organization with elite pretensions. By the end of 1934 he had become Reich Chief of the Political Police, and began to consolidate all police power in his own hands. As Germany grabbed neighboring territory, he expanded the Waffen SS and organized the "Germanization" of conquered lands, which culminated in systematic mass murder. When the regime went on the defensive in 1942, Himmler changed his emphasis again, repressing any opposition or unrest. The author emphasizes the centrality of Himmlers personality to the Nazi murder machine-his surveillance of the private lives of his men, his deep resentments, his fierce prejudices-showing that man and position were inseparable. Carefully researchedand lucidly written, Heinrich Himmler is the essential account of the man who embodied Hitlers apparatus of evil.
Main Description
Heinrich Himmler was an unremarkable looking man. Yet he was Hitler's top enforcer, in charge of the Gestapo, the SS, and the so-called Final Solution. We can only wonder, as biographer Peter Longerich asks, how could such a banal personality attain such a historically unique position of power? How could the son of a prosperous Bavarian Catholic public servant become the organizer of a system of mass murder spanning the whole of Europe? In the first comprehensive biography of this murderous enigma, Longerich answers those questions with a superb account of Himmler's inner self and outward acts. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skillfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. Himmler's actual strength, he writes, consisted in redrawing every two or three years the master plans for his sphere of power. Himmler expanded that sphere with ruthless efficiency. In 1929, he took the SS-a small bodyguard unit-and swelled it into a paramilitary organization with elite pretensions. By the end of 1934 he had become Reich Chief of the Political Police, and began to consolidate all police power in his own hands. As Germany grabbed neighboring territory, he expanded the Waffen SS and organized the "Germanization" of conquered lands, which culminated in systematic mass murder. When the regime went on the defensive in 1942, Himmler changed his emphasis again, repressing any opposition or unrest. The author emphasizes the centrality of Himmler's personality to the Nazi murder machine-his surveillance of the private lives of his men, his deep resentments, his fierce prejudices-showing that man and position were inseparable. Carefully researchedand lucidly written, Heinrich Himmler is the essential account of the man who embodied Hitler's apparatus of evil.
Main Description
There are a host of clichés attached to the figure of Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi police and terror apparatus: colourless and pedantic bureaucrat, dogged and delusional racist, cold-blooded mass murderer. In this ground-breaking new look at Himmler's life, leading German historian Peter Longerich uncovers the truth behind this most elusive of Nazi leaders. In what is far more than a simple biographical account, Longerich gives us a unique overview ofthe full range of Himmler's powers and responsibilities and illuminates the true extent of his influence on the Nazi dictatorship and its career of destruction.
Table of Contents
Abbreviatons and Glossary
Prologue
The Young Himmler
Childhood and Youth
The Student of Agriculture
Struggle and Renunciation
A New Start in Lower Bavaria
The Party Functionary
Reichsfuhrer SS
In the Third Reich
The Take-Over of the Political Police
From Inspector of the Prussian Gestapo to Chief of the German Police
The State Protection Corps
The Order
Ideology and Religious Cult
Himmler's Leadership Style
Himmler the Educator
The SS Family
Ambition and Disappointment
War Preparations and Expansion
War and Settlement in Poland
A New Racial Order
Repression in the Reich
Shifting Borders: The Year 1940
The Greater Germanic Reich: Lebensraum and Ethnic Murder
An Ideological War of Annihilation
From Mass Murder to the 'Final Solution'
The Murder of the European Jews
Settlement Policy and Racial Selection
The 'Iron Law of Ethnicity': Recruitment for the Waffen-SS
A Europe-wide Reign of Terror
Downfall in Stages
Can a Turn in the War Present an Opportunity?
Collapse
Conclusion
Appendix
Notes
Comments on Sources and Literature
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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