8 Pages, Grade: A
The rise of Heinrich Himmler, along with the ascent of Nazi Germany, had direct and negative impact on history. Himmler is best described as the architect of the holocaust. Many feel that Hitler is the primary figure responsible for the holocaust, but if one digs deeper they will find Himmler at the center of the atrocities. More often, then not it was Himmler's orders, and in some cases his personal interest that drove the holocaust. Himmler felt that nothing should stand in the way of the needs of Germany, and to that end he would use people in any way he saw fit to solve problems.
At the start of 1942, Hitler decided there was no place in his new empire for Europe's six million Jews (Blainey 149). The Final Solution had been coined by the German leadership, in a effort to quietly deal with what they saw as the problem of the Jews (Blainey 149). The man to lead this task was Heinrich Himmler:
Hitler appointed him Reichsführer SS and Chief of German Police on June 17, 1936, Himmler centralized the various criminal police detective forces in Germany into the Reich Criminal Police Office and united the Gestapo and Criminal Police in the Security Police Main Office. In September 1939, Himmler fused the Security Police and the SD into the Reich Security Main Office, the agency that would be tasked with implementing the Holocaust in 1941-1942 (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).
Himmler, having already setup the Dachau concentration camp in 1933 to incarcerate political enemies of the Nazi government, was Hitler logical choice for his final solution (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Hitler was impressed with the Dachau concentration camp and authorized Himmler to create a centralized concentration camp system (United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum). During the war, Himmler's SS Inspectorate of Concentration system expanded to include "30-40 main camps and hundreds of subcamps" (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Himmler's SS camp prisoners would include Jews, political prisoners, Roma (Gypsies), so-called asocials, recidivist convicts, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).
The Concentration camps were more then just prisons to Himmler, they were also a place to conduct inhumane medical experiments on people (The History Channel website). On July, 7, 1942 Himmler held a conference in Berlin to discuss using concentration camp prisoners in medical experiments (The History Channel website). Those in attendance at Himmler's conference included, "the head of the Concentration Camp Inspectorate, SS General Richard Glueks, hospital chief, SS Major-General Gebhardt and Professor Karl Clauberg, one of Germany's leading gynecologists"(The History Channel website). Himmler, along with those at the conference, decided to begin medical experimentation on Jewish women in the Auschwitz concentration camps (The History Channel website). The experimentation plan was endorsed by Hitler on the condition that the plan remain top secret (The History Channel website). "These experiments were to be carried out in such a way as to ensure that the prisoners were not aware of what was being done to them. The experimentation would take the form of sterilization via massive doses of radiation or uterine injections. It was also decided to consult with an X-ray specialist about the prospects of using X-rays to castrate men and demonstrating this on male Jewish prisoners" (The History Channel website).
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