Himmler diaries reveal a 'beast full of contradictions'


Long-lost sections of a work journal kept by the notorious, high-ranking Nazi Heinrich Himmler have been found in an archive in Moscow, according to reports in the German tabloid BILD.

Himmler, who was head of the SS and a chief architect of the genocide against the Jews, reportedly took assiduous notes on his daily activities. Parts of his wartime diary are known, particular from the later years. The newly discovered sections were in a file marked "diary".

Some 1,000 pages in all, the documents are being studied by the German Historical Institute in Moscow, whose director, Nikolaus Katzen, told BILD they are "of outstanding historical significance" and made him "shudder".

He noted everything from the banal details about his various working trips and leisure activities, to his observation of a gassing of hundreds of prisoners. The same evening, he attended an SS banquet.

Early diaries of Himmler were found in the 1950s. Hundreds of letters turned up in Tel Aviv several years ago.

Researcher Matthias Uhl told BILD that the newly uncovered documents help complete the picture of Himmler, who was "a beast full of contradictions. He was on one hand the unscrupulous executioner, who uttered death sentences in passing and who planned the Holocaust. On the other hand, he went to great lengths to please his SS elite, their families, friends and acquaintances."

Himmler committed suicide in May 1945 rather than face post-war justice.

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