a A

Professor Longerich read from his Biography on Himmler

In cooperation with the BAC theatre, the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen presented the well-known historian Peter Longerich who read parts of his biography on Himmler, recently introduced at the Frankfurt book fair. The reading was held on Tuesday, 18th November 2008 at 7.00 p.m. at the BAC theatre, In den Siepen 6, 34454 Bad Arolsen. 

Heinrich Himmler(1900-1945), who had command over both the Gestapo and the police,  possessed unique power in the Nazi state, and was, as"Reichsführer SS", the embodiment of terror, persecution and obliteration in the "Third Reich". Nazi researcher Peter Longerich devotes his biography not only to Himmler's political career, but also looks into the problematic and disturbed character of the Holocaust architect. 

The book is most impressive in analysing Himmler's callousness and emotional deficits, his style of leadership and his claim until the very end that the SS was an "honourable" organization that- even in view of the mass murders they committed - had always behaved and conducted themselves "honestly and decently".

In this first knowledgeable biography on the SS commander, Longerich retraces, Himmler's characteristic individual traits based on innumerable new sources and allows his readers to gain a deep insight into the internal and external conditions of his actions. With this book, he provides an important piece of the puzzle and helps the public to form a more complete picture of the National Socialist terror regime.

Peter Longerich, born in 1955 in Krefeld, is Professor for Contemporary German History and Director of the ResearchCentre for the Holocaust and Twentieth-Century History at Royal Holloway Collegeof the University of London. Among other books, he has published a history of the SA ("The Brown Bataillons", 1989),a comprehensive manual on the WeimarRepublic ("Policy of Obliteration - An Overall Description of the National Socialist Persecution of the Jews", 1998) and "We didn't know anything about it" The Germans and the Persecution of the Jews 1933-1945" (Siedler publishinghouse/2006).  

The author will visit the International Tracing Service archive on November 19th and talk to ITS Historian Irmtrud Wojak about possible cooperation and research projects. 

Peter Longerich, "Heinrich Himmler" biography, 1040 pages, Siedler publishing house, Munich 2008, 39.95 Euro, ISBN 978-3-88680-859-5, Date of publication: 1st October 2008.