I saw this interesting historical piece in the Russian press. The personal diary of Nazi mastermind, Hitler’s #2 man, Heinrich Himmler, was discovered in a small library in the Moscow suburb of Podolsk. What the diary was doing in Podolsk, the piece doesn’t say. I would guess it had been a trophy of war, captured and brought back by Soviet soldiers (?) In any case, the diary was considered missing for many years. But all the time it was sitting there on a shelf in the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
Himmler’s official title was Reichsführer-SS, the highest possible rank in Nazi Germany, just under Hitler himself. He kept a diary during the years 1938, 1943, and 1944. And this was no “Hello Kitty” diary, either. The German newspaper Bild had published passages from it. The Russian piece is mainly a recapitulating of these fragments from Bild.
For example, January 3 1943 was a typical day in the life of the Reichsführer. On that day Himmler had scheduled 19 tele-conference meetings in his personal bunker at Schwarzschanze, a beautiful and idyllic hunting lodge, situated in the northern lake area of Masuria, Prussia. Also located conveniently close to Adolph Hitler’s crib, known as the “Wolf’s Lair”. Later, however, after the Germans lost the war [SPOILER ALERT!], this entire area had to be ceded to the Masurians, and is now part of Poland. (Dziękuję, Uncle Joe Stalin!)
January 3, 1943: In his bunker, Himmler apparently kept banker’s hours, because his biological day didn’t even start until 9:30 AM. Which consisted of a long breakfast, followed by a massage. Himmler’s personal masseur was a man named Felix Kersten. According to his wiki entry, Felix used his influence over Himmler to help spare the lives of many Jews, and for this was rewarded in Israel with the title of “Righteous Gentile”. Felix had a special power in his massage; on this particular morning he worked Himmler over for at least two hours. The massages helped Himmler deal with the awful and chronic pain in his tum-tum.
Now it’s noon-ish and Himmler gets on the horn and makes a few phone calls. First call is about giving an award to a front-line soldier. Second call — is to a man named Richard Walther Darré. Darré was in charge of nationalist/racialist ideology for the Nazis. He was the author of such gems as this: “…by blitzkrieg … before autumn … we shall be the absolute masters of two continents… a new aristocracy of German masters will be created [with] slaves assigned to it, these slaves to be their property and to consist of landless, non-German nationals…. we actually have in mind a modern form of medieval slavery which we must and will introduce because we urgently need it in order to fulfill our great tasks. These slaves will by no means be denied the blessings of illiteracy; higher education will, in future, be reserved only for the German population of Europe…”
It is not known what the two men, Darré and Himller, spoke about, over the phone on this occasion. Presumably more mouth-frothing racist bullshit.
Next on the list: Himmler speaks on the phone with his wife and darling daughter, Margaret and Gudrun respectively, whom he affectionately calls “Mammi” and “Pappi”. Even though he rarely saw his family any more, Himmler kept in daily touch, over the phone. History has recorded that Himmler was a uxorious and loving husband, and a doting father, especially to his little girl Gudrun. Who, as history also records, was a little pill, a Nazi brat, and quite a nasty piece of work, even as a child. Thus disproving Dostoevsky’s idealistic contention that “all children are good and beautiful”.
2:00 PM – Himmler eats his lunch and then conducts, in series, all of his 19 planned phone meetings. Including his first of the day with Hermann Fegelein, notorious SS–Gruppenführer and brother-in-law of Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun. Phoning it in from Kiev, Fegelein was in the process of interrogating the unfortunate Soviet Major-General Petr Privalov, who had been wounded and captured on the battlefield near the Ukrainian capital. Himmler presumably gave Fegelein advice, how to interrogate the prisoner, etc. History records that Privalov survived his stint in German captivity. He was held by the Germans from 1942-1945. Rescued by American soldiers who happened to liberate the concentration which he was in. Handed back, by the Americans, to the Soviet Union, the unfortunate officer was then charged with treason and sat in Soviet prisons from 1945-1951. Then executed, which finally put an end to his life’s ordeal. In the more liberal Khrushchev era, Privalov was given a posthumous pardon and rehabilitation in 1968.
9:00 PM – Himmler eats his dinner. And now I feel bad for criticizing Himmler’s work ethic, because the diary goes on to say that he is still working, right up to midnight. Well, I guess he was more of a night person. The 10:30 PM call was also with Fegelein. The interrogation of Major-General Privalov was still going on. One has to wonder if the unfortunate man has cracked yet under the torture.
As midnight approaches, Himmler conducts two more business-like meetings, including one in which he orders 2000 Opel Blitz trucks for the SS Division Leibstandarte.
Himmler’s Aide-de-Camp Werner Grothmann dials in to inform his boss that some Polish partisans have attacked a police station in occupied Polish territory. The policemen surrendered without a fight.
Himmler orders Grothmann to have the ten or so officers shot, and their families to be sent to a concentration camp, as collective punishment.
With this chore done, Himmler retires to bed and a well-deserved sleep.