Heinrich Himmler was one of the most powerful men in the Third Reich. Himmler controlled the Schutzstaffel (SS). He also oversaw the work in concentration camps used to exterminate Nazi Germany's 'undesirables'.
Himmler was born in Bavaria, Germany on October 7, 1900 to a middle class Catholic family. He was named after his godfather, Prince Heinrich of Bavaria. Himmler struggled with athletics during his school years, but he was accomplished in his schoolwork.
Himmler had a fascination with the occult, and he was part of the Thule Society. This fascination has gone on to influence a number of pop culture depictions of the Nazis as an occultist organization, either in part or in whole.
Toward the end of World War II, Himmler was ostracized by the Nazi high command for actions that Adolf Hitler perceived as treachery. Himmler later agreed to surrender to the Allies, provided he was not prosecuted for his actions. Once he was captured, he killed himself with a cyanide pill before he could be questioned.
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