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Heinrich Himmler: The Sinister Life of the Head of the SS and Gestapo
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Heinrich Himmler: The Sinister Life of the Head of the SS and Gestapo

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  271 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Authors Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel, notable biographers of the World War II German leaders Joseph Goebbels and Herman Goring, delve into the life of one of the most sinister, clever, and successful of all the Nazi leaders: Heinrich Himmler. As the head of the feared SS, Himler supervised the extermination of millions. Here is the story of how a seemingly ordinary
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published (first published 1965)
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There's a saying about the banality of evil. Heinrich Himmler, one of Adolf Hitler's henchmen and one of the architects of the Final Solution, proves the point. The man didn't have horns or a cloven foot. He didn't have the word EVIL stamped on his forehead. In fact, from all descriptions of those who knew him, he was a rather fussy, nondescript office-type bureaucrat who suffered from bad health his entire life. So how was it possible that someone so ordinary could wreck such havoc on millions ...more
Oct 16, 2010 S rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting, but a little difficult and confusing. The author points out that something is a fact, then contradicts himself towards the end of the book.

otherwise, not particularly enjoyable read, but full of information. Not a juicy book.
Razvan Zamfirescu
Feb 10, 2014 Razvan Zamfirescu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: istorie
Dementa nazista nu poate fi inteleasa fara a-l cunoaste pe Himmler. Vioara intai in procesul de exterminare a evreilor, principalul inginer al teoriilor rasiale, pionierul aplicarii arianismului in cadrul unei organizatii (SS) si principalul vinovat de ororile care au avut loc in Europa cotropita de razboi, Himmler adeseori este uitat si lasat in umbra lui Hitler.
Este foarte adevarat ca fara Hitler, Himmler nu si-ar fi putut pune in practica ideile fanteziste, schemele diabolice si planurile in
Aug 24, 2015 Erwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The subtitle of the book is "The Sinister Life of the Head of the SS and Gestapo" yet the opening passage talks about how the authors have made sure this is a "fair and balanced view" of Himmler. Seems like they should have just edited out that first passage, as the book lines right up with the subtitle: The Sinister Life of the Head of the SS and Gestapo. The man was the architect of genocide, so that's what we should expect... Just the irony (hypocrisy?) of the opening disclaimer was a bit irr ...more
Erik Graff
Jul 16, 2015 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of the Nazi movement
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
I've been picking up all the biographies of the Nazi leadership I encounter, hoping thereby to understand how such a regime became possible and to inoculate myself against becoming a tacit ally of such tendencies in my own society. Having done several biographies of Hitler and Goering, I was very pleased to finally found one on Himmler.

Heinrich Himmler, like most of the others, was not a monster in all respects. Indeed, he was exceptionally gentle and considerate in many of his personal relation
Aug 20, 2014 Patrick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history
Disclaimer: I was able to get this as part of Kindle Unlimited, along with the audiobook. I'm not sure if I would have bought this if I had seen it since I have such a long queue of other things to read.

Having said that, the book was a decent biography of Himmler. As it was relatively short compared to other recent Isaacson biographies I've read lately, it didn't give as good an impression of its subject. At the end I felt like he was just a deluded, sickly bureaucrat with some strange ideas. I
Jul 25, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
Manvell and Fraenkel conducted years of meticulous research both with primary documents and those who actually knew Himmler to bring about a biography of the man infamous for being in charge of the S.S., Gestapo, and concentration camps that made the terror of Hitler’s reign possible. They seek to provide a well-rounded look at Himmler’s entire life for those with some familiarity with the events of World War II.

This was a fascinating and difficult book to read, not because of the writing style
Jul 26, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Manville writes a pretty good book on this excuse of a man who was Hitler's right-hand man in the extermination of millions during World Wat II. Manville portrays Himmler and a geeky, self-serving, kiss-ass while possessing the power to kill at will. I also found Himmler's Aryan race philosophies quite distrurbing -- especially the honor code (if there could be a honor in the SS) dictating how members should be breeding with "good Nordic stock" while also promoting a that good German women shoul ...more
I might be a strange person, (okay 'am,' and was a strange teenager) but I read this specifically because the cover looked all evil and I wanted to read about some evil crap.'s very hard to review books about WWII/Nazis. Simply put, I think that there have been eviler people in the world besides Heinrich Himmler. ...and there, I've been burned at the stake for heresy. I mean, my overall impression of him was that he was a fanatic with some pretty freaking weird-ass beliefs. Add in some ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Quanita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As horrendous as WWII was, there continues to be more to learn that makes it even worse. Himmler was a procrastinator who saw himself as larger than life while at the same time afraid of his small shadow. He designed a concentration camp that he felt should be the model for all camps - at the same time feeling himself to be a caring and humane man. His beliefs on racial purity, marriage and child rearing, his adultery, and his rivalry with other Nazi leaders is the basis of this book. I only gav ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A very disturbing character. This book gives an excellent insight into a man who had delusions of grandeur with all the resources to achieve it. I have read many books on WW2 but this is the first (and last) on Himmler. This book tells it all and how a mild mannered man reasoned his way into a mass murderer then had the audacity to try redeem himself near the end of the war. Very good read if you are a WW2 buff.
CJ Hines
Hard to say what I thought--a lot of people involved, the relationship between Himmler and Hitler, Himmler and Goring, Gubbels, Hess, etc., lots of footnotes that were lengthy and involved. Himmler believed in what he was doing and believed the Jewish people needed to be eradicated, along with many other men in the SS and Gestapo. Disturbing but revealing.
Jeffery Hicks
May 03, 2014 Jeffery Hicks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We should never forget

world war two has always fascinated me. it was one of the darkest periods in our history filled with horrifying deeds and horrible men. at the same time the world came together. this book provides an insight into one ofp the evil men and both fascinates and horrified me.
Jason Rodriguez
Jan 05, 2015 Jason Rodriguez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More than meets the eye

As someone who is interested in WWII, this book depicted more than just the monster who everyone knows as Himmler. It shows multiple sides of his personality. A must read for anyone interested in WWII Nazi history
Skuli Saeland
Ágæt heimildavinna þar sem bókin var gefin út 1965 en er barn síns tíma.
Þrátt fyrir yfirlýsingar um hlutlausa eða hlutlæga umfjöllun um hver Himmler í raun var þá er ljóst frá upphafi hvert viðhorf höfunda er.
Eftir fátæklega umfjöllun um æsku og umhverfi Himmlers verja höfundar töluverðum tima í hrylling nasismans og helstu forvígismenn hans.
Emanuel Landeholm
Not an amazing read to be honest. For being one of the brains behind the holocaust, Himmler was a remarkably uninteresting man. Maybe Sebag Montefiore could write a more engaging bio?
Jan 04, 2016 djcb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biopic about Heinrich Himmler; not a very nice man. In fact, one of the main architects of the Holocaust. The book tries to analyze him -- a combination racial romantic, heartless administrator, military incompetent and, above all, obsessive Adolf Hitler follower.

Book is a bit dated (1965).
a lot of good information and I have a good mental picture of the man he was but info was not presented in a logical format for my brain. Very interested in reading another author to make more sense of that time period
Jun 21, 2013 Shinju rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: principiantes, noobs
Himmler (Manvel, Fraenkel) Versión en español

Excelente descripción biográfica de Himmler. Narra hechos que abarcan desde la infancia hasta la muerte del Reichsfuhrer. Cuenta con testimonios de familiares y amigos que fueron cercanos al personaje en vida o que en alguna ocasión trabajaron para él. Los errores en la publicación son muy pocos, en redacción o traducción pues ha sido quizá muy literal en ocasiones, pero se puede fiar del libro. El punto de vista del autor es bastante objetivo. La nar
Gary Stocker
Worrying how someone from a stable, respectable background can turn into someone like that. Charecter of contrasts in that he was meticulously honest in the way he did not loot art treaures or fiddle his expenses, unlike most of the top nazis, then on the other hand be responsible for mass murder. For no other reason than he was obeying orders. Think one of the unsung heroes (although he did get a nobel peace prize for it) was his masseur, Kersten. He used his influence with Himmler to get him t ...more
Jul 19, 2013 Jeff rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those already having an extensive knowledge of the Nazi era
I was excited to begin reading this book as I'm not very up to date on Germany during the Hitler era. I lost my enthusiasm quickly, however, as I was having a very difficult time following the timeline as it was being described. Actually, I'm less than halfway thru and I've had it. I'm overwhelmed by the constant jumping back and forth in time. And I mean constant. The reason for giving 3 stars is my admission that I need to learn some more of the basics before trying to read this book.
Feb 10, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good and informative book

Overall I thought this was a pretty good book. It did have it's lull points. But most of it was interesting.
Fredrick Danysh
Himmler was the leader of the Gestapo and without mercy. This is the story of his rise to power, his assassination, and the reprisals afterwards.
Alessandro Modena
Sep 19, 2012 Alessandro Modena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a very important and instructive story of the main Hitler arm of the final solution
Michael Flanagan
Jan 11, 2012 Michael Flanagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww-2, nazi
A great and informative read and one of the most notorious Nazi leaders.
Nov 19, 2013 Nora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched.
Anthony R Menichini
Anthony R Menichini marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2016
Dumitrescu David
Dumitrescu David rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2016
Wayne Gallipo
Wayne Gallipo rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2016
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“The Nazi leaders cannot be voided from human society simply because it is pleasanter or more convenient to regard them now as outside the pale of humanity.” 1 likes
“Though the idea was Hitler’s, originating in a scribbled note” 0 likes
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