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Himmler Paperback – 1 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Thistle Publishing (1 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909869422
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909869424
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 859,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Padfield was born in British India before the Second World War, but returned to England aged seven on the death of his father. Immediately plunged into the boarding school experience of that era, he emerged with a love of cricket and a desire to go to sea - unfortunately mutually incompatible. He served some years as an officer in the P & O line, but in 1957 gained a place in the crew of the replica pilgrim bark 'Mayflower II' on her transatlantic voyage to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where she remains to this day. It was a life-changing experience. Shortly afterwards he left the sea, married and began a writing career specialising in maritime and naval history, extended later to biographies of Nazi leaders. In 2003 he was awarded the Mountbatten Maritime Prize; more recently Professor James R. Holmes of the U.S. Naval War College listed his book 'Maritime Supremacy' in the all-time top ten books about the sea, an accolade he could never have imagined when he began writing.

Product Description

About the Author

Peter Padfield is a leading naval historian and biographer. He trained for the sea as a cadet in H.M.S.Worcester, subsequently serving in the P & O Line. His biography of the U-boat admiral, Karl Dönitz, led him to a portrayal of submarine warfare in War Beneath the Sea, and to biographies of other leading Nazis, Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Hess. His Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom won the Mountbatten Maritime Prize, 2003.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A subject matter that many would shun but personally after reading about the Holocaust/Shoah, my biggest outstanding question was, who and what kind of person could perpetrate such a thing, consider how a full stadium looks, 50,000 maybe, multiply that by 18 and that was just Treblinka! I think that I now have an answer, read this and maybe it will answer any questions you may have about this stain on human history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is no narrow biography, but a complete analysis of Himmler, his mind set and his career. The events and personalities of the Third Reich are carefully and vividly described, and there are many new facts and revelations which I had not come across before, particularly in connection with the 20 July plot. Highly recommended.
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Very good factual account very good read really interesting about Nazi Germany we must never forget the horrors of the Nazis
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Hilter's #1 Henchman 19 Nov 2002
By Mannie Liscum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Peter Padfield's "Himmler" is an authoritative, enlightening and engrossing biography of a man, his (un)reality, and his role in the greatest mass murder spree of the 20th century. Padfield certainly makes no apologies for Himmler, yet he presents a balanced account of how Himmler might have come to the point of cold blooded extermination he was at in 1941-44 and then his "change of heart" at the end.
Padfield spends much of the early part of the book delving into Himmler's childhood, upbringing (by a strick disciplinarian professor father, and soft mother), early adult years and his time during the "day's of struggle" - the early Nazi years. This introduction does a lot to set the scence for Himmler's life. While we certainly can't forgive the man for hwat he did and stood for, we might be able to understand more clearly the mind set behind the decisions he made. Padfield's research paints Himmler as a man who was deeply scared by his upbringing and retreated into a fantasy world which he went deeper into as time went on. When he eventually gained respect and power as one of the Nazi elite he expressed his fantasy world overtly to the world.
Himmler's years in power in Nazi Germany are well documented, yet Padfield does a great job showing not just what Himmler ddid but how he did it - from establishment of the SS and Gestapo to the Holocaust. Himmler didn't do it on his own - again Padfield is carfule not to excuse him or even take blame from him, but rather to show how Himmler created a system within tthe Nazi power structure that allowed him to orchestrate such attrocities on man kind. He was a consumate suck up to others in power - keeping with him his whole life his feelings of insecurity and uselessness, even at the height of his power.
All in all, "Himmler" is a must read for those interested in understanding the how's of WWII's crimes and how a single human can, with the aide of others, so change history.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An excellent account of the life of Heinrich Himmler 16 Aug 2001
By Robet L. Petrohovich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An extremely informative, accurate and unbiased account of one of Hitler's closest ranks. Peter Padfield does an excellent job of capturing, and often analyzing, the life of Himmler from his Catholic childhood, through his initial failures of military life, through his rise to become one of Hitler's inner circle and the most powerful person in the Third Reich. Padfield is consistent with his documentation of what is fact, his conclusions based on historical documentation, to what cannot be known with any level of certainty. It is particularly interesting to delve into Himmler's rationalizations for his actions. Padfield also gives insight into many of the additional cast of characters within the Nazi regime, including Hitler, Donitz, and Goebbels as well as the thoughts and strategies of those both inside and outside Germany during this particular period in history.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A staggering tome of tremendous research 28 Jun 2000
By Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This compendium of the life of the very personification of evil, Heinrich Himmler, is astounding. The amount of detail, not only concerning Himmler, but of other high ranking Nazi officials, such as Heydrich, Canaris, Mueller, Eichmann, and so forth is incredible. This book belongs alongside Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and "Speer's "Inside the Third Reich." A more unlikely figure to assume the position of head of the SS could not possibly be imagined; how could this weakling of a farmer who raised poultry reach the god-like status he attained, holding the power of life and death over eighty million Germans and later hundreds of millions more in the occupied nations under German domination? And yet he was not a sadist, he lived frugally and did not derive pleasure from reducing millions to human beings to expendable slaves and annihilation, he was largely apathetic to it all. The irony that he himself did not even remotely qualify for the racial characteristics he adamantly required of his subordinates, and would not even pass his own screening test for accepting SS applicants, is something to consider. His devout belief in God, perhaps eclipsed only by his belief in his Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, and the fact that he considered himself a Catholic, are interesting to note. His lack of emotion and impersonal disregard for the sanctity of human life would seemingly suggest the characteristics of a sociopath, someone who could hear a hideous scream of agony, acknowledge it, and calmly resume paperwork activity and proceed to complete it at his leisure. Although Himmler appears to be a harmless, pedantic crank, he is undoubtedly one of the most chilling personages of history, more so since he himself could never understand why his own name caused people to recoil in horror and terror, for reasons that were plain to anyone else.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Himmler 12 Nov 2007
By Stephen Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An outstanding book. I find that a good book will stimulate one or more of these reactions while reading it. I will want to learn more about the subject or I want to read more books by the same author. This book brought out the desire to learn more about the more arcane institutions and crackpot theorists of the Reich.

The images the author invokes of a young Himmler traveling around a motorcycle lecturing the proletarian in the hinterlands on the NSDAP viewpoint is amusing. Especially when contrasted with the all powerful figure in uniform he came to be. Somehow though I am sure he always wore his helmet.

His love of mysticism and his desire to imbure National Socialism with it was as important to its success then as it now. The same mysticism unfortunately lures enough young minds to keep National Socialism from completely disapearing to the rubbish bin of bad ideas.

Padfield describes the complex personality of a man who many rate as one of the most evil of his century. In doing so he does all of us a service by showing even the most evil of us can also be the most banal. He describes how Himmler, no where near an orator in the same league as Hittler or Goebbels, still managed to keep an audiences attention with a dry yet folksy style. I came a way from the book realizing that Himmler, the shy young man who grew up to desire with all his heart to be considered "one of the boys" was an insecure traveling salesman who sold his soul for power.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Essential WWII reading! 13 Feb 2010
By Douglas E. Libert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In other works I've read about WW2,Himmler always seems to be the mysterious man in the background.Sinister,looming,machiavellian,evil? The mystery is now gone for me at least after reading this book.The only memorable quote I've ever remembered regarding him was from another book where a Nazi affiliate described him as "half school-marm,half crackpot",and really that's the description of him throughout this 600 page bio.He's a nerd with an extreme sadistic streak,the kind of a guy who would execute ants with a dry cell battery in the garage and wondered how it would work on humans.(Of course only in the interests of his warped Nazi psuedo-science!!)There must be thousands like this on any given day anywhere throughout the modern world,only waiting for an opportunity to rise.Educated,competent but with an ideological axe to grind,Himmler literally worshipped German WW1 veterans and bought whole-heartedly into the"stab-in -the-back"theory rampant in post WW1 Germany.(Himmler himself was too young at the time of the war to participate but one of his brothers did.
Post-WWI Germany is an excellent plate glass culture growth for Himmlers' sociopathic leanings.Himmler was from a German middle-class family and as the author points out had feelings of compassion toward his immediate family,but outside of this, other peoples rights or feelings were an abstraction to be trampled on. By the way his bachelors degree was in agriculture so he has alot of experience on cattle-breeding which he believed he could coldly apply to the human species as well.If not Heinrich I'm sure there would have been others to take his place.Toward the end of the book there is a page or two on Heinrich's dabbling in the German resistance movement against Hitler.The authors' scant mention leaves one to take it as a sour joke.Heinrich finally realizes that when Germany loses the war he will be one of the TOP war criminals-So much for his opposition to Hitler,whose open mouth is quoted as "the gates of Hell".Heinrich is dug into the Nazi crimes too deep for escape and he knows it.Time for that extra pack of Rolaids for his ulcers and a cyanide capsule? I loved the end where Himmler adopts numerous disguises in an attempt to escape much like a vampire trying to get back to his coffin before sunlight.Padfield has satisfied my curiousity to the max but who knows with so many newer books on Heinrich coming out,I might try and tackle another one.If you don't have the time to read a bio on him just remember,"half school marm-half crackpot,full vampire and you'll come off as an expert on Heinrich.
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