In this revealing biography, Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel examine the life of Heinrich Himmler, tracing the evolution of an ordinary boy into a man who would supervise the extermination of millions. The authors paint a portrait of a man whose insecurities magnified his obsessions and paranoia, leading him to orchestrate one of the worst atrocities in history. Multiple AudioFile Earphones Award winner Joe Barrett's somber tone is leavened by his vocal clarity, creating a smooth narrative flow that allows listeners to appreciate the meticulously-researched details of Himmler's life.
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 boy grew into an obsessive and superstitious man who ventured into herbalism, astrology, and homeopathic medicine before finally turning to the “science” of racial purity and the belief in the superiority of the Aryan people.
©1965 Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This book is book three of a trilogy; the other two books were “Joseph Goebbels” and “Hermann Goring”. I understand this was the first in-depth biography of Himmler. This book on Himmler was first published in 1965.
Roger Manvell (1909-1987) died in 1987; he was born in London England. He was the first director of the British Film Academy. He was the author of many books on film making and on Nazi Germany. In 1975 he became a professor at Boston University. Manvell wrote this book with Heinrich Fraenkel (1897-1986). Fraenkel was a well known biographer of Nazi War criminals. Fraenkel was born in Leszno, Poland. At the time of his birth it was known as Posen, Germany. Fraenkel immigrated from Nazi Germany to Britain. He was also a well known chess player. This book on Himmler was first published in 1965.
Himmler was the head of the SS and he supervised the extermination of millions. The authors follow his life from boyhood to his death. He is thought to have developed the Nazi “science” or racial purity theory and the idea of the superiority of the Aryan people. The book covers some of the most difficult periods of the Nazi rule.
I found the book a fascinating study of Himmler and the people around him. This book goes into how the Nazis rose to power in Germany and what they did with this power. The book is well written and meticulously researched. The authors reviewed all the archived documents on Himmler as well as diaries, correspondence and other materials. They also interviewed people involved with Himmler.
Audible Studies produced and published this as an audiobook in 2013. Joe Barrett has won multiple “earphone awards” for narration of audiobooks. Barrett’s narration of the book was excellent.
The author promised to present the story without being judgmental and succeeded. We are left to the inevitable conclusion by the facts themselves.
Having a minor in history and heavily in WW2 I have read quite a few books and articles on the SS. This book brought out some perspectives that I had not heard yet. I will check out some of the other books out there that folks are recommending.
Joe Barrett does a great job with the narration.
This audiobook deals with the life of Heinrich Himmler. It is not a history of the SS, You learn
how Himmler was a sickly man throughout his entire life and his battles with his own high standards he set for himself. His stomach ailments were crippling.
This book is also a story of intrigue, one which pits Himmler against Hermann Goering and Reinhard Heyrich. His battles for sphere of influence made him the most feared man in Germany ( second to Hitler )
Lots of intrigue in this book
It wasn't until the end of the listening of this book and I realize it was written in 1965. I probably wouldn't have chose it if I knew it written 50 years ago. However I'm very glad I did. Since the earlier books the closer to the actual time frame that the crimes of Nazi Germany happened the more realistic they are. This book tells in detail with interesting and understandable information about one of the greatest murderers in history.
Much like Eichmann in Jerusalem, this work points out the banality of unbelievable crimes when perpetrated by a faceless bureaucrat behind a desk. This book shows Himmler beyond the almost mythical shield of evil that has grown up around him. The question which begs an answer: How could anyone place any faith in such a non-entity and zero of a personality? Himmler was a Desk Criminal, who would have been unable to stand at the edge of a pit and see the outcome of his own orders, who in the end proved himself a coward by taking the suicidal way out of having to answer for his crimes.
The strange thing about him where was that he was unaware of his own evil, because he made excuses for himself constantly. There's a lesson there for all of us.
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