This masterly study of Heinrich Himmler is a forceful, dispassionate analysis of a man who rose from obscure beginnings as an agricultural student to a position of almost absolute power, until, in the Nazi twilight, he challenged Hitler himself. Outwardly insignificant, diffident – possessing neither the flamboyance of Goering nor the incisiveness of Goebbels – Himmler, head of the dreaded Secret Police, yet made himself the man most feared in the Nazi hierarchy – and as much by his ‘friends’ as his enemies. Only when the incredible facts about Himmler's extraordinary hold over his colleagues became known were the full depths of the infamy to which Nazism had brought Germany revealed.
The book, originally published in 1953, was the first complete biography of Himmler, from birth to death. It was based on Frischauer’s unique knowledge of the background and sequence of events which gave rise to the Hitler regime. In its prepara¬tion, the author had access to much hitherto unpublished material and, in quest of new facts to throw light on the enigma of Himmler's character and personality, travelled extensively in Germany, Austria and other countries interviewing people who, like Himmler's widow, his brother and senior S.S. officers, knew him most intimately. He unearthed the evidence, building up, stone by stone, the mosaic of Himmler’s true portrait. How the baleful leader of the Gestapo, who, in the final analysis, turned out to be ‘a ridiculous mouse’, nevertheless was able to bring forth a mountain of misery without counterpart in modern history was for the first time revealed by Willi Frischauer in this fully documented and unforgettable narrative.