One More Victory Over The Nazis
Through the years I have read many different tales about things that happened during WWII. Those tales contain some of the most horrifying moments in humanity as well as some of the most heart warming.
BERLIN — As a young girl, Katrin Himmler asked her grandmother about the man in a black suit in a photograph hanging on her living-room wall. Her grandmother didn’t say much, but she cried.
The man in the picture was Ms. Himmler’s grandfather Ernst, a brother of Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler. The little that Katrin’s family did tell her about her grandfather, who disappeared during fierce fighting in Berlin in 1945, was that he was apolitical.
Decades later, Ms. Himmler discovered that her family’s story was untrue. Her father, long suspicious, encouraged her in 1997 to go dig in wartime archives that the U.S. had recently returned to Germany. Ernst Himmler, she learned, joined Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ party as early as 1931. Two years later, he joined the SS guard, the special unit responsible for carrying out many of the Nazi regime’s worst atrocities.
Now 40 years old and married to an Israeli Jew, Ms. Himmler says she was shocked when she found out that Ernst was in the SS. “It might sound strange, but I never considered this possibility,” she says.
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