Gebhard Ludwig Himmler

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Gebhard and Anna Himmler (standing) with their three children: Heinrich (left), Ernst (centre) and Gebhard (right) in a 1906 photograph

Gebhard Ludwig Himmler (29 July 1898 – 1989) was a German Nazi functionary, mechanical engineer and older brother of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler.

Upbringing[edit]

Gebhard Ludwig Himmler was born on 29 July 1898 in Munich, the first son of a headmaster (Oberstudiendirektor), Joseph Gebhard Himmler (born 17 May 1865 in Lindau; died 29 October 1936 in Munich), and Anna Maria Heyder (born 16 January 1866 in Bregenz; died 10 September 1941 in Munich).[1] His siblings were Heinrich Himmler (born 7 October 1900 in Munich; died 23 May 1945 in Lüneburg) and Ernst Hermann Himmler (born 23 December 1905 in Munich; died 2 May 1945).

From 1904 to 1906 he attended the cathedral school on the Frauenplatz in Munich.[2] From 1906 to 1908 he went to the Amalienschule and from 1909 to 1916 to the Wilhelmsgymnasium München. In 1916, because he was doing his A-Levels (Abitur), he was absolved from being called up to the Bavarian Army. In March 1917 he took his Abitur early and passed.

He was a member of the Studentenverbindung, AGV München, where he got to know Richard Wendler, later to become his brother-in-law. On 18 September 1926 he married Mathilde Hilde Wendler, whom he had met at a ball held by the Apollo students association. Their children are Irmgard (born 21 October 1927), Anneliese (born 16 October 1930) and Heide (born 13 March 1940 in Gmund am Tegernsee).

Wartime service and early career[edit]

In 1917, Gerhard Himmler passed an officer training course and, in May 1917, was made Fahnenjunker of the 16th Bavarian Infantry Regiment in Passau. In summer that year he participated in an exercise at Grafenwöhr, and passed a Fahnenjunker course and, subsequently, a machine gunner's course in Lagerlechfeld. On 9 April 1918, Gebhard arrived in Lorraine on the Western Front and was then deployed during the Battle of Château-Thierry, 65 km from Paris, as a runner between battalion and regimental headquarters.

In 1919, after the end of the war, Gebhard and his brother, Heinrich, left the Munich citizens' militia, the Einwohnerwehr, to join the 21st Rifle Brigade (Schützenbrigade 21) of the paramilitary Black Reichswehr under Franz Ritter von Epp. In early 1923, Gebhard joined the Bund Reichskriegsflagge under Ernst Röhm, who took part in the Munich Putsch in November 1923.

From 15 January 1919 to July 1923, he took a course in mechanical engineering at the Munich University of Technology. From July 1923 to the introduction of the Rentenmark currency, Gebhard worked for the Bavarian Mortgage and Exchange Bank (Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechsel-Bank) for paper currency. In 1924 he worked in the construction office of the engineering firm, Fritz Neumeyer AG, in the Munich quarter of Freimann. From January 1925 he was an assistant teacher at the municipal vocational and technical school for precision engineering in Deroystrasse; from April 1925 he was appointed as a teacher (Studienrat) there and taught technical drawing, physics and instrumentation.

Nazi functionary[edit]

On 30 January 1933, Gebhard Himmler was appointed headmaster of the vocational school in Deroystraße and, on 1 November 1935 he became headmaster of the Oskar von Miller Polytechnic, a higher education establishment specializing in technology.

In May 1933 Gebhard Himmler joined the Nazi Party (member no. 1.117.822)[3] and the Verein für das Deutschtum im Ausland. In order to avoid the appearance of being an opportunist, at his request the lower Nazi membership number of his wife was transferred to him. Before 30 January 1933, Gebhard Himmler became the head of the Bavarian vocational schools association. This was transferred in 1933 into the National Socialist Teachers League (NSLB). Gebhard Himmler became deputy and, subsequently, head of the Gau Students Association (Gaufachschaftsleiter) for the Gau of Upper Bavaria.

From his appointment as director of the vocational school in Deroystraße, Gebhard Ludwig Himmler devoted himself to numerous honorary offices in the Nazi regime and was largely exempted from teaching. He trained as an officer and continued to work with the NSLB. From early 1936, he worked in the head office for technology in the Nazi Party, the Hauptamt für Technik in der NSDAP, and in the Nazi Federation for German Technology (NS-Bund Deutscher Technik), led by Fritz Todt and to which, until 1938, almost all technical-scientific associations, such as the Association of German Engineers (VDI), were connected.[4]

The VDI defined the guidelines for the award of the title "engineer". Gebhard Ludwig Himmler helped to shape this corporate representative body and exercised the state's political power in a discriminatory and party-political manner.[5]

On 1 August 1939, Gebhard Himmler was called up and assigned to the 19th Bavarian Infantry. He was deployed with his company to Czechoslovakia on the Polish border.

After the start of the Second World War on 1 September, he participated in the Invasion of Poland. The 19th Infantry were part of the 14th Army. At the end of the fighting, on 16 and 17 September, the regiment was located west of Lemberg (now Lviv), but was transferred to the Lower Rhine in October 1939.

On 18 October 1937, Fritz Todt and Abdul Majid Zabuli signed an Afghan-German agreement over civil engineering and land communications. Gebhard Himmler enjoyed the protection of Fritz Todt, who ensured that, in December 1939, he was posted to Department E IV of the Reichserziehungsministerium in Berlin. On 12 July 1940, he was promoted from principal (Oberstudiendirektor) to director (Ministerialrat). From June 1940, Gebhard and Hilde Himmler lived with their family in Hähnelstraße in the Berlin district of Friedenau. In 1944, Wilhelm Heering (born 1877),[6] director (Ministerialdirigent) at the Reichserziehungsministerium, retired, and Gebhard Himmler became his successor. From August 1943, Gebhard Himmler lived with his brother, Ernst, in Ruhleben in Berlin.

Until 1946, his family lived at Haus Lindenfycht in Gmund am Tegernsee with Margarete Himmler; during renovation work at the private villa she looked after prisoners at the subcamp of KZ Dachau.[7] On 30 January 1944, Gebhard Himmler became an SS-Standartenführer (SS-Nr. 214.049)[3] and, on 30 March 1944, was promoted to SS-Standartenführer der Reserve in the Waffen-SS and was employed as inspector of Waffen-SS schools.

Post-war[edit]

Gebhard Ludwig Himmler was taken prisoner by the British Army near Kappeln on the Schlei. In early March 1946, he was interned at the Emil Köster Leather Factory in Gadeland; later, he was transferred to Bad Fallingbostel on the Lüneburg Heath. In 1948 he was moved to an internment camp on Ungererstraße.

Following his release in 1948, he worked on the manufacture of capacitors in Hoffmannstraße. Karl Hudezeck (1934–1945, headmaster of the Wittelsbacher-Gymnasium München) gave him a denazification certificate for the Nazi era. At a denazification panel he was assessed as Category II - Follower (belastet).

In the European-Afghan Cultural Office in Munich, Gebhard Ludwig Himmler, as director (Ministerialdirigent a. D.) and engineer, worked as a study adviser and arranged internships for Afghan students. He was barred from working for the government and he was disqualified from his pension, but he successfully appealed this in 1959.[8] He died in 1989 in Munich.

Publications[edit]

  • Technik und Ingenieurerziehung, in: Deutsche Technik, 6, 1938, pp. 313–315.
  • Die Ingenieurschule und die Anforderungen an den Nachwuchs, in: Deutsche Technik, 10, 1942: 496ff.
  • Junge Afghanen zur Ausbildung in Deutschland, in: Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. Mitteilungen 9–10/1954, pp. 243f.

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gebhard Himmler, Der Vater eines Massenmörders
  2. ^ Klaus Mües-Baron: Heinrich Himmler: Aufstieg des Reichsfuhrers SS (1910–1933); unipress, Göttingen 2011, p. 29
  3. ^ a b Dienstaltersliste der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP (SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer – SS-Standartenführer), Berlin 1944.
  4. ^ Josef Greiner, Sudetenfahrt der deutschen Technik Eigene Zugzeitung ; No. 1–8 ; Nov-Dec.
  5. ^ Michael Alisch, Heinrich Himmler – Wege zu Hitler: das Beispiel Heinrich Himmler; p. 53
  6. ^ Heering, Wilhelm (born 1877): Professor am Berufspädagogischen Institut in Berlin, tätig im preußischen Ministerium für Arbeit, 1933–1934 im Amt für Technik und Schule, dann Reichsreferent des NSLB für den berufsbildenden Bereich, 1934–1945 Abteilungsleiter des REM für den berufsbildenden Bereich.
  7. ^ Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (Hrsg.): Der Ort des Terrors. Bd. 2: Frühe Lager, Dachau, Emslandlager. München 2005, ISBN 3-406-52962-3, p. 12.
  8. ^ Katrin Himmler, The Himmler Brothers, p. 288