IT COULD be any businessman’s desk diary, with its neatly typed lists of mundane appointments, travel arrangements and lunch meetings.
But Heinrich Himmler’s business was genocide, reports The Sun.
His office diaries, lost for 71 years, have now been discovered lying in a Russian military archive.
And the sheer banality of the entries provides a chilling insight into the life of a doting father who started each day with a massage before heading off to organise the nitty-gritty of mass murder.
Overseeing Nazi death camps was just something to be fitted in between curling matches, sauna sessions, phone calls to his family and the occasional “transit” day — believed to be a code he used for seeing his mistress, Bunny.
The entry for February 12, 1943, for example, when he flew from his SS field headquarters to Lublin, in occupied Poland, could hardly be more matter-of-fact:
12.30: Go in cars to Chelm.
14.00: Go from Chelm by special train to SS Sonderkommando.
15.00 — 16.00: Tour of SS Sonderkommando.
What the entry does not explain is that the Sonderkommando was the name given to prisoners ordered to dispose of gassed bodies at their extermination camp before they too were killed.
It also fails to mention that the purpose of the tour was for Himmler to see for himself the efficiency of the camp’s diesel engine-driven gassing process where 250,000 were murdered.
And it does not tell the casual reader that no transport of Jews was scheduled for that day, so a special arrangement was made.
Four hundred young Jewish women and girls were brought in from the ghetto at Lublin to be put to death in the gas chambers in the demonstration for Himmler. Then he went off to have a slap-up dinner.
Ada Lichtman, a rare survivor of that camp, remembered 42-year-old Himmler being driven away after the slaughter.
She recalled: “There was a huge banquet given in his honour. I had to decorate the tables.
“Himmler was so enthusiastic about this visit.”
RESPONSIBLE FOR GAS CHAMBERS
Himmler had been the one responsible for the introduction of gas chambers, after ordering that more “efficient” ways be found to complete his assigned task of killing Europe’s 11 million Jews.
The scale and horror of the task, however, did not daunt the monster in the round spectacles.
A typical day, according to his diaries, began with a two-hour massage from Dr Felix Kersten to prepare for his day.
Another daily feature, dutifully recorded in his diary, were his phone calls home to “Mammi and Puppi” — his pet names for wife Margarete and daughter Gudrun.
They were living in Gmund in Germany’s southwest, while Himmler was based in his “Black Lair” HQ far away in the east in what is now Poland.
Himmler was particularly devoted to his “Puppi” Gudrun and often flew his young daughter out to visit him at work and to show her around his death camps.
Chillingly, she has remained loyal to her dad’s memory and, at age 86, is still closely involved in neo-Nazi groups that give support to ex-members of her father’s SS.
Eating arrangements were always another key component of Himmler’s efficiently arranged days.
On January 3, 1943, he recorded his lunch with SS officers, meetings, and another dinner.
After that, stomach full, he orders that 10 Polish policemen be executed for not fighting local partisans and their families sent to concentration camps.
On March 9, 1943, the diary recorded a “comradely” lunch at the Dachau concentration camp.
Another entry charting a visit to the Buchenwald camp read: “Took a snack in the cafe at the SS casino.”
The diaries cover 1938 as well as the crucial war years of 1943 and 1944. Historians studying them say they are “of shudderingly outstanding historical significance”.
Again, the understated nature of the entries about hugely significant events is staggering. For example, entries for October 4, 1943, recorded a visit to Poznan, in occupied Poland, for a series of meetings, lunch and, “17.30: speech to SS officers”.
He congratulated himself and the rest of the SS for carrying out this “difficult duty” while still being “decent fellows”.
But none of that feeling comes across in the diary — which shows far more detail when it comes to Himmler’s leisure time.
HIMMLER’S LEISURE TIME
On February 10, 1944, with Russia’s Red Army closing in on Germany’s Eastern Front, Himmler retired to watch a German propaganda movie about the Titanic.
It blamed the tragedy on stupid Brits ignoring a German crew member’s warnings about icebergs.
Then there were the curling sessions, saunas, card games and his hobby of stargazing. The diaries record every night-time stroll.
Historians believe that the days when his normally meticulous diary records only that he was “in transit” probably mean he was with his mistress.
This was his former secretary Hedwig Pottgast, who he nicknamed Bunny.
Wife Margarete seemed to know and tolerate the affair. He and Bunny had two children together.
The second, a daughter Nanette, was born on July 20, 1944 — the same day a failed attempt was made to assassinate Hitler in “Operation Valkyrie” by detonating a bomb at his Wolf’s Lair HQ.
Even as the dust from the bomb blast settled, Himmler’s diary calmly recorded: “13.45: Wolf’s Lair — talk with the Fuhrer,” then “15.00: Lunch with General Field Marshal Keitel”.
Italian despot Mussolini was visiting that same afternoon so Himmler waited for his arrival, escorted him to Hitler, then got on a 7.30pm flight to Berlin to “clean up” the coup attempt led by army officer Count Claus von Schenk Stauffenberg.
After giving the order for all four men to be shot, he went for a late “snack”.
At 4.08am, he banned the use of the word Valkyrie in Germany.
Their ashes were then to be strewn over Berlin’s sewage works.
But Himmler’s own days were numbered too. Less than a year later, in May 1945, he was on the run, disguised in a shabby suit as the Russian Army reached Berlin.
He was soon caught by a British patrol and identified himself to amazed officers. But he cheated the noose by biting on a cyanide capsule hidden in his tooth.
Himmler fell down, kicked once or twice and was dead in seconds without uttering a word — as efficient and emotionless at his own end as he had been organising the deaths of millions.