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Monday, July 09, 2007

The Black Sheep's Brothers

Katrin Himmler's great-uncle was an infamous war criminal, and her in-laws were among his victims. But that didn't stop her from delving into her family's history and relating the uncomfortable truths in a new book, The Himmler Brothers.

As family history always had it - along with history in general - it was only Heinrich who was ever a committed Nazi member. He was portrayed as a black sheep; a kind of monstrous aberration, while both his parents, Gebhard and Anna, and his two brothers, Gebhard and Ernst, were seen as average sorts of Germans. Yet Katrin's father - Ernst's son - began to question this portrayal and so, in 1997, he asked his daughter for a favour: would she go through the federal archives to discover more on Ernst? Katrin didn't turn him down, despite her delicate position as the wife of an Israeli Jew. [Link]

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