Arrest oF H Himmler

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by Dubman, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    teh 196 battery on patrol had two Russians with them, acting as interpreters.
    They were at Seedoff camp.
    I've recently met and interviewed a veteran of teh 198 battery who was briefly at the camp.
    He said he heard of the capture but couldn't remember any details.
    As I'm writing a book about my grandfather I'd love to have every single bit of info I can get.
  2. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    This is from a fortnightly news letter found in the 30 Corps war diary:

    Serial No 1
    Issue No 2

    30 Corps District
    Fortnightly News Letter
    24 Aug 45

    Capture of Heinrich Himmler
    5. When the excitement of Himmler's suicide died down, various units claimed the distinction of having arrested him. It has now been established beyond doubt, however, that Himmler was arrested on 21 May by a patrol of the 73rd Anti-Tank Regt RA, who were at that time in charge of the SEEDORF PWX Camp.

    6. On 21 May 45, at about 1930 hrs, one of the patrols which the Regt sent out daily to neighbouring villages, saw three men emerging from a wood, at MEINSTEDT. The patrol hailed the men, and when they failed to stop, fired a warning shot. The three men then approached. As they held no Allied release permits, the serjeant in charge of the patrol sent them back by truck to SEEDORF Camp.

    7. At the Camp they were taken to the guardroom, where later in the evening a serjeant inspected the papers and searched the kit of each of the three men in turn. The man, whom the serjeant realised later, from the description broadcast by the BBC to have been Himmler, declared himself a Feldwebel. He appeared very nervous during the serjeant's examination, and complained of shortsightedness. Among his kit, he carried a considerable amount of money, glasses, two wallets, and a small brass tube containing a glass phial, which he stated to be medicine for his stomach-trouble. He was not recognized as Himmler, but it was decided to send him with his two companions for further investigation.

    8 The three men were locked up in the Camp for the night and the following morning were driven under escort to the PW collecting point at the BREMERVORDE bridge, which was controlled by the 5 BW. From there Himmler was taken to Camp 031, and finally removed to LUNEBURG, where he committed suicide.

    9. Interrogation of one of Himmler's two companions has revealed the following picture of Himmler's movements, prior to his capture at MEINSTEDT.

    10 When Himmler received the news of Hitler's death and the appointment of Doenitz as the new Führer he travelled to FLENSBURG, there to offer his co-operation, and to discuss last-minute means of saving Germany. Himmler remained in FLENSBURG during the first week of May, and stayed there until 15 May. He then dismissed his staff, and left with his two companions for a hide-out in the HARZ Mountains. The three men set out on foot, moving across country, seeking cover in the woods, and sleeping in sheds or haystacks. They were stopped on several occasions, both by British troops and by Russian DPs, but managed to bluff their way through. They lived on concentrated food which they had brought from FLENSBURG.

    11. On 21 May, hearing that there were no British troops in the village of MEINSTEDT, they were about to move through it, when to their surprise they were checked by a patrol, which despatched them to SEEDORF Camp.

    12. In the truck which took them from BREMERVORDE to Camp 031, Himmler informed his companions that, as he had been recognized by other prisoners in the truck, he would reveal identity in his own way, rather than be denounced by them. That was the last decision made by the most hated and feared man in the world, Heinrich Himmler.

    [Source TNA: WO 171/4082, transcribed by]

    stolpi and Tricky Dicky like this.
  3. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Lee you star.
    Do you know where I can get hold of a copy of 30 corps war diary, ?
    cheers for posting.
    I have letters, reports from 73rd Antit ank, and it was 196 battery that got him, and my grand father was there.
  4. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

  5. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  6. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Lot more papers then that.

    And many more. I'm still seraching for relatives of other members. Anyone know any plz get in touch.
    IWM are having a display in May-Dec this year about Himmlers capture.
    DM got it wrong, even after spending an hour on the phone with them.
    Was 5 men, he was lance sargent not Lieutenant, he died in 1949 not 48
    but hay he's a repoter for the DM, and a dumb ass.
    The book is coming along nicely but I think it'll be another two years before published.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The arrest of Himmler.How the DT reported the event to the British public on 25 May 1945. IMG.jpg IMG_0001.jpg
    Peter Clare likes this.
  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Came across this item whilst looking through my ‘Reconnaissance Journal’ topic (Vol.1 No.4 Part1 in post 13):


    I believe that Captain Thomas Selvester was, at that time, Commander of 031 Civilian Interrogation Camp, I think he was perhaps interrogator rather than arrester.

    Also, in the same issue:

    Haw Haw.jpg
  9. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Captain Selvester became a policeman and worked in Salford.
    He was the man that to whom Himmler first admitted his true identity
    I'm trying to find the newspaper reports he gave about Himmler.
    I've found a ex policemen who served with Selvester.

  10. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Do you have any sense of how well known Himmler would have been the British public at that time and to what degree of detail?
  11. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    I know the Britsh took two death masks and dental imprint of Himmler to help the identity process.
    The normal soldier only really knew the name nothing more.
  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The British public would have been aware of Himmler's role during the war through British official press releases...but others prewar would have been aware from news circulating from Germany via such outlets as the Daily Mail who covered the Nuremburg Rallies in the prewar period...the DM are on record as recording the power of an ordinary man

    First of all,I would think that from to rise to power of Hitler and from January 1933,elements of the British Government and no doubt other European states and that includes the Soviet Union who would have been gaining intellligence of the policies and the leading personalities of the ruling Nazi Party....the SA et al and the clash with the SS on the Night of the Long Knifes in June 1934.

    Then as the Nazi Party imposed its iron will on the German population more intelligence came to light as indexed by the Nuremburg Laws,The Enabling Act and Four Year plans orientated towards war first under the management of the banker, Schacht and then the final one by Goring which led to war, by.Intelligence which would have been amassed on the formation of the the SS and its affiliates the Gestapo and SD and above all the structure of the Nazi Party and those occupying the leading roles....the role of the Heer and the military personalities involved in 1938 which saw them submit their loyality to Hitler rather than the German state.The entry to the Rhineland and the annexation of Czechoslovakia were indexes for the march of Hitler and the involvement of personalities who came to be regarded as his henchmanThis list is not exhautive and associated intelligence would reveal the heart of the Nazi Party functioning ,its military and security machines and the leading players.

    However by 1943,sufficient intelligence was to hand for the United Nations War Criminal Commission to be set up and to name German war criminals.Stalin refused to join the commission because intially he wished for every Soviet Republic to have representative presence.This was resolved in the Moscow Declaration in November 1943
    when the Allies issued a joint declaration condemning Nazi atrocities in occupied Europe.This declaration paved the way for German officers and men and members of the Nazi Party responsible for,or who have taken part in atrocities,massacres and executions to be prosecuted...the Nuremburg Trials concept was yet to be developed.

    At this time SHAPE was able to draw up a structure of the SS and its affiliates with names in boxes and which became an important tool in bringing the war criminals to book...gained by intelligence and although not the complete return gave valuble information for the pursuit of war criminals and an organisation which at Nuremburg was deemed to be a criminal organisation.

    For the Nazi Party leading personalities, their fate to be brought to book for their war crimes was sealed by the Moscow Declaration in Novemeber 1943.Whether Himmler knew of it is not clear for he still thought of himself as a statesman when he wished to seek an audience with Eisenhower in April 1945 to prevent Europe being overrun by the Bolsheviks
    canuck likes this.
  13. Solder123

    Solder123 New Member

    Was himmler the main man in the death camps
  14. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Yes, Himmler was head of the SS from Jan 1929.
    He also help run the Gestapo.
    Known to be a very good organiser. He was one, of the main architects of the holocaust.
    He also held a few other titles.
    Just to young to of fought in WW1, the war ended just as he finished his basic training.
  15. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Something on the Beeb... :)

    Chris Mannion, a volunteer at the Imperial War Museum North, discovered his grandfather was part of the small unit which captured Heinrich Himmler.

    'My grandad captured most wanted Nazi'
  16. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    Yes that's me. And before anyone goes ape and says Black watch arrested Himmler. Yes they did on the 22nd May. 73rd Anti tank captured him on 21st May and handed him over to black watch at the bridge. I have dozens of documents, accounts taken from Fire Power, National Archive, personal letters, papers etc.
  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Congratulations Chris on tracking down the families of the other four men from your Granddad's group. I was touched by the news item yesterday. I tried something similar in regards to my own grandfather and his time in Burma. He was with five other men when captured by the Japanese in May 1943. Only one man survived his time in Rangoon Jail. I made contact with 3 of the families (all daughters who had never known their fathers) and hoped to have them all meet up. Sadly, my own Mum passed away after a short fight against cancer and the meeting did not occur.
    Dubman likes this.
  18. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Inside Out North West BBC 1 1930hrs tonight.

    How five British soldiers apprehended Heinrich Himmler - BBC News

    The account is being screened tonight as above.Those outside the region having the SKY platform should be able to see it by selecting Sky Channel Number 958.

    Looking forward to see a revisit to the subject from what hitherto has been recorded.

    Congratulations Chris on being able to give the account of those who first set eyes on the military drifter who turned out to be one of the most evil characters in European history.
  19. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    it will be on BBC iplayer and where ever you are in the country you can access it, even though the program is a regional one.
  20. Sue Gregan

    Sue Gregan New Member

    My father Arthur Alan Smith died several years ago and never ever spoke about the war apart from a few amusing incidents. . After he died I was encouraged by a ex-army friend to obtain his military records if I wanted to know more. When I received them, I showed them to the friend and he said that my fathers unit the 45 FSS was known for taking an active part in the arrest of Himmler. I found on the Internet an "Arrest Report" dated 22 May 1945, attached was a typed Appendix, the first signature was that of my father (it had never changed) and was easily recognised. I also found a report of 45 Field Secuity Section which included a photograph entitled "45FSS about 1946, personnel unidentified". My father is clearly recognisable in the photo.
    My sadness is that he never spoke about this during his lifetime. He did tell a story about "capturing" Becks brewery in Bremen and saying it took several days to "liberate" it. I would love to know if this was true ?

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