Lost diaries written by Heinrich Himmler, one of the leading Nazi Party officials under Adolf Hitler and one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, have been found.
The diaries, in part, reveal the daily schedule of Himmler, the commander of the Schutzstaffel, or SS—the Nazi party’s major paramilitary force at the time.
Himmler’s official diaries span from 1938, before the start of World War II, until around 1943 or 1944. They had been snatched by the Red Army during the end of the conflict and were lost for more than 70 years, The London Times reported, which described the papers as containing “evil and banality.”
The papers include Himmler’s ordering of the killing of 10 Poles following a massage from his doctor, MailOnline reported, which said the documents showed he was squeamish at the sight of any blood.
According to the Telegraph, here’s an example of his schedule on Jan. 3, 1943:
2pm: Lunch with SS officers
3pm – 7pm: 19 policy meetings
9pm: More meetings, one reacting to news that Nazi-allied police officers in Poland were refusing to fight.
9-10pm: Orders all ten officers be executed and their families sent to concentration camps before going to bed
On another occasion, Himmler “took a snack at the cafe in the SS-Casino” during a visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, according to MailOnline.
Matthias Uhl, a researcher, told Bild that the diaries provide new insight into Himmler’s character, suggesting he was “a beast full of contradictions.”
“He was on one hand the unscrupulous executioner, who uttered death sentences in passing and who planned the Holocaust,” Uhl noted. “On the other hand, he went to great lengths to please his SS elite, their families, friends and acquaintances.”
Himmler killed himself in May 1945 by taking a cyanide pill—weeks after Hitler committed suicide.
Nikolaus Katzer, German Historical Institute chief, told The Telegraph: “The importance of these documents is that we get a better structural understanding of the last phase of the war.”
“It provides insight into the changing role of Himmler and insight into the SS elite and overall the entire German leadership.”
Some of his other diaries had been discovered in the 1950s. Hundreds of letters from Himmler were discovered in Tel Aviv, Israel, several years ago, according to the Jewish Chronicle.