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April 12, 2011

Heinrich Himmer the chicken farmer

Filed under: Health, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 3:54 pm

All the websites that you will ever see, besides all those that you won’t see, say that Heinrich Himmler was a chicken farmer.

For example, on this website, you will find this:

In 1929, Hitler appointed the former Bavarian chicken farmer, Heinrich Himmler, to the post of Reichsführer-SS, and charged him with forming the SS into “an elite troop of the Party.” In addition to protection for the Führer, it performed a number of different tasks, including carrying out functions previously reserved for the police. By this time, the SS had grown into a 52,000-man strong organization.

The Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust — Perpetrators web site tells little kids this about Himmler:

Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945) was an unsuccessful chicken farmer and fertilizer salesman who became a leader in the Nazi party in the mid-1920s. As head of the SS as well as the Gestapo, he was a cold, efficient, ruthless administrator. He was the organizer of the mass murder of Jews, the man in charge of the concentration and death camps.

Does it seem strange to you that Himmler, who was only a lowly chicken farmer, did so well in the Nazi hierarchy?  And how about Hitler, who was claimed to have been a house painter and a wallpaper hanger before he became the Leader of Germany?

When I was a child in Missouri, my family had a chicken coop in the back yard.  It was my job to feed the chickens.  Does that make me a “chicken farmer?”

Himmler may have had a few chickens in his back yard, but I’m sure that it was his wife who fed the chickens.  Himmler had a degree in Agriculture.  His father was a school teacher and little Heini was highly educated, both at home and at school.  He was not a chicken farmer, any more than Hitler was a house painter.  Hitler was a talented artist and self-educated.

Himmler at the farm near the Dachau concentration camp

At Dachau, Himmler was experimenting with organic gardening, which was virtually unknown in the 1930s.  The photo above shows him kneeling on the right.  He was not using his education in agriculture for chicken farming.  He was growing plants that could be used as medicine.  Himmler was interested in health before health was popular.

Recently, a student e-mailed me to ask me why the survivors of Auschwitz looked so healthy.  The only reason that I can think of is that they had a healthy diet consisting mainly of whole grain bread and a soup made of vegetables with very little meat.  The prisoners might have been craving a corned beef sandwich on white bread, but they were not starved to death.  The Red Cross sent packages with oranges and chocolate.


  1. […] I also blogged about Heinrich Himmler doing organic gardening at Dachua on this blog post: […]

    Pingback by The Nazis were “Green” when being Green wasn’t cool | Scrapbookpages Blog — August 27, 2014 @ 11:37 am

  2. Bizarre. Perhaps another german trait. Reminds me of a german movie about Stalingrad. My understanding is the german people identified strongly with the “plight” of the poor german soldiers. No mention of the german invasion of russia. No mention of how this “plight” came to be. No responsibility. No accountability. Perhaps when you accept authority without question, with “german” obedience, you give up responsibility and accountability. Those must be “leader” problems. Once you divorce yourself completely from the decisions of the leadership, you are left with the things with which you do have some control. Protests in the streets, critical news analysis, calls for a change in leadership, saying no; I do not think would be received well. As in, your dead very quickly. Even if that were not true, an obsurdity, I don’t see the german peoples gravitating to such an unacceptable state of “disorder.” Without dissent, it becomes an unimpeded race to the bottom; a divided, destroyed, occupied, conquered homeland.

    Comment by David Ryan Uschock — June 2, 2013 @ 4:25 am

  3. Dear Gasan
    The Dachau Plantage
    When it comes to the total of 429 inmates killed, this covered the period up to 1940 and I could find only references in the critique of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the London Times were the figure of 400 is mentioned. Some pages on the website have been omitted, there is no English translation available in book form in this country.

    As to Knoll’s hunting down a total of 100 Jews and the German expression “zur Strecke bringen” means exactly that, it is a polite expression without quoting the word murder. Kapos were not armed, if it was an escape attempt SS Guards would normally shoot once the free zone was breached, it is implied, that Knoll in his attempt to get the Jewish quota up would push inmates towards the boundaries to be shot.
    Knoll received the death sentence during the Dachau Trials.

    Bergen-Belsen (as well as Dachau) was surrendered to the Allies in the German spirit of truthfulness which is mainly based on your upbringing from childhood onwards, once you give your word of honor you never break it, this seems to sound naive to an outsider, yet an ideal most Germans still stand by to this day. The truce in both cases was broken by the Allies.

    When it came to the execution in Hameln of Irma Grese and Juana Bormann, the hangman refused to do it as women were involved and the British had to fly in Albert Pierrepoint who then conducted the hanging.

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 17, 2011 @ 2:49 am

  4. I have just read a couple of pages from Daniella Seidl book, in particular, both pages regarding capo Christian Knoll. (pages 103 and 112).
    The author is quoting a former communist inmate named Hans Schwarz. That person testified, that: it was provisional commandant Josef Kramer, who appointed Knoll and paid him for “hunting down” the Jews.
    It is my understanding that they tried to escape, or I am missing my guess again? The paragraph is stating that there were the Gypsies, who have tried to escape and after that there are lots of omits in the text of testimony.
    Die Süddeutsche Zeitung dtd.07.09.2009. read
    “Der Kapo Christian Knoll kassierte eine Kopfpraemie für jeden toten Juden. Bis 1940 tötete die SS insgesamt 429 Häftlinge auf der Kräuterplantage.
    The book reads:
    “Und als Knoll 100. Juden zur Strecke brachte, kassierte er tatsächlich eine Sonderprämie ein.”
    “And when Knoll hunted down the 100th Jew, he indeed collected a special premium.”
    Rachel and Herb,
    Your German is way superior to mine and would you kindly explain to me, whether German expression “zur Strecke bringen” means to “hunt down” or to “kill”.
    In any case:
    Someone at Die Süddeutsche Zeitung should put his/her foot in the mouth for misquoting the book.
    And on which page does it say that SS killed 429 inmates? I am not even going to research that. It is enough for me, that testimony of a communist inmate was accepted without even a grain of criticism.
    I think, I have gotten the idea of this book and don’t need to read it no more.
    However, the author have mentioned the commandant Josef Kramer. The person, who surrendered Bergen-Belsen to the Brits and never even thought of fleeing their vengeance. He was trying to save as many lives as possible at Bergen-Belsen, given the fact that German infrastructure collapsed after Allied bombings. He and most of his staff volunteered to surrender the camp to the limeys after they have promised a free pass over front lines.
    The German people have always amazed me with their idealism, next to naivety. This does include most of people of German decent and heritage. Many Americans are claiming full or partial German ancestry and they have the same trace of idealism,
    They believe in fairness and expect reciprocity.
    That was a mistake made by Josef Kramer. Apparently, he felt he did not do anything wrong and remained in the camp to provide the best service to his inmates before transferring the responsibilities to new authority. Irma Grese, Juana Bormann and other female staff, who volunteered to stay and paid with their lives for being responsible people. They could just escape and hide, but they didn’t. They have believed in “fairness”.
    Thank you for the links to the translation website and the Seidl’s book.

    Comment by Gasan — April 15, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

    • “Zur Strecke bringen” means “to hunt down”, but you could also use it as an euphemism for “to kill”.

      Googling the phrase “zur Strecke bringen” brought up a few newspaper headlines that all refer to stopping criminals and bringing them to justice, like “Obama will Hintermänner zur Strecke bringen” — I doubt Obama wants to kill anybody.

      Comment by Rachel — April 17, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

      • Thank you Rachel
        You have answered my question. Die Süddeutsche Zeitung has misquoted the book.
        Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

        Comment by Gasan — April 17, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  5. Dear Rachel
    Thanks for the tip of how to translate in future, I was absolutely amazed at the accuracy of the translation and will use it in future.
    Kind Regards

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 15, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

  6. Dear Gasan
    The Garden at Dachau
    As rule before I start commenting on any subject I do some “Research” through books as well as the net to arrive at an objective opinion. In the case of the Kraeutergarten I used mainly material out of the London times as the most reliable source.
    When it comes to Franz Lippert he actually worked for the Swiss company Weleda Arlesheim.The Norwegian “Libra”-Humanist quotes “Weleda’s head gardener Franz Lippert, was an SS member who in 1941 asked to be transferred to Dachau to oversee the biodynamic plantation that Himmler had established at the concentration camp. The author Werner in his book presents descriptions by prisoners in the camp that give a sympathetic picture of Lippert, that helped many prisoners in distress and told prisoners with whom he became intimate that he was in opposition to Hitler.(p.332) I personally do not believe this story! Inmates died in his very present.
    This is in stark contrast with the book written by Daniel Seidl “Between Heaven and Hell” and I am quoting here a critique of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung dtd.07.09.2009.
    “Fuer die ausgemergelten Gefangenen beteutete dies die haerteste Arbeit ueber zwoelf Stunden und mehr . Ein Unkrautkommando musste bei sengender Sonne saeen, Planzen setzen und Wasser schleppen, bis Haeftlinge an Hitzschlag starben, andere zogen schwere Walzen und Pfluege. Gruppenweise liefen Haeftlinge ueber die Postenlinie, um erschossen und so von ihrem Leid erloest zu werden.SS-Waechter ertraenkten ihre Opfer in Pfuetzen und im Karpfenteich, erschlugen oder stangulierten sie oder traten sie in die Jauchgrube des Aborts, bis sie erstricken. Der Kapo Christian Knoll kassierte eine Kopfpraemie fuer jeden toten Juden. Bis 1940 toetete die SS insgesamt 429 Haeftlinge auf der Kraeuterplantge.

    Although there were horses available within the camp, but it was an accepted sight for the local population that inmates were strapped in harnesses pulling wagons through the city. My wife who was a child at that time remembers them but apparently no one took much notice, it was a normal daily occurrence.

    It is possible that priests had been strapped to ploughs as a romantic vision and created by the Vatican, (Daniel Seidl does not mention priest but inmates) yet I remember as a youngster watching Newsreels “how the communities worked together” in the Third Reich, building the Autobahn showing men strapped to a three furrow ploughs!

    I do know the song “Wir sind die Eingeborenen von Trizonesien but that was Fasching 1948 and I had a lot of fun!

    I apologize for readers that I had to quote extracts of Daniel Seidl’s book in German, perhaps someone has an automatic language translation system.

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 14, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    • “For the drained prisoners, this meant the hardest work of more than twelve hours and more. A weed command had to sow under the torrid sun, put plants and drag water, until prisoners died of heatstroke, others pulled heavy rollers and plows. Whole groups of prisoners ran across the post line, in order to get shot and thus be released from her grief. SS guards drowned their victims in puddles and in the carp pond, killed or stangled them or kicked them in the manor pit of the toilet, to suffocate them. The Kapo Christian Knoll collected a head premium for every dead Jew. Till 1940, the SS killed a total of 429 prisoners in the herb garden.”

      (pretty good machine translation:

      The book “Zwischen Himmel und Hölle: das Kommando “Plantage” des KZ Dachau,” by Daniella Seidl is on Google Books,

      — and just skimming through a few pages, it looks like the quote from the Süddeutsche Zeitung is giving a rather unbalanced view of the book.

      Comment by Rachel — April 15, 2011 @ 1:57 am

  7. Dear Herb,
    Apparently, Franz Lippert was telling you the story he has created to avoid persecution as member of SS.
    I assume he had joined “Allgemeine SS”, the non-combat formation, correct? And after the war, all Germans had been taking a blame as a nation for whatever happened in the concentration camps.
    You wrote:
    “The imprisoned priests who were strapped to ploughs, the inmates killed for taking a bite of rhubarb,the overseers who received a cash bonus for shooting his 100th Jew among the gladioli, is another matter.”
    The priests strapped to the ploughs sounds very romantic, but Germany still had some horses at that time.
    This claim is a bogus created by Vatican, to get the compassion towards “innocent lambs of the Lord”.
    How could the overseers (Aufseher) receive the bonus of killing the jews, when there was a plenty of jobs, they could still be doing?
    What appears to be true: the impressionable Germans have had created self-incriminating stories after the war. Of course, it has happened after certain faked evidence was presented to them as a proof of the atrocities and war crimes committed by the members of their families, or neighbors, etc.
    Then, self-incriminating madness has begun. No one was able to object those ridiculous accusations. And telling and multiplying Allied forces’ lies was a quite fashionable thing to do.
    Do you remember the Karl Berbuer’s “Trizonesien-Song (Wir sind die Eingeborenen von Trizonesien).
    The Germans were able to make the jokes of what had happened to them. But, when I have heard this song the first time, my heart just sunk.
    This is not going to last much longer. The truth is coming out, no matter what.

    Comment by Gasan — April 13, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

  8. Kraeutergarten at Dachau KZ
    The Garden was established by Himmler in the late1930’s but in name has always been known as such long before the Nazi era. It was set outside the Camp on the eastern side of the Roemer-Strasse and stretched to over 210 hectares and still had small private enterprises after the war selling its products.
    Although it was entirely run by the SS and tended by half starved slave labourers, at least 400 of whom were killed, drowned in the carp pool or trampled into the mud of the latrine trenches.These statements shock me in some way as the Head Gardener Franz Lippert, (he joined the SS 1941)who had asked to be transferred to oversee the organic gardening had sufficient authority to stop these treatments, furthermore the public was able to purchase vegetables etc from shops the SS had set up and could see what was going on.(Charges against Lippert after the war were dropped).
    The Dachau complex was supposed to solve some riddles, such as why potatoes had become so vulnerable to pests and early decay, and build a more or less scientific basis for an alternative “biological-dynamic lifestyle”.
    Fermented blackberry and raspberry leaves were used to create German tea,(you can still buy it today) reducing dependency on imports, and work was done to make a German pepper.
    Gladioli was grown in great quantities to milk them for their vitamin C. The leaves were dried and pulverized in the camp garden complex and then mixed with a mixture of spices, beef fat and cooking salt to make a food supplement for SS troops.
    The gardeners also planted fields of primroses in a first attempt to extract an oil for use as medication. Evening primrose oil is now frequently used in complementary medicine.
    The Dachau gardeners set up herds of cows over 750 hectares (1,850acres) tended by 800 inmates whose task it was to gather dung for testing on the camp gardens. The effect of dung on the soil was measured, a special compost was devised to speed the growth of healing herbs.
    The passion for organic gardening gripped Germany and was never let go.
    The imprisoned priests who were strapped to ploughs, the inmates killed for taking a bite of rhubarb,the overseers who received a cash bonus for shooting his 100th Jew among the gladioli, is another matter.

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 13, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

  9. French sculptor Auguste Rodin failed three times the entry exams at “Grand École.” and never got the formal education. So, he is not great sculptor no more. This is the same category of talk, as the one, that “only trained historians or sociologist could do the work”. If you don’t have a “degree” in history, then shut up and listen what “trained folks” are telling ya!
    I have seen Hitler’s painting and drawings. You could see the professionalism there.

    Comment by Gasan — April 13, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  10. Hitler a talented artist?! You must be fucking joking. He was rejected from art college because he was so shit. He was a pervert with one testicle.

    Comment by zaphod — April 13, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    • Hitler was not admitted to Art School because he did not have a high school diploma. He dropped out of high school at 15.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 13, 2011 @ 11:58 am

      • That is not correct, furtherglory. Hitler was rejected from the Art Academy, along with around 100 others, because there were few openings and the sample work that he brought was not of the type that the professor interviewing him preferred. He got to the secnd round, but was then rejected. He was advised that his talent was more in the area of architecture and he should apply to the architectural academy.

        However, it was the architectural academy that required the higher school diploma (not the art school), so he was not eligible to even apply. That was his problem.

        Comment by Skeptic — April 16, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

  11. I think, I have commented on that Himmler’s Posen speech before.
    Reader who-dares-wings is absolutely correct, that the speech could be another hoax we have been fed for a long time. There are no authentic records of original Himmler’s speeches. How would we know what his voice sounded like? This could be even simpler than making fake Churchill’s broadcasts.
    Well, for the people who are still making more of “new and improved” Osama Bin Laden’s audio addresses (it doesn’t matter, that he died more than nine years ago), it would be a piece of cake to create another Posen speech or other Himmler’s narratives.

    Comment by Gasan — April 12, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

    • Actually there is one Himmler speech that negates this Posen speech and fully exonerates Himmler of being racist and supremacist among other things. It will be published in due time.

      Comment by Lucius — April 12, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    • I have heard the alleged recording of one of Himmler’s speeches. I thought the voice sounded too harsh for Himmler. I think he would have had a softer voice. The recording did not sound the way I imagined him to sound.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 12, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

  12. The Himmler Posen speeche(s) should be forensically examined by audio technicians to determine if they are genuine. Hasn’t it been determined that some of Winston Churchill’s war time radio pep talks were delivered by an actor? I think the actor has even been identified. People capable of putting over that stunt wouldn’t hesitate to apply their skills to making Himmler look like a monster.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — April 12, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

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