The German tabloid Bild is serialising excerpts from Himmler’s wartime diaries, recently discovered in Russia.
One day, Himmler wrote, he had a massage before ordering the execution of 10 Poles. And he says he enjoyed a snack at Buchenwald concentration camp.
He also told the SS to train dogs that could “rip people apart” at Auschwitz.
Historians will publish the diaries in a book next year, with background notes.
Himmler was in Adolf Hitler’s elite circle, and had the official title “Reichsfuehrer SS”. He commanded the death squads who murdered Jews, Poles, Soviet prisoners-of-war, Roma and others categorised as “racially inferior”.
The diaries are being studied by the German Historical Institute Moscow. They cover the years 1938, 1943 and 1944 and were found at a Russian defence ministry archive in Podolsk, a town just south of Moscow.
Historians had earlier examined Himmler’s diaries from the years 1941, 1942 and 1945 – but they were unaware of the missing ones until recently.
The find is seen as highly significant and has been compared with the diaries of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
German researcher Matthias Uhl said he was struck by Himmler’s enormous concern for his elite SS, family and friends – while meticulously implementing mass murder.