Born 1900 in Munich, Germany. Himmler served in the Imperial German Army in the Great War, though he never saw combat. As Head of the SS from 1929 Himmler accrued party and state positions, becoming perhaps the second most powerful man in the Reich after the Fuehrer by 1939. The strength of the SS and of Himmler grew during the war. However rather than satiating him, this rapid expansion of power made Himmler still more power-hungry.
In July 1944 Himmler attempted to overthrow the NSDAP and institute a new form of government based entirely on the SS, in alliance with elements of the Bolshevik Government of Soviet Russia. After a failed assassination attempt on the Fuehrer, this coup was put down by Friedrich Fromm and Arthur Nebe. Himmler was captured while attempting to flee to Sweden, and committed suicide.