The Master Plan: Himmler's scholars and the Holocaust
Heinrich Himmler, SS Chief and architect of the Nazi death camps, was convinced that archaeologists had long ignored the great accomplishments of a primeval race of blond haired, blue eyed conquerors - the Aryans. Himmler's history was pure fiction, but his conviction was unshakable.
In 1935 he founded a research institute, the Ahnenerbe, to manufacture archaeological evidence for political purposes, and he set about recruiting a bizarre mix of adventurers, mystics and reputable scholars to help rewrite human history. As well as describing their covert expeditions to Iraq, Finland, Tibet and beyond, "The Master Plan" is a chilling expose of the scientists and scholars who allowed their research to be used to justify extermination. Brilliantly told and meticulously researched, this is a gripping account of delusion and excess; of scientific and political abuse on a terrifying scale.
A groundbreaking history of the Nazi research institute whose work helped lead to the extermination of millions
In 1935, Heinrich Himmler established a Nazi research institute called The Ahnenerbe, whose mission was to send teams of scholars around the world to search for proof of Ancient Aryan conquests. But history was not their most important focus. Rather, the Ahnenerbe was an essential part of Himmler's master plan for the Final Solution. The findings of the institute were used to convince armies of SS men that they were entitled to slaughter Jews and other groups. And Himmler also hoped to use the research as a blueprint for the breeding of a new Europe in a racially purer mold.
The Master Plan is a groundbreaking expose of the work of German scientists and scholars who allowed their research to be warped to justify extermination, and who directly participated in the slaughter -- many of whom resumed their academic positions at war's end. It is based on Heather Pringle's extensive original research, including previously ignored archival material and unpublished photographs, and interviews with living members of the institute and their survivors.
A sweeping history told with the drama of fiction, The Master Plan is at once horrifying, transfixing, and monumentally important to our comprehension of how something as unimaginable as the Holocaust could have progressed from fantasy to reality.
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