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Heinrich Himmler's Letters And Diaries Discovered In Israel

26/01/2014 15:52 GMT | Updated 26/01/2014 15:59 GMT
Keystone-France via Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - OCTOBER 13: The Fuhrer Adolf Hitler Visiting His Headquarters And Congratulating Heinrich Himmler (Right), Head Of The Ss And The Gestapo, For His 43Rd Birthday, On October 13, 1943. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

A hoard of letters, photographs and diaries by Heinrich Himmler have been discovered in Israel, giving terrifying new insight into the mind of one of the men most directly responsible for the Holocaust.

The trove of letters written by the infamous Nazi SS leader have been authenticated by the German federal archive, considered the world's leading authority on material from the period.

The letters chillingly show how Himmler casually refers to the horrific crimes against humanity he helped to orchestrate.

"I am travelling to Auschwitz. Kisses, your Heini," he wrote to his wife Margarete before setting off to inspect the concentration camp where he directed the killing of some 1.5 million people, mostly Jews.

Margarete describes her husband as "an evil man with a tough and rough heart", but also writes: "I am so lucky to have such an evil good man, who loves his evil wife as much as she loves him."

Pictures of Himmler and his family show them cheerfully smiling into the camera during a fishing trip, while the top Nazi was also snapped taking a bath in a lake and feeding a little fawn.

Himmler and his wife clearly shared antisemitic feelings, with the SS leader writing to his spouse on 16 April 1928: "Poor sweetie, has to tussle with those wretched Jews over money."

The cache of the Nazi leader's documents are set to be published over eight days in the German Newspaper Welt am Sonntag.