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Heinrich Himmler: Anatomy of a Mass Murderer - documentary DVD review
HEINRICH HIMMLER: ANATOMY OF A MASS MURDERER Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Heinrich Himmler, Katrin Himmler
Director: Michael Kloft   Distributor: First Run Features
DVD release: 23 March 2010   Runtime: 52 min. (1 disc)
Format: Black & White, Color, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.33:1, Audio tracks (English - Dolby 2.0 Stereo), Filmmaker biography, Third Reich film gallery

Heinrich Himmler was a monster - the monster responsible for the extermination of six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of other individuals deemed unworthy for survival in the new German order. Born into a bourgeois Bavarian family, he found his way into Hitler's thug squad early on and rode that wave to its horrible pinnacle. Near the end, he negotiated the surrender of himself and Germany to the allies (much to Hitler's chagrin).

Michael Kloft's film Heinrich Himmler: Anatomy of a Mass Murderer fleshes out the nature of the Nazi party more fully. Perhaps a German criticizing the government of Germany's past has a more even hand than would a filmmaker of another nationality, though Kloft pulls no punches. He's covered other henchmen in the past, and we'll likely see more before he's done. His original work is done in German, and First Run Features presents it here in English.

Kloft utilizes archive footage, photographs, and the unique participation of author Katrin Himmler, Heinrich Himmler's great niece, who is researching the history of her family. Kloft also includes interviews with some survivors of the Holocaust to round things off. It all makes for a good investigation into the notorious Herr Himmler, though while we learn a bit more about the monster with the cherubic face, we may still never fully understand what drove him to the crimes he never paid for.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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