A thorough and comprehensive analysis of what Himmler actually did during the 1930s and 1940s demonstrates beyond the reasonable doubt that his ultimate objective was, indeed, acquisition of an absolute power over Nazi Germany.
And I mean genuinely absolute: the one enjoyed over his country by the “Red Tamerlane” Joseph Stalin – the arch-enemy (nemesis, actually) of the Third Reich (Hitler’s power in the Third Reich was far more limited – by Wehrmacht).
Heinrich Himmler almost achieved his objectives – had Adolf Hitler been killed in one of the numerous assassination attempts, Himmler would have inevitably emerged as the winner in the subsequent power struggle (battle even) in the Third Reich. For a very simple reason – he had the brains, the Will, the ruthlessness and the resources far superior to even his most powerful competitor.
Himmler’s achievements in his relentless and determined pursuit of the absolute power in Nazi Germany prove beyond the reasonable doubt that he was, indeed, a genius. A criminal and murderous genius, sure (no doubt about that) but a genius nevertheless. And, of course, one of the most successful political entrepreneurs of the XX century (after all, the SS was a political organization).
Power is achieved and exercised via control of the people – first and foremost, over influential individuals. To establish and maintain this control (at all times), one obviously needs the appropriate (i.e. the most efficient) control tools and methods.
The most powerful – and the most efficient – control tools (any leader and member of any totalitarian cult will attest to that) are tools that create emotional bond between the individual and an organization (ideally the emotional dependency of the latter on the former). And a spiritual dependency – if the individual in question has well-developed spiritual needs.
And that’s exactly what Heinrich Himmler achieved. A no small feat, to put it mildly – very few individuals managed to do anything like that. Especially from scratch – and especially in the XX century (just about all elite societies were set up centuries ago).
He made his SS so emotionally and even spiritually valuable to just about everyone in the Third Reich (including even the most powerful individuals in Nazi Party, government, industry, etc.) that with very few exceptions everybody craved membership (especially high-ranking one) in this “exclusive club” and the “elite society”.
And after they were accepted into the SS (with the rank bestowed on them according to the position and influence of the individual in question in the Nazi hierarchy)… they immediately became (1) emotionally and even spiritually dependent on the SS; and (2) subordinate to its Reichsfuhrer – Heinrich Himmler.
In other words, it became very difficult for them (to put it mildly) to refuse to do what Himmler wanted them to do. Including (obviously) placing the SS members into prominent, influential and powerful positions in their “responsibility areas”.
Especially given the irrefutable fact that SS Reichsfuhrer had an impressive collection of other highly effective and efficient “control tools” at his disposal. In 1931 (even before the Nazis came to power), Himmler created the SD – domestic intelligence service – that in no time collected and structured sufficient “kompromat” (damaging information) to bring down just about everyone in the Third Reich – even the Wehrmacht top brass (see the infamous Blomberg–Fritsch affair, for example).
In 1934, Himmler seized control of the much-feared Gestapo (the Nazi political police) and since 1936 (when he was appointed Chief of Police for the entire Germany) – of the criminal police (Kripo) and Order Police (OrPo) as well.
To that he added another immensely powerful control tool – an (ultimately) vast network of concentration camps (KL) established in 1933. And the (in)famous “Reichstag Fire Decree” issued on February 28th of the same year allowed him to intern just about anybody in the nearest KL… indefinitely.
Consequently, it is no surprise that even before the outbreak of the Second Great War Himmler accumulated the “critical mass” of “his agents” (powerful and influential SS members in the Party, the government, the industry, etc.) and sufficient control over just about everyone else.
The critical mass (and control tools) that gave him the power and the means to control and manage… just about the whole Nazi Germany (even the Wehrmacht top brass – with the appropriate kompromat).