A German newspaper has published a collection of previously unseen pictures of SS Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler.
One black-and-white photo, published in Welt am Sonntag, shows Himmler on an idyllic family outing, holding his wife’s hand while his blonde, pigtailed daughter is picking flowers.
Others show the top-ranked Nazi feeding a little fawn or taking a bath at Lake Tegernsee near his home in Bavaria.
The family-friendly, intimate scenes are part of a previously unseen collection of photos, recipe books and about 700 letters and notes believed to be written by Himmler, one of the Nazis most responsible for the Holocaust.
Excerpts from the collection appeared in seven full pages of the German paper. They contain large-sized images of Himmler surrounded by his family and excerpts from his love letters to wife Marga, calling her “my sweet, beloved little woman.”
The newspaper said the material is part of an eight-part series it plans to publish.
Welt am Sonntag said it was approached three years ago byIsraeli film director Vanessa Lapa, whose family had the documents in its possession. Welt said the documents’ authenticity has been independently verified by historians.
The paper said two US army soldiers found the trove right at the end of the war in May 1945, inside a safe in Himmler’s home in Bavaria.
Decades later, in the 1980s, the papers surfaced in Israel in the hands of Holocaust survivor Chaim Rosenthal. Welt says it is not clear how he obtained the papers. Rosenthal kept them until 2007, when he sold the documents to Vanessa Lapa’s father, who then gave them to his daughter.