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Was Heinrich Himmler a vegetarian?

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Recently I went to a talk titled "The History of Veganism" at a local vegan festival. The speaker said Heinrich Himmler definitely was a vegetarian (for health and spiritual reasons if I remember correctly), and definitely more of a vegetarian than Hitler, but I have found no sources to support this claim. Instead I've found the following passage in Zodiac & The Swastika which seem to contradict that he was a consistent vegetarian:
Himmler was having one of his meatless days. That suited me very well, for I am a vegetarian. My personal philosophy, which inclines toward Buddhism and its cosmic approach, persuaded me at an early age that it is wrong to eat anything that is connected with a tragedy. Whenever possible, I have tried to put this idea into practice. Himmler's motives were quite different. He had gone over to a fatless and meatless diet because of a stomach and intestinal complaint.
Source: Zodiac & the Swastika by Wilhelm Wulff, Astrologer to Himmler's Court: Chapter Eight - Lunch with Heinrich Himmler

Anyway, the point this speaker at the festival was trying to make is that there are evil veg*ns as well as generally considered "good" people who speak out against vegetarianism and veganism.
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
Indeed.

So did Stalin, Mao, Leopold II of Belgium, Attilla the Hun, and Genghis Khan.

If I am not mistaken, Hitler would qualify for what is called a "Plant Based Eater" nowadays (as I have learned that, contrary to what the name would suggest, they eat only mostly plant-based, but do not eschew a good piece of meat now and then :yuck: )
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Unless we document every serial killer and madmen as meat eaters, this is totally irrevelent

trump eats meat
I disagree, or at least it depends in what context you think it's irrelevant. It's highly relevant to questions such as: What was the dietary vision for The Third Reich? What was their thinking about our relationship with animals? What implications does that have for neo-nazis and fellow travellers today?!

If I am not mistaken, Hitler would qualify for what is called a "Plant Based Eater" nowadays (as I have learned that, contrary to what the name would suggest, they eat only mostly plant-based, but do not eschew a good piece of meat now and then :yuck: )
It's not easy to be vegetarian in a country at war, with food shortages and little general knowledge of vegetarianism! There is strong evidence he adhered to a vegetarian diet while staying in the Wolf's Lair.
 

Mischief

Stranger in a strange land
I disagree, or at least it depends in what context you think it's irrelevant. It's highly relevant to questions such as: What was the dietary vision for The Third Reich? What was their thinking about our relationship with animals? What implications does that have for neo-nazis and fellow travellers today?!


It's not easy to be vegetarian in a country at war, with food shortages and little general knowledge of vegetarianism! There is strong evidence he adhered to a vegetarian diet while staying in the Wolf's Lair.
What makes you think there was a dietary vision for the Third Reich?! I don't know of any country that's had a "dietary vision"; even countries with large vegetarian populations don't have a" dietary vision"; they just happen to have sizeable populations of people with certain religious beliefs.

Hitler was a semi vegetarian because of his digestive tract, but some of his favorite dishes were meat. Sounds as though Himmler may have been similar.

I don't understand the fascination with Hitler's diet, but then, I don't understand the fascination so many people have with Hitler generally.
 

Amy SF

Dweller in nature
What makes you think there was a dietary vision for the Third Reich?! I don't know of any country that's had a "dietary vision"; even countries with large vegetarian populations don't have a" dietary vision"; they just happen to have sizeable populations of people with certain religious beliefs.

Hitler was a semi vegetarian because of his digestive tract, but some of his favorite dishes were meat. Sounds as though Himmler may have been similar.

I don't understand the fascination with Hitler's diet, but then, I don't understand the fascination so many people have with Hitler generally.
I agree. I think some people obsess over the dietary habits of the leaders of the Third Reich because they’re trying to discredit veg*anism, by making it look like it’s something evil people like Hitler and Himmler embrace. And when you point out that “good” people like Gandhi were veg*ans, they’ll move the goalposts by saying those “good” veg* ans weren’t exactly saints themselves, with specific examples.
 

Peter

Famous Member
Location
UK or Spain
I feel very uncomfortable even thinking about the diet of these criminals because it seems to take the focus away from their criminality. Whether they have anything in common with more worthwhile human beings is a matter of total indifference to me. Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner. So I would never seriously want to understand any aspect of them. On the other hand I do not believe that we should ever forget them or their victims.
 
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silva

Addicted Poster
Location
Ohio, U.S.A
I disagree, or at least it depends in what context you think it's irrelevant. It's highly relevant to questions such as: What was the dietary vision for The Third Reich? What was their thinking about our relationship with animals? What implications does that have for neo-nazis and fellow travellers today?!


It's not easy to be vegetarian in a country at war, with food shortages and little general knowledge of vegetarianism! There is strong evidence he adhered to a vegetarian diet while staying in the Wolf's Lair.
In my entire life I've only Hitlers diet discussed in veg forums. I would say mostly here, and now, and I don't understand why
You are the first to bring up a 'dietary vision'. As to neo nazis in America- they've never given indication of having many, or any, veg'n members
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
What makes you think there was a dietary vision for the Third Reich?!
It was something the speaker at that vegan festival said, and I think I've read about it before: While there wasn't anything official, a few of the higher ups in the Nazi hierarchy had ideas about spiritual and physical purity for the Aryan race which necessitated abstaining from consuming flesh and the killing of animals. Hitler himself was an anti-vivisectionist, and self-identified as a vegetarian from around '42 according to the Wikipedia-article.

While we can sometimes, but not always, judge individual actions as either good or bad, a human being is far too complex to fit into only one of these categories. There are no entirely good or entirely bad humans, and Hitler was no exception. He was not an all-evil person. He was only human, with both some good and some bad qualities.

I think this common oversimplification of Hitler as Satan makes it harder for us to understand the very complex forces that pushed the world into war and genocide, and the lack of understanding hinders us from taking the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again.
 

silva

Addicted Poster
Location
Ohio, U.S.A
"It was something the speaker at that vegan festival said..." :rolleyes:.
"Hitler himself was an anti-vivisectionist" is this like Charles Manson not being a murderer because he never did it himself?
 

Peter

Famous Member
Location
UK or Spain
I am not concerned about whether Hitler was good or bad or evil or a saint. These are subjective values. But he was a criminal. This is beyond all reasonable dispute. I do not care whether he was nice with animals or whether he was vegan or whatever. We don't need to understand criminals, we punish them and if they are beyond rehabilitation into civilised society, we lock them up and throw away the key. Once we try to understand them we start talking their language and that is dangerous. They need to understand our language. Obviously if a criminal shows that s/he is capable of reform we try to help them but Hitler was way beyond any such help.
 

Mischief

Stranger in a strange land
It was something the speaker at that vegan festival said, and I think I've read about it before: While there wasn't anything official, a few of the higher ups in the Nazi hierarchy had ideas about spiritual and physical purity for the Aryan race which necessitated abstaining from consuming flesh and the killing of animals. Hitler himself was an anti-vivisectionist, and self-identified as a vegetarian from around '42 according to the Wikipedia-article.
And the point is?

He is also said to have been a dog lover. That didn't stop him from directing that the poison he intended to take first be given to his German Shepherd bitch, because he wanted to make sure that it wouldn't result in a painful death for himself.

While we can sometimes, but not always, judge individual actions as either good or bad, a human being is far too complex to fit into only one of these categories. There are no entirely good or entirely bad humans, and Hitler was no exception. He was not an all-evil person. He was only human, with both some good and some bad qualities.
I guess I'm weird, but when someone has tried to exterminate entire ethnic groups, gays, disabled people, not to mention invading multiple countries and in the process killing millions in addition to the many millions gassed, hung, shot, starved to death, tortured to death, etc., I don't feel the need to spend time and energy looking for positive qualities in that person before writing him off as a shit human being who would actually deserve to burn in hell for all eternity if only there were a hell.

I think this common oversimplification of Hitler as Satan makes it harder for us to understand the very complex forces that pushed the world into war and genocide, and the lack of understanding hinders us from taking the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again.
Hitler and the others of his ilk were/are mediocre little people who aren't deserving of all the attention that some heap upon them. Studying them isn't going to provide any solutions, because they aren't really the issue. What is worth studying and trying to understand is what it is about a given society at a given time and in given circumstances that causes a society/nation to give power to such monsters of mediocrity. There are people like Hitler born every day of every year. The question is why and how we allow one of them to gain power.

Frankly, murderous dictators, serial and mass killers, and the like shouldn't even be remembered by name, because that's part of what they're striving for with their rampages. We should just assign them numbers, and expunge their names from history: "Murderous Dictator #643 came to power in Germany in the year...." "Serial Killer #2,347 killed twenty children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Their names were:..."

It's the victims who should be remembered, not the murderers. Spend your time learning all about them. They are infinitely more important than the killers.
 

Peter

Famous Member
Location
UK or Spain
And the point is?
Hitler and the others of his ilk were/are mediocre little people who aren't deserving of all the attention that some heap upon them. Studying them isn't going to provide any solutions, because they aren't really the issue. What is worth studying and trying to understand is what it is about a given society at a given time and in given circumstances that causes a society/nation to give power to such monsters of mediocrity. There are people like Hitler born every day of every year. The question is why and how we allow one of them to gain power.
Frankly, murderous dictators, serial and mass killers, and the like shouldn't even be remembered by name, because that's part of what they're striving for with their rampages. We should just assign them numbers, and expunge their names from history....
It's the victims who should be remembered, not the murderers. Spend your time learning all about them. They are infinitely more important than the killers.
You got right to the core of the matter there, Mischief, and I could not agree more. In fact many historians would argue that in order to understand the rise of Hitler in the Weimar Republic we need to focus on the actions of the French from 1918 onwards. Hitler was almost an irrelevance (in comparison to the French). We don't need to know anything about him. He is not worthy of a moment's thought. The next manic dictator will be similar in some ways and different in others. So what! What we do need to know about is the social processes which gave rise to the Nazi party. And we also need to know more about how we can prevent any social groups from being demonized and victimised in the way that the Jews, gays, disabled people, political dissidents etc. were in the third reich.
 
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