When we try to define integrity we speak in terms of commitment to one’s projects, willingness to take a stand, action in the face of adversity, and so forth. What, then, are we to say about Himmler?
Here’s a speech made to some SS generals:
What happens to a Russian, a Czech, does not interest me in the slightest. What the nations can offer in the way of good blood of our type, we will take, if necessary by kidnapping their children and raising them here with us. Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death like cattle interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves to our Kulture; otherwise it is of no interest to me. Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an antitank ditch interests me only in so far as the antitank ditch for Germany is finished. (quoted in Shirer 1991, pp. 937-8 and Mendus, p. 18)
It would be grotesque, wouldn’t it, to say of Himmler that he was a man of integrity?
- Sue Mendus 2009. Politics and Morality. esp. ch. 1-Shirer 1991. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.