The corpse of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler after his suicide by poison, 1945

In 1945 the dismayed Himmler believed that victory had slipped from Germany's grip and secretly attempted to initiate peace talks with Eisenhower to avoid a trial for war crimes.

But Eisenhower denied having anything to do with Himmler. A furious Hitler declared Himmler a traitor, took away his powers and expelled him from the Nazi Party.

Rejected by his former comrades and hunted by the Allies, Himmler attempts to hide. He disguised himself by shaving his mustache, wearing an eye patch over his left eye, and carrying a false identity card under the name of Sergeant Heinrich Heitzinger. Accompanied by a small band of comrades, he headed south towards Friedrichskog on 11 May, without any final destination in mind.

They continued on to the Neuhaus, where the group split. On 21 May, Himmler and two associates were stopped and taken into custody at a checkpoint set up by former Soviet prisoners of war.

Over the next two days, he was taken to several camps and brought to the British 31st civilian interrogation camp near Lüneburg on 23 May.

The officer on duty, Captain Thomas Selvester, began routine inquiries. Himmler acknowledged who he was, and Selvester searched the prisoner. Himmler was taken to the headquarters of the 2nd British Army in Lüneburg, where Dr Wells conducted a medical examination of him.

When the doctor saw a black object in the gap of Himmler's lower jaw, he ordered him to come closer to the light and attempt to remove the vitreous capsule. Suddenly Himmler took a bite on the cyanide capsule and on the doctor's fingers. Himmler fell to the ground and someone shouted "Bastard kills us!".

The smell of prussic acid permeated the room. Major Whitaker said in his diary, "We immediately picked up the old bastard and put his mouth in a bowl of water, which was to wash away the poison." "There was a terrible groan and grunt coming from the boar". Himmler's tongue was secured in an attempt to prevent him from swallowing the poison.

Doctor Wells tried for resuscitation but it was in vain. He was dead within 15 minutes. At least one death mask of Himmler was taken. An autopsy was performed on May 25, the configuration of the teeth was compared, and the brain and part of its skeleton were removed. Shortly after, Himmler's body was buried in an unmarked grave near Lüneburg. The location of the grave remains unknown.

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