Himmler and a prisoner locked in a staring contest: The Defiance

By RHP | Posted on: December 24, 2013 | Updated on: December 24, 2013
This is what defiance looks like. Himmler and the prisoner, 1941.

This is what defiance looks like. Himmler and the prisoner, 1941.

The February 2010 Telegraph Obituary published a photograph captioned “Greasley confronting Heinrich Himmler (wearing the spectacles) in the PoW camp”. The photograph and its description has subsequently been republished by other news sources. The photograph comes from Himmler’s visit to a Shirokaya Street POW camp in Minsk, USSR taken in August 1941. Additional photographs from the visit as well as film footage of Himmler’s visit shows more of the camp as well as the events before and after the famous picture was taken.

The shirtless man in the photograph is not Horace Greasley but an unnamed Soviet POW wearing a standard-issue Red Army “pilotka” side-cap. When interviewed by the Leicester Mercury, the historian Guy Walters said that he “had no doubt whatsoever” that the man in the photograph was not Greasley.

Heinrich Himmler was one of the chief architects of the holocaust, Hitler’s #1 right-hand man, chief of the Gestapo and oversaw all concentration camps, probably the most evil Nazi. You had to be a hard man to look Himmler in the face like that. This is standing for what’s right, this is a single man who, after losing so much, stands up and stares Himmler himself. This image is defiance.

Colorization version.

Category: WW2

14 thoughts on “Himmler and a prisoner locked in a staring contest: The Defiance

    1. Wink Dinkerson

      Actually that scum Himmler is one pace past the Russian soldier, so he is indeed looking into the eyes of the monster.
      Use the wooden post as a reference point to where they actually are.
      Would have loved to see that Russian meet up with that cowardly little piece of filth one on one, without his weak gutted goons around him.
      Rot in hell Himmler, you disgusting little pile of vermin!

      Reply
      1. David Graham Scott

        Yes, I think you may be right!! Well done for rechecking that for me.
        You should read what The Jewish Avenger had to say re the execution he would have liked Himmler to have gone through. It would have been quite a spectacle involving a Jewish transexual as the chief executioner torturing him with burning and flogging for several hours before a 200 ft tall guillotine blade took his head off.

        Reply
  1. Nord Land

    The Russians were even more repulsive, cowardly and vile than Himmler. That POW represents yet another Soviet soldier, the sort that went on a raping spree in Germany to sexually violate German children, women and the elderly and infirm.

    Anyone having violent revenge fantasies against Himmler 70 years after his death really needs to get therapy. That kind of anger can only do you harm.

    Himmler was a mere bureaucrat, not a soldier, and he fainted at the sight of blood. He also oversaw a camp system that included many enemies of his government, as well as those who committed sex crimes against children. Unlike Hans Frank, Himmler was also a good father, as the fanatical loyalty his daughter establishes.

    To attempt to dehumanize Himmler as a “monster” shows little historical perspective. Himmler was honorable, compared to the likes of Stalin or Mao.

    Reply
    1. Wink Dinkerson

      Spare me your idiotic spiel of Nazi bullshit.
      Himmler honorable? Yeah right, Who went running to the allies to surrender cos he was shitting his little panties at the thought of the Ruskies getting hold of him, then diguised himself as a Sarge to try and get away like a little rat.
      Who formed the Einsatzgruppen? Himmler. What a charming lot they were hey? Very bravely following the germ army killing, raping and generally wiping out the poor Ruskie peasants, Very brave men indeed.
      Who formed the K.Zs? Again that scum Himmler. 6 million plus people died because of the monster, Yes Monster.
      Fainting at the site of blood, What a great manly man, “don’t hurt me dont hurt me, i dont like blood”, Fuckin cowardly little cunt.
      Now on to the Russians: One thing i will agree with you on is, Yes Stalin was an arsehole with little mans syndrome, he was only about 5.5.
      Yep he murdered many of his own countrymen if they didn’t do as he said, so yes a cunt in my book.
      More on the Russkies for ya:
      Answer me this question if you can. What would you do if some country invaded you and raped and killed your parents, your children, burned down your village, (with people in it mind you) and generally totalled the whole joint?
      When the tide turned, wouldn’t you want a little payback for the attrocities you have witnessed?
      The Nazi fuckwits started the whole deal and got what they deserved in return.
      Most of the “hero’s” tried to run away to Brazil or someother little shitpot joint, couldnt face up to justice.
      Very brave indeed, and how anybody can defend their actions is beyond me.
      Now piss off.

      Reply
      1. Carolyn Wright

        I agree. He organised the mass killing of completely innocent people based on their ethnicity, sexual orientation or political beliefs – you can’t defend the indefensible. He was evil pure and simple.

        Reply
        1. Greg

          Absolutely right. Trying to defend the indefensible is what we call “trying to push shit uphill.” Apparently, Himmler’s deluded daughter Gudrun grew into a proper little Nazi princess and intended writing a book to “clear” her father’s name. Now that’s an awful lot of shit to push uphill 😉

          “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.” – Winston Churchill

          Reply
  2. davidgrahamscott

    They say Himmler didn’t like the sight of blood but do you think that’s true? If he was a chicken farmer he must have killed chickens. Maybe his extermination ideas came from the chicken killing? Just a thought.

    Reply
  3. uniform-check

    This foto is mirrored to have the nazi’s on the left side. Germans always wore the eagles on the right and the ribbons on the left side.

    Reply
    1. davidgrahamscott

      A common device done by journalists as photos are easier to read from left to right like the written word. Good observation!

      Reply
    2. Wink Dinkerson

      Yep, your right, very good pick up, the negative could have been placed heads or tails,
      One thing though, it dont make a zak of diffrence either way,
      The fact is, the vile little poor excuse for a man was a pathetic turd.
      Picture him in a pair of shorts and a t shirt, without his uniform and silly looking Nazi crap on his lapels.
      What you would see would be a pissweak underdeveloped whimpy little shitrag
      l would have loved 5 minutes alone wih the cunt.

      Reply
  4. Mike G

    I wonder if it is known how long the soldier survived this encounter? I conjure up images from “Enemy at the Gate” and imagine what this soldier went through in the moments before his capture. I suspect he was not the least bit afraid of Himmler after that.

    Reply
  5. PShop

    I am very skeptical of the reading of this photo as “defiance”, as the prisoner appears to me to be standing at attention, as if he had been ordered (by Himmler or one of the other Germans) to stand up and answer questions posed by Himmler. His arms are straight and at his sides and to the back. This is the pose of a prisoner at attention.

    Real defiance would have a more aggressive stance, or with arms folded in front, or a relaxed I don’t give a phuck cause you have no authority over me slack attitude. So as much as I myself as an anarchist love to see photos of individuals defying statist authority figures, I just am not seeing it in this photo.

    I can tell you, when I openly and actively defied authority figures myself, inside US prisons, or on the side of the road with cops, or in courtrooms, I never “stood at rigid attention”, even though many of them were extremely dangerous people… wardens, assistant wardens (with a history I didn’t know at the time of brutally murdering other prisoners), shouting raving lunatic Roland Freisler type judges, and idiot local cops. If anything, I acted quite normal, and even slapstick. My words were brutal and to the point and destroyed any power they sought over me.

    The key to defiance is not not to be afraid. You will be afraid. The key to defiance is to think, looking back on this moment 20 years from now, what would make me damn proud to have done in this situation. And then you dig your feet into the ground and just do it. It doesn’t come out quite how you like, its messy and sloppy usually in execution, but no matter what you do, as long as you resist, what comes out is 1000x times better than having groveled as a coward and caved in. I’ve won time and time again.

    Afterwards, you are bonking yourself on the head, wishing… oh, I so totally destroyed them, but I also wish I had said this, or done that… but its too late, the moment has passed. You only get one chance during confrontations like this, and even if you have thoroughly thought it through there is always an element of randomness you have to adapt to on the fly on the spot.

    Reply

Leave a Reply