Heinrich Himmler suicide photo withdrawn before auction

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As he lies dead on a makeshift bed, his school- masterly round glasses still perched on his nose, it is hard to believe that this pathetic figure of a man was responsible for one of the largest genocides in history.

Taken just minutes after he had bitten down on a cyanide capsule, this previously unseen picture shows the still warm body of Heinrich Himmler, head of the dreaded SS and the twisted mastermind of the Holocaust.

It was taken by Corporal Guy Adderley of the Intelligence Corps in May 1945, one of the team who interrogated Himmler after his arrest at a British checkpoint in northern Germany as he tried to flee in disguise following the fall of the Third Reich.

He was transferred to a British interrogation centre in the town of Luneburg, and was due to be questioned over war crimes the following day, when he poisoned himself.

After his death, propaganda photographs of Himmler’s corpse slumped on a makeshift bed were released. But Adderley kept this grainy photograph among his wartime mementoes, which have remained hidden from the world for decades.

Adderley’s family planned to sell the picture at auction in Bristol yesterday. It was estimated to fetch thousands of pounds, a startling sum that reveals the historical value of such an image....

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