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Heinrich Kemmler, bizzare real world inspiration?

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#1
Hi fellow Undead fans.

I wasn't 100% sure if this was the appropriate part of the forum to put this, but it seemed like a general discussion :).

I was watching random odds and ends on Netflix while paint, as one does, and began watching some documentaries on the Nazis and the Occult. One particular name kept popping up, Heinrich Himmler, the Occult obsessed leader and creator of the S.S. Sort of crazy similar name to our own lichemaster Heinrich Kemmler....

Himmler was obsessed with establishing a mythic history for the Germans as a means of evidence that they were the master race. He created a very bizarre social structure for the S.S. which the historians in the documentary compared to Camelot. Himmler apparently thought of his S.S. members are black knights, sort of a new knightly order, and had many odd rituals ect within this society. He was also convinced he was an ancient king reborn and destined for greatness.

While granted these is not a mirror of Heinrich Kemmler, the similarity in names is pretty clear. Both characters also had extremely dark obsessions and sort of became the heads of personal armies. I don't think it is a stretch to say the Kemmler was at least in part inspired by Himmler.

For those of you that study WWII historical information perhaps this is old new, but it sort of was a surprising revelation for me. I know that several GW characters, especially the older ones, are heavily inspired by famous mythological characters, or historical people which have taken on mythological status (the old Bret Joan D 'Arc character is one I had in mind). But this sort of seemed less in your face and obvious then some of the others.

What are your opinions? Is this just sort of me grasping at straws? I thought this was sort of a neat find, that makes Kemmler, a figure already draped in sinister deeds a little more, well evil lol.
 

Alastor

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#2
With all the Germanic based names flying around in warhammer I think the occasional coincidence is bound to crop up. Perhaps it was a subliminal trigger in whoever wrote the original character (Heinrich kemmler would sound cool if you knew, but weren't aware of, the name Heinrich Himmler).

I would be exceedingly surprised if anyone had tried to name a fantasy character after someone as abhorrent as himmler.
 

John Rainbow

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#3
Many of the names used by GW are very derivative or have obvious relationships to other things. 40k and the primarchs in particular are a good (bad?) example of them doing this.
 
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#4
Perhaps it was a subliminal trigger in whoever wrote the original character (Heinrich kemmler would sound cool if you knew, but weren't aware of, the name Heinrich Himmler).

I would be exceedingly surprised if anyone had tried to name a fantasy character after someone as abhorrent as himmler.
See I believe in chance but it seems to mesh ridiculously well. Perhaps as you have said it was sort of unintentional, but older GW regularly sort of did things like this.

If a podcast I listen to on the Horus Heresy is correct at certain points the company hinted that the Emperor had been around in human history, even as far back as our past, stating he could have been any number of powerful historic figures including Jesus and Hitler.

Presuming this podcast was correct, i'm not sure if it is too much of a stretch that Kemmler was at least slightly inspired by Himmler.

Either way its sort of neat to hypothesize about.
 
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#5
So, in a world filled with horrendous violence, torture, genocide and insanity, with graphic violence oozing out of every sentence in the books and descriptions, you decided to pick out one little character and have a go at bashing Himmler. How droll!

That being said, it is probable that his name is based on the late SS leader, and it's also likely that they did it deliberately to make him seem more sinister. Most if not all of the characters in Fantasy and 40k are far more abhorrent than Himmler or any real-life historical figure.

The Imperium of Man is far, far worse than any regime that has ruled in reality. Genocide, oppression, slavery and torture are all perfectly acceptable solutions in 40k, even in Fantasy (though to a lesser degree).
 

Alastor

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#6
There is a difference between fantasy or sci-fi horror and intentionally making a link to a real life monstrosity. "Bashing himmler" it's not really hard is it? Just stating facts is enough to make him seem like the monstrosity that he was.

As I said before, I doubt it was an intentional naming choice. It just sounds right to the ear to have those names.
 

Lynks

Lord of RAW
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#7
Games workshop, particularly in the early years was pretty shameless about deriving their works from other things, whether it was real life or fictional. Whenever they have they change a few details to obfuscate it, or to change it for their intentions (the harsh sounds of Kemmler make a better name for a villain than Himmler).

You could never pin them down to say with certainty, but i'd say it's pretty likely that's where the name is from.

(as an aside, I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with deriving from other things, in fact I think that GWs move away from it and to create a more cohesive, 'original' universe in recent times is actually making the warhammer world lose some of it's charm)
 

The Sun King

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#8
(the harsh sounds of Kemmler make a better name for a villain than Himmler).
If you pronounce Himmler in German it sounds way more sinister than Kemmler ;)

I never got why GW never really describes sex and carnal pleasures but have no problem with making characters based on the real worlds biggest mass-murderers :)
 

John Rainbow

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#9
I never got why GW never really describes sex and carnal pleasures but have no problem with making characters based on the real worlds biggest mass-murderers
Slaanesh?

Also this is a trend in pop culture anyway. Take TV in the US, graphic violence is generally ok on TV but even minor nudity or curse words? That's a no go.
 
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#10
Well the reason GW have got rid of nude models and sexual content in their stuff is because of the US market. They want to appeal to children with prudish, double-standard Christian parents who take offense at nudity.
 
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#12
It's especially irritating that those same parents have absolutely no problem with showing children horribly violent films and whatnot, and teaching them that guns and killing are OK, but nudity and sex? No, the human body is disgusting and obscene, but blowing people up is fine and dandy, especially if they're Arabs.
 
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#13
(as an aside, I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with deriving from other things, in fact I think that GWs move away from it and to create a more cohesive, 'original' universe in recent times is actually making the warhammer world lose some of it's charm)
While Im not sure if I miss it, but I also agree I don't really have a problem with any characters based on reality. The best fiction sort of draws at least a little from reality.
 
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#14
It's especially irritating that those same parents have absolutely no problem with showing children horribly violent films and whatnot, and teaching them that guns and killing are OK, but nudity and sex? No, the human body is disgusting and obscene, but blowing people up is fine and dandy, especially if they're Arabs.
This is somewhat offensive. As an american parent, and also GW Hobbyist, there are things I let my children see, and others I do not. While I may let my 9 year old boy watch Transformers, or a marvel cinematic movie, or maybe even a movie like white house down, I do not teach my children that violence and killing is OK. Also the implication that American parents believe it is OK to blow up people of middle eastern decent is offensive. While I am no saint, I don't believe in the whole sale slaughter of culture, even under the pretext of a holy war. I'd much prefer everyone left everyone else alone.

I however, do believe and teach my children to defend themselves, their families and their freedoms. Defending each of those tenants does not require going and doing anything (e.g. "blowing up Arabs") but it might require the use of deadly force.

This is a forum for the discussion a wonderful hobby that we all share in common. I'd appreciate it if folks kept their own opinions on other societies out of these forums. Here we are all hobbyists and it should stay that way.
 
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#16
Also, back on topic, when someone is inventing a fictional world, it's impossible not to draw inspiration from the real world. If you can think of it, someone else has thought of it somewhere in the world at some point in time. The difference does not lie in the content of a work, but in the style and execution.
 

Emicrania

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#17
As the old way say, never talk of politics,sex preference and religion; someone is bound to be offended one way or another.

I see no surprise,nor shock having found out this extreme similarity between Kemmler and Himmler. But maybe is because I'm digging "The Wolf Among Us" a bit too much ;)
 
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#18
100% sure that Heinrich Kemmler is absolutely not an accidental comparison.


All the names in WHF are thought thru and have very specific links to realworld historical figures.
 
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#19
@Archamedius. I dont see how undying scourge made a comment that is 'somewhat offensive'

i dont want to start a whole argument bit im pretty sure that what undying said is actually very close to the truth.
The giant heart of the USA is prudish, overly religious in not-so-healthy ways, and is becaise of that quickly offended by nudity and sex but doesnt shun violence and war. Even glorifying it.

Dont worry, there are many, many, many peoples and nations around the world that think likewise.
but since this is about warhammer and the disappearance of sexual content in it.... i think it is safe to assume that the american market spearheaded the movement of more prudish content. even if GW might already do so itself to appeal to young people worldwide.

Even tho its a gross generalisation that might not apply to you personally..... there is a foundation of truth, which then cannot be offensive. since the truth cannot offend, it can only be.



Nevertheless im always laughing my balls off at the hilarious names GW gives its characters.
If at some point they would name some1 Hitlar i wouldnt have a problem with it.
 
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#20
Exactly his name was not coincidential, I just wrote a post about on CA forums and it was closed by a moderator due to bringing politics to the game. I think its wrong to inspire that name from heinrich himmler because people actually want to play as the character. And it can be disturbing if you know the origin of the name.
 

Irisado

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#21
Equally, this topic is being closed, as it is more than three years since it was last posted in. Please refer to the forum rules for further information.
 
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