Kersten, De Lijfarts van Himmler – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: History, War
Written by: Patrice Perna
Illustrations: Fabien Bedouel
Coloring: Florence Fantini
Publisher: Glénat

Kersten, De Lijfarts van Himmler – Comic Book Review

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Good: Frame story keeps it fresh
Bad: Nothing worth mentioning
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Himmler’s personal doctor, he’s probably not the most remembered figure of the Second World War. Nonetheless, it’s often exactly this kind of person who gets his own bit of fame through a film or a book, as it’s an easy way to mix facts and fiction together. Patrice Perna must have thought the same thing when he came up with the idea for this comic book, based on Felix Kersten’s life.

Kersten Banner

It’s March 1939 when doctor Felix Kersten is called to Reichsführer Himmler’s chancery. Himmler suffers from severe stomach pains, and trusts Kersten’s reputation to be true. He is said to have golden hands that can massage all pain away and indeed, he also releases Himmler of his pain, causing him to soon become his personal physician. Himmler relies on him more and more, and during his sessions, he sometimes also confides in Kersten about state matters. War becomes unavoidable and Kersten has a hard time treating Himmler, as he doesn’t agree at all with what he stands for. Nonetheless, he knows that, now that the nation is at war, he doesn’t have much of a choice but to keep treating Himmler, even though there is many an occasion where he’d rather just quit altogether and move out of Germany with his family.

Himmler is constantly in so much pain that he wants Kersten very close to him. Because he is so reliant, Kersten knows he can demand certain privileges, but others notice it too, and ask him favors. Kersten would rather not though, as it would make him seem suspicious, and because he just doesn’t want to be associated with a man that follows Hitler’s horrid ideas. Nonetheless, he realizes that he could save people’s lives, so every now and then, he does ask Himmler for a favor, to release certain people or change certain plans, and he even manages to save lots of people from the concentration camps. He has to be careful though, as he is being watched by German officials.

Kersten 1

Patrice Perna chose to tell this story by adding in a frame story. In this frame story, that emerges every now and then throughout the comic book, Swedish employees of Foreign Affairs dig into Kersten’s past, to help him get asylum. His request was denied because he is claimed to have been working with the SS, but these employees know that that’s not the truth, and try to prove the good deeds he has done, thus giving you as a reader more insight into the story, along with them. It was a good bet of Perna to intertwine these storylines, as it keeps the otherwise sec story fresh, by breaking things up from time to time.

The illustrations are by the hand of Fabien Bedouel. He focuses a lot on the faces of all characters, which look quite measured and stern. Florence Fantini stresses this look by using muted, earthy colors, that also fit the war theme very well.


Kersten, De Lijfarts van Himmler is a comic book, based on true facts, that has a nice flow to, split into two different storylines that are related nonetheless. The illustrations fit the overall sec narration, with the distinct facial features and the muted colors used. While it is biographical, not everything is as close to the truth, yet that doesn’t spoil the quality one bit. It’s definitely a nice one to add to your collection if you are a fan of war themed comic books.

Kersten 2

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Kersten, De Lijfarts van Himmler - Comic Book Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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