I can't help but notice the dread necromancer Heinrich Kemmler from the Dresden Files has an awfully similar name to the dread necromancer Heinrich von Kemmler from the Warhammer Fantasy Battles games (and attendant books, video games, etc). Given how copyright happy Games Workshop is, it seems odd to me.

I guess my question is, do they share any originating material (e.g. myths or prior art, aside from sounding vaguely like Heinrich Himmler), or has there been mention of any kind of connection, approval, agreement, lawsuit, etc?

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    Besides the similarity in name to Himmler, William Kemmler was the first person executed with an electric chair. – Buzz Dec 24 '18 at 20:34
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    @Buzz - well, that's double the association with death. So it'd be likely. It's also possible, Paul, that the character name was directly lifted in homage - Jim Butcher's a big nerd, so it wouldn't surprise me. – Radhil Dec 24 '18 at 20:40
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    @Radhil It wouldn't surprise me, either, but I was hoping for any evidence of that happening. Also, one man's homage is another man's copyright infringement, and GW has been pretty heavy with that hammer, so I would've assumed there'd be something resulting from that "homage" from their end. – Paul Dec 25 '18 at 0:58
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    While not an answer, I'd say I wouldn't be surprised: 1) Jim is an active RPG player, so most likely he knows Warhammer, 2)Games Workshop cannot (?) put a copyright on something that is a perfectly normal German name; 3)Jim likes to drop references to pop-culture in his books. – Yasskier Dec 26 '18 at 21:51

As noted in the question, there is the similarity of the name to that of Heinrich Himmler. Himmler was one of the top figures in Nazi Germany—head of the SS which included the Gestapo and the concentration/extermination camp system—and is normally considered second only to Adolf Hitler with regard to overall responsibility in for the Holocaust. He was also the leading exponent among the Nazi elite of mysticism, occultism, and neo-paganism. The cultural perception, such as was depicted in Raiders of the Lost Ark, that the Nazis were obsessed with the occult is primary due Himmler's activities. So it would be quite fitting to name a powerful necromancer after Herr Himmler.

Moreover, there is also a famous association of unnatural death with the surname Kemmler. In 1890, William Kemmler was the first person put to death in an electric chair.

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    This doesn't actually add much to the question at all, other than provide context for what I already established that I was aware of. While this explains how the name could have been derived and why it fits the theme, it doesn't answer why both works (Dresden and Warhammer) would pick a nearly identical name, nor whether there was any copyright issue for having done so (presumably from GWs side, since I think they published the name as-is first unless there's prior art that actually uses that name). – Paul Dec 25 '18 at 0:56

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