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REINHARD TRISTAN EUGEN HEYDRICH (German: ( listen )) (7 March 1904 – 4 June 1942) was a high-ranking German Nazi official during World War II , and a main architect of the Holocaust
Holocaust
. He was an SS - Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
und General der Polizei (Senior Group Leader and Chief of Police) as well as chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo
Gestapo
, Kripo , and SD ). He was also Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy/Acting Reich-Protector ) of Bohemia and Moravia . Heydrich served as president of the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC; later known as Interpol
Interpol
) and chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
, which formalised plans for the Final Solution
Final Solution
to the Jewish Question —the deportation and genocide of all Jews in German-occupied Europe
German-occupied Europe
.

Many historians regard him as the darkest figure within the Nazi elite; Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
described him as "the man with the iron heart". He was the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst
(SD), an intelligence organisation charged with seeking out and neutralising resistance to the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
via arrests, deportations, and murders. He helped organise Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht
, a series of co-ordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
and parts of Austria
Austria
on 9–10 November 1938. The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians, presaged the Holocaust. Upon his arrival in Prague
Prague
, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance . He was directly responsible for the Einsatzgruppen , the special task forces which travelled in the wake of the German armies and murdered over two million people, including 1.3 million Jews, by mass shooting and gassing.

He was critically wounded in an ambush in Prague
Prague
on 27 May 1942 by a British Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
-trained team of Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been sent by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile
Czechoslovak government-in-exile
to kill him in Operation Anthropoid
Operation Anthropoid
. He died from his injuries a week later. Nazi intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice
Lidice
and Ležáky
Ležáky
. Both villages were razed; all men and boys over the age of 16 were shot, and all but a handful of their women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps
Nazi concentration camps
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Early life * 2 Naval career

* 3 Career in the SS and military

* 3.1 Gestapo
Gestapo
and SD * 3.2 Crushing the SA * 3.3 Consolidating the police forces * 3.4 Red Army
Red Army
purges * 3.5 Night-and-Fog decree * 3.6 Acting Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia

* 4 Role in the Holocaust
Holocaust

* 5 Assassination

* 5.1 Death in Prague
Prague
* 5.2 Funeral

* 6 Aftermath

* 7 Summary of career

* 7.1 SS record

* 8 See also * 9 Footnotes

* 10 References

* 10.1 Citations

* 11 Bibliography * 12 Further reading * 13 External links

EARLY LIFE

Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was born in 1904 in Halle an der Saale to composer and opera singer Richard Bruno Heydrich and his wife, Elisabeth Anna Maria Amalia Heydrich (née Krantz). His father was Protestant and his mother was Roman Catholic. His two forenames were patriotic musical tributes: "Reinhard" referred to the tragic hero from his father's opera Amen, and "Tristan" stems from Richard Wagner 's Tristan und Isolde
Tristan und Isolde
. Heydrich's third name, "Eugen", was his late maternal grandfather's forename (Professor Eugen Krantz had been the director of the Dresden Royal Conservatory ).

Heydrich's family held social standing and substantial financial means. Music was a part of Heydrich's everyday life; his father founded the Halle Conservatory of Music, Theatre and Teaching and his mother taught piano there. Heydrich developed a passion for the violin and carried that interest into adulthood; he impressed listeners with his musical talent.

His father was a German nationalist who instilled patriotic ideas in his three children, but was not affiliated with any political party until after World War I. The Heydrich household was strict. As a youth, he engaged his younger brother, Heinz , in mock fencing duels. He excelled in his schoolwork—especially in science—at the "Reformgymnasium". A talented athlete, he became an expert swimmer and fencer. He was shy, insecure, and was frequently bullied for his high-pitched voice and rumoured Jewish ancestry. The latter claim earned him the nickname "Moses Handel."

In 1918, World War I ended with Germany's defeat. In late February 1919, civil unrest—including strikes and clashes between communist and anti-communist groups—took place in Heydrich's home town of Halle. Under Defense Minister Gustav Noske
Gustav Noske
's directives, a right-wing paramilitary unit was formed and ordered to "recapture" Halle. Heydrich, then 15 years old, joined Maercker's Volunteer Rifles (the first Freikorps
Freikorps
unit). When the skirmishes ended, Heydrich was part of the force assigned to protect private property. Little is known about his role, but the events left a strong impression; it was a "political awakening" for him. He joined the Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund (National German Protection and Shelter League), an anti-Semitic organisation.

As a result of the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
, hyperinflation spread across Germany and many lost their life savings. Halle was not spared. By 1921, few townspeople there could afford a musical education at Bruno Heydrich's conservatory. This led to a financial crisis for the Heydrich family.

NAVAL CAREER

In 1922 Heydrich joined the German Navy ( Reichsmarine
Reichsmarine
), taking advantage of the security, structure, and pension it offered. He became a naval cadet at Kiel
Kiel
, Germany's primary naval base. On 1 April 1924 he was promoted to senior midshipman (Oberfähnrich zur See) and sent to officer training at the Naval Academy Mürwik . In 1926 he advanced to the rank of ensign (Leutnant zur See) and was assigned as a signals officer on the battleship Schleswig-Holstein , the flagship of Germany's North Sea Fleet. With the promotion came greater recognition. He received good evaluations from his superiors and had few problems with other crewmen. He was promoted on 1 July 1928 to the rank of sub-lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See). The increased rank fuelled his ambition and arrogance. Heydrich as Reichsmarine
Reichsmarine
cadet in 1922

Heydrich became notorious for his countless affairs. In December 1930 he attended a rowing-club ball and met Lina von Osten . They became romantically involved and soon announced their engagement. Lina was already a Nazi Party
Nazi Party
follower; she had attended her first rally in 1929. In 1931 Heydrich was charged with "conduct unbecoming to an officer and gentleman" for breaking an engagement promise to a woman he had known for six months before the von Osten engagement. Admiral Erich Raeder
Erich Raeder
dismissed Heydrich from the navy that April. The dismissal devastated Heydrich, who found himself without career prospects. He kept the engagement and married Lina in December 1931.

CAREER IN THE SS AND MILITARY

In 1931, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
began setting up a counterintelligence division of the SS. Acting on the advice of his associate Karl von Eberstein , who was von Osten's friend, Himmler agreed to interview Heydrich, but cancelled their appointment at the last minute. Lina ignored this message, packed Heydrich's suitcase, and sent him to Munich. Eberstein met Heydrich at the railway station and took him to see Himmler. Himmler asked Heydrich to convey his ideas for developing an SS intelligence service. Himmler was so impressed that he hired Heydrich immediately. Although the starting monthly salary of 180 Reichsmarks (the equivalent of 40 USD) was low, Heydrich decided to take the job because Lina's family supported the Nazi movement, and the quasi-military and revolutionary nature of the post appealed to him. At first he had to share an office and typewriter with a colleague, but by 1932 Heydrich was earning 290 Reichsmarks a month, a salary he described as "comfortable". As his power and influence grew throughout the 1930s, his salary grew commensurately; by 1938 his income increased to 17,371.53 Reichsmarks annually (the equivalent of 78,000 USD). His NSDAP number was 544,916 and his SS number was 10,120. Heydrich later received a Totenkopfring from Himmler for his service.

On 1 August 1931 Heydrich began his job as chief of the new 'Ic Service' (intelligence service). He set up office at the Brown House , the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
headquarters in Munich. By October he had created a network of spies and informers for intelligence-gathering purposes and to obtain information to be used as blackmail to further political aims. Information on thousands of people was recorded on index cards and stored at the Brown House. To mark the occasion of Heydrich's December wedding, Himmler promoted him to the rank of SS- Sturmbannführer
Sturmbannführer
(major).

In 1932, rumours were spread by Heydrich's enemies of alleged Jewish ancestry. Wilhelm Canaris
Wilhelm Canaris
said he had obtained photocopies proving Heydrich's Jewish ancestry, but these photocopies never surfaced. Nazi Gauleiter Rudolf Jordan claimed Heydrich was not a pure Aryan. Within the Nazi organisation such innuendo could be damning, even for the head of the Reich's counterintelligence service. Gregor Strasser passed the allegations on to the Nazi Party's racial expert, Achim Gercke , who investigated Heydrich's genealogy. Gercke reported that Heydrich was "... of German origin and free from any coloured and Jewish blood". He insisted that the rumours were baseless. Even so, Heydrich privately engaged SD member Ernst Hoffmann to further investigate and dispel the rumours.

GESTAPO AND SD

Gestapo
Gestapo
headquarters on Prinz-Albrecht-Straße in Berlin, 1933

In mid-1932, Himmler appointed Heydrich chief of the renamed security service—the Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst
(SD). Heydrich's counterintelligence service grew into an effective machine of terror and intimidation. With Hitler striving for absolute power in Germany, Himmler and Heydrich wished to control the political police forces of all 17 German states. They began with Bavaria
Bavaria
. In 1933, Heydrich gathered some of his men from the SD and together they stormed police headquarters in Munich and took over the organisation using intimidation tactics. Himmler became the Munich police chief and Heydrich became the commander of Department IV, the political police.

In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany , and through a series of decrees became Germany's Führer
Führer
und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor). The first concentration camps , which were originally intended to house political opponents, were established in early 1933. By year's end there were over fifty camps.

Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
founded the Gestapo
Gestapo
in 1933 as a Prussian police force. When Göring transferred full authority over the Gestapo
Gestapo
to Himmler in April 1934, it immediately became an instrument of terror under the SS's purview. Himmler named Heydrich to head the Gestapo
Gestapo
on 22 April 1934. On 9 June 1934, Rudolph Hess declared the SD the official Nazi intelligence service.

CRUSHING THE SA

Beginning in April 1934, and at Hitler's request, Heydrich and Himmler began building a dossier on Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
(SA) leader Ernst Röhm in an effort to remove him as a rival for party leadership. At this point, the SS was still part of the SA, the early Nazi paramilitary organisation which now numbered over 3 million men. At Hitler's direction, Heydrich, Himmler, Göring, and Viktor Lutze drew up lists of those who should be liquidated, starting with seven top SA officials and including many more. On 30 June 1934 the SS and Gestapo acted in coordinated mass arrests that continued for two days. Röhm was shot without trial, along with the leadership of the SA. The purge became known as the Night of the Long Knives . Up to 200 people were killed in the action. Lutze was appointed SA's new head and it was converted into a sports and training organisation. SS-Brigadeführer Heydrich, head of the Bavarian police and SD , in Munich, 1934

With the SA out of the way, Heydrich began building the Gestapo
Gestapo
into an instrument of fear. He improved his index-card system, creating categories of offenders with colour-coded cards. The Gestapo
Gestapo
had the authority to arrest citizens on the suspicion that they might commit a crime, and the definition of a crime was at their discretion. The Gestapo
Gestapo
Law, passed in 1936, gave police the right to act extra-legally. This led to the sweeping use of Schutzhaft —"protective custody", a euphemism for the power to imprison people without judicial proceedings. The courts were not allowed to investigate or interfere. The Gestapo
Gestapo
was considered to be acting legally as long as it was carrying out the leadership's will. People were arrested arbitrarily, sent to concentration camps, or killed.

Himmler began developing the notion of a Germanic religion and wanted SS members to leave the church. In early 1936, Heydrich left the Catholic Church. His wife, Lina, had already done so the year before. Heydrich not only felt he could no longer be a member, but came to consider the church's political power and influence a danger to the state.

CONSOLIDATING THE POLICE FORCES

Seyß-Inquart , Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
, and Heydrich in Vienna, March 1938

On 17 June 1936 all police forces throughout Germany were united, following Hitler's appointment of Himmler as Chief of German Police. With this appointment by the Führer, Himmler and his deputy, Heydrich, became two of the most powerful men in the internal administration of Germany. Himmler immediately reorganised the police into two groups: the Ordnungspolizei (Order Police; Orpo), consisting of both the national uniformed police and the municipal police, and the Sicherheitspolizei (Security Police; SiPo), consisting of the Geheime StaatsPolizei (Secret State Police; Gestapo) and Kriminalpolizei (Criminal Police; Kripo ). At that point, Heydrich was head of the SiPo and SD. Heinrich Müller was the Gestapo's operations chief.

Heydrich was assigned to help organise the 1936 Summer Olympics
1936 Summer Olympics
in Berlin. The games were used to promote the propaganda aims of the Nazi regime. Goodwill ambassadors were sent to countries that were considering a boycott. Anti-Jewish violence was forbidden for the duration, and news stands were required to stop displaying copies of Der Stürmer . For his part in the games' success, Heydrich was awarded the Deutsches Olympiaehrenzeichen or German Olympic Games Decoration (First Class).

In January 1937 Heydrich directed the SD to secretly begin collecting and analysing public opinion and report back their findings. He then had the Gestapo
Gestapo
carry out house searches, arrests, and interrogations, thus in effect exercising control over public opinion. In February 1938 when the Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg
Kurt Schuschnigg
resisted Hitler's proposed merger with Germany, Heydrich intensified the pressure on Austria
Austria
by organising Nazi demonstrations and distributing propaganda in Vienna stressing the common Germanic blood of the two countries. In the Anschluss
Anschluss
on 12 March, Hitler declared the unification of Austria
Austria
with Nazi Germany.

In mid-1939 Heydrich created the Stiftung Nordhav Foundation to obtain real estate for the SS and Security Police to use as guest houses and vacation spots. The Wannsee Villa, which the Stiftung Nordhav acquired in November 1940, was the site of the Wannsee Conference (20 January 1942). At the conference, senior Nazi officials formalised plans to deport and exterminate all Jews in German-occupied territory and those countries not yet conquered. This action was to be coordinated among the representatives from the Nazi state agencies present at the meeting.

On 27 September 1939 the SD and SiPo (made up of the Gestapo
Gestapo
and the Kripo) were folded into the new Reich Main Security Office or Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), which was placed under Heydrich's control. The title of Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (Chief of Security Police and SD) or CSSD was conferred on Heydrich on 1 October. Heydrich became the president of the ICPC (later known as Interpol
Interpol
) on 24 August 1940, and its headquarters were transferred to Berlin. He was promoted to SS- Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
und General der Polizei on 24 September 1941.

RED ARMY PURGES

In 1936, Heydrich learned that a top-ranking Soviet officer was plotting to overthrow Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
. Sensing an opportunity to strike a blow at both the Soviet Army and Admiral Canaris of Germany's Abwehr , Heydrich decided that the Russian officers should be "unmasked". He discussed the matter with Himmler and both in turn brought it to Hitler's attention. But the "information" Heydrich had received was actually misinformation planted by Stalin himself in an attempt to legitimise his planned purges of the Red Army
Red Army
's high command. Stalin ordered one of his best NKVD
NKVD
agents, General Nikolai Skoblin , to pass Heydrich false information suggesting that Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky and other Soviet generals were plotting against Stalin. Hitler approved Heydrich's plan to act on the information immediately. Heydrich's SD forged documents and letters implicated Tukhachevsky and other Red Army
Red Army
commanders. The material was delivered to the NKVD. The Great Purge
Great Purge
of the Red Army
Red Army
followed on Stalin's orders. While Heydrich believed they had successfully deluded Stalin into executing or dismissing 35,000 of his officer corps, the importance of Heydrich's part is a matter of speculation and conjecture. Soviet military prosecutors did not use the forged documents against the generals in their secret trial; they instead relied on false confessions extorted or beaten out of the defendants.

NIGHT-AND-FOG DECREE

Commemorative plaque of the French victims of the Night-and-Fog Decree at Hinzert concentration camp

By late 1940, German armies had swept through most of Western Europe. The following year, Heydrich's SD was given responsibility for carrying out the Nacht und Nebel
Nacht und Nebel
(Night-and-Fog) decree. According to the decree, "persons endangering German security" were to be arrested in a maximally discreet way: "under the cover of night and fog". People disappeared without a trace and none told of their whereabouts or fate. For each prisoner, the SD had to fill in a questionnaire that listed personal information, country of origin, and the details of their crimes against the Reich. This questionnaire was placed in an envelope inscribed with a seal reading "Nacht und Nebel" and submitted to the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). In the WVHA "Central Inmate File", as in many camp files, these prisoners would be given a special "covert prisoner" code, as opposed to the code for POW, Felon, Jew, Gypsy, etc. The decree remained in effect after Heydrich's death. The exact number of people who vanished under it has never been positively established, but it is estimated to be 7,000.

ACTING REICH PROTECTOR OF BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA

Further information: Resistance in German-occupied Czechoslovakia Heydrich (left) with Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank
at Prague
Prague
Castle in 1941

On 27 September 1941, Heydrich was appointed Deputy Reich Protector of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
(the part of Czechoslovakia incorporated into the Reich on 15 March 1939) and assumed control of the territory. The Reich Protector, Konstantin von Neurath , remained the territory's titular head, but was sent on "leave" because Hitler, Himmler, and Heydrich felt his "soft approach" to the Czechs had promoted anti-German sentiment and encouraged anti-German resistance via strikes and sabotage. Upon his appointment, Heydrich told his aides: "We will Germanize the Czech vermin."

Heydrich came to Prague
Prague
to enforce policy, fight resistance to the Nazi regime, and keep up production quotas of Czech motors and arms that were "extremely important to the German war effort". He viewed the area as a bulwark of Germandom and condemned the Czech resistance's "stabs in the back". To realise his goals Heydrich demanded racial classification of those who could and could not be Germanized . He explained, "Making this Czech garbage into Germans must give way to methods based on racist thought." Heydrich started his rule by terrorising the population: 92 people were executed within three days of his arrival in Prague. Their names appeared on posters throughout the occupied region. Almost all avenues by which Czechs could express the Czech culture in public were closed. According to Heydrich's estimate, between 4,000 and 5,000 people were arrested by February 1942. Those who were not executed were sent to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
, where only four per cent of Czech prisoners survived the war. In March 1942, further sweeps against Czech cultural and patriotic organisations, the military, and the intelligentsia resulted in the practical paralysis of Czech resistance. Although small disorganised cells of Central Leadership of Home Resistance (Ústřední vedení odboje domácího, ÚVOD) survived, only the communist resistance was able to function in a coordinated manner (although it also suffered arrests). The terror also served to paralyse resistance in society, with public and widespread reprisals against any action resisting the German rule. Heydrich's brutal policies during that time quickly earned him the nickname "the Butcher of Prague".

Excerpt from a speech by Reinhard Heydrich
Reinhard Heydrich
in 1941 -------------------------

Problems playing this file? See media help .

As Acting Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, Heydrich applied carrot-and-stick methods. Labour was reorganised on the basis of the German Labour Front . Heydrich used equipment confiscated from the Czech organisation Sokol to organise events for workers. Food rations and free shoes were distributed, pensions were increased, and (for a time) free Saturdays were introduced. Unemployment insurance
Unemployment insurance
was established for the first time. The black market was suppressed. Those associated with it or the resistance movement were tortured or executed. Heydrich labelled them "economic criminals" and "enemies of the people", which helped gain him support. Conditions in Prague
Prague
and the rest of the Czech lands were relatively peaceful under Heydrich, and industrial output increased. Still, those measures could not hide shortages and increasing inflation; reports of growing discontent multiplied.

Despite public displays of goodwill towards the populace, privately Heydrich left no illusions about his eventual goal: "This entire area will one day be definitely German, and the Czechs have nothing to expect here." Eventually up to two-thirds of the populace were to be either removed to regions of Russia or exterminated after Nazi Germany won the war. Bohemia and Moravia faced annexation directly into the German Reich.

The Czech workforce was exploited as Nazi-conscripted labour. More than 100,000 workers were removed from "unsuitable" jobs and conscripted by the Ministry of Labour. By December 1941, Czechs could be called to work anywhere within the Reich. Between April and November 1942, 79,000 Czech workers were taken in this manner for work within Nazi Germany. Also, in February 1942, the work day was increased from eight to twelve hours.

Heydrich was, for all intents and purposes, military dictator of Bohemia and Moravia. His changes to the government's structure left President Emil Hacha and his cabinet virtually powerless. He often drove alone in a car with an open roof—a show of his confidence in the occupation forces and in his government's effectiveness.

ROLE IN THE HOLOCAUST

1938 telegram giving orders during Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht
, signed by Heydrich July 1941 letter from Göring to Heydrich concerning the Final Solution
Final Solution
of the Jewish question

Historians regard Heydrich as the most fearsome member of the Nazi elite. Hitler called him "the man with the iron heart". He was one of the main architects of the Holocaust
Holocaust
during the early war years, answering only to, and taking orders from, Hitler, Göring, and Himmler in all matters pertaining to the deportation, imprisonment, and extermination of Jews.

Heydrich was one of the organisers of Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht
, a pogrom against Jews throughout Germany on the night of 9–10 November 1938. Heydrich sent a telegram that night to various SD and Gestapo
Gestapo
offices, helping to co-ordinate the pogrom with the SS, SD, Gestapo, uniformed police (Orpo), SA, Nazi party officials, and even the fire departments. It talks about permitting arson and destroying Jewish businesses and synagogues, and orders the confiscation of all "archival material" out of Jewish community centres and synagogues. The telegram ordered that "as many Jews – particularly affluent Jews – are to be arrested in all districts as can be accommodated in existing detention facilities ... Immediately after the arrests have been carried out, the appropriate concentration camps should be contacted to place the Jews into camps as quickly as possible." Twenty thousand Jews were sent to concentration camps in the days immediately following; historians consider Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht
the beginning of the Holocaust.

When Hitler asked for a pretext for the invasion of Poland in 1939, Himmler, Heydrich, and Heinrich Müller masterminded a false flag plan code-named Operation Himmler . It involved a fake attack on the German radio station at Gleiwitz on 31 August 1939. Heydrich masterminded the plan and toured the site, which was about four miles from the Polish border. Wearing Polish uniforms, 150 German troops carried out several attacks along the border. Hitler used the ruse as an excuse to launch his invasion.

On Himmler's instructions, Heydrich formed the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
(task forces) to travel in the wake of the German armies at the start of World War II. On 21 September 1939, Heydrich sent out a teleprinter message on the " Jewish question in the occupied territory" to the chiefs of all Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
with instructions to round up Jewish people for placement into ghettos, called for the formation of Judenräte (Jewish councils), ordered a census, and promoted Aryanization plans for Jewish-owned businesses and farms, among other measures. The Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
units followed the army into Poland to implement the plans. Later, in the Soviet Union, they were charged with rounding up and killing Jews via firing squad and gas vans. Historian Raul Hilberg estimates that between 1941 and 1945 the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
and related auxiliary troops killed more than two million people, including 1.3 million Jews. Heydrich, however, moved to ensure the safety and well-being of certain Jews, such as Paul Sommer, the former German champion fencer he knew from his pre-SS days. He also protected the Polish Olympic fencing team that competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

"... the planned total measures are to be kept strictly secret ... the first prerequisite for the final aim ("Endziel") is the concentration of the Jews from the countryside into the larger cities." – Heydrich, September 1939

"By order of the Reichsführer-SS
Reichsführer-SS
, residency without possession of an identification card is punishable by death" – Heydrich, November 1939

On 29 November 1939, Heydrich issued a cable about the "Evacuation of New Eastern Provinces", detailing the deportation of people by railway to concentration camps, and giving guidance surrounding the December 1939 census, which would be the basis on which those deportations were performed. In May 1941 Heydrich drew up regulations with Quartermaster general Eduard Wagner for the upcoming invasion of the Soviet Union , which ensured that the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
and army would co-operate in murdering Soviet Jews.

On 10 October 1941, Heydrich was the senior officer at a "Final Solution" meeting of the RSHA in Prague
Prague
that discussed deporting 50,000 Jews from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
to ghettos in Minsk and Riga . Given his position, Heydrich was instrumental in carrying out these plans since his Gestapo
Gestapo
was ready to organise deportations in the West and his Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
were already conducting extensive killing operations in the East. The officers attending also discussed taking 5,000 Jews from Prague
Prague
"in the next few weeks" and handing them over to the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
commanders Arthur Nebe
Arthur Nebe
and Otto Rasch
Otto Rasch
. Establishing ghettos in the Protectorate was also planned, resulting in the construction of Theresienstadt
Theresienstadt
, where 33,000 people would eventually die. Tens of thousands more passed through the camp on their way to their deaths in the East. In 1941 Himmler named Heydrich as "responsible for implementing" the forced movement of 60,000 Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
to the Lodz (Litzmannstadt) Ghetto in Poland.

Earlier on 31 July 1941, Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
gave written authorisation to Heydrich to ensure the co-operation of administrative leaders of various government departments in the implementation of a Endlösung der Judenfrage ( Final Solution
Final Solution
to the Jewish question ) in territories under German control. On 20 January 1942, Heydrich chaired a meeting, now called the Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
, to discuss the implementation of the plan. Historian Donald Bloxham avows that for all the discussion over perpetrators in the Final Solution, Heydrich "barely spared a hateful thought for the Jews" and instead concentrated his efforts on the scale of his "supranational task".

ASSASSINATION

DEATH IN PRAGUE

Main article: Operation Anthropoid
Operation Anthropoid
The Mercedes-Benz 320 Convertible B in which Heydrich was mortally wounded

In London, the Czechoslovak government-in-exile
Czechoslovak government-in-exile
resolved to kill Heydrich. Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík headed the team chosen for the operation. Trained by the British Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
(SOE), the pair returned to the Protectorate, parachuting from a Handley Page Halifax , on 28 December 1941. They lived in hiding, preparing for the assassination attempt.

On 27 May 1942, Heydrich planned to meet Hitler in Berlin. German documents suggest that Hitler intended to transfer Heydrich to German-occupied France , where the French resistance
French resistance
was gaining ground. Heydrich would have to pass a section where the Dresden- Prague
Prague
road merges with a road to the Troja Bridge. The junction, in the Prague
Prague
suburb of Libeň , was well suited for the attack because motorists have to slow for a hairpin bend. As Heydrich's car slowed, Gabčík took aim with a Sten
Sten
submachine gun , but it jammed and failed to fire. Instead of ordering his driver to speed away, Heydrich called his car to halt and attempted to confront the attackers. Kubiš then threw a bomb (a converted anti-tank mine) at the rear of the car as it stopped. The explosion wounded both Heydrich and Kubiš.

When the smoke cleared, Heydrich emerged from the wreckage with his gun in his hand; he chased Kubiš and tried to return fire. Kubiš jumped on his bicycle and pedaled away. Heydrich ran after him for half a block but became weak from shock and collapsed. He sent his driver, Klein, to chase Gabčík on foot. In the ensuing firefight, Gabčík shot Klein in the leg and escaped to a local safe house . Heydrich, still with pistol in hand, gripped his left flank, which was bleeding profusely.

A Czech woman went to Heydrich's aid and flagged down a delivery van. He was first placed in the driver's cab, but complained the van's movement was causing him pain. He was placed in the back of the van, on his stomach, and taken to the emergency room at Bulovka Hospital . He had suffered severe injuries to his left side, with major damage to his diaphragm , spleen , and one of his lungs . He also had a fractured rib. A doctor, Slanina, packed the chest wound, while another doctor, Walter Diek, tried unsuccessfully to remove the splinters. He immediately decided to operate. This was carried out by Diek, Slanina, and Hohlbaum. Heydrich was given several blood transfusions. A splenectomy was performed. The chest wound, left lung, and diaphragm were all debrided and the wounds closed.

Himmler ordered another doctor, Karl Gebhardt
Karl Gebhardt
, to fly to Prague
Prague
to assume care. Despite a fever, Heydrich's recovery appeared to progress well. Theodor Morell , Hitler's personal doctor, suggested the use of sulfonamide (a new antibacterial drug), but Gebhardt, thinking Heydrich would recover, declined the suggestion. On 2 June, during a visit by Himmler, Heydrich reconciled himself to his fate by reciting a part of one of his father's operas:

The world is just a barrel-organ which the Lord God turns Himself. We all have to dance to the tune which is already on the drum. Bullet-scarred window in the Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Prague, where Kubiš and his compatriots were cornered

Heydrich slipped into a coma after Himmler's visit and never regained consciousness. He died on 4 June; an autopsy concluded he died of sepsis .

FUNERAL

After an elaborate funeral held in Prague
Prague
on 7 June 1942, Heydrich's coffin was placed on a train to Berlin, where a second ceremony was held in the new Reich Chancellery
Reich Chancellery
on 9 June. Himmler gave the eulogy. Hitler attended and placed Heydrich's decorations—including the highest grade of the German Order , the Blood Order Medal, the Wound Badge in Gold, and the War Merit Cross
War Merit Cross
1st Class with Swords—on his funeral pillow. Although Heydrich's death was employed for pro-Reich propaganda, Hitler privately blamed Heydrich for his own death, through carelessness: Postage stamp (1943) features the death mask of Heydrich

Since it is opportunity which makes not only the thief but also the assassin, such heroic gestures as driving in an open, unarmoured vehicle or walking about the streets unguarded are just damned stupidity, which serves the Fatherland
Fatherland
not one whit. That a man as irreplaceable as Heydrich should expose himself to unnecessary danger, I can only condemn as stupid and idiotic.

Heydrich was interred in Berlin's Invalidenfriedhof , a military cemetery. The exact burial spot is not known—a temporary wooden marker that disappeared when the Red Army
Red Army
overran the city in 1945 was never replaced, so that Heydrich's grave could not become a rallying point for Neo-Nazis . A photograph of Heydrich's burial shows the wreaths and mourners to be in section A, which abuts the north wall of the Invalidenfriedhof and Scharnhorststraße, at the front of the cemetery. A recent biography of Heydrich also places the grave in Section A. Hitler planned for Heydrich to have a monumental tomb (designed by sculptor Arno Breker and architect Wilhelm Kreis
Wilhelm Kreis
) but, due to Germany's declining fortunes, it was never built.

Heydrich's widow Lina won the right to a pension following a series of court cases against the West German
West German
government in 1956 and 1959. She was declared entitled to a substantial pension as her husband was a German general killed in action. The government had previously declined to pay due to Heydrich's role in the Holocaust. The couple had four children: Klaus, born in 1933, killed in a traffic accident in 1943; Heider, born in 1934; Silke, born in 1939; and Marte, born shortly after her father's death in 1942. Lina wrote a memoir, Leben mit einem Kriegsverbrecher (Living With a War Criminal), which was published in 1976. She remarried once and died in 1985.

AFTERMATH

Main article: Lidice
Lidice
massacre The massacre at Lidice
Lidice

Heydrich's assailants hid in safe houses and eventually took refuge in Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral , an Orthodox church in Prague. After a traitor in the Czech resistance betrayed their location, the church was surrounded by 800 members of the SS and Gestapo. Several Czechs were killed, and the remainder hid in the church's crypt. The Germans attempted to flush the men out with gunfire, tear gas, and by flooding the crypt. Eventually an entrance was made using explosives. Rather than surrender, the soldiers killed themselves. Supporters of the assassins who were killed in the wake of these events included the church's leader, Bishop Gorazd , who is now revered as a martyr of the Orthodox Church.

Infuriated by Heydrich's death, Hitler ordered the arrest and execution of 10,000 randomly selected Czechs. But after consultations with Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank
, he altered his response. The Czech lands were an important industrial zone for the German military, and indiscriminate killing could reduce the region's productivity. Hitler ordered a quick investigation. Intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the towns of Lidice
Lidice
and Ležáky
Ležáky
. A Gestapo
Gestapo
report stated that Lidice, 22 kilometres (14 mi) north-west of Prague, was suspected as the assailants' hiding place because several Czech army officers, then in England, had come from there and the Gestapo
Gestapo
found a resistance radio transmitter in Ležáky. On 9 June, after discussions with Himmler and Karl Hermann Frank, Hitler ordered brutal reprisals. Over 13,000 people were arrested, deported , and imprisoned. Beginning on 10 June, all males over the age of 16 in the villages of Lidice
Lidice
and Ležáky
Ležáky
were murdered. All the women in Ležáky
Ležáky
were also murdered.

All but four of the women from Lidice
Lidice
were deported immediately to Ravensbrück
Ravensbrück
concentration camp (four were pregnant – their unborn babies were forcibly aborted at the same hospital where Heydrich had died and the women were then sent to the concentration camp). Some children were chosen for Germanization
Germanization
, and 81 were killed in gas vans at the Chełmno extermination camp
Chełmno extermination camp
. Both towns were burned and Lidice's ruins were levelled. At least 1,300 people were massacred after Heydrich's death.

Heydrich's replacements were Ernst Kaltenbrunner
Ernst Kaltenbrunner
as the chief of RSHA , and Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank
(27–28 May 1942) and Kurt Daluege (28 May 1942 – 14 October 1943) as the new acting Reichsprotektors . After Heydrich's death, implementation of the policies formalised at the Wannsee conference he chaired was accelerated. The first three true death camps , designed for mass killing with no legal process or pretext, were built and operated at Treblinka , Sobibór , and Bełżec . The project was named Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
after Heydrich.

SUMMARY OF CAREER

Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
, Heydrich and Karl Wolff
Karl Wolff
at the Berghof . Silent color film shot by Eva Braun
Eva Braun
, May 1939

Heydrich's career in the SS is one of the most extensively studied of any SS general, with several dramatic portrayals depicting Heydrich at various stages during his ascent to power in the SS. His leadership style was to use fear to extract obedience and respect. He was a serious person, never friendly or jovial, who cultivated a soldierly demeanor. He exercised daily and took meticulous care of his appearance, and expected his subordinates to do the same. He had few close friends, and was highly suspicious, distrusting most of the other senior SS officers. Himmler was an exception; to him Heydrich offered blind obedience and was seen as a "true SS man" for his devotion. Himmler's own motivations for trusting Heydrich lay partly in Heydrich's lack of interest in taking Himmler's place (a view Heydrich told Himmler and others on several occasions).

Heydrich developed close professional relationships only within the circle of the SS security forces. Heinrich Müller was one such example, and Heydrich appears to have trusted him. Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann
's straightforward loyalty impressed Heydrich, and was one reason why he appointed him as secretary for the Wannsee Conference. Herbert Kappler , who was appointed as commander of all SS security forces in Rome, was said to have been a protégé of Heydrich. SS personnel favoured by Heydrich, especially those who attended the Wannsee conference, possessed similar traits of devotion to SS, lack of remorse regarding brutal or genocidal orders, and above all personal loyalty to Heydrich in his capacity as commander of the security forces. On the other hand, Heydrich's dislike and distrust of Arthur Nebe
Arthur Nebe
and Walter Schellenberg may have stemmed from their independence and ambition.

Heydrich was said to despise the Concentration Camp service and held a particular derision for Theodor Eicke
Theodor Eicke
, whom he referred to as an "ambitious dwarf". Heydrich had little to do with and did not trust Oswald Pohl
Oswald Pohl
. He characterised Rudolf Höss , commander of Auschwitz
Auschwitz
, as an uneducated thug. Within upper SS administration, Heydrich was friendly towards Karl Wolff
Karl Wolff
. Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
and Heydrich, listening to Konrad Meyer at a Generalplan Ost
Generalplan Ost
exhibition (Hitler's genocidal plans against Poles
Poles
and other Slavs
Slavs
), 20 March 1941

In later years, Wolff said he was always wary of Heydrich, who seemed to be waiting for an opportunity to move against him and disgrace him with Himmler. Within the Allgemeine-SS , Heydrich forged relationships with some of the more powerful SS and Police Leaders such as Friedrich Jeckeln . Heydrich maintained a dialogue with him, but cautiously, especially after Jeckeln ran afoul of Himmler in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The security and police officials selected to run the camps of Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
were among Heydrich's closest professional contacts. Heydrich was said to be on particularly good terms with Odilo Globocnik and Christian Wirth . In his other realm of responsibility, that of governor of the Czech Protectorate, Heydrich behaved coldly towards Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank
, whom he did not know well or trust.

SS RECORD

Main article: Service record of Reinhard Heydrich

Heydrich's time in the SS was a mixture of rapid promotions, reserve commissions in the regular armed forces, and front-line combat service. During his 11 years with the SS Heydrich "rose from the ranks" and was appointed to every rank from private to full general. He was also a major in the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
, flying nearly 100 combat missions until 22 July 1941, when his plane was hit by Soviet anti-aircraft fire. Heydrich made an emergency landing behind enemy lines. He evaded a Soviet patrol and contacted a forward German patrol. After this Hitler personally ordered Heydrich to return to Berlin to resume his SS duties. His service record also gives him credit as a Navy Reserve Lieutenant, although during World War II Heydrich had no contact with this military branch.

Heydrich received a number of Nazi and military awards, including the German Order , Blood Order , Golden Party Badge
Golden Party Badge
, Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Pilot\'s Badge , bronze and silver combat mission bars, and the Iron Cross First and Second Classes.

SEE ALSO

* Biography portal * Fascism portal * Military of Germany portal * World War II
World War II
portal * Glossary of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
* List of Nazi Party
Nazi Party
leaders and officials * List of rulers of the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia * List of SS personnel

FOOTNOTES

* ^ He joined the SS in Hamburg on 14 July 1931. * ^ For the coding of prisoners, see IBM and the Holocaust
Holocaust
by Edwin Black, pp 355 and 362. Black references the "Administration of German Concentration Camps", 9 July 1945, PRO FO 371/46979 (Public Record Office, London), as well as "Decoding Key for Concentration Camp Card Index Files", n.d. NARG242/338 T-1021 Roll 5, JAG (National Archives, College Park); and in the last source Frame 99 is mentioned. * ^ A B The telegram is evidence number PS-3363 from the Oswald Pohl case at the Nuremberg Trials. A translation of the text is available at yadvashem.org. * ^ This description of the meeting was employed by Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg in The Destruction of the European Jews . Hilberg 1985 , p. 164.

REFERENCES

CITATIONS

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Reinhard Heydrich
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* McNab, Chris (2009). The SS: 1923–1945. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-906626-48-8 . * Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. 1996. ISBN 0-87779-709-9 . * Paces, Cynthia (2009). Prague
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Panoramas: National Memory and Sacred Space in the Twentieth Century. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 978-0-8229-6035-5 . * Ramen, Fred (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: Hangman of the Third Reich. New York: Rosen. ISBN 978-0-8239-3379-2 . * Rhodes, Richard (2002). Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-375-70822-7 . * Schellenberg, Walter (2000). The Labyrinth: Memoirs of Walter Schellenberg, Hitler's Chief of Counterintelligence. Boulder, CO: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80927-9 . * Sereny, Gitta (1996) . Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth. New York: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-679-76812-8 . * Shirer, William L. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
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. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-62420-0 . * Snyder, Louis (1994) . Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-1-56924-917-8 . * Waite, Robert George Leeson (1969) . Vanguard of Nazism: The Free Corps Movement in Postwar Germany, 1918–1923. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-00181-5 . * Weale, Adrian (2010). The SS: A New History. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-1408703045 . * Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography, Volume 1—Road To War. Church Stretton: Ulric Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9537577-5-6 . * Williams, Max (2003). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography, Volume 2—Enigma. Church Stretton: Ulric Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9537577-6-3 . * Yerger, Mark C. (1997). Allgemeine-SS: The Commands, Units, and Leaders of the General SS. Atglen, PA: Schiffer. ISBN 978-0-7643-0145-2 .

FURTHER READING

* Aronson, Shlomo (1984) . Reinhard Heydrich
Reinhard Heydrich
und die Frühgeschichte von Gestapo
Gestapo
und SD. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. ISBN 978-3-421-01569-3 . * Fest, Joachim (1999) . The Face of the Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi Leadership. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80915-6 .

* Graber, G. S. (1996) . The History of the SS. London: Robert Hale. ISBN 978-0-7090-5880-9 . * Graber, G. S. (1980). The Life and Times of Reinhard Heydrich. Philadelphia: David McKay. ISBN 978-0-679-51181-6 . * Heydrich, Lina (1976). Leben mit einem Kriegsverbrecher . Pfaffenhofen: Ludwig Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7787-1025-8 . * Reitlinger, Gerald (1989) . The SS: Alibi of a Nation 1922–1945. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80351-2 . * Schellenberg, Walter (2000) . The Labyrinth: Memoirs of Walter Schellenberg, Hitler's Chief of Counterintelligence. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80927-9 . * Schreiber, Carsten (2008). Elite im Verborgenen. Ideologie und regionale Herrschaftspraxis des Sicherheitsdienstes der SS und seines Netzwerks am Beispiel Sachsens. Studien zur Zeitgeschichte; Bd. 77 (in German). München: Oldenbourg. ISBN 978-3-486-58543-8 . * Wiener, Jan G. (1969). The Assassination of Heydrich. New York: Grossman Publishers. OCLC
OCLC
247895 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

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* Documents concerning the Wannsee Conference, Wannsee House

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