Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich ( 7 March 1904 in Halle (Saale); June 4, 1942 in Prague) was a German SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Police, head of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) and Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. He is also a martyr of the National-Socialist movement.
Childhood and youth
Reinhard Heydrich was born on March 7, 1904 in Halle an der Saale. He was the son of Richard Bruno Heydrich, a composer and Elisabeth Anna Amalia Krantz. The father was at the time of his birth, director of a music school. Reinhard attended the reform-secondary school, which was located at the Hedwigstraße in Halle an der Saale. Even as a student he was a very well read. He studied for the written in the French language book “Histoire de la civilization” by Charles Seignobos during his school days and discussed the contents with his friend Erich Schultze.
In the Navy
After completing his Abitur, Reinhard Heydrich joined the service as a midshipman in the Navy in Kiel-Holtenau. The influence of the famous “sea devil” Graf Luckner, who was often guest at the family Heydrich, had played a role in Heydrich’s choice for a career with the navy for sure.
He began his service with the Crew 22. After a training period of four and a half years, he was promoted on 1st October 1926. Ensign and trained for a liaison officer. 1928 was he promoted to Lieutenant. According to information from the later vice-admiral Kleikamp was Heydrich a man who was above the average of its investments, his knowledge and his ability.
Nothing, it seemed, stood a successful career in the Navy in the way. However, it was not to be. On December 6, 1930 First Lieutenant Heydrich met the eighteen-year-old Lina von Osten.
She came from the Baltic island of Fehmarn, where her father was a schoolmaster. On the second day 1930 the couple became engaged. Heydrich sent also his engagement card to a former girlfriend. She was the daughter of an influential businessman. This mister demanded from Heydrich that he married his daughter – who would like to have seen himself as Heydrich’s fiancée. When he refused this, the father complained to Admiral Raeder.
The result was that Heydrich was compelled to appear before a naval court of honor. Due to an authored opinion by this court of honor Admiral Raeder decided that the Lieutenant Reinhard Heydrich should be dismissed from the Navy.
It may be called remarkable that one has never found a written record of the court of honor-described method. Heydrich was convinced that he had been discharged from the Navy because of political reasons.
Rise in the SS
Through contacts with the later SS-Obergruppenführer Karl von Eberstein came Heydrich with Heinrich Himmler in conjunction, which was in January 1929 become Reichsführer of the SS. Himmler was just looking for a capable man to build an intelligence service of the SS. He gave Heydrich twenty minutes to put on paper how he would take up such a task. Heydrich wrote down his ideas, sketched a suitable organization structure and submitted the result before the Reichsführer. This was very impressed and decided to immediately discontinue with Heydrich. Heydrich who had already occurred on 1 June 1931 in the NSDAP, was on 14th July member of the SS in Hamburg. He was now SS storm man (SS-Sturmmann) with the SS number 10120 on 26th December, 1931, the marriage between Reinhard Heydrich and Lina von Osten took place in the village church of Grossenbrode. Heydrich now started to build up an intelligence service. This was known during the initial period under the name “Division Ic” (Abteilung Ic). The end of 1931 two rooms were rented on the fourth floor of the Munich Türkenstraße 23 for the “SS-Ic”.
This was the home of the party member and widow Viktoria Edrich. She was a particularly reliable and a loyal National-Socialist. In her wardrobe, the blood flag was kept during the time of the SA and SS ban, which had been carried before the march to the Feldherrenhalle on 9 November 1923. Heydrich had now the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer. On 25 December 1931 was he SS-Sturmbannführer and on July 29, 1932 SS-Standartenführer and head of the Security Service of the Reichsführer-SS. The name of the service was now Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst) (SD).
In September 1932, both the SD and Heydrich performed even in a small villa in the Munich Zuccalistraße 4. Heydrich was named as head of the Security Service “C”; his office “Central Office of the SD” (Zentrale Dienststelle des SD). In June 1931 Heydrich’s first son Klaus was born. The year of the takeover of power in 1933, brought the rank of SS-Brigadeführer.
The SD now had its seat in Munich in the Wittelsbacher Palais in Briennerstraße. On November 9, 1933, the SD has its own SS office. In November and December, 1934, the SD from Bavaria settled in the Reich capital. In Berlin’s Wilhelmstraße 102 he moved into a new office building. On June 17, 1936, Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the Security Police (Chef der Sicherheitspolizei) and the SD. On 27 September 1939, the Reich Security Main Office was – RSHA with Heydrich as his boss. In 1940 he was also elected President of the International Criminal Police Commission (Internationalen Kriminalpolizeilichen Kommission).
At the beginning of the German campaign in the West, Heydrich passed his examination as a fighter pilot and was pilot of a Me 109 during the Norway campaign, he flew from Stavanger with a Me 110 several reconnaissance flights over England and Scotland. For his heroic action he was awarded the bronze Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe(Frontflugspange) and the Iron Cross, Second Class. In mid-May 1940, he returned to Berlin. On January 1, 1941, he was head of the Reich Office fencing in the National-Socialist Reich Federation for Physical Education. During the Russian campaign, Heydrich flew as a fighter pilot in southern Russia and was awarded the silver Front Flying Clasp and the Iron Cross First Class.
On September 23, 1941 Adolf Hitler relieved the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, Constantin von Neurath, his office and appointed with effect from September 2, 1941 Reinhard Heydrich as the Deputy Reich Protector. Likewise, he was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer. The Führer relied on Heydrich, would ensure, in cooperation with the from the Sudetenland Secretary Karl Hermann Frank, ensure that the protectorate government worked harmoniously with the Reich.
In Prague, Heydrich took over his new position during an official meeting at the Prague Castle, Hradčany (Hradschin). With his wife and children, he lived in the castle Panenské Břežany (Jungfern-Breschan), situated twenty kilometers away from Prague. Contrary to the untruths that are very common nowadays, the measures taken by Heydrich in the Protectorate were positively received. So distributed to, inter alia, two hundred thousand pairs of shoes and tobacco rations for the workers were increased. Also he had plans to connect the city of Prague with the help of the German highway system with the Reich.
In addition to the office as Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich was still the head of the Reich Security Main Office. It was this function in which he is said to have chaired a conference on 20 January 1942, which took place in the villa m Großen Wannsee 56/58 in Berlin. The Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring had authorized Heydrich to make preparations in terms of the solution of the Jewish question.
Unlike as the publicists say since the post-war period, the goal of National-Socialist Germany was not the physical extermination of the Jewish people, but the combat experienced as a burden in all of the national community Jewish influence. Already in the thirties German government departments had taken initiatives to work with Jewish organizations to promote the emigration of Jewish citizens in cooperation. Examples would be here the “Haavara Agreement” and the “Rublee Wohlthat Agreement”. For a detailed discussion of the terms above mentioned one should read the book written by Ingrid Weckert “emigration of Jews from the Third Reich”. Especially the SS believed in a policy which pursued the emigration of Jews. It was the aftermath of the war – which was not caused by Germany – attributable to that emigration could be carried out only to a lesser extent. During the war the decision was taken to evacuate the Jews to labor settlements in the East. Important to know is in this context that world Jewry had declared war on Germany in March 1933. The introduction of measures that should lead to the evacuation of the Jews from Europe, was the theme of the Wannsee Conference.
(Upper photo) The car in which Heydrich was traveling
Meanwhile, the remaining in London and look at himself as a President in exile Eduard Benesch had developed plans to make an assassination on the Reich Protector Heydrich. The order was given to two non-commissioned officers of the former army of Czechoslovakia: Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcic. Along with some others they jumped off parachuted into the protectorate on 28 December 1941. During the following months they hid underground and spent their time trying to get an idea of the habits of Heydrich. In connection with the increase of the operated by London and funded terrorist activities on behalf of Belgium and France Heydrich should be appointed – he had created again in the protectorate through his approach – the head of the civil administration of Belgium and North France and protector of Vichy France.
On 27 May 1942 he would leave by plane to Berlin for a meeting with the Führer. The assassins had meanwhile found that the best place for an assassination attempt a hairpin bend in Prague district Holeschowitz was, because there Heydrich’s car had to drive slower. On May 27, 1942 at 10:00 clock Heydrich had departed from castle Panenské Břežany; at 10.30 clock he came in his dark green Mercedes with closed roof, which was driven by SS-Oberscharführer Klein, at the point where the assassins were waiting for him. One of the murderers, Gabcic, set up a Sten Gun machine gun on Heydrich and pulled through. Nothing happened, no shot, because the bombers had forgotten to disengage the safety. Heydrich now drew his pistol and fired at Gabcic. In the moment when he and his driver wanted to jump out of the car, threw the second murderer, Kubis, a build from a specific bomb grenade with high explosive power that exploded near the right rear wheel of the car. Heydrich was seriously wounded by fragments but fired a few shots at Kubis. Then he collapsed. A Czech lady took care of him and he was taken to the Bulovka Hospital. There, both Czech and German doctors tried for a week to save his life. On the morning of June 4, 1942 Reinhard Heydrich died.
The hand grenades No. 37 used in the assassination were infected by the British Secret Service with botulinum pathogen that produces the strongest bacterial poison botulinum toxin. The wounded Heydrich died as a result of this infection.
Since the Nuremberg trials, the retaliatory action in the Czech Lidice for the murder of Heydrich is untruthfully accused the Waffen-SS. But the fact is that no unit of the Waffen-SS was involved in the action, but that the shootings were carried out by a unit of the Czech protectorate gendarmerie. In a company of police had sealed off the place on 9 June 1942 for the execution of the 173 men. The army reserve battalion 480 was deployed to the perimeter security. After the found evidence that retaliation was international law and war legally entitled; the women and children had been evacuated earlier from the village of Lidice.
The coffin containing the remains of the Reich Protector was laid out covered with a Hakenkreuz, in the courtyard of the Hradčany Castle. Higher officers of the Wehrmacht and the SS stood guard of honor. A special train with the coffin of Reinhard Heydrich from Prague to Berlin, where the coffin first in the Prinz-Albrecht-Straße and later – in the Mosaic Hall of the New Reich Chancellery – 9th June 1942. During the funeral ceremony the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler made a long speech, in which he expressed the importance of Reinhard Heydrich. At the end spoke Adolf Hitler who called him one of the best National-Socialists, one of the strongest defenders of the German Reich thought (Deutscher Reichsgedanke) and one of the biggest enemy of all enemies of the Reich. The Führer gave the fallen the Wound Badge in gold and the highest rank of the German Order.
The coffin was then placed on a gun carriage drawn by six black horses, advancing from Wilhelmstraße to Invalidenfriedhof. There, the great soldier Reinhard Heydrich found his final resting place.
Reinhard Heydrich receives posthumously the “German Order of the German Reich.”
Adolf Hitler and the two blond sons of Reinhard Heydrich in his state funeral and Heinrich Himmler (the Reichsführer-SS, Heydrich’s superior)
The grave and stamp of Reinhard Heydrich
Source and translated from: Metapedia