Tuesday, March 29, 2016




Dismissal from the Navy:
 Heydrich was one of the most feared men of the twentieth century an appalling figure even in the context of the NS leadership. Chief of the Criminal Police, the SS-Security Service and Reich's Protector of occupied Bohemia and Moravia as well as the leading planner of the 'Final Solution'.Heydrich played a central role in Hitler's Germany. He shouldered a major responsibility for some of the worst Nazi atrocities and up to his assassination in Prague in 1942 he was widely seem as one of the most dangerous man in Germany. Yet Heydrich has received remarkedly modest attention in the extensive literature of the Third Reich.
How did this happen? Following are some events in his life that took him  on the path to become one of Hitler's most efficient henchmen:

July 1941 letter from Göring to Heydrich concerning the Final Solution of the Jewish question

As a young Navy Lieutenant and an outstanding family background, mothers considered him a good catch for their daughters.
Heydrich was born into a family of 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.

Heydrich as Reichsmarine cadet in 1922
He met, among others Lina von Osten in the early 1930,s and proposed to her, which was apparently welcomed by her family. The letter of thanks accepting him into their family circle as the future son-in-law still exists What Heydrich had conveniently omitted to mention to his future bride was that she was not the only women he was still seeing at that time, a detail that would shake the very foundation of his life.
The young couple's happiness was short lived. Heydrich sent the newspaper announcement of the engagement to several friends and acquaintances. One of the recipients was a young women in Berlin, whom Heydrich had met and befriended more than half a year earlier at a ball, the couple had enjoyed a sexual relationship over the following months and had visited each other either in Berlin or Kiel. The young women had assumed that she herself was engaged to Heydrich, who had continued to cultivate the relationship even after he had met Lina, he invited her to Kiel and, despite her request for a separate room in a hotel, he encouraged her to spend the night in his living quarters. Further rapprochements probably occurred on this occasion. In any case, the young women saw herself as compromised [only if he had taken her virginity, we don't know] and reacted to the receipt of Heydrich's engagement notice with a nervous breakdown.

Lina Heydrich, [nee von Osten] In Prague, the day before the attack that led to his death, Reinhard Heydrich and wife Lina attend a concert of Richard Bruno Heydrich's music in the Waldstein Palace, May 26, 1942. Lina was heavily pregnant.
Ever since the Second World War, there has been much speculation about the identity  of the young women in question, she could even have been a married women, but all that can be said with certainty is, that her father must have had close connections to the Navy's High Command and senior officer staff.
In response to his daughter's breakdown, he lodged an official complaint against Reinhard Heydrich with the Commander in Chief of the German Navy, Admiral Erich Reader. The complaint had serious consequences for Heydrich in early January 1931, he was summoned before the military court of honour [which is based on an ancient code of chivalry] under the chairmanship of Admiral Gottfried Hansen, Commander of the Baltic Fleet, and invited to explain himself.
A broken engagement promise was a clear violation of the officer corps of conduct, but it was not a major offence automatically warranting the immediate dismissal of the officer in question. The embarrassing episode would have been ended in little more than a reprimand for for what was, after all a 'girl's story', but Heydrich's arrogant attitude got him into trouble with the three members of the court, even his own instructing officer. Instead of accepting responsibility and settling for a minor punishment, Heydrich instead insisted that the women had herself initiated their sexual relationship. He also denied ever having promised her marriage in return, describing their liaison in dismissive terms which annoyed the members of the court. Although no records of the courts hearing have survived, having possible destroyed by the Gestapo in the 1930's, the proceedings were reconstructed by fellow officers after WW II.
Großadmiral Erich Raeder
Heydrich's room-mate in Kiel, Heinrich Beucke, recalled that Heydrich sought to wash his hands of the matter and to implicate the girl in question, [who's name was suppressed]. His attitude before the court of honour, his lacking the guts to tell the truth, to accept the blame and to defend the women, that was what led to his dismissal, not the actual offence itself.
One of the members of the court of honour, confirmed this version and testified that Heydrich's 'proven insincerity, aimed at whitewashing himself', irritated the court more than the actual offence. The most junior member of the court, [Hubert von Wangenstein] apparently pressed for Heydrich's dismissal, arguing that the behaviour had dishonoured  the German Officer Corps. [He would, belonging to nobility, that still challenged an opponent to a duel i those days]
The court concluded its deliberation by asking 'whether it was possible for an officer guilty of such unforgivable behaviour to remain in the Navy'. Although they avoided making any recommendation in itself. The matter was passed on to Admiral Reader, who decided that Heydrich was 'unworthy of being an officer and should be dismissed immediately. The Chairman of the court added emphatically: 'It was a decision winch, if harsh, was recognised by all as impartial and correct and to which there was no alternative for anybody familiar with the facts.
On the 30th April 1931 Heydrich's promising naval career came to an abrupt and unexpected end. 'Discharge from the Navy', Lina recalled after the war, 'was the heaviest blow of his life [...] It was not the lost earning capacity which weighed on him, but the fact that with every fibre of his being he had clung on to his career as an officer. At first he hoped for reinstatement, but an official appeal against the dismissal submitted to the Reichs President Paul von Hindenburg was turned down. Heydrich was suddenly confronted by the grim reality of being unemployed in the 1930's, in the midst of the Great Depression. Ejected from the navy less than a year before he would have secured his entitlement to a pension, the  future looked gloomy, even though he continued to receive a severance payment of 200 Reichsmark a month for the next two years. He locked himself in his room and cried for days in rage and self pity.
Reinhard Heydrich and Lina von Osten at their wedding reception, December 1931. Lina was already a member of the NSDAP (Heydrich was not) and she, and her Nazi connections, helped put Heydrich in the way of what turned out to be his spectacular Nazi career. 
Heydrich's dismissal indeed occurred at the worst possible moment. Following the crash of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on 29 October 1929, the German economy situation had deteriorated dramatically. Millions of jobless workers were plunged into terrible suffering while German industry and trade experienced dramatic drops in turnover. The economic crises was further exacerbated by the collapse of the last Weimar coalition  government and its replacement by a minority cabinet under the authoritarian Centre Party politician Heinrich Brüning. Brüning's deflationary policies, designed to demonstrate Germany's inability to pay further reparations to the Western Allies, exacerbated  the already grim situation. By the spring of 1931, there were 4,5 million Germans unemployed, a figure that would to rise to more than 6 million by February 1932.
Shortly after his discharge Heydrich and his fiancée travelled to Halle in order to inform his family of his dismissal and ask for their financial support. But bad news awaited him there as well. The Conservatory, already under serious strain since the post-war hyperinflation and the invention of modern forms of musical entertainment such as radios and gramophones, was facing bankruptcy.

People standing in line for a soup kitchen to get something to eat. During this time people can barely afford and need help from these social programs to survive.
Bruno Heydrich, his father, who had suffered a debilitating stroke earlier that year, was no longer able to involve himself in the running of the family business and now left most of the teaching to his wife and daughter. Elisabeth Heydrich, his mother, who until recently had been able to afford a maid, had to do the housework herself when not teaching the piano. Besides her husband, she now had to feed her daughter Maria and her unemployed son-in-law Wolfgang Heindorf, as well as her youngest son Heinz-Siegfried, who had abandoned his studies in Dresden and his fiancée, Gertrud Werther. The failed navy career of their older son added to their own problems and Reinhard's parents accused him of foolishly ruining his future.  In desperation Elisabeth (Mrs. Heydrich) argued with her brothers Hans and Kurt, about selling the increasingly unprofitable Dresden Conservatory, which her father Eugen Krautz had bequeathed to his three children. After the war, Lina vividly remembered the depressing atmosphere in the Heydrich home, when the daily worries about bills contrasted sharply with the remnants of the old furniture, expensive china and silver cutlery that testified to the past affluence and social prestige.
Richard Bruno Heydrich
Worse was still to come. In May 1931, Bruno Heydrich was informed that, after a series of complaints about falling teaching standards, his Conservatory was to be examined by a government commission. The report submitted by the commission revealed that the Conservatory no longer provided the necessary teaching level required for state certification and that his pupils had demonstrated insufficient knowledge of their craft. Physically in incapacitated, financially ruined, and professionally a broken man, Heydrich responded to the school authorities by admitting 'that my seminar organisation and training, which I have tested for thirty years, no longer fulfils today's expectations'. He voluntarily renounced State Recognition for his Teaching Seminars.
Economic hardship also called into question Reinhard's marriage to Lina. Reinhard's mother blamed Lina for his dismissal and her own parents too, had second thoughts about their relationship. Marrying an unemployed ex-naval officer was a far less attractive prospect than a son-in-law with high social standing and a dependable salary and pension. [They were admittedly part of German nobility and would not accept ever to live like the 'lower classes'] Although Lina refused to break the engagement, marriage was possible until Reinhard found another job. Day after day, Lina urged her financee to find an appropriate career that would sustain their future life as a family. Over the following four weeks, Heydrich considered and dismissed different career options and sent his surprisingly positive discharge from the Navy to various potential employers.

 All superior officers state that Heydrich is a conscientious and reliable officer with serious approach to duty...who has undertaken zealously all duties required of him. Towards his superior officers he conducted himself openly and ib a proper military manner and is well liked by fellow officers. He has treated the soldiers under his command well and justly. Heydrich is physically very fit and he is a good fencer and sailor.

Heydrich did indeed receive several job offers, despite the economic crises. A friend from Kiel, Werner Mohr offered him an opportunity  to work as a sailing instructor at the Hanseatic Yachting School in the town of Neustadt on the Baltic coast of Holstein. Despite the relatively handsome salary of 380 Reichsmark, Heydrich rejected the offer from Neustadt, as well as similar offers from Kiel and Ratzenburg, he refused to become 'a sailing domestic for rich kids'. It is not known why he did not jump at this opportunity, but the decisive reason appears to be that he was unable to accept the loss of his social status as an officer, as he confessed to his fiancée.
In these circumstances, Reinhard's mother seized the initiative and told Heydrich's godmother,  Baroness von Eberstein, of her son's professional misfortune. A formidable lady in her early sixties, [Baroness Rathgundis von Eberstein apparently claimed the Ebersteins hid the Holy Grail in one of their castles, and that Eberstein's coat of arms depicts someone whose arms have been hacked off. On a website that sells her book, this Castle at Genshagen is pictured. Schloss Eberstein Genshagen] the Baroness and her husband, Major von Eberstein, had met the Heydrich's at a concert in Halle shortly after their arrival in the city and they became their closest family friends, supporting the activities  of the Conservatory through significant donations. The Baroness immediately contacted her son, Karl, who had joined the Nazi Party in the mid-1920's and had already acquired a senior position as leader of the Sturmabteilung (Stormtroopers-SA) in Munich, in order to seeif he knew of any suitable vacancies. Karl's response was cautiously optimistic. Under the capable leadership of Ernst Röhm, and benefiting from the rising number of unemployed men in Germany, the SA had grown from just over 60,000 members in 1930 to more than 150,000 men the following year.  In the civil-war like atmosphere of the early 1930's when armed supporters of the Nazis and their opponents clashed almost on a daily basis, former officers like Heydrich, trained in military tactics, were a welcome addition to the Nazi ranks. Yet while Heydrich's mother and his fiancée were excited by the prospect of a second career in uniform for Heydrich, he himself appears to have initial reservations, although Lina urged him to examine this career option carefully. It was not until Eberstein offered him the prospect of an 'elevated position' in the Nazi Party's headquarters in Munich that Heydrich agreed to take this path. What Eberstein had in mind was a position on the staff of Heinrich Himmler, the then still largely unknown head of the Schutzstaffel (Protection Squad)-SS), a tiny but elitist paramilitary formation in subordinate to the SA leadership of Ernst Röhm.
Heydrich and Himmler

Victims of the Night of the Long Knives,

In response to conservative pressure to constrain Röhm, Hitler left for Neudeck to meet with Hindenburg. Blomberg, who had been meeting with the President, uncharacteristically reproached Hitler for not having moved against Röhm earlier. He then told Hitler that Hindenburg was close to declaring martial law and turning the government over to the Reichswehr if Hitler did not take immediate steps against Röhm and his brownshirts. Hitler had hesitated for months in moving against Röhm, in part due to Röhm's visibility as the leader of a national militia with millions of members. However, the threat of a declaration of martial law from Hindenburg, the only person in Germany with the authority to potentially depose the Nazi regime, put Hitler under pressure to act. He left Neudeck with the intention of both destroying Röhm and settling scores with old enemies. Both Himmler and Göring welcomed Hitler's decision, since both had much to gain by Röhm's downfall – the independence of the SS for Himmler, and the removal of a rival for the future command of the army for Göring.

                                        Hitler posing in Nuremberg with SA members in the late 1920s. Julius                                Streicher is  to Hitler's right, and Hermann Göring stands bedecked with medals beneath                                                                   Hitler

In preparation for the purge both Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the SS Security Service, assembled a dossier of manufactured evidence to suggest that Röhm had been paid 12 million marks (EUR 48.2 million in 2016) by France to overthrow Hitler. Leading officers in the SS were shown falsified evidence on June 24 that Röhm planned to use the SA to launch a plot against the government (Röhm-Putsch). Göring, Himmler, Heydrich, and Victor Lutze (at Hitler's direction) drew up lists of people in and outside the SA to be killed. One of the men Göring recruited to assist him was Willi Lehmann, a Gestapo official and NKVD spy. On June 25, General Werner von Fritsch placed the Reichswehr on the highest level of alert] On June 27, Hitler moved to secure the army's cooperation] Blomberg and General Walther von Reichenau, the army's liaison to the party, gave it to him by expelling Röhm from the German Officers' League. On June 28 Hitler went to Essen to attend a wedding celebration and reception; from there he called Röhm's adjutant at Bad Wiessee and ordered SA leaders to meet with him on June 30 at 11h. On June 29, a signed article in Völkischer Beobachter by Blomberg appeared in which Blomberg stated with great fervour that the Reichswehr stood behind Hitler.
At about 04:30 on June 30, 1934, Hitler and his entourage flew into Munich. From the airport they drove to the Bavarian Interior Ministry, where they assembled the leaders of an SA rampage that had taken place in city streets the night before. Enraged, Hitler tore the epaulets off the shirt of Obergruppenführer August Schneidhuber, the chief of the Munich police, for failing to keep order in the city on the previous night. Hitler shouted at Schneidhuber that he would be shot. Schneidhuber was executed later that day. As the stormtroopers were hustled off to prison, Hitler assembled a large group of SS and regular police, and departed for the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee, where Ernst Röhm and his followers were staying.
With Hitler's arrival in Bad Wiessee between 06:00 and 07:00, the SA leadership, still in bed, were taken by surprise. SS men stormed the hotel and Hitler personally placed Röhm and other high-ranking SA leaders under arrest. According to Erich Kempka, Hitler turned Röhm over to "two detectives holding pistols with the safety catch removed", and the SS found Breslau SA leader Edmund Heines in bed with an unidentified eighteen-year-old male SA senior troop leader. Goebbels emphasised the latter in subsequent propaganda justifying the purge as a crackdown on moral turpitude (in this case meaning homosexuality). Both Heines and his partner were shot on the spot in the hotel grounds on the personal order of Hitler. Meanwhile, the SS arrested the other SA leaders as they left their train for the planned meeting with Röhm and Hitler.
Although Hitler presented no evidence of a plot by Röhm to overthrow the regime, he nevertheless denounced the leadership of the SA. Arriving back at party headquarters in Munich, Hitler addressed the assembled crowd. Consumed with rage, Hitler denounced "the worst treachery in world history". Hitler told the crowd that "undisciplined and disobedient characters and asocial or diseased elements" would be annihilated. The crowd, which included party members and many SA members fortunate enough to escape arrest, shouted its approval. Hess, present among the assembled, even volunteered to shoot the "traitors" himself. Joseph Goebbels, who had been with Hitler at Bad Wiessee, set the final phase of the plan in motion. Upon returning to Berlin, Goebbels telephoned Göring at 10:00 with the codeword Kolibri to let loose the execution squads on the rest of their unsuspecting victims.
Röhm was held briefly at Stadelheim Prison[i] in Munich, while Hitler considered his future. In the end, Hitler decided that Röhm had to die. On July 1, at Hitler's behest, Theodor Eicke, later Commandant of the Dachau concentration camp, and SS Officer Michel Lippert visited Röhm. Once inside Röhm's cell, they handed him a Browning pistol loaded with a single bullet and told him he had ten minutes to kill himself or they would do it for him. Röhm demurred, telling them, "If I am to be killed, let Adolf do it himself. Having heard nothing in the allotted time, they returned to Röhm's cell at 14:50 to find him standing, with his bare chest puffed out in a gesture of defiance. Lippert then shot Röhm three times, killing him. In 1957, the German authorities tried Lippert in Munich for Röhm's murder. Until then, Lippert had been one of the few executioners of the purge to evade trial. Lippert was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
 Hitler triumphant: The Führer reviewing the SA in 1935. In the car with Hitler: the Blutfahne, behind the car                                                              SS-man Jakob Grimminger.

SS-Brigadeführer Heydrich, head of the Bavarian police and SD, in Munich, 1934, he was in basic terms a workaholic.
View: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3up5SZBZdY
Partly as a result of circumstances beyond his control, the military court's decision to dismiss him from the navy, his family's economic misfortune and the Great Depression more generally, and partly because of his family connection and Lina's firm commitment in the Nazi cause, the previously largely apolitical Heydrich who had never read Mein Kampf or even heard of the SS before, was about to enter the most extreme paramilitary formation within Hitler's movement. He followed that path not out of deep ideological conviction, but because Nazism offered him the opportunity to return to a structural life in uniform, providing with it a sense of purpose and a way of regaining confidence of Lina and her family of devoted Nazis.
As a precondition for the new job, Heydrich had to join the Nazi Party, which he he did an 1 June 1931. His membership number, 544,916, did not exactly made him an 'Old Fighter' of the Nazi movement, but he joined early enough to avoid the suspicion of careerism with which post 1933  members were usually confronted. Heydrich urgently requested the two letters of recommendation required for the vacancy. The first reference came from Eberstein, who assured Himmler of Heydrich's suitability. 'Very good qualifications, extended overseas commands...Heydrich has been dismissed from the navy due to a minor personal differences. He will receive the salary for two more years, so, for the time being, he could work for the movement without pay'. Either out of ignorance or to boost Heydrich's chances of securing the job, Eberstein added that 'Heydrich had worked for three years as an intelligence expert at the Admiral,s Staff Division of the North Sea and Baltic Fleet'. A second letter of recommendation was submitted by Heydrich's former commanding officer, Captain Warzecha:

 I have known naval lieutenant Heydrich from the beginning of his service with the Reichsmarine. I was the training officer for two years during his cadet period and have had other opportunities to observe his development as an officer. I am closely acquainted with the reasons for his dismissal from the Navy. They do not prevent me from wholeheartedly recommending Lieutenant Heydrich for any position that may arise.

Heydrich;s application, embellished by Eberstein's insistence that his childhood friend was an expert in espionage, arrived at a good time as Himmler was in in the midst of setting up an SS intelligence service. In the summer of 1931 prompted by the Nazi Party's electoral successes and a parallel influx of new members of often questionable loyalty to the cause, Himmler felt an urgent need for the creation of such service. He rightly feared that some of the new SA and SS members stood in the paid service of either the police or political opponents to act as spies or agent provocateurs. He realised that he needed a suitable trained officer on his Munich staff to address this problem. Having heard from Eberstein of an ex-naval 'intelligence' officer who was offering his services to the Nazi movement, he invited Heydrich for an interview.
Heydrich's appointment with Himmler had already been set when Eberstein telegraphed Heydrich from Munich to tell him that the SS was ill. Heydrich was prepared to reschedule the appointment, but Lina urged him to travel to Munich and meet with Himmler anyway. How much this opportunity meant for Lina is clear from her memoirs, in which thirty-five years years later, she described the day of the first meeting between Heydrich and Himmler, 14 June 1931, as the 'greatest moment in my life, of our life.
 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 headquarters in Munich. [This was completely destoyed during an air raid] 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 (major).

Since assuming the leadership of the (then still tiny) SS in 1029, Himmler's desire to transform it into an organisation for the racial elite had been reflected in his introduction of physical selection criteria for his men.. He envisaged the Aryan body as perfection of an ideal state of mankind that distinguished from all ' inferior'  bodies. He desired all blue-eyed men who could show family trees  free  of inferior racial origin. The body was the place where one's membership of the Aryan race would be  'verified'. Unsurprisingly Himmler was very impressed by the young applicant who presented himself on the afternoon of 14 June 1931. Blond blue-eyed and just over six feet tall, Heydrich even surpassed the strict recruitment criteria  for Hitler's SS body guard, the elite 'Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler'.
Himmler told Heydrich about his plans to develop an intelligence service within the SS . It was at this point that they realized that that their meeting  was based on a misunderstanding : Heydrich had been  a radio officer in the Navy, not an intelligence officer. Undeterred by the realisation that the applicant in front of him  lacked any previous qualification for espionage work, Himmler asked Heydrich to sketch out an organisational plan for the SS intelligence agency and gave him  twenty minutes to complete the task. Without any previous  experience in the field of espionage, Heydrich resorted to the minimal knowledge he had gained from  years of reading cheap crime fiction and spy novels, and and wrapped his future SS intelligence in suitably  military phraseology. His minimal knowledge of espionage  appears to have surpassed that of Himmler: The Reichsführer  der SS  was impressed and hired and hired him in preference to a second applicant, a former police captain named  Horninger. Himmler's instinct served him well.  Horniger turned out to be an agent  of the Bavarian Political Police and and was arrested after the Nazi's seizure of power in 1933. Later committing  suicide in prison.
  The meeting was to prove a momentous one , the beginning of an eleven year relationship of close collaboration and mutual respect. Much has bee written since the Second World War about the alleged rivalry between the two men and Heydrich's apparent latter attempts to sideline Himmler in pursuit of total power. But the testimonies of former SS officers on which this interpretation was based are generally unreliable and too narrowly focused on the apparent differences between the ideologically driven 'school master' Himmler, who's physical appearance stood in stark contrast to his own vision for the SS, and the coldly rational and supposedly only career-driven Heydrich on the other. The key witness to the myth of rivalry between the two men, Himmler's masseur  Felix Kersten, alleged that next to the often indecisive and insecure Reichsführer der SS, Heydrich left the impression of being made of 'sharpened steel'. According to Kersten, only the 'fact' of Heydrich's Jewish ancestry allowed Himmler to keep his first lieutenant under control.
In reality, their relationship was one of deep trust, complementary talents and shared political  convictions.

The publication of Heydrich;s articles in the 'Schwarzes Korps' was interconnected with the 'second anti-Semitic wave', which the National  Party initiated in the spring of 1935 and would ultimately lead to  the promulgation of the Nuremberg laws in September of that year. Following a  temporary easing of anti-Semitic   violence, a wave of apparently spontaneous  local action against Jewish  spread across the  the Reich. While Heydrich sympathised with the overall aim of these actions, namely to terrify the Jews  into emigration. he disagreed with the open brutality that was to antagonize a majority of the German population and trigger a foreign hate propaganda against the Third Reich.

                                      Headline reads: 'Those  are the enemy of the state'.'
                                              (The type-set is in Gothic Print,sic)


Up to this point, Heydrich had  given surprisingly little thought to the Jews. To be sure Germany's Jews had found themselves in the firing line from the very moment Hitler  acceded to power on 30 January  1933. Continuing and intensifying a pattern all too familiar  from the weeks before Hitler was appointed  chancellor, SA and Hitler Youth members attacked Jewish individuals and shops. [Hitler Youth members took great delight setting the beards of Orthodox Jews alight, I have seen it, sic]. Within a few weeks the regional Gauleiters had taken up the campaign, supporting organized attacks on Jewish business all over Germany. A national, government-sponsored  boycott of Jewish  noisinesses on 1 April 1933  followed by a purge of the civil services.
During the first two years of the Third Reich, neither the Gestapo  nor the SD played a prominent role in the Nazi anti-Jewish policies. The persecution  of political opponents, above all the Communists  and Social Democrats, initially seemed more pressing for Heydrich  than the Jewish problem. The Nazi regime's anti-Jewish in the first two years of the Third Reich instead emerged as a result of the subtle interplay with the NSDAP activists and the legislative  machinery notable the Interior Ministry. The Party, represented by Rudolf Hess and Martin Bormann, as well as  a number of particularly  anti-Semitic Gauleiters such as Joseph Goebbles in Berlin and Julius Streicher in Nuremberg launched 'grass roots actions'  against Jews, which as the 1 April 1933 boycott and the anti-Jewish riots that erupted in the spring and summer of 1935. Under the pretext of removing the reason for justified popular anger,  the Interior Ministry could then react with legal  measures designed to restrict the freedom of the Jewish minority even further. The Gestapo by contrast, played no  major role in the major  boycott on the Jewish businesses on 1 April 1933 or in the subsequent anti-Semitic legislation to the dismissal of thousands of Jewish civil servants.


                             German Jews, seeking to emigrate, wait in the office of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden (Relief Organization of German Jews). On the wall is a map of South America and a sign about emigration to Palestine. Berlin, Germany, 1935. 

German Jews, seeking to emigrate, wait in the office of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden (Relief Organization of German Jews). On the wall is a map of South America and a sign about emigration to Palestine. Berlin, Germany, 1935.
— YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York

This is not to suggest that Heydrich was indifferent to the Jewish question. Ever since he joined the SS, he had proved himself to be an eager ideological pupil of Himmler, and regularly expressed his hatred  towards Jews, both in public and in private. According to his wife, Reinhard became 'deeply convinced that the Jews had to be separated from the Germans. In his eyes the Jews were [...] rootless plunderers , determined to gain selfish advantages and to stick like leeches to the body of the host of the the nation.   Such views were unquestionable influenced both by his wife and by the Nazi Party propaganda, which constantly portrayed the Jews as parasites who had accumulated riches during the war and the subsequent economic crises, while Aryan Germans died on the front or suffered from the  post-war inflation. If the Aryan German was characterized  by heroism and the willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the nation, the Jews were ciphers for greed and economic gains.

                         Shattered storefront of a Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). Berlin, Germany, November 10, 1938.
Shattered storefront of a Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). Berlin, Germany, November 10, 1938.

There was therefore nothing particular new or original about Heydrich's anti-Semitism.  He subscribed to standard  Nazi ideas as articulated in 'Mein Kampf' and earlier works of racial anti-Semitism such as Paul de Lagard's influential 'German Writings' (1878) and others.  If race rather than religion provided the rationale for Nazi anti-Semitism, the various elements of the negative anti-Semitic  stereotype  that had accumulated since the second half of the Middle Ages were adopted almost in their entirety by the Nazis. The only insignificant addition was the accusation that Jews were responsible for the threat sf the spread of Bolshevism. With little regard for logical consistency, the traditional stereotype of Jews as parasitical usurer was supplemented by an image of Jews as subversive revolutionaries determined to destroy capitalism and overturn the social order. The Jews were thus rootless, international force, seeking to undermine Germany from both within and without through the agencies of international Bolshevism, international finance capital and Freemasonry. 

Heydrich's own hatred of the Jews was not shaped by an intensive study of the classical text of European anti-Semitism, even if he did read the forged 'Protocol of the  Elders of Zion'  and Hans Günter's  'Rassenkunde des Deutschen Volkes' of 1922. He was much more  conditioned by his  immersion in a milieu  that firmly believe in the racial anti-Semitism. As Werner Beest observed, his boss's strength lay firmly  applying the theoretical and doctrinaire assertions about enemies of the state that came from Hitler and Himmler'. In this policy area as in all others , Heydrich proved to be the man of deed, not of ideas or theories

In late 1937, Hitler instigated a radical reversal in the foreign policy of the Third Reich. On 5 November, the Führer  gave a speech in the prescience of supreme commanders of the Army, Air Force, and Navy, in which he emphasised the need to procure, through violent expansion if necessary, the Lebensraum(Living Space) Germany required to secure  its future as a great nation. The concerns and criticism of some of his listeners infuriated Hitler's view, that he would achieve his foreign policy objectives only if he replaced them with more willing helpers, some of the senior conservative figures  who continued to occupy key positions in the government apparatus.
Just few months later,fortuitous opportunity arose to introduce such a comprehensive change of personal: the scandal surrounding  the Reichs War Minister, Werner von Blomberg. In January 1938, in the presence of Hitler, Göring, Heydrich and other Nazi dignitaries,Blomberg had married a considerable younger women, who turnedd out to be a prostitute known to the police. The affair led to Blomberg's dismissal.In late January 1938, Göring  who regarded himself as Blomberg's natural successor, unexpectedly presented incriminating Gestapo material against his strongest competitor, the job the Army's commander in chief  Werner von Fritsch. According to Gestapo evidence, conveniently placed at  Göring's disposal, Fritsch was homosexual - a major criminal offence in Nazi Germany. (And after the war as well .sic.)
Heydrich was hardly surprised by the allegation, already in 1936, his Gestapo apparatus had gathered incriminating material on Fritsch and passed on to Hitler.. Back then, the Führer had chosen to ignore the allegation against Fritsch, and had ordered the SS to destroy the police file. Heydrich had, however. ignored that order and had kept the file for future reference. When Hitler and Göring tried to rid themselves of the conservative  generals, he remembered the file.The allegation  against Fritsch rested on thin evidence: the key witness in this case was was a notorious criminal, Otto Schmidt, whose Berlin-based gang had specialised in blackmailing prominent  homosexuals since 1929. Despite his youth, Schmidt had already served many years in prison for forgeries. corruption, and blackmail. According to his testimony, he had witnessed Fritsch a Berlin rent-boy, Martin Weingärtner, engaged in sexual activities near Wannsee military station. He further alleged tha, when informed, Fritsch had offered him money for his silence.
Heydrich resubmitted  his 'evidence' to the Führer and on 26 January Fritsch was ordered to the Reichs Chancellery where, in the presence of Hitler and Göring he was confronted with Schmidt. Although Fritsch denied ever having met Schmidt or having engaged in homosexual practises, Hitler relieved him of his duties, along with other twelve politically undesirable  conservative generals,  Another fortyfour generals  were transferred to politically irrelevant posts. Hitler's cabinet was reorganized and cleaned of potential critics; the conservative Foreign Minister,  Kanstantin vin Neurath,was replaced by a committed Nazi, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and the Economic Minister, Hjamalar Schacht [although he was Minister of Finance and did an excellent job, after the war he was found bot guilty by the IMT and was immediately hired by Arabia,sic] was succeed  by the former State Secretary in Goebbel's Propaganda Minister y, Walther Frank. The Minister y of War was dissolved and replaced by the High Command of the Wehrmacht (as the Reichswehr was called after March 1935) under the obedient  and ideologically reliable Wilhelm Keitel.
While Hitler readjusted German policies  and assumed Supreme Command  of the Wehrmacht, Heydrich's Gestapo continued its investigations into into the Fritsch case. Heydrich felt the pressure to prove Fritsch's guilt. for it was his apparatus that had raised the allegations in the first place and thus created the pretext for the restructuring of the Army Leadership, whose relationship with the Gestapo had now reached rock bottom. For several weeks, Gestapo Agents investigated every garrison town Fritsch  had ever lived in, while Heydrich's 'experts' in the fight against homosexuality, Josef Meisinger. travelled to Egypt, where Fritsch had spent most of his holidays in  1937, in search of incriminating evidence. None of these investigations delivered any concrete leads. Despite these setbacks, Himmler and  Heydrich nonetheless assumed that Fritsch would not be rehabilitated as long as Schmidt's testimony stood.
In March, Fritsch appeared before a Military Court, and charged with the investigation of the case. The hearing ended with a disastrous turn of events for Heydrich and the Gestapo, under pressure from Fritsch's legal counsel, the sole prosecution witness, Otto Schmidt, admitted that he had confused General von Fritsch with a retired Cavalry Officer called  Captain von Fritsch, who confirmed that he had been blackmailed by Schmidt.Even worse for Heydrich, the court learned  that the Cavalry Officer had admitted his 'guilt' to the Gestapo several months before. thus leaving  the impression that Heydrich's apparatus had persecuted General Fritsch despite its knowledge of the confused identity. The court concluded that Schmidt's  testimony to the Gestapo was the result  of the most extreme pressure that as placed on him by investigators. Fritsch was duly acquitted and rehabilitated, but not reinstated as  as the Army's Commander in Chief.
Otto Schmidt was later found to be murdered.


The affair was a political disaster for the SS and in particular embarrassing for Heydrich, which whose Gestapo led the investigation. Heydrich's deputy, Werner Best, who had personally interrogated Fritsch himself contemplated challenging Himmler to a duel, while the Chief of the General  Staff, General Ludwig Beck, called for the immediate dismissal of Heydrich and other senior investigators. Even before the Fritsch trial,,Heydrich began to fear  a serious response from the Army Leadership, possibly a military putsch and an Army raid on the Gestapo Headquarters. Such plans indeed excited, and a group of senior Officers including General Beck and Admiral Canaris contemplated for the arrest of the entire SS-Leadership. Canaris's relationship with Heydrich had become more and more ambivalent over the course of the1930s.  Based on their friendship in Kiel in the 1920s, Canaris had wrongly assumed that, in his capacity as  Chief f Germany's military espionage could control the much younger Heydrich. When Canaris was appointed as Head of the Abwehr in 1935 , his predecessor  Corad Patzing  had warned him about Heydrich and Himmler, , but Canaris had told him,confidentially:Don't you worry, I can handle these boys. Tge gradual extension  of the SS competences from `1935 onwards had proven Canaris wrong and increasingly undermined  the Abwehr's authority. He was now papered to see his former protege   from his position of power.. However the putsch plans scarcely advocated by Fritsch, Beck andand Canaris became obsolrte, when Hitler pulled off a major foreign policy success: the Anschluss of Austria. For Heydrich the military operation against Austria offered the badly needed opportunity to divert attention from the Fritsch affair and to prove that the SS  was capable of collaborating with the Army.

                                                                           Werner von Blomberg

The Blomberg–Fritsch affair began soon after the marriage on 12 January 1938 of the War Minister Werner von Blomberg to when the Berlin police discovered she had a long criminal record and had posed for pornographic photographs. According to testimony given much later at the Nuremberg trials, information received by the Police Commissioner within days also indicated that "Marshal von Blomberg's wife had been a previously convicted prostitute who had been registered as a prostitute in the files of seven large German cities; she was in the Berlin criminal files... She had also been sentenced by the Berlin courts for distributing indecent pictures."   Marriage to a person with such a criminal record violated the standard of conduct expected of officers as defined by Blomberg himself and came as a shock to Hitler — the Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring had been Blomberg's best man, and Hitler himself had served as a witness at the wedding. Hitler and Göring saw this development as an opportunity to dispose of Blomberg. Hitler ordered Blomberg to have the marriage annulled in order to avoid a scandal and to preserve the integrity of the army. Blomberg refused to annul the marriage but, after Göring threatened to make his wife's past public knowledge, on 27 January 1938 he resigned from his posts

                                                             Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R16862, Werner von Fritsch.jpg

                                                                    General Werner von Fritsch


The events surrounding Blomberg's marriage inspired Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler to arrange a similar affair for Commander-in-Chief Werner von Fritsch, who as homosexual.  Göring did not want Fritsch to become the successor to Blomberg and thus his superior. Himmler wanted to weaken the Wehrmacht and its mainly aristocratic generals in order to strengthen his Schutzstaffel as a competitor to the regular German Army (Heer). In 1936, Reinhard Heydrich had prepared a file on Fritsch with allegations of homosexuality and had passed the information on to Hitler, but Hitler had rejected it and ordered Heydrich to destroy the file. However, he did not do so. Now in 1938, Heydrich resurrected the old file on Fritsch, who was again accused of being a homosexual by Himmler and his SS. It was reported that Fritsch had been encouraged by general Ludwig Beck to carry out a military putsch against the Hitler regime, but that he declined and resigned on 4 February 1938, to be replaced by Walther von Brauchitsch, whom Fritsch had recommended for the post.
Just before the outbreak of World War II, Fritsch was recalled, and chose to personally inspect the front lines as the "Honorary Colonel of the 12th Artillery Regiment" during the Invasion of Poland, a very unusual activity for someone of his rank. On 22 September 1939, in Praga during the Siege of Warsaw, a Polish bullet (either a machine gun or a sharpshooter) tore an artery in his leg. Lieutenant Rosenhagen, adjutant to Fritsch and an eyewitness to his death, wrote in his original, official report:
    "[...] In this moment the Herr Generaloberst received a gunshot in his left thigh, a bullet tore an artery. Immediately he fell down. Before I took off his braces, the Herr Generaloberst said: "please leave it", lost consciousness and died. Only one minute passed between receiving gunshot and death."
Some people believed that he had been seeking his own death.


 Commemorative stone placed by Germans in the spot where Werner Freiherr von Fritsch died. It was destroyed  in 1944 during the Warsaw Uprising.

The "Freiherr von Fritsch Kaserne" (barracks) in Darmstadt was named after Fritsch after his death. The facilities were combined with the adjoining Cambrai Kaserne when the United States Army occupied Darmstadt in 1945. The Cambrai-Fritsch Kaserne was scheduled to be turned over to the German government before March 2009,[18] and was returned to German governance on 6 August 2008.[19]


Reinhard Heydrich served as Reserve Hauptmann, then as amajor in the Luftwaffe. He served in the Invasion of Poland as a turret gunner. After that, despite his age, he completed a fighter pilot course in 1940. Heydrich wanted to set an example and show that the SS were not "asphalt" soldiers behind the front lines, but the elite of the Third Reich. In April 1940 he flew a Bf 110 in the Fighter Group II./JG 77 "Herz As" in Norway. The planes flown by Heydrich had an ancient Germanic runic character S for Sieg -- "victory" painted on the side of the fuselage. On May 13, 1940 his plane crashed during take-off and Heydrich was injured. For a short time in May, he flew patrol flights over North Germany and the Netherlands. Then, after another accident, he returned to Berlin. In mid-June 1941, before the German attack on the USSR, he resumed flying, ignoring Himmler's orders.
Bf 110 of Nachtjagdgeschwader 4 (1943)
He flew his personal Bf 109 again with Group II./JG 77 from Bălţi, Romania on the southern Eastern Front, which put the wing commander under pressure due to Heydrich's position and lack of experience. On 22 July 1941, while on a combat mission, his plane was badly damaged over Yampil by Soviet anti-aircraft fire. Heydrich made an emergency landing in no-man's land, evaded a Soviet patrol and made his way back to German lines. After this, Hitler forbade him to fly in combat, as it was realized that his capture as a POW would be a major security breach for Germany. He never flew another operational sortie.

Heydrich in his Luftwaffe uniform
Heydrich was decorated with the Iron Cross Second Class (1940) and First Class (1941). The number of missions he flew is not known, but he was awarded the Frontflugspange (Front Pilot Badge) in silver, which usually was awarded after 60 combat missions. According to Ballantine Books' Illustrated History of the Violent Century (1973), Heydrich flew 97 missions in a Bf-110 twin engine fighte

In 1932 Heydrich's enemies began to spread rumours of his alleged Jewish ancestry. Wilhelm Canaris said he had obtained photocopies proving Heydrich's Jewish ancestry, but these photocopies never surfaced. Nazi Gauleiter Rudolf Jordan also claimed that Heydrich was not a pure Aryan. Within the Nazi organisation such innuendo could be damning, even for the head of the Reich's counter-intelligence service. Gregor Strasser passed the allegations on to the Nazi Party's racial expert Dr. 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 with this report, Heydrich privately engaged SD member Ernst Hoffman to further investigate and dispel the rumours.
[In fact Heydrich's grand mother was most likely a Jewess, which can not be ascertained with certainty. What is certain that she had married for a second time to a man with a Jewish name of Süß.  He had her gravestone removed and destroyed, it may have had the Star of David on the headstone, a give-away sign. At this time to provide a 'Taufschein' Certificate of baptism as a Christian,  was not in force until 1936]

In London, the 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 (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 was gaining ground. Heydrich would have to pass a section where the Dresden-Prague road merged with a road to the Troja Bridge. The junction, in the 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 sub-machine 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 Heydrich and Kubiš.
The open-top Mercedes-Benz in which Heydrich was mortally wounded
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 pedalled 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. Heydrich was first placed in the driver's cab, but complained that 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 Na Bulovce Hospital. Heydrich had suffered severe injuries to his left side, with major damage to his diaphragm, spleen, and lung. He had also fractured a rib. A physician, 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 physician, Karl Gebhardt, to fly to Prague to assume care. Despite a fever, Heydrich's recovery appeared to progress well. Theodor Morell, Hitler's personal physician, suggested the use of sulfonamide (a new antibacterial drug), but Gebhardt, thinking Heydrich would recover, refused. [with Penicillin, which Germany did not have, he could probably been saved]  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.

Heydrich slipped into a coma after Himmler's visit and never regained consciousness. He died on 4 June, probably around 04:30. He was 38. The autopsy concluded that he died of sepsis. Heydrich's facial expression as he died betrayed an "uncanny spirituality and entirely perverted beauty, like a renaissance Cardinal," according to Bernhard Wehner, a Kripo police official who investigated the assassination.

After an elaborate funeral held in 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 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 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:

1942 - Reinhard Heydrich, brutal Nazi governor, has died of his infected wounds 6 days after Czech assassins blew up his car. Good - hope the bastard suffered!:

                    Reinhard Heydrich, his coffin with honour guards on the way to Berlin.

    '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 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's coffin in Berlin:
                                                      Heydrich's coffin in Berlin

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 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), but due to Germany's declining fortunes, it was never built.
Following Himmler's eulogy,a visible moved Hitler mounted the stage and added his authority to the celebration of an exemplary Nazi life: 'He was one of the best National Socialists, one of the greatest defenders of the German Reich, one of the greatest opponents of all enemies of the Empire. He has died as  a martyr for the preservation of the Reich.' Hitler then posthumously decorated Heydrich with 'the highest award in my gift, the highest stage of the German Order'., an order specially created for those who had rendered exceptional service to the Party and the Fatherland.
As Hitler left the funeral ceremony, gently patting the cheeks of Heydrich's two sons on his way, the coffin was transported from the new Reichs Chancellery to the Invaliden Elementary, originally founded in the nineteenth century as a resting place for Prussia's military elite. Heydrich's body was buried alongside the graves of Scgharnhorst, Moltke and other eminent generals from Germany's past.
But Heydrich was by no means forgotten after 9th June. In the contrary: it was only after his assassination, and as a result of extensive news coverage of his state funeral, that he became a household name both in the Reich and internationally. On the day of his death, Hitler added Heydrich to the 'Honorary List of Fallen of the 'Nazi Movement' and arranged for the 6th SS Infantry Division, currently fighting the Red Army on the Eastern Front, to be named after Heydrich'
An infuriated Hitler screamed at the Czech President Hacha after the funeral. Wartime needs no longer concerned him. The assassins had to be found immediately or the Czech population would face unprecedented consequences. Immediately after his meeting with Hitler on the 9th June, Karl Hermann Frank telephoned Hans Böhme, head of the SD in the Protectorate, to convey the Fuhrer's order for an immediate act of  retaliation: The complete annihilation of the village of Lidice, included the murder of  all its male inhabitants and the deportation of all women to a concentration camp. The children - if Germanizable - were to be sent to Foster Parents in the Reich.
After Heydrich's funeral Böhme had phoned Himmler in Berlin to report that the assassins had already received support from the village's inhabitants. Himmler in turn, informed Hitler who decided that Lidice was to be razed to the ground.

View: https://www.ushmm.org/online/film/display/detail.php?file_num=866 Heydrichs Funeral

Heydrich's widow won the right to receive a pension as the result of a series of court cases against the West German government in 1956 and 1959. She was entitled to a substantial pension because her husband was a German general killed in action. The government had previously declined to pay because of 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.

The Check government IN EXILE, were fully aware that German retaliation would be be brutal and swift.
Heydrich's assailants hid in safe houses and eventually took refuge in St. 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 martyrs.  [They were betrayed]
Infuriated by Heydrich's death, Hitler ordered the arrest and execution of 10,000 randomly selected Czechs. But after consultations with Karl Hermann Frank, he tempered 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 and Ležáky. A 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 found a resistance radio transmitter in Ležáky. On 9 June, after discussions with Himmler and Karl Hermann Frank, Hitler ordered brutal reprisals.
The massacre at Lidice
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 and Ležáky were murdered. All the women in Ležáky were also murdered. All but four of the women from Lidice were deported immediately to Ravensbrück concentration camp (four were pregnant – they were forcibly aborted at the same hospital where Heydrich had died and then sent to the concentration camp). Some children were chosen for Germanization, and 81 were killed in gas vans at the Chełmno extermination camp. Both towns were burned and Lidice's ruins were levelled. At least 1,300 people were massacred after Heydrich's death.

The rose garden memorial in Lidice. The Nazis wiped out the town of Lidice, killing all the men and shipping women and children to concentration camps after Heydrich was assassinated in 1942

Of all the sites of brutal German reprisals in in the Second World War - from Oradour, Marzabotto, Kragolivac to Kalavrrita and other villages, Lidice possessed the greatest propagandistic value to the Allied cause, precisely because the Germans were gleefully reporting the destruction in newsreels and propaganda speeches. The Allies maintained that, 'each time it is remembered, mankind becomes a little more determined that the thing which tried to kill Lidice shall itself be killed, shall be driven from the earth so that no Lidice will never die again'.[I am afraid mankind has forgotten and did not change,sic]
Bullet-scarred window in the Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Prague, where Kubiš and his compatriots were cornered
Heydrich's replacements were Ernst Kaltenbrunner as the chief of RSHA, and 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, the policies formalised at the Wannsee conference he chaired were carried out. 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 after Heydrich.

Beginning in April 1934, and at Hitler's request, Heydrich and Himmler began building a dossier on Sturmabteilung (SA) leader Ernst Röhm in an effort to remove him as a rival for party leadership. [This was not the only reason, Röhm was openly homosexual}] 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, [He was given a pistol at Stadelheim jail to commit suicide, but refused, Theodor Eicke shot him] 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.
With the SA out of the way, Heydrich began building the Gestapo into an instrument of fear. He improved his index-card system, creating categories of offenders with colour-coded cards. The 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 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 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.[Newspapers would announce the names, under the heading"Killed resisting arrest"]
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.
Documents recovered from Heinrich Himmler's personal journals, as well as draft orders from the SS-Hauptamt, indicate that in early 1942 Heydrich was under consideration for appointment as the Military Governor of France, in an effort to supplant the army control of that positing which was by 1942 already heavily suspected of involvement in anti-Hitler conspiracies (Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, who held the position of Military Governor, was later executed for participation in the 20 July Plot). Both Himmler and Hitler further had plans to create a supreme security posting, possibly known as "Commander Security Forces Europe" (Oberbefelshaber des Sicherheitsdienstleistung Europa) for which Heydrich was the natural candidate. Had Heydrich lived, he almost certainly would have been granted Waffen-SS general rank in 1944; however, a promotion to SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer and assumption to the position of Colonel General of Police is debatable, given that no other SS security officer was promoted to SS-Colonel General during the Second World War (Kurt Daluege was the only police officer to hold this position). Heydrich was also known to have stated that he had no desire to become the Reichsführer-SS, leaving the question open as to who would have succeeded Himmler had the SS Chief been killed or relieved of his position during the course of the Second World War (Hitler appointed Karl Hanke to the position in the last days of World War II).

Lina Heydrich was cleared during the de-Nazification proceedings after the war's end. She further won the right to receive a pension as the result of a series of court cases against the West German government in 1956 and 1959. She was entitled to a substantial pension because her husband was a German general killed in action. The government had previously declined to pay because of Heydrich's role in the Holocaust. In 1965 she met Finnish theatre director Mauno Manninen while she was on a holiday trip to Finland. Eventually they married for the purpose of changing her last name. She ran Reinhard Heydrich’s former summer house on Fehmarn as a restaurant and inn until it burned down in February 1969. She wrote a memoir, Leben mit einem Kriegsverbrecher (Life with a War Criminal) (1976). She spoke with several authors, sent in letters of correction to many newspapers, and defended her late husband, Reinhard Heydrich, until her death in Fehmarn at the age of 74 on August 14, 1985
After a series of failed operations, especially the Battle of the Barents Sea, Raeder was demoted to Admiral Inspector, a ceremonial office. Raeder had intended to inform Hitler of the failure of the Barents Sea and explain it as a series of misunderstandings. However, the message was not passed on, and Hitler, believing that the battle had been a success, announced a victory. When Hitler learned the truth, he summoned Raeder to explain himself. Upon Raeder's arrival, Hitler scolded him and decided he would scrap the German surface fleet. On 30 January 1943 Raeder resigned.
After the 20 July plot, Raeder assured Hitler of his loyalty.
As Hitler stated he would stay in Berlin until the end of the war, Raeder followed and was captured by the Soviets who later took him to Moscow. Following the war, Raeder offered technical assistance regarding Soviet naval affairs.
Raeder was indicted on war crimes in October 1945. He was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nuremberg trials. He was surprised as he had expected to be sentenced to death. Whilst in prison, Raeder conducted a feud with Dönitz.[Who was his sucssesor] There were several campaigns to free Raeder, by his wife and German veterans. Due to ill health, Raeder was released on 26 September 1955.
He wrote his autobiography using ghost writers. Raeder wanted to continue his feud with Dönitz, but the ghost writers would not allow it for the sake of the navy. Raeder enjoyed attending and speaking at veteran meetings.
[He had a Ph D h c] (hounory causes)
Erich Raeder died in Kiel on 6 November 1960. His wife had died in 1959. He is buried in the Nordfriedhof (North Cemetery).
He was born in Leuben, the son of Karl Julius Reinhold Heydrich, a piano builder. He was a contrabassist in the Meiningen Court Orchestra and Dresden. In Weimar, he began his career as a singer. He was also a member of the Men's Association Schlaraffia. In 1895, he sang the title role in the premiere of Hans Pfitzner's first opera Der Arme Heinrich. The young Pfitzner could find no one for the role. Heydrich made the offer to perform free of charge once a stage had been found.
Heydrich composed choral works, songs, orchestral works and operas in the style of Richard Wagner, which were performed in Cologne and Leipzig. These works never entered the standard repertoire. Heydrich left behind about 83 compositions. In 1899, he founded in a music conservatory Halle an der Saale which bore his name.
Heydrich's wife Elisabeth, née Krantz, came from a wealthy family and was the daughter of the head of the Royal Conservatory of Dresden, Eugen Krantz. She met Richard Bruno Heydrich when he was a student at the conservatory. In Halle an der Saale, Richard Bruno Heydrich, Elisabeth, and their children lived in a second floor apartment, Gütchenstraße 20. Richard Bruno Heydrich’s eldest son, SS General Reinhard Heydrich (1904–1942), was named after the hero of his first opera, Amen. Heinz Heydrich, Reinhard's younger brother, committed suicide in 1944.
Bruno Heydrich died at a spa near Dresden, where his death certificate was issued. His crypt is in the Stadtgottesacker, Halle an der Saale.
Works. In Prague, the day before his assassination, Reinhard Heydrich and wife Lina Heydrich attend a concert of Richard Bruno Heydrich's music in the Wallenstein Palace, 26 May 1942.
Chamber music.
Friedrich Karl Freiherr von Eberstein (14 January 1894 – 10 February 1979) was a member of the German nobility, early member of the Nazi Party, the SA, and the SS (introducing Reinhard Heydrich to Heinrich Himmler in July 1931). Further, he rose to become a Reichstag delegate, an HSSPF and SS-Oberabschnitt Führer (chief of the Munich Police in World War II), and was a witness at the Nuremberg Trials.
Eberstein played a part in the first meeting of two of the major leaders of both the SS and later the Holocaust: Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Himmler. Eberstein and Heydrich's families were both from Halle on the Saale. His mother was Heydrich's godmother.[3] He was also a friend of Lina Heydrich, Reinhard Heydrich's wife. Acting on the advice of Karl von Eberstein, Himmler agreed to interview Heydrich.[8] When Himmler cancelled Heydrich's interview in Munich due to alleged illness, Lina ignored the message, and sent Heydrich on a Munich bound train. Karl met Heydrich at the station and drove him to meet Himmler. Himmler received Heydrich and hired him as the chief of the new SS 'Ic Service' or Intelligence Service (which would later become known as the Sicherheitsdienst (SD)

Karl von Eberstein, 1938

On 12 March 1938, Eberstein was appointed Higher SS and Police Leader (HSSPF) for military district VII in Munich. In addition, on 17 December 1942 he was appointed HSSPF for the military district XIII in Nuremberg. Dachau concentration camp fell under Eberstein's authority as HSSPF.
Karl von Eberstein was dismissed from all posts on 20 April 1945 for "defeatism", by Gauleiter Paul Giesler, on orders from Martin Bormann.[17] The charge of "defeatism", was made against Karl von Eberstein because he refused to support orders from high command that prisoners held in camps within his administrative command be eliminated.
KARL HERMANN FRANK View: YouTube: tps://wn.com/karl_hermann_frank
When Heydrich was assassinated in May 1942, Frank was once again passed over for promotion to Deputy Protector; Kurt Daluege was chosen instead. Daluege and Frank were instrumental in initiating the destruction of the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky in order to take revenge on the Czech populace for Heydrich's death. Under Daluege, Frank continued to consolidate his power and by the time Wilhelm Frick was appointed Reich Protector in 1943, Frank was the most powerful official in Bohemia and Moravia. In August 1942, he was made a Minister of State as Reich Minister for Bohemia and Moravia. In June 1943, he was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Police in Prague. Frank was also made a General of the Waffen-SS.

Karl Herman Frank hanging from the neck in Prague, 1946, for his role in organizing the massacres of the people of the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky. He was the Higher SS and Police Leader and Secretary of State of the Reich Protectorate of Bohem
View: YouTube: .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mysR1Kl0phE.
 You will notice this is a Pole Hanging, while Frank is probably unconscious he is still breathing and the hangman suffocates him with a push towards the back, while covering his nose and mouth. Frank does tries to lift his left arm, but this might be only a reflection of pain in his death throes.sic

 Body of Karl Hermann Frank after autopsy:
The head of Karl Hermann Frank after the autopsy   - there is bo indication that the lyrex was        severred completele, rather suffucation  was performed by the hangman.

From 30 April to 1 May 1945, before the Prague Uprising, Frank announced over the radio that he would drown any uprising in a "sea of blood". Later, as rumors of an impending Allied approach reached the city, the people of Prague streamed into the streets to welcome the victors. Frank ordered the streets to be cleared and instructed the German army and police forces in Prague to fire at anyone who disobeyed.
Frank surrendered to the U.S. Army in Pilsen on 9 May 1945. He was extradited to the People's Court in Prague and tried during March and April 1946. After being convicted of war crimes and the obliteration of Lidice, Frank was sentenced to death. He was hanged on 22 May 1946 with the Austro-Hungarian pole method in the courtyard of the Pankrác Prison in Prague, before 5,000 onlookers.  He was buried in an anonymous pit at Prague's Ďáblice cemetery.
Having been tipped off that he was about to be arrested, Brüning fled Germany in 1934 via the Netherlands and settled first in the United Kingdom, and in 1935 in the United States. In 1937 he became a visiting professor at Harvard University, and he was the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Government at Harvard from 1939 to 1952. He warned the American public about Hitler's plans for war, and later about Soviet aggression and plans for expansion, but in both cases his advice went largely unheeded.
In 1951 he returned to Germany, settling in Cologne in West Germany, where he taught as a professor of political science at the University of Cologne until he retired in 1953. Partly because of his dissatisfaction with chancellor Konrad Adenauer's politics he returned to the U.S. in 1955 where he revised the manuscript of his Memoirs 1918–1934 which was edited by his lifelong assistant, Claire Nix.
Due to the memoirs' highly controversial content they were not published until after his death in 1970. Parts of the memoirs are considered unreliable, not based on historical records, and a self-justification for his politics during the Weimar Republic. Brüning died 30 March 1970 in Norwich, Vermont, and was buried in his home town of Münster.

The operation was given the codename Anthropoid, Greek for "having the form of a human", a term usually used in zoology. With the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), preparation began on 20 October 1941. Warrant Officer Jozef Gabčík (Slovak) and Staff Sergeant Karel Svoboda (Czech) were chosen to carry out the operation on 28 October 1941 (Czechoslovakia's Independence Day). Svoboda was replaced with Jan Kubiš (Czech) after a head injury during training, causing delays in the mission, as Kubiš had not completed training nor had the necessary false documents been prepared for him.

                                                               Jozef Gabčík
 Gabčík and Kubiš airlifted by a Royal Air Force Halifax of No. 138 Squadron into Czechoslovakia at 10 pm on 28 December 1941 and landed near Nehvizdy east of Prague; although the plan was to land near Pilsen, the pilots had problems with orientation. The soldiers then moved to Pilsen to contact their allies, and from there on to Prague, where the attack was planned.
In the days following Lidice, no leads on those responsible for Heydrich's death were found despite the Nazis' zealous impatience to find them. During that time, a deadline set for the assassins to be apprehended by 18 June 1942 was publicly issued to the military and the people of Czechoslovakia. If they were not caught by then, the Germans threatened to spill far more blood as a consequence, believing that this threat would be enough to force a potential informant to sell out the culprits. Many civilians were indeed weary and fearful of further retaliations, making it increasingly difficult to hide information much longer.
                                                              Jan Kubiš
The assailants initially hid with two Prague families and later took refuge in Karel Boromejsky Church, an Eastern Orthodox church dedicated to Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Prague. The Germans were unable to locate the attackers until Karel Čurda of the "Out Distance" sabotage group was arrested and questioned by the Gestapo and gave them the names of the team’s local contacts for the bounty of one million Reichsmarks.

KAREL ČURDA  was an active Czech nazi collaborator during World War II. A soldier from the Czechoslovak army in exile, he was parachuted into the protectorate in 1942 as a member of the sabotage group 'Out Distance'. He is known for his betrayal of the Anglo-Czech and Slovak army agents responsible for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague known as Operation Anthropoid.
His rewards were 1,000,000 Reichsmarks and a new identity, as "Karl Jerhot". He married a German woman and spent the rest of the war as a Gestapo collaborator.
After the war, Čurda was tracked down and arrested. When asked in court how he could betray his comrades, Čurda answered, "I think you would have done the same for 1 million marks." Karel Čurda was found guilty of treason, although his attempted suicide failed, and was hanged on April 29, 1947..

                                                                  Karel Čurda

Čurda betrayed several safe houses provided by the Jindra group, including that of the Moravec family in Žižkov. At 05:00 on 17 June, the Moravec flat was raided. The family was made to stand in the hallway while the Gestapo searched their flat. Mrs. Marie Moravec, after being allowed to go to the toilet, bit into a cyanide capsule and thereby killed herself. Mr. Alois Moravec, unaware of his family's involvement with the resistance, was taken to the Peček Palác together with his 17-year-old son Ata, who though interrogated with torture throughout the day, refused to talk. The youth was stupefied with brandy, shown his mother's severed head in a fish tank and warned that if he did not reveal the information they were looking for, his father would be next. Ata's strong willpower finally snapped and he told the Gestapo what they wanted to know. Vlastimil "Ata" Moravec was executed by the Nazis in Mauthausen on 24 October 1942, the same day as his father and his fiancé with her mother and brother were executed.

                            The Crypt in Saint Cyril's Orthodox Church
                                                The Crypt in Saint Cyril’s Orthodox Church                                                                       
Waffen-SS troops laid siege to the church the following day but, despite the best efforts of 750 SS soldiers under the command of Generalleutnant Karl Fischer von Treuenfeld, they were unable to take the paratroopers alive; Kubiš, Adolf Opálka, and Jaroslav Svarc were killed in the prayer loft (although Kubiš was said to have survived the battle, he died shortly afterward from his injuries) after a two-hour gun battle. The other four, Gabčík, Josef Valcik, Josef Bublik and Jan Hruby committed suicide in the crypt after repeated SS attacks, attempts to smoke them out with tear gas, and Prague fire brigade trucks brought in to try to flood the crypt. The Germans (SS and police) suffered casualties as well, 14 SS allegedly killed and 21 wounded according to one report although the official SS report about the fight mentioned only five wounded SS soldiers. The men in the church had only small-caliber pistols, while the attackers had machine guns, submachine guns and hand grenades. After the battle, Čurda confirmed the identity of the dead Czech resistance fighters, including Kubiš and Gabčík.

 Germans Pump Water Into the Crypt in Saint Cyril's Orthodox Church
                   Germans Pump Water Into the Crypt in Saint Cyril’s Orthodox Church

Bishop Gorazd, in an attempt to minimize the reprisals among his flock, took the blame for the actions in the church and even wrote letters to the Nazi authorities, who arrested him on 27 June 1942 and tortured him. On 4 September 1942 the bishop, the church's priests and senior lay leaders were taken to Kobylisy Shooting Range in a northern suburb of Prague and shot by Nazi firing squads. For his actions,

                                                   Gorazd (Matěj Pavlík).jpg
                                                             Bishop Gorazd

BISHOP GORAZD, in an attempt to minimize the reprisals among his flock, took the blame for the actions in the church and even wrote letters to the German authorities, who arrested him on 27 June 1942 and tortured him. On 4 September 1942 the bishop, the church's priests and senior lay leaders were taken to Kobylisy Shooting Range in a northern suburb of Prague and were shot by a firing squads. For his actions, Bishop Gorazd was later glorified as a martyr by the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Over the next few weeks,236 other supporters and providers of safe houses for the parachutists were taken to Mauthausen concentration camp and murdered.

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Scrapbook Pages Blog
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Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1985.
Robert Gerwarth Hitler's Hangman
MacDonald, Callum. The Killing of Reinhard Heydrich. New York: The Free Press, 1989.
Toland, John. The Last 100 Days. New York: Random House, 1966.
The World Book Encyclopedia. "Heydrich, Reinhard". 1988 Edition.