Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich

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Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich (7 March 1904 – 4 June 1942), also known as The Hangman, was a high-ranking German Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 official.

He was SS
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

-Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA and until 1942 it was the highest SS rank inferior only to Reichsführer-SS...

(General) and General der Polizei, chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the SD
Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst , full title Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS, or SD, was the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. The organization was the first Nazi Party intelligence organization to be established and was often considered a "sister organization" with the...

, Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 and Kripo) and Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy Reich-Protector
Protector (title)
Protector, sometimes spelled protecter, is used as a title or part of various historical titles of heads of state and others in authority...

) of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 and Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

. In August 1940, he was appointed and served as President of Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 (the international law enforcement agency). Heydrich chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews, that Reinhard Heydrich...

, which laid out plans for the Final Solution (Endloesung); the deportation and extermination
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 of all Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 in German-occupied territory.

He was attacked in Prague on 27 May 1942 by a British-trained team of Czech and Slovak soldiers on behalf of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile who had been sent to kill
Targeted killing
Targeted killing is the deliberate, specific targeting and killing, by a government or its agents, of a supposed terrorist or of a supposed "unlawful combatant" who is not in that government's custody...

 him in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 in an operation named Operation Anthropoid
Operation Anthropoid
Operation Anthropoid was the code name for the targeted killing of top German SS leader Reinhard Heydrich. He was the chief of the Reich Main Security Office , the acting Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, and a chief planner of the Final Solution, the Nazi German programme for the genocide of the...

. He died from his injuries approximately one week later. Intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the town of Lidice
Lidice
Lidice is a village in the Czech Republic just northwest of Prague. It is built on the site of a previous village of the same name which, as part of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, was on orders from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal...

, and Ležáky. In retaliation, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 ordered over 13,000 people arrested. The village of Lidice
Lidice
Lidice is a village in the Czech Republic just northwest of Prague. It is built on the site of a previous village of the same name which, as part of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, was on orders from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal...

 was razed to the ground and many of its women and children were deported to Nazi concentration camps
Nazi concentration camps
Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled. The first Nazi concentration camps set up in Germany were greatly expanded after the Reichstag fire of 1933, and were intended to hold political prisoners and opponents of the regime...

; further, all male residents over the age of 16 (192 in total) were shot by firing squads. In total, approximately 1,300 people were murdered after Heydrich's death.

Early life


Heydrich was born in Halle an der Saale
Halle, Saxony-Anhalt
Halle is the largest city in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. It is also called Halle an der Saale in order to distinguish it from the town of Halle in North Rhine-Westphalia...

 to composer Richard Bruno Heydrich
Richard Bruno Heydrich
Richard Bruno Heydrich was a German opera singer , and composer.-Early career:...

 and his wife Elisabeth Anna Maria Amalia Kranz. Her father was Hofrat Kranz, founder of the Dresden Conservatory. Reinhard's two forenames were patriotic musical references: "Reinhard" from Amen, an opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 written by his father, in a portion called "Reinhard's Crime", while his first middle name, 'Tristan' stems from Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

's Tristan und Isolde
Tristan und Isolde
Tristan und Isolde is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the romance by Gottfried von Straßburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting...

. His third name probably derives from military hero Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy , was one of the most successful military commanders in modern European history, rising to the highest offices of state at the Imperial court in Vienna. Born in Paris to aristocratic Italian parents, Eugene grew up around the French court of King Louis XIV...

. He was born into a well-to-do Catholic family. Music was a part of Heydrich's everyday life; his father was an opera singer as well as the founder of the Halle Conservatory of Music. Heydrich developed a passion for the violin, which he carried into his adult life, and he impressed listeners with his musical talent.
His father was a German nationalist
Pan-Germanism
Pan-Germanism is a pan-nationalist political idea. Pan-Germanists originally sought to unify the German-speaking populations of Europe in a single nation-state known as Großdeutschland , where "German-speaking" was taken to include the Low German, Frisian and Dutch-speaking populations of the Low...

 who instilled patriotic ideas in the minds of his three children. The Heydrich household was very strict. As a youth, Heydrich engaged his younger brother, Heinz
Heinz Heydrich
Heinz Siegfried Heydrich was the son of Richard Bruno Heydrich and the younger brother of SS General Reinhard Heydrich...

, in mock fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

 duels, thus developing strong fencing skills. Heydrich was very intelligent and excelled in his schoolwork at the Reform-Realgymnasium. He was a talented athlete and he became an expert swimmer and fencer. However, he was shy, insecure and frequently bullied for his high-pitched voice and his family's Catholicism (the community was at the time largely Protestant). Heydrich was often mocked in his youth, being nicknamed "Moses Handel" due to rumors that he had Jewish ancestry. Wilhelm Canaris
Wilhelm Canaris
Wilhelm Franz Canaris was a German admiral, head of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service, from 1935 to 1944 and member of the German Resistance.- Early life and World War I :...

 said he had obtained photocopies proving Heydrich's Jewish ancestry, but these photocopies have never surfaced. Heydrich ordered SS
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

 researchers to investigate this rumor and they established that he had no Jewish ancestors.

When World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 broke out in 1914, 10-year-old Heydrich was too young to enlist for military service. He joined Maercker's Volunteer Rifles (the first Freikorps
Freikorps
Freikorps are German volunteer military or paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during...

 unit to be formed under Defense Minister Gustav Noske's directives), a right-wing paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 group that strongly opposed the Communists. He also joined the Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund
Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund
The Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund was the largest, most active, and most influential anti-Semitic federation in Germany after the first World War, and one of the largest and most important organization of the German völkisch movement during the Weimar Republic, whose...

, (The National German Protection and Shelter League), an anti-Semitic organisation. In 1918, the war ended with Germany's defeat. Because of the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

, inflation spread across Germany and many families—including Heydrich's—lost their life savings.
In 1922, he joined the Navy
German Navy
The German Navy is the navy of Germany and is part of the unified Bundeswehr .The German Navy traces its roots back to the Imperial Fleet of the revolutionary era of 1848 – 52 and more directly to the Prussian Navy, which later evolved into the Northern German Federal Navy...

, taking advantage of the education and pension
Pension
In general, a pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular installments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.The terms retirement...

 it offered. He became a naval cadet at Germany's chief naval base at Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

. In 1926, he advanced to the rank of ensign (Leutnant zur See) and was assigned as a signals officer on the battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 Schleswig Holstein
German battleship Schleswig-Holstein
SMS Schleswig-Holstein, one of the five s, was the last pre-dreadnought battleship built by the German Kaiserliche Marine. The ship was laid down in the Germaniawerft dockyard in Kiel in August 1905 and commissioned into the fleet nearly three years later in July 1908...

. Finding himself with authority over the subordinate officers who had once bullied him, he got revenge by treating them like lowly subjects.

Heydrich became a notorious womanizer, having countless affairs. One night in 1930, he attended a rowing club ball and met Lina von Osten
Lina Heydrich
Lina Heydrich was the wife of assassinated SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, a central figure in Nazi Germany....

. The two became romantically involved and soon announced their engagement. A former lover, the daughter of a shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

 director, became infuriated that Heydrich was going to marry another woman, and she then complained to her father, a friend of Admiral Erich Raeder
Erich Raeder
Erich Johann Albert Raeder was a naval leader in Germany before and during World War II. Raeder attained the highest possible naval rank—that of Großadmiral — in 1939, becoming the first person to hold that rank since Alfred von Tirpitz...

, then Chief Of Naval Operations. A formal complaint was lodged against Heydrich for insulting the honor of a young woman. He was charged with "conduct unbecoming to an officer and a gentleman" and an investigation ensued. Heydrich was called before a court of honour and he protested his innocence, accusing the woman of lying. Though he was exonerated, the officers demanded that he be cashiered for "conduct unbecoming a naval officer". In April 1931, Raeder sentenced Heydrich to "dismissal for impropriety." He was dismissed in 1931. Heydrich was devastated, but he remained engaged to Lina von Osten. He now found himself with no prospects for a career.

Nazi Party and the SS



In 1931, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 began to set up a counter-intelligence
Counter-intelligence
Counterintelligence or counter-intelligence refers to efforts made by intelligence organizations to prevent hostile or enemy intelligence organizations from successfully gathering and collecting intelligence against them. National intelligence programs, and, by extension, the overall defenses of...

 division of the SS. Acting on the advice of his associate Karl von Eberstein
Karl von Eberstein
Freiherr Freidrich Karl von Eberstein was a member of the German nobility, early member of the Nazi party, the SA, the SS, Reichstag delegate, an HSSPF and SS-Oberabschnitt Führer, head of the Munich Police in World War II, introduced Reinhard Heydrich to Heinrich Himmler, and was a witness at the...

, who was a friend of Lina von Osten, Himmler interviewed Heydrich. A commonly stated version is that Himmler arranged for an interview with Heydrich and was instantly impressed, hiring him on the spot. His pay was 180 reichsmarks per month (40 USD). In doing so Himmler effectively recruited Heydrich into the Nazi Party. His NSDAP number was 544,916 and his SS number was 10,120. Heydrich would later receive a Totenkopfring from Himmler for his service.

To begin work, Heydrich set up his office at the Brown House
Brown House, Munich, Germany
The Brown House was the national headquarters of the Nazi Party in Germany.A large impressive stone structure, it was located at 45 Brienner Straße in Munich, Bavaria...

, the Nazi Party headquarters
Headquarters
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility managing all business activities...

 in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

. He set about creating a counterintelligence service to be reckoned with.

At this time, he was insignificant within the Nazi Party apparatus. Heydrich created his own network of spies
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 and informers and dispatched them to obtain information to be used as blackmail
Blackmail
In common usage, blackmail is a crime involving threats to reveal substantially true or false information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of physical harm, threat of criminal prosecution, or threats...

, pursuing the party's opponents as well as high-ranking Nazis themselves.

In December 1931, Heydrich and von Osten married. That same year, he was promoted to SS major. As early as 1931, Heydrich was becoming one of the most dangerous men in the Nazi Party. With his vast archive of cross-referenced index cards, the fate of Nazi opponents rested upon his whims.

In 1932, however, Heydrich was given a taste of his own medicine by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

. A number of Heydrich's enemies had discovered the old rumours of his possible Jewish ancestry and began to spread them around. Within the Nazis' organisation such innuendo could be deadly, even for the head of the Reich's counterintelligence service. An investigation was conducted by Nazi Party racial expert Dr. Achim Gercke into Heydrich's genealogy
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

. Dr Gercke reported that Heydrich was "...of German origin and free from any coloured and Jewish blood". Nevertheless, Himmler was distressed by the mere suggestion of a man with "tainted" blood heading his counterintelligence service. In 1942 Himmler told Felix Kersten
Felix Kersten
Felix Kersten was before and during World War II the personal masseur of Heinrich Himmler...

, his personal masseur, that he had discussed the matter ten years earlier with Hitler, back when Himmler was head of the Bavarian political police. Hitler then interviewed Heydrich and found him "a highly gifted but also very dangerous man, whose gifts the movement had to retain". Himmler related to Kersten that Hitler said Heydrich's "non-Aryan origins were extremely useful; for he would be eternally grateful to us that we had kept him and not expelled him and would obey blindly". Himmler said to Kersten that Hitler's appraisal turned out to be accurate—that he did obey blindly. However, Kersten's recollection of this event and the actions described involving Himmler and Hitler are "somewhat suspect", having been challenged by historian Max Williams, who holds it should be "viewed with caution".

Gestapo and SD


In July 1932, Heydrich's counterintelligence service grew into an effective machine of terror and intimidation.
With Hitler agitating for absolute power
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 in Germany, Himmler and Heydrich wished to control the political police forces of all 17 German states, and they began with the state of Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

. In 1933, Heydrich gathered some of his men from the SD and together they stormed police headquarters in Munich and took over the police using intimidation tactics. Himmler became commander of the Bavarian political police with Heydrich as his deputy. From there, the duo moved on to the police forces of the 16 remaining German states. With 15 states under their control, they locked horns with Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

 over Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

.

Göring controlled the Prussian political police, and he disliked both Himmler and Heydrich. Göring's intentions were that his police force would stand apart from any other police organization and that its officers would obey no laws; they would be a law unto themselves. He named his organisation GEheime STAatsPOlizei
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 (GESTAPO, Secret State Police). For the purpose of a franking stamp, a postal clerk abbreviated the name to Gestapo. Göring wanted to transfer them out of police headquarters and give them their own command centre.


In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, but he still did not have the dictator
Dictator
A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch. When other states call the head of state of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship...

ial powers that he desired. In order to give himself more power, he pressured President Paul von Hindenburg
Paul von Hindenburg
Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg , known universally as Paul von Hindenburg was a Prussian-German field marshal, statesman, and politician, and served as the second President of Germany from 1925 to 1934....

 to sign a series of decrees which would hamper opposition parties such as the Communists and Socialists. With these decrees, the police had the authority to conduct searches, confiscate property, and arrest and detain people without allowing either a hearing or a trial. Heydrich consulted his list of index cards and supplied the SS and the brown-shirted SA (Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...

) with lists containing the names of "offenders" to be arrested. Since Heydrich's index cards numbered in the thousands, the prisons were soon filled beyond capacity and the first concentration camps were established to deal with the overflow of prisoners.

Crushing the SA



On 20 April 1934, Göring and Himmler agreed to put aside their differences (largely because of their shared hatred and growing dread of the Sturmabteilung). Göring transferred full authority over the Gestapo to Himmler, who was also named chief of all German police forces outside of Prussia. Himmler on 22 April 1934 named Heydrich the head of the Gestapo. With the Gestapo under their control, the two men plotted its use along with the SS to crush the SA
Sturmabteilung
The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...

.

Heydrich had his men uncover false "evidence" that SA leader Ernst Röhm
Ernst Röhm
Ernst Julius Röhm, was a German officer in the Bavarian Army and later an early Nazi leader. He was a co-founder of the Sturmabteilung , the Nazi Party militia, and later was its commander...

 was plotting to overthrow Hitler. Himmler put pressure on Hitler to purge Röhm and the leading members of the SA. Meanwhile Heydrich, Himmler, Göring, and Lutze (at Hitler's direction) drew up lists of those who should be "liquidated" starting with seven top SA officials and ending with many more. On 30 June 1934, the SS and Gestapo acted in coordinated mass arrests that continued throughout the entire weekend. Röhm was shot (without trial) along with the leadership of the SA. This Nazi purge became known as the Night of the Long Knives
Night of the Long Knives
The Night of the Long Knives , sometimes called "Operation Hummingbird " or in Germany the "Röhm-Putsch," was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders...

.

With the SA out of the way, Heydrich began building the Gestapo into an instrument of fear. He improved his index card system. Since he created more categories of offenders, the cards were now colour-coded. The Gestapo had the authority to arrest citizens on the mere suspicion that they might commit a crime, and the definition of a crime was at their discretion; Hitler himself said of the agency that "all means, even if they are not in conformity with existing laws and precedents, are permitted if they serve the will of the Führer
Führer
Führer , alternatively spelled Fuehrer in both English and German when the umlaut is not available, is a German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler, who modelled it on Benito Mussolini's title il Duce, as well as with Georg von Schönerer, whose followers also...

". People began disappearing throughout Germany, never to be seen again. At a later date, their families would receive an urn containing their ashes. Under Himmler and Heydrich, Germany became a police state
Police state
A police state is one in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population...

. Further, Himmler had been involved in developing his idea of a "Germanic religion" and wanted SS members to leave the church. In the spring of 1936, Heydrich left the Catholic Church. His wife, Lina, had already left the church the year before. Heydrich not only felt he could no longer be a member, but came to consider the political power (and influence) of the church a danger to the state.

Forging the police force together


On 17 June 1936, all police forces throughout Germany were united with Himmler as the chief. On 26 June, Himmler reorganised the police into two groups:

Ordnungspolizei
Ordnungspolizei
The Ordnungspolizei or Orpo were the uniformed regular police force in Nazi Germany between 1936 and 1945. It was increasingly absorbed into the Nazi police system. Owing to their green uniforms, they were also referred to as Grüne Polizei...

 (Orpo) which consisted of the national uniformed police and the municipal police.

Sicherheitspolizei
Sicherheitspolizei
The Sicherheitspolizei , often abbreviated as SiPo, was a term used in Nazi Germany to describe the state political and criminal investigation security agencies. It was made up by the combined forces of the Gestapo and the Kripo between 1936 and 1939...

 (SiPo) which consisted of the Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 and the Kripo or Kriminalpolizei
Kriminalpolizei
is the standard term for the criminal investigation agency within the police forces of Germany, Austria and the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland. In Nazi Germany during 1936, the Kripo became the Criminal Police Department for the entire Reich...

 (Criminal Police).

At that point, Reinhard Heydrich was head of the SiPo, Gestapo, Kripo and SD
Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst , full title Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS, or SD, was the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. The organization was the first Nazi Party intelligence organization to be established and was often considered a "sister organization" with the...

. Heinrich Müller, was the chief of operations of the Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

. Heydrich's first task was the suppression of all possible dissent prior to and during the 1936 Olympics
1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain on April 26, 1931, at the 29th IOC Session in Barcelona...

, a task he executed with a cold and systematic ruthlessness which gained him the (Deutsches Olympiaehrenzeichen) or German Olympic Games Decoration
Olympic Games Decoration
The German Olympic Games Decoration was a civil decoration of Nazi Germany awarded to administrators of the 1936 Olympics...

 (First Class).

In summer 1939, Heydrich created a foundation, the Stiftung Nordhav
Stiftung Nordhav
Reinhard Heydrich founded the Stiftung Nordhav in 1939 to obtain real estate for the SS.-Founding and Purpose:The name Nordhav came from an old German term for the North Sea. Heydrich established the Stiftung Nordhav on 30 July 1939. The State Secretary Wilhelm Stuckart recognized the foundation 3...

, to obtain real estate for use of the SS and Security Police as guest houses and vacation spots. The Wannsee Villa, which the Stiftung Nordhav acquired in November 1940, was the site of the Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews, that Reinhard Heydrich...

, the meeting Heydrich held with senior officials of the Nazi regime to announce the plans for the deportation and extermination of all Jews in German-occupied territory. This to be coordinated with the representatives from the Nazi state agencies present at the meeting.

On 27 September 1939, the SD and SiPo (made up of the Gestapo and the Kripo) were folded into the new Reich Main Security Office or RSHA, which was placed under Heydrich's control. At that time, the title of "Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD" (Chief of the Security Police and SD) or CSSD was conferred on Heydrich. On 24 August 1940, Heydrich also became the President of Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

. Thereafter, the headquarters of Interpol was transferred to Berlin. He was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer
Obergruppenführer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank that was first created in 1932 as a rank of the SA and until 1942 it was the highest SS rank inferior only to Reichsführer-SS...

 und General der Polizei on 24 September 1941.

Red Army Purges


In 1936, the SD received information that a top ranking Soviet officer was plotting to overthrow Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

. Sensing an opportunity to strike a blow at both the Soviet Army as well as Admiral Canaris of the German Abwehr
Abwehr
The Abwehr was a German military intelligence organisation from 1921 to 1944. The term Abwehr was used as a concession to Allied demands that Germany's post-World War I intelligence activities be for "defensive" purposes only...

, Heydrich decided the Russian officers should be "unmasked". Heydrich discussed the matter with Himmler and both in turn brought it to the attention of Hitler. Unknown to Heydrich, the "information" that he received about the officers plot was actually initiated by Stalin himself in an attempt to make his purges of the Red Army high command believable. Stalin ordered one of his best NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 agents, General Nikolai Skoblin
Nikolai Skoblin
Nikolai Skoblin was a general in the counterrevolutionary White Russian army, a member of the expatriate Russian All-Military Union , a Soviet double agent, and husband to the gypsy folk-singer Nadezhda Plevitskaya ....

, to pass Heydrich the false information suggesting a plot against Stalin by Marshall Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky was a Marshal of the Soviet Union, commander in chief of the Red Army , and one of the most prominent victims of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge.-Early life:...

 and other Soviet generals. Heydrich received approval from Hitler to act immediately on the information. Heydrich's SD forged a series of documents and correspondence implicating Tukhachevsky and other Red Army commanders. The material was delivered to the NKVD. The Great Purge
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

 of the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 followed upon orders of Stalin. While Heydrich believed they had successfully deluded Stalin into executing or dismissing some 35,000 of his officer corps, the importance of Heydrich's part is a matter of speculation and conjecture. It is notable that the forged documents were not even used by Soviet military prosecutors against the generals in their secret trial, instead relying on false confessions extorted or beaten out of the defendants.

Night and Fog Decree



By late 1940, German armies had swept through most of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. In 1941, the SD was given the responsibility of carrying out the Nacht und Nebel
Nacht und Nebel
Nacht und Nebel was a directive of Adolf Hitler on 7 December 1941 signed and implemented by Armed Forces High Command Chief Wilhelm Keitel, resulting in the kidnapping and forced disappearance of many political activists and resistance 'helpers' throughout Nazi Germany's occupied...

(Night and Fog) decree, designed to crush any resistance. According to the decree, suspects had to be arrested in a maximally discreet way "under the cover of night and fog". People simply disappeared without a trace and no one was told of their whereabouts or their eventual fate. For each prisoner, the SD was required to fill out a questionnaire
Questionnaire
A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not always the case...

 that listed their personal information, their country of origin and the details of their crimes against the Reich. This questionnaire was to be put into an envelope inscribed with a seal that read "Nacht und Nebel" and submitted to the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). In the WVHA
SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt
The SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt was responsible for managing the finances, supply systems and business projects for the Allgemeine-SS...

 "Central Inmate File", as in many camp files, these prisoners would be given a special "covert prisoner" code, as opposed to the code for POW, Felon, Jew, Gypsy, etc. This decree remained in effect after Heydrich's death. The exact number of people who vanished in the name of the decree has never been positively established, but it is estimated to be roughly 7,000.

Acting Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia


On 27 September 1941 Heydrich was appointed Deputy Reich Protector of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic...

 (the part of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 incorporated into the Reich on 15 March 1939). The Reich Protector, Konstantin von Neurath
Konstantin von Neurath
Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath was a German diplomat remembered mostly for having served as Foreign minister of Germany between 1932 and 1938...

, remained titular Protector, but was sent on "leave", and Heydrich assumed effective government of the territory, as Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich felt Neurath's "soft approach" to the Czechs had promoted anti-German sentiment and encouraged anti-German resistance by strikes and sabotage. As Heydrich told his aides upon his appointment, "We will Germanize the Czech vermin."

Heydrich came to Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 to "strengthen policy, carry out counter measures against resistance" and keep up production quotas of Czech motor and arms that were "extremely important to the German war effort". Heydrich viewed the area as a bulwark of Germandom and condemned the "stabs in the back" by the Czech resistance. To realize his goals Heydrich demanded racial classification of those who could and could not be "Germanized." He explained, "...making this Czech garbage into Germans must give way to methods based on racist thought". After arriving in Prague, Heydrich started his rule by terrorizing the population and within three days 92 people were executed with their names appearing on posters throughout the occupied region. Almost all avenues by which Czechs could act Czech in public were closed. According to Heydrich's own estimate between 4 to 5 thousand people had been arrested by February 1942; those who were not executed were sent to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Mauthausen Concentration Camp grew to become a large group of Nazi concentration camps that was built around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria, roughly east of the city of Linz.Initially a single camp at Mauthausen, it expanded over time and by the summer of 1940, the...

 where only 4% of Czech prisoners survived the war. In March 1942, further sweeps against Czech cultural and patriotic organisations, military and intelligentsia, resulted in the practical paralysis of Czech resistance; although small disorganised cells of UVOD survived, only communist resistance was able to function in more coordinate form (although it also suffered arrests). The terror also served to paralyze resistance in society, with public and widespread demonstration of reprisals against any action resisting the German rule. Heydrich's brutal policies during that time quickly earned him the nickname "the Butcher of Prague".

As the governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Heydrich applied "carrot-and-stick" methods. The organisation of labour in the Protectorate was reorganised on the basis of Nazi Labour Front in Germany. Heydrich used equipment confiscated from Czech organisation Sokol
Sokol
The Sokol movement is a youth sport movement and gymnastics organization first founded in Czech region of Austria-Hungary, Prague, in 1862 by Miroslav Tyrš and Jindřich Fügner...

 to organise events for workers. The black market was suppressed with its food given out in worker cafeterias. Further, food rations and free shoes were given out, pension
Pension
In general, a pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular installments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.The terms retirement...

s were increased, and (for some time) free Saturdays were introduced; additionally unemployment insurance was established for the first time. Those associated with the resistance movement or the black market were torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

d or executed. His use of terms to describe those harshly dealt with as "economic criminals" and "enemies of the people" in the Press, helped gain him support. Under Heydrich, conditions in Prague and the rest of the Czech lands were relatively peaceful and industrial output went up. Still those measures couldn't hide shortages and increasing inflation, and reports grew of growing discontent.

Despite such public displays of good will towards Czechs, privately Heydrich made no illusions as to his eventual goals and their fate stating, "This entire area will one day be definitely German, and the Czechs have nothing to expect here"; eventually up to 2/3 of Czechs were to be either be removed to regions of Russia or exterminated after Nazi victory in the war. Bohemia Moravia was to be annexed directly into the German Reich.

Later, other changes to labour system were introduced: more than 100,000 workers were removed from "unsuitable" jobs and conscripted by the Ministry of Labour; by December 1941 Czechs could be called to work anywhere within the Reich. Between April and November 1942, 79,000 Czech workers were taken in such manner for work within Nazi Germany. Also in February 1942 the work day was raised to 12 hours from 8 hours. In the end, the Czech workforce was conscripted labour for Nazi exploitation.

Heydrich was, for all intents and purposes, military dictator of Bohemia and Moravia. His changes to the government's structure left President Emil Hacha
Emil Hácha
Emil Hácha was a Czech lawyer, the third President of Czecho-Slovakia from 1938 to 1939. From March 1939, he presided under the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.-Judicial career:...

 and his cabinet virtually powerless. He often drove alone in a car with an open roof—a show of his confidence in the occupation forces and in the effectiveness of his government.

Killing in Prague



In London, the Czechoslovak government in exile resolved to kill Heydrich. Two men specially trained by the British Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

 (SOE), Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš was a Czech soldier, one of a team of Czechoslovak British-trained soldiers sent to assassinate acting Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942 as part of Operation Anthropoid.- Biography :Jan Kubiš was born in 1913 in Dolní Vilémovice,...

 and Jozef Gabčík
Jozef Gabcík
Jozef Gabčík was a Slovak soldier of Czechoslovak army involved in Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of acting Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich....

, were chosen for the operation. After receiving training from the British, they returned by parachute on 28 December 1941, dropped from a Halifax
Handley Page Halifax
The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing...

 of 138 Squadron RAF
No. 138 Squadron RAF
No. 138 Squadron RAF was a squadron of the Royal Air Force that served in a variety of roles during its career, last disbanded in 1962. It was the first 'V-bomber' squadron of the RAF, flying the Vickers Valiant between 1955 and 1962....

.

On 27 May 1942, Heydrich was scheduled to attend a meeting with Hitler in Berlin. German documents suggest that Hitler intended to transfer Heydrich to German-occupied France, where the French resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 had started to gain ground. Heydrich would have to pass a section where the Dresden-Prague road merged with a road to the Troja Bridge. The intersection was well-suited for the attack because Heydrich's car would have to slow to negotiate a hairpin turn. The attack was scheduled for 27 May. On that date, Heydrich was ambushed while he rode in his open car in the Prague suburb of Libeň
Liben
Libeň is a Cadastral area and district of Prague. It was connected to Prague in 1901.- People :* Herz Homberg, born here* Ernestine Schumann-Heink, born here* Bohumil Hrabal, lived here...

. As the car slowed to take the turn, Gabčík took aim with a Sten
Sten
The STEN was a family of British 9 mm submachine guns used extensively by British and Commonwealth forces throughout World War II and the Korean War...

 sub-machine gun, but it jammed and failed to fire. Instead of ordering his driver to speed away, Heydrich called his car to a halt in an attempt to take on the attackers. Kubiš then threw a bomb (a converted anti-tank mine) at the rear of the car. The explosion wounded Heydrich and also Kubiš himself.

When the smoke cleared, Heydrich emerged from the wreckage with his gun still in his hand and he gave chase after Kubiš and tried to return fire. At least one account states that his pistol was not loaded. He ran for half a block, became weak from shock, and sent his driver, Klein, on foot to chase Gabčík. In the ensuing firefight, Gabčík shot Klein in the leg and escaped. Heydrich appeared not to be seriously injured.

A Czech woman went to Heydrich's aid and flagged down a Tatra van delivering floor wax and polish. First, Heydrich was placed in the driver's cab, but after complaining that the movement of the truck was causing him pain, he was placed in the back of the truck, lying on his stomach, and he was taken to Na Bulovce Hospital popularly known as Bulovka. Then Heydrich was taken to the emergency room. He had suffered a severe injury to the left side of his body with major damage to his diaphragm
Thoracic diaphragm
In the anatomy of mammals, the thoracic diaphragm, or simply the diaphragm , is a sheet of internal skeletal muscle that extends across the bottom of the rib cage. The diaphragm separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity and performs an important function in respiration...

, spleen
Spleen
The spleen is an organ found in virtually all vertebrate animals with important roles in regard to red blood cells and the immune system. In humans, it is located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen. It removes old red blood cells and holds a reserve of blood in case of hemorrhagic shock...

, and lung
Human lung
The human lungs are the organs of respiration in humans. Humans have two lungs, with the left being divided into two lobes and the right into three lobes. Together, the lungs contain approximately of airways and 300 to 500 million alveoli, having a total surface area of about in...

, as well as a broken rib. Czech Dr. Slanina packed the chest wound, while German Dr. Walter Diek tried unsuccessfully to remove the splinters. He decided to immediately perform an operation. This was carried out by Drs. Diek, Slanina and Hohlbaum. First, Heydrich was given several blood transfusions. Then, the chest wound, left lung and diaphragm were all debrided
Debridement
Debridement is the medical removal of a patient's dead, damaged, or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue...

 and closed. Further, a splenectomy
Splenectomy
A splenectomy is a surgical procedure that partially or completely removes the spleen.-Indications:The spleen, similar in structure to a large lymph node, acts as a blood filter. Current knowledge of its purpose includes the removal of old red blood cells and platelets, and the detection and fight...

 was carried out. Himmler ordered Dr. Karl Gebhardt
Karl Gebhardt
Karl Gebhardt was a German medical doctor; personal physician of Heinrich Himmler; and one of the main coordinators and perpetrators of surgical experiments performed on inmates of the concentration camps at Ravensbrück and Auschwitz.-Career in the Third Reich:Gebhardt's Nazi career began with his...

 to fly to Prague and take over Heydrich's care. Despite a fever, his recovery appeared to progress well. Dr. Theodor Morell
Theodor Morell
Theodor Gilbert Morell was German Führer Adolf Hitler's personal physician. Morell was well known in Germany for his unconventional treatments....

, Hitler's personal doctor, suggested the use of Sulfonamide
Sulfonamide (medicine)
Sulfonamide or sulphonamide is the basis of several groups of drugs. The original antibacterial sulfonamides are synthetic antimicrobial agents that contain the sulfonamide group. Some sulfonamides are also devoid of antibacterial activity, e.g., the anticonvulsant sultiame...

 (a new antibiotic) be used but, Dr. Gebhardt refused and thought Heydrich would recover. On 2 June, during a visit with Himmler, Heydrich reconciled himself with 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.


After Himmler's visit, Heydrich slipped into a coma
Coma
In medicine, a coma is a state of unconsciousness, lasting more than 6 hours in which a person cannot be awakened, fails to respond normally to painful stimuli, light or sound, lacks a normal sleep-wake cycle and does not initiate voluntary actions. A person in a state of coma is described as...

 and never regained consciousness. He died on the 4th of June, probably around 4:30 a.m. at the age of 38. The autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 states that he died of septicemia. Of peculiar note, Heydrich's facial expression as he died (his "death mask") betrayed an "uncanny spirituality and entirely perverted beauty, like a renaissance Cardinal," according to Dr. Bernhard Wehner, a police official who investigated the assassination.

Aftermath




Infuriated, Hitler ordered the arrest and execution of 10,000 randomly selected Czechs, but, after consultations with Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank was a prominent Sudeten German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia prior to and during World War II and an SS-Obergruppenführer...

, he reduced his response. The Czech lands were an important industrial zone for the German military and indiscriminate killing could reduce the productivity of the region. Hitler ordered a quick investigation. Intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the town of Lidice
Lidice
Lidice is a village in the Czech Republic just northwest of Prague. It is built on the site of a previous village of the same name which, as part of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, was on orders from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal...

, and Ležáky
Ležáky
Ležáky was a village in Czechoslovakia. In 1942 it was razed to the ground by Nazis during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.Ležáky was a settlement inhabited by poor stone-cutters and little cottagers...

. Upon Himmler's orders, the Nazi retaliation was brutal. Over 13,000 people were arrested, deported
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

, and imprisoned. Beginning 10 June, all males over the age of 16 in the village of Lidice, 22 km north-west of Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, and the village of Ležáky, were murdered. All but four of the women 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); a number of children were chosen for Germanization, however, 81 children were gassed to death in specially modified vans
Gas van
The gas van or gas wagon was an extermination method devised by Nazi Germany to kill victims of the regime. It was also rumored that analog of such device was used by the Soviet Union on an experimental basis during the Great Purge-Nazi Germany:...

 at the Chełmno extermination camp. The towns were burned and the ruins of Lidice, leveled. In total, approximately 1,300 people were massacred after Heydrich's death.

Heydrich's assassins took refuge in the crypt of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
The Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral in Nové Město, Prague, Czech Republic, is the principal church in the Metropolitan Council of the Czech Republic...

, an Orthodox church in Prague. Their location betrayed by two traitors in the Czech resistance movement, the church was surrounded and the Germans started firing on it. Rather than surrender, the soldiers took their own lives. Among those tortured and killed was the church's leader, Bishop Gorazd
Gorazd (Pavlik) of Prague
Bishop Gorazd of Prague, given name Matěj Pavlík , was the hierarch of the revived Orthodox Church in Moravia, the Church of Czechoslovakia, after World War I...

, who is now revered as a martyr of the Orthodox Church.

There is a special memorial to both the soldiers and the dead of Lidice and Ležáky in Jephson Gardens, Royal Leamington Spa, where the Czech forces were stationed during the war, and where their training took place. The memorial fountain is in the form of a parachute, with water running over the centre fold. Planted around the fountain is the special white Lidice Rose, grown in commemoration of the dead. This memorial is believed to be the only place outside of Czechoslovakia where the special rose is grown. The fountain was designed and is maintained by Warwick district council. There are also roses from Lidice at Aston Abbotts
Aston Abbotts
Aston Abbotts is a village and civil parish within Aylesbury Vale district in Buckinghamshire, England. It is situated about four miles north of Aylesbury and three miles south west of Wing. The parish had a population of 404 according to the 2001 census.The village name 'Aston' is a common one...

 in Buckinghamshire.

Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš
Jan Kubiš was a Czech soldier, one of a team of Czechoslovak British-trained soldiers sent to assassinate acting Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942 as part of Operation Anthropoid.- Biography :Jan Kubiš was born in 1913 in Dolní Vilémovice,...

 and Jozef Gabčík
Jozef Gabcík
Jozef Gabčík was a Slovak soldier of Czechoslovak army involved in Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of acting Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich....

 had trained with the British Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

 at various Special Training Schools in England and Scotland, including STS21 established at Arisaig House, Arisaig
Arisaig
Arisaig is a village in Lochaber, Invernessshire, on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands.-History:On 20 September 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie left Scotland for France from a place near the village following the failure of the Jacobite Rising. The site of his departure is marked by the Prince's...

 near Lochaber
Lochaber
District of Lochaber 1975 to 1996Highland council area shown as one of the council areas of ScotlandLochaber is one of the 16 ward management areas of the Highland Council of Scotland and one of eight former local government districts of the two-tier Highland region...

 in Scotland.

An elaborate funeral was conducted for Heydrich in Prague and Berlin, with Hitler attending (and placing Heydrich's decorations on his funeral pillow, the highest grade of the German Order
German Order (decoration)
The German Order was the most important award that the Nazi Party could bestow on an individual for "duties of the highest order to the state and party". This award was first made by Adolf Hitler posthumously to Reichsminister Fritz Todt at his funeral in February, 1942...

 and the Blood Order
Blood Order
The Blood Order , officially known as the Decoration of 9 November 1923 , was one of the most prestigious decorations in the Nazi Party...

 Medal). Although Heydrich's death was employed as pro-Reich propaganda, Hitler seemed privately to blame Heydrich for his own death, through carelessness:

Since it is opportunity which makes not only the thief but also the assassin, such heroic gestures as driving in an open, unarmoured vehicle or walking about the streets unguarded are just damned stupidity, which serves the Fatherland
Fatherland
Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers", "forefathers" or "patriarchs". It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it relates to nations...

 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 eventual replacements were Ernst Kaltenbrunner
Ernst Kaltenbrunner
Ernst Kaltenbrunner was an Austrian-born senior official of Nazi Germany during World War II. Between January 1943 and May 1945, he held the offices of Chief of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt , President of Interpol and, as a Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS, he was the...

 as the chief of RSHA
RSHA
The RSHA, or Reichssicherheitshauptamt was an organization subordinate to Heinrich Himmler in his dual capacities as Chef der Deutschen Polizei and Reichsführer-SS...

, and Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank was a prominent Sudeten German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia prior to and during World War II and an SS-Obergruppenführer...

 27–28 May 1942 and Kurt Daluege
Kurt Daluege
Kurt Daluege was a German Nazi SS-Oberstgruppenführer and Generaloberst der Polizei as chief of the Ordnungspolizei and ruled the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia as Deputy Protector after Reinhard Heydrich's assassination.-Early life and career:Kurt Daluege, a son of a Prussian state official,...

 28 May 1942 – 14 October 1943 as the new acting Reichsprotektors.

After Heydrich's death, his legacy lived on; the first three "trial" death camps were constructed and put into operation at Treblinka
Treblinka extermination camp
Treblinka was a Nazi extermination camp in occupied Poland during World War II near the village of Treblinka in the modern-day Masovian Voivodeship of Poland. The camp, which was constructed as part of Operation Reinhard, operated between and ,. During this time, approximately 850,000 men, women...

, Sobibór
Sobibór extermination camp
Sobibor was a Nazi German extermination camp located on the outskirts of the town of Sobibór, Lublin Voivodeship of occupied Poland as part of Operation Reinhard; the official German name was SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor...

, and Belzec
Belzec extermination camp
Belzec, Polish spelling Bełżec , was the first of the Nazi German extermination camps created for implementing Operation Reinhard during the Holocaust...

. The project was named Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard was the code name given to the Nazi plan to murder Polish Jews in the General Government, and marked the most deadly phase of the Holocaust, the use of extermination camps...

 in Heydrich's honor.

Heydrich's grave


Heydrich was buried in Berlin's Invalidenfriedhof, a military cemetery. The location of the grave in the Invalidenfriedhof is not entirely certain. Heydrich's plot may be between those of two famous German war heroes, Adolf Karl von Oven and Gerhard von Scharnhorst
Gerhard von Scharnhorst
Gerhard Johann David Waitz von Scharnhorst was a general in Prussian service, Chief of the Prussian General Staff, noted for both his writings, his reforms of the Prussian army, and his leadership during the Napoleonic Wars....

 (cemetery section C). Hitler wanted Heydrich to have a monumental tomb, but because of the downhill course of the war the tomb was never built. In 1945 Heydrich's temporary wooden grave marker disappeared. The marker was never replaced, because the Allies and Berlin authorities feared Heydrich's grave would become a rallying point for Neo-Nazis, as later on the grave of Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess was a prominent Nazi politician who was Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party during the 1930s and early 1940s...

 did in the little Bavarian town of Wunsiedel
Wunsiedel
Wunsiedel is the county town of the Upper Franconian district of Wunsiedel in northeast Bavaria, Germany. The town became well known for its annual Luisenburg Festival and the Rudolf Hess Memorial March held by the Neo-Nazis here until 2005.- Geography :...

. When Berlin became a divided city, the cemetery abutted the line between East Berlin
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

 and West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

, which in the 1960s became the path of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

. During the time when the Wall was standing, Heydrich's grave may have been part of the so-called "death strip" between the two Berlins and inaccessible to the public, though this is unlikely because section C of the Invalidenfriedhof is in the front of the cemetery, near the Scharnhorststraße entrance, and the death strip was in the back (southwest sections E, F, and G and along the Schiffahrtskanal). A letter published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , short F.A.Z., also known as the FAZ, is a national German newspaper, founded in 1949. It is published daily in Frankfurt am Main. The Sunday edition is the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung .F.A.Z...

 in 1992 asserted that Heydrich's grave is in cemetery section A next to General of Infantry Count Tauentzien von Wittenberg, who fought against Napoleon in the wars of liberation (1813). A recent biography of Heydrich also places the grave in Section A. 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.

Himmler and Heydrich


As chief of all police forces, Himmler was technically responsible to Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick was a prominent German Nazi official serving as Minister of the Interior of the Third Reich. After the end of World War II, he was tried for war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials and executed...

, the minister of the Interior, but in practice answered only to Hitler. Himmler's police forces were independent and they obeyed no government laws. Rather than protecting the citizens of the Reich, the role of the political police (RSHA
RSHA
The RSHA, or Reichssicherheitshauptamt was an organization subordinate to Heinrich Himmler in his dual capacities as Chef der Deutschen Polizei and Reichsführer-SS...

 and in particular two of its departments: the Gestapo and SD) became that of protecting the Reich from its citizens. Heydrich's brutal efficiency earned him the nicknames "the blonde beast" and "the young evil god of death".
Heydrich and Himmler had a complicated but practical working relationship. Although Himmler was the boss, Heydrich was the true force behind the SD and Gestapo (the contemporary quip Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich" reflects this.) While they personally disliked each other, the two men formed a solid partnership and became a force to be reckoned with within the Party. Their thirst for power took them beyond the periphery of the SD and SS.

While Heydrich's abilities were never doubted by superiors and subordinates alike, his arrogance and combativeness won him few supporters within the Party and he occasionally embarrassed Himmler, who had to clean up the mess. Himmler would occasionally lose his patience with Heydrich, berating and abusing him, sometimes calling him "Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

".

In light of the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair
Blomberg-Fritsch Affair
The Blomberg–Fritsch Affair were two related scandals in early 1938 that resulted in the subjugation of the German Armed Forces to dictator Adolf Hitler...

, Heydrich braced himself for the possibility of Himmler firing him. Himmler did not fire Heydrich, but he was clearly angered. In a public speech, Himmler stated that he was misguided by his incapable subordinates. Although he did not name Heydrich specifically, Heydrich knew that he was one of them.

Upon the establishment of the Third Reich, Heydrich helped Hitler and Himmler gather information on many political opponents, keeping an extensive filing system listing individuals and organizations who opposed the party and the regime. He was believed to be the creator of the forged documents of Russian correspondence with the German High Command. While it is now known that the Stalinist
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 Great Purge
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

 of the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 military officer corps was at most tangentially related to these forgeries, at the time they were widely believed to have resulted from Heydrich's actions, enormously adding to his prestige. He was also instrumental in establishing the false 'attack' by Poland on German national radio at Gleiwitz
Gleiwitz incident
The Gleiwitz incident was a staged attack by Nazi forces posing as Poles on 31 August 1939, against the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany on the eve of World War II in Europe....

, intended to provide the Nazi justification for the beginning of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. This fabrication failed, however, and only came to light after the war, when Allied investigators began researching the captured German documents.

Role in the Holocaust


Heydrich was one of the main architects of the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 during the early years of the war; only answering to, and taking orders from Hitler and Himmler in all matters that pertained to the deportation, imprisonment, and extermination of Jews. Below are a few referenced examples describing his involvement.

During Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, and also Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom or series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938.Jewish homes were ransacked, as were shops, towns and...

, November 1938, he sent a telegram to various SD and Gestapo offices, helping to coordinate the program with the SS, SD, Gestapo, uniformed police (Orpo), Nazi party officials, and even the fire departments. It talks about permitting arson and destruction of Jewish businesses and synagogues, and orders the taking of all "archival material" out of Jewish community centers and synagogues. The telegram also ordered that "as many Jews – particularly affluent Jews – are to be arrested in all districts as can be accommodated in existing detention facilities...Immediately after the arrests have been carried out, the appropriate Concentration Camps should be contacted to place the Jews into camps as quickly as possible."

After Kristallnacht, Göring assigned him as head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration
Central Office for Jewish Emigration
The Central Office for Jewish Emigration was a designation of Nazi institutions in Vienna, Prague and Amsterdam. Its purpose was to expel Jews from Nazi-controlled areas.- History :...

. In this position, he worked tirelessly both to coordinate various initiatives for the Final Solution
Final Solution
The Final Solution was Nazi Germany's plan and execution of the systematic genocide of European Jews during World War II, resulting in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust...

, and to assert SS dominance over Jewish policy.
On 21 September 1939 Heydrich sent out a teleprinter message to the Chiefs of all Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen were SS paramilitary death squads that were responsible for mass killings, typically by shooting, of Jews in particular, but also significant numbers of other population groups and political categories...

 of the Security Police
with a subject of "Jewish question in the occupied territory". It contained instructions on how to round up Jewish people for placement into ghettos, formation of Judenrat
Judenrat
Judenräte were administrative bodies during the Second World War that the Germans required Jews to form in the German occupied territory of Poland, and later in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union It is the overall term for the enforcement bodies established by the Nazi occupiers to...

, ordering of Census, Aryanization
Aryanization
Aryanization is a term coined during Nazism referring to the forced expulsion of so-called "non-Aryans", mainly Jews, from business life in Nazi Germany and the territories it controlled....

 plans for Jewish owned businesses and farms, etc.
On 29 November 1939 he sent out another cable regarding the "Evacuation of New Eastern Provinces", describing various details of the "evacuation" of people by railway, and giving guidance surrounding the Dec 1939 Census which would be the basis on which those evacuations were formed. In May 1941, Heyrdrich drew up the regulations with the First Quarter-master General Eduard Wagner
Eduard Wagner
General Eduard Wagner was a German Artillery officer who was the quartermaster-general of the German Army and a member of the resistance to Adolf Hitler....

 for the up-coming Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 that ensured that the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen were SS paramilitary death squads that were responsible for mass killings, typically by shooting, of Jews in particular, but also significant numbers of other population groups and political categories...

and Army would co-operate with murdering Soviet Jews.

On 10 October 1941, he was the senior officer at a meeting in Prague that discussed deporting 50,000 Jewish people from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic...

 (mostly in the modern day Czech Republic) to ghettos in Minsk and Riga
Riga Ghetto
The Riga Ghetto was a small area in Maskavas Forštate, neighborhood of Riga, Latvia, designated by the Nazis where Jews from Latvia, and later from Germany, were forced to live during World War II. On October 25, 1941, the Nazis relocated all Jews from Riga and the vicinity to the ghetto while the...

. Also discussed was the taking of 5,000 Jewish people "in the next few weeks" from Prague and handing them over to the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen were SS paramilitary death squads that were responsible for mass killings, typically by shooting, of Jews in particular, but also significant numbers of other population groups and political categories...

 commanders Nebe and Rasch. The creation of ghettos in the Protectorate was also discussed, which would eventually result in the construction of Theresienstadt, where 33,000 people would eventually die, and tens of thousands more would pass through on their way to death in the East. Further, in 1941 Himmler named Heydrich as "responsible for implementing" the forced movement of 60,000 Jewish people from Germany and Czechoslovakia to the Lodz (Litzmannstadt) Ghetto in Poland.

Most infamously in this respect, on 20 January 1942, Heydrich chaired the Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews, that Reinhard Heydrich...

, at which he presented to the heads of a number of German Government departments a plan for the deportation and transporting of 11 million Jewish people from every country in Europe to be worked to death or killed outright in the East.


"Under suitable direction, the Jews should be brought to the East in the course of the Final Solution, for use as labour. In large labour gangs, with the sexes separated, the Jews capable of work will be transported to those areas and set to road-building, in the course of which, without doubt, a large part of them ("ein großteil") will fall away through natural losses. The surviving remnant, surely those with the greatest powers of resistance, will be given special treatment, since, if freed, they would constitute the germinal cell for the re-creation of Jewry."



-from Heydrich's speech at the Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews, that Reinhard Heydrich...

, January 1942

Einsatzgruppen (German: "task forces", "special-ops units") were paramilitary groups formed by Reinhard Heydrich and operated by the Schutzstaffel (SS). They were a key component in the implementation of the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

.

During the war these units were formed mainly of men from the Ordnungspolizei (Orpo), the Waffen-SS and local volunteers, e.g. militia groups, and led by Gestapo, Kripo, and SD officers. These death squads followed the Wehrmacht as it advanced eastwards through Eastern Europe en route to the Soviet Union. In occupied territory, the Einsatzgruppen also used the local populace for additional security and manpower when needed. Einsatzgruppen were under the control of the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) (Reich Main Security Office); i.e., Reinhard Heydrich (until his death) and later his successor Ernst Kaltenbrunner.

Family



In December 1930, Heydrich met Lina Mathilde von Osten (14 June 1911 – 14 August 1985). She was the daughter of Jürgen von Osten, a minor German aristocrat. They were married on 26 December 1931 in Großenbrode
Großenbrode
Großenbrode is a municipality in the district of Ostholstein, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated on the Baltic Sea coast, opposite Fehmarn, approx. 8 km east of Heiligenhafen. Until 1963 it had a ferry connection to Gedser in Denmark. After World War II there was no ferry...

. The couple had four children: Klaus, born in 1933; Heider, born in 1934; Silke, born in 1939; and Marte, born shortly after her father's death in 1942. In 1943, Klaus was killed in a traffic accident. In 1944, Lina Heydrich had Heider, 9 years old then, removed from the Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
The Hitler Youth was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung...

 out of fear that he might meet the same fate as his father and as the prospect of using child soldiers became a reality in Germany.
Heydrich's younger brother Heinz Siegfried (29 September 1905 in Halle/S), though initially a fanatical Nazi, gradually became disenchanted with the Party and even became involved in obtaining false identification documents for Jews to save them from persecution. When he feared his activities would be uncovered by the Gestapo he committed suicide. He shot himself on November 19, 1944.

, there are unconfirmed reports that Marte and Silke are still alive. On March 25, 2011, it was reported that Heider may be involved in the upcoming restoration of the family's Nazi-era castle home in Panenske Brezany
Panenské Břežany
Panenské Břežany is a village and municipality in Prague-East District in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.The municipality covers an area of 5.79 km² and as of 2010 it had a population of 567....

 near Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

. On March 30, 2011, controversy over his involvement was reported.

Summary of career



Heydrich's time in the SS is a mixture of rapid promotions, reserve commissions in the regular armed forces, as well as front line combat service. During his 11 years with the SS, Heydrich truly "rose from the ranks", being appointed to every rank from private to full general. He was also a Major
Major (Germany)
Major is a rank of the German military which dates back to the Middle Ages.It equates to Major in the British and US Armies, and is rated OF-3 in NATO.During World War II, the SS equivalent was Sturmbannführer....

 in the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

, flying nearly one hundred missions until he was shot down behind enemy lines by Soviet anti-aircraft fire while flying a combat sortie. After this he was ordered personally by Hitler to return to Berlin and resume his SS duties. Furthermore, his service record gives him credit as a Reserve Lieutenant in the Navy, although during World War II Heydrich had no contact at all with this military branch and the entry was likely made due to his prior service.

Heydrich was also the recipient of several high ranking Nazi and military awards, including the German Order
German Order (decoration)
The German Order was the most important award that the Nazi Party could bestow on an individual for "duties of the highest order to the state and party". This award was first made by Adolf Hitler posthumously to Reichsminister Fritz Todt at his funeral in February, 1942...

, Blood Order
Blood Order
The Blood Order , officially known as the Decoration of 9 November 1923 , was one of the most prestigious decorations in the Nazi Party...

, Golden Party Badge
Golden Party Badge
The Golden Party Badge was a special badge of the Nazi Party. The first 100,000 members who had joined and had uninterrupted service in the Party were given the right to wear it...

, bronze and silver combat mission bars and the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
The Iron Cross is a cross symbol typically in black with a white or silver outline that originated after 1219 when the Kingdom of Jerusalem granted the Teutonic Order the right to combine the Teutonic Black Cross placed above a silver Cross of Jerusalem....

 First and Second Classes.

Film



The 1943 Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute...

 film Hangmen Also Die
Hangmen Also Die
Hangmen Also Die! is a 1943 war film directed by the Austrian director Fritz Lang and written by John Wexley, Bertolt Brecht and Lang. The film stars Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan and Anna Lee, and features Gene Lockhart and Dennis O'Keefe...

takes place in Prague and is based on Heydrich's assassination. A second 1943 film Hitler's Madman
Hitler's Madman
Hitler's Madman is a 1943 World War II film about the assassination of Nazi Reinhard Heydrich and the revenge taken by the Germans. It was produced by Seymour Nebenzal for PRC and Angelus Pictures, Inc. The shooting of Hitler's Madman took place late in 1942 and early 1943...

, directed by Douglas Sirk
Douglas Sirk
Douglas Sirk was a Danish-German film director best known for his work in Hollywood melodramas in the 1950s.-Life and work:...

, starred John Carradine
John Carradine
John Carradine was an American actor, best known for his roles in horror films and Westerns as well as Shakespearean theater. A member of Cecil B DeMille's stock company and later John Ford's company, he was one of the most prolific character actors in Hollywood history...

. A documentary/drama film, SS-3: The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, produced and directed by Jan and Krystyna Kaplan, was released on video in 1992.

The events of the Wannsee conference are recreated in the 1984 TV Movie Wannseekonferenz (The Wannsee Conference) directed by Heinz Schirk and starring Dietrich Mattausch
Dietrich Mattausch
-Selected filmography:* The Wonderful Years * Der kostbare Gast * The Roaring Fifties * A Love in Germany * The Record * Success -Television appearances:* The Old Fox* Faust...

 as Heydrich; It was remade in 2001 under the title Conspiracy, with Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from Northern Ireland. He is best known for directing and starring in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays including Henry V , Much Ado About Nothing , Hamlet Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from...

 playing Heydrich. The conference was also the subject of a 1992 English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 documentary film
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 entitled The Wannsee Conference directed by Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 director Willy Lindwer
Willy Lindwer
Wolf "Willy" Lindwer is a Dutch documentary filmmaker.-Biography:Willy Lindwer was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he studied at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy. When Lindwer finished his study, he worked for several Dutch Public TV stations...

.

Anton Diffring
Anton Diffring
Anton Diffring , born Alfred Pollack, was a German actor.-Biography:Diffring was born in Koblenz...

 played Heydrich in the 1975 film Operation Daybreak
Operation Daybreak
Operation Daybreak is a 1975 World War II film based on the true story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague - starring Anthony Andrews, Timothy Bottoms and Martin Shaw. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert and shot mostly on location in Prague. It was adapted from the book Seven Men...

, about the assassination of the Reichsprotektor. Diffring was 57 years old when he shot this movie; Heydrich died at 38.

Heydrich was portrayed by David Warner
David Warner (actor)
David Warner is an English actor who is known for playing both romantic leads and sinister or villainous characters, both in film and animation...

 twice: in the 1978 TV miniseries
Miniseries
A miniseries , in a serial storytelling medium, is a television show production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. The exact number is open to interpretation; however, they are usually limited to fewer than a whole season. The term "miniseries" is generally a North American term...

 Holocaust, and in the 1985 TV movie Hitler's S.S.: Portrait in Evil. The movie followed the career of his subordinate Helmut Hoffmann, played by Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy
William Francis "Bill" Nighy is an English actor and comedian. He worked in theatre and television before his first cinema role in 1981, and made his name in television with The Men's Room in 1991, in which he played the womanizer Prof...

.

Fiction


The plan to kill Heydrich is central to the plot of the 1998 novel As Time Goes By, a sequel to the movie Casablanca
Casablanca (film)
Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, and featuring Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Dooley Wilson. Set during World War II, it focuses on a man torn between, in...

, written by Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh (author)
Michael A. Walsh is a music critic, author, screenwriter, and media critic. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York in 1971, he became a reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in February 1972, where he shared the New York State Publishers Association...

.

Heydrich figures prominently in Philip Kerr's
Philip Kerr
Philip Kerr is a British author of both adult fiction and non-fiction, most notably the Bernie Gunther series of thrillers, and of children's books, particularly the Children of the Lamp series....

 Bernie Gunther series of novels, including March Violets
March Violets
March Violets is a detective novel and the first written by Philip Kerr featuring detective Bernhard Gunther. Gunther investigates the murder of the daughter of a wealthy industrialist in Berlin as the 1936 Summer Olympics play out in the city...

, The Pale Criminal, Field Grey and Prague Fatale. In the novels Bernie, a Berlin private eye in the tradition of Raymond Chandler
Raymond Chandler
Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter.In 1932, at age forty-five, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in...

's Philip Marlowe
Philip Marlowe
Philip Marlowe is a fictional character created by Raymond Chandler in a series of novels including The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye. Marlowe first appeared under that name in The Big Sleep published in 1939...

 who left the Berlin police when the Nazis came to power, finds his investigations embroiling him in the internal feuding of the Nazi High Command. Heydrich invariably ensnares Bernie and forces him to conduct investigations for him personally. Prague Fatale, in particular, focuses almost exclusively on Bernie's relationship with Heydrich in the months leading up to Heydrich's death.

Heydrich and the events of the Wannsee conference are also the subjects of Robert Harris' novel Fatherland
Fatherland (novel)
Fatherland is a bestselling 1992 thriller by the English writer and journalist Robert Harris. It takes the form of a high concept alternative history set in a world in which Nazi Germany won World War II.The novel was an immediate bestseller in Britain...

. The book portrays an alternate history where Heydrich is promoted to the rank of Reichsführer-SS
Reichsführer-SS
was a special SS rank that existed between the years of 1925 and 1945. Reichsführer-SS was a title from 1925 to 1933 and, after 1934, the highest rank of the German Schutzstaffel .-Definition:...

 (Field Marshal
Generalfeldmarschall
Field Marshal or Generalfeldmarschall in German, was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire; in the Austrian Empire, the rank Feldmarschall was used...

) after Himmler's death. The book was adapted into a film by HBO and for a brief moment at the film's end (as opposed to the novel) he is shown standing with two other officials while the evidence of the Holocaust is given to U.S. President Joseph P. Kennedy.

Margot Abbott's 1991 novel, The Last Innocent Hour is set in Berlin mainly in 1933–1935, Heydrich is a major character manipulating the lives of childhood friends, (she, an American daughter of the ambassador, and he an SS officer), who became involved and married. Shows the early days of the Nazis and the rise of the SS.

Jiří Weil
Jirí Weil
Jiří Weil was a Czech writer. He was Jewish. His noted works include the two novels Life with a Star , and Mendelssohn Is on the Roof , as well as many short stories, and other novels....

's 1960 novel, Mendelssohn is On the Roof, is set in Prague in 1942, and features Heydrich as a character and his assassination as a major plot point.

The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle is a science fiction alternate history novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. It won a Hugo Award in 1963 and has since been translated into many languages....

, an alternate-history novel by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
Philip Kindred Dick was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments and altered...

 set in the 1960s, describes Heydrich as head of the SS and maneuvering to become Reich Chancellor after Hitler and his immediate successor, Martin Bormann
Martin Bormann
Martin Ludwig Bormann was a prominent Nazi official. He became head of the Party Chancellery and private secretary to Adolf Hitler...

, are dead.

In the Robert Ludlum
Robert Ludlum
Robert Ludlum was an American author of 23 thriller novels. The number of his books in print is estimated between 290–500 million copies. They have been published in 33 languages and 40 countries. Ludlum also published books under the pseudonyms Jonathan Ryder and Michael Shepherd.-Life and...

 novel The Tristan Betrayal
The Tristan Betrayal
The Tristan Betrayal is a novel by Robert Ludlum, published posthumously in 2003. Ludlum wrote an outline shortly before his death. The novel itself was written by a ghostwriter.-Summary:...

, Heydrich plays a small but pivotal role. In this thriller, Heydrich is the master and father figure to a German assassin, Kleist, who serves as one of the antagonists of the novel.

Heydrich also plays a pivotal role in William Harrington
William Harrington
William James Harrington was a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1915 to 1920, as a member of the Liberal Party....

's novel The English Lady.

In Duncan Kyle
Duncan Kyle
John Franklin Broxholme is an English thriller writer who published fifteen novels in a little over twenty years using the pen name of Duncan Kyle....

's novel "Black Camelot", the plot centers around a list of possible Nazi collaborators on the Allied side, supposedly compiled by Heydrich.

"The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich" is a short story by Jim Shepard
Jim Shepard
Jim Shepard is an American author and professor of creative writing and film at Williams College.-Biography:Shepard was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He received a B.A. at Trinity College in 1978, his MFA from Brown University in 1980. He currently teaches creative writing and film at Williams...

 which explores the plot to assassinate Heydrich from the conspirators' perspective.

Harry Turtledove
Harry Turtledove
Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, who has produced works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.- Life :...

's novel The Man with the Iron Heart
The Man with the Iron Heart
The Man with the Iron Heart is an alternate history novel by Harry Turtledove. Published in 2008, it takes as its premise the survival by Reinhard Heydrich of his 1942 assassination in Czechoslovakia and his subsequent leadership of the postwar Werwolf insurgency in occupied Germany, which...

posits a world in which Heydrich survived the assassination attempt and went on to coordinate a German resistance after World War II.

Heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 band Slayer
Slayer
Slayer is an American thrash metal band formed in Huntington Park, California, in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Slayer rose to fame with their 1986 release, Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal acts, along with Metallica, Megadeth and...

 wrote a song about Heydrich's assassination on their album Divine Intervention
Divine Intervention (album)
Divine Intervention is the sixth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. Released on September 27, 1994 through American Recordings, it was their first album featuring Paul Bostaph, replacing the band's original drummer Dave Lombardo. Several of the songs on the album were inspired by...

. The title of the song, SS-3, comes from the personalized number plate of the car he was in when attacked and the lyrics reference the legend of the curse of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas
Crown of Saint Wenceslas
Crown of Saint Wenceslas is the part of Bohemian crown jewels made in 1347. The eleventh king of Bohemia from the House of Luxembourg, and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV had it made for his coronation and forthwith he dedicated it to the first patron saint of the country St...

.

Black metal
Black metal
Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming, raw recording, and unconventional song structure....

 band Marduk
Marduk (band)
Marduk is a black metal band from Norrköping, Sweden. The band formed in 1990 and released their first record in 1991. Their name is derived from the Babylonian god Marduk, patron deity of Babylon.-Musical style:...

 also wrote a song about him, titled The Hangman of Prague, from Plague Angel
Plague Angel
Plague Angel is the ninth studio album by Swedish black metal band Marduk. It was recorded and mixed at Endarker Studio in September 2004 and released that November by Regain Records. Plague Angel is the first Marduk album to feature Mortuus on vocals and Magnus "Devo" Andersson, ex-guitarist for...

(2004).

In 'Chapter One' of Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Jerome Tarantino is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and actor. In the early 1990s, he began his career as an independent filmmaker with films employing nonlinear storylines and the aestheticization of violence...

's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Heydrich's nickname 'The Hangman' is mentioned by the character Colonel Hans Landa
Hans Landa
Colonel Hans Landa is the primary antagonist of the 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. He is portrayed by Austrian actor Christoph Waltz.- Character :...

. This is in reference to his own nickname, 'The Jew Hunter'.

In the Japanese Visual Novel
Visual novel
A is an interactive fiction game featuring mostly static graphics, usually with anime-style art, or occasionally live-action stills or video footage...

 "Dies Irae: Also Sprach Zarathustra", one of the main Nazi characters is named Reinhard Heydrich. He possesses the Lance of Longinus (or "Holy Lance") which was a major symbolic artifact for Hitler and the Thule-Gesellschaft (Thule Society) in the 1930s.

In James P. Hogan's 1985 time-travel story The Proteus Operation
The Proteus Operation
The Proteus Operation is a science fiction novel which was written by James P. Hogan and published in 1985. Alternate history, time travel, and parallel universes form the basis of its plot, in which a group of military commandos, diplomats, and scientists travel back to 1939...

, Heydrich forces Hitler to retire in 1960 and imposes Nazi policies more aggressively, taking the world to the brink of a third great war by 1975. Several characters travel back 36 years to destroy the Nazi time-portal; the Heydrich of that earlier era discovers their plot and sends SS troops to stop them.

In Mark Slouka
Mark Slouka
Mark Slouka is an American liberal humanist author and academic. The son of Czech immigrants, he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia University and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowships in 2005....

's 2007 novel "The Visible World", Heydrich's assassination plot serves as the backdrop to the main story about one of the assassins' emotional entanglement with a fellow partisan in war-time Prague.

Joseph Hurka's novel "Before" drew on the massacre at Lidice
Lidice
Lidice is a village in the Czech Republic just northwest of Prague. It is built on the site of a previous village of the same name which, as part of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, was on orders from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal...

 in the aftermath of the Heydrich assassination as the key event anchoring the memories of his main character.

A simulacrum
Simulacrum
Simulacrum , from the Latin simulacrum which means "likeness, similarity", was first recorded in the English language in the late 16th century, used to describe a representation, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god...

 of Heydrich is a major character in Rod Rees' forthcoming novel "The Demi-Monde", set in a virtual world inhabited by historical figures.

HHhH
HHhH
HHhH is the first novel of French writer Laurent Binet. It recounts Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in Prague during World War II. It was awarded the Prix Goncourt du premier roman 2010....

, a novel about the assassination of Heydrich by Laurent Binet
Laurent Binet
Laurent Binet is a French writer.Son of an historian, he was born in Paris, graduated from University of Paris in literature, and taught literature in Parisian suburb and eventually at University....

, won the Prix Goncourt
Prix Goncourt
The Prix Goncourt is a prize in French literature, given by the académie Goncourt to the author of "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year"...

 in "first novel" category in 2010.

See also

  • Wannsee conference
    Wannsee Conference
    The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews, that Reinhard Heydrich...

  • Glossary of Nazi Germany
  • List of Nazi Party leaders and officials
  • List of rulers of the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia
  • List of SS personnel
  • Ernst Kaltenbrunner
    Ernst Kaltenbrunner
    Ernst Kaltenbrunner was an Austrian-born senior official of Nazi Germany during World War II. Between January 1943 and May 1945, he held the offices of Chief of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt , President of Interpol and, as a Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS, he was the...


External links