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Heydrich file photo [719]

Reinhard Heydrich

Given NameReinhard
Born7 Mar 1904
Died4 Jun 1942


ww2dbaseReinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was born in Halle an der Saale near Leipzig to Bruno Heydrich, a musical composer and an opera singer, and Elizabeth Kranz, and pianist. The musical influence developed him into a life-long violin enthusiast. Regarding his ancestry, it is still debated today whether he was of Jewish descent based on some evidence that one of his grandparents was Jewish.

ww2dbaseIn 1919 Heydrich joined a far-right para-military organization that positioned itself against Jews and Communists, then in 1922 joined the German Navy. In 1926, he was discharged with conduct unbecoming to an officer and a gentleman after a series of sexual liaisons. In 1931, he was referred to Heinrich Himmler for the job to direct a counter-intelligence division of the SS, and was given the position after a twenty-minute interview. In this role he developed a card-file system on all people who could pose a threat to the Nazi Party. The job itself warranted a very small pay and he was by no means an influential figure of the party at this time, but it would soon grow to be much larger. After being renamed the SD, the future parent organization of the Gestapo, Heydrich built his relationship with Adolf Hitler during the German leader's rise in the 1930s. With the well-developed card-file system his organization was called upon to provide Hitler with intelligence on political opponents. The SD later rendered similar services during the "Night of the Long Knives" purge. After this time, Hitler often viewed Heydrich as one of his potential successors. He was also credited for supplying Josef Stalin with intelligence to support a similar purge in Russia.

ww2dbaseAt the time when Germany invaded Poland in Sep 1939, Heydrich served in the Luftwaffe as an Iron Cross-decorated pilot. His last air mission was on 22 Jul 1941 when his ME Bf 109E-7 fighter was damaged by Russian anti-aircraft fire. He had to make an emergency landing shortly after and returned to Germany safely, but was forbidden to fly again as his capture could be of severe consequences due to his intimate knowledge of German operations (though he did fly one more mission several months after the incident).

ww2dbaseOn 20 Jan 1942, Heydrich chaired the Wannsee Conference where his "final solution of the Jewish problem" was approved by Hitler. He oversaw the construction and design of many early concentration camps and was one of the main architects of the Holocaust. However, his record of atrocities against Jews dated long before 1942. On 9 Nov 1938, 25,000 Jewish men were sent to concentration camps during Kristallnacht. His SS Einsatz groups had also long been terrorizing the Jewish population in Poland and Russia. "In a time of barbarity, Reinhard Tristan Heydrich, 'the Hangman,' stood out as one of the cruelest and most brutal mass murderers in Nazi Germany", as noted by Shira Schoenberg.

ww2dbaseOn 27 Sep 1941 Heydrich was appointed the virtual head of the puppet state Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, ruling the territory above the authority of the local Czechoslovakian president and prime minister. While in Czechoslovakia he arrogantly rode in open-roof vehicles, and that arrogance caught up with him on 27 May 1942. On that morning, he left his home in PanenskĂ© BřeĹľany for his office at the Prague Castle without his usual escort. British MI6-trained Czechoslovak soldier of Slovak ethnicity Jozef GabčĂ­k and a small group of others ambushed his sedan. GabčĂ­k attacked the sedan with a Sten submachine gun but the gun jammed, so he threw an anti-tank grenade at the car. The grenade failed to enter the car, but the shrapnel seriously injured Heydrich. Upon hearing the news Hitler immediately sent his best doctors to Prague to save his potential successor, but despite the best efforts Heydrich died of septicemia a week later. Conspirators of the assassination were tracked down by Gestapo agents and committed suicide after a fierce firefight, and an awful reprisal ensued against Czechs took place in the Prague area. One episode of such reprisal took place at the village of Lidice, where 172 men and boys ages 16 and above were rounded up and executed on 10 Jun 1942, while the remaining were sent to concentration camps; the village was destroyed by explosives then leveled.

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Portrait of SS-BrigadefĂĽhrer Heydrich, circa late 1933-early 1934Himmler, Heydrich, Daluege, and Adolf HĂĽhnlein at a memorial ceremony on German Police Day, Horst-Wessel-Platz, Berlin, Germany, 16 Jan 1937
See all 15 photographs of Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich Timeline

7 Mar 1904 Reinhard Heydrich was born.
30 May 1931 Reinhard Heydrich's discharge from the German Navy became legally binding.
31 May 1931 Reinhard Heydrich joined the Nazi Party in Hamburg, Germany, receiving party identification number 544,916.
14 Jul 1931 Reinhard Heydrich joined the Nazi SS organization, receiving SS identification number 10,120.
20 Apr 1934 Heinrich Himmler appointed Reinhard Heydrich the head of Gestapo in Prussia, Germany.
24 Dec 1938 German SS leader Reinhard Heydrich advised Gestapo leaders to investigate reasons for arrests, as there were now more prisoners than the space available in concentration camps.
31 Jan 1939 German SS leader Reinhard Heydrich ordered that Jews can only be released from protective custody if they present documents for emigration, and that Jews who were being committed to a concentration camp a second time would be committed to concentration camps for life.
21 Sep 1939 Reinhard Heydrich authorized the formation of Jewish ghettos in Poland, each governed by a Judenrat (Jewish Council); the ghettos were to be formed in large Polish cities with access to major railroads. He also authorized the formation of Einsatzgruppen.
27 Sep 1939 Reinhard Heydrich was appointed the head of Reichssicherheitshauptamt.
30 Sep 1939 Reinhard Heydrich became the leader of new Reich Main Security Office, RSHA.
17 Oct 1939 Reinhard Heydrich ordered all Gypsy populations to cease travelling or face a concentration camp.
17 Jul 1941 Reinhardt Heydrich ordered the four SS Einsatzgruppen under his command to exterminate Jewish and Roma communities in his sphere of influence.
31 Jul 1941 Reinhard Heydrich received instructions from Hermann Göring to prepare the implementation of the Final Solution to the Jewish question, Endlösung.
29 Sep 1941 Reinhard Heydrich was named Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia.
10 Oct 1941 Reinhard Heydrich ordered the town of TerezĂ­n (German: Theresienstadt) to be converted into a camp-ghetto for deported German, Austrian, and Czechoslovakian Jews. He placed Adolf Eichmann and Rolf GĂĽnther in charge of establishing this camp-ghetto.
30 Oct 1941 Reinhard Heydrich appointed Siegfried Seidl the commandant of the camp-ghetto soon to be known as the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in occupied Czechoslovakia.
20 Jan 1942 SS-GruppenfĂĽhrer Heydrich hosted the Wannsee Conference at a villa in the suburbs of Berlin, Germany to discuss the Final Solution.
27 May 1942 Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich departed his home in PanenskĂ© BreĹľany for his office at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czechoslovakia in the morning without his usual escort. British-trained Czech soldier Jozef GabcĂ­k and others attacked his car at Liben, seriously wounding Heydrich with a grenade.
4 Jun 1942 Reinhard Heydrich, while en route to the airport, was ambushed by British SOE-trained Czech agent Jan Kubis and Slovak agent ozef GabcĂ­k in the suburb of Liben near Prague, Czechoslovakia. GabcĂ­k attempted to fire a STEN gun at Heydrich's car, but the weapon jammed. Heydrich ordered the driver to stop so he could confront GabcĂ­k, and the thus far unseen Kubis took the chance to throw an anti-tank mine at the car, fatally wounding Heydrich.
9 Jun 1942 SS-ObergruppenfĂĽhrer Reinhard Heydrich's funeral took place on this date.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Leslie says:
14 Aug 2011 12:01:07 PM

The children of Lidice were not killed, despite a memorial there at the site of the former village. They were sent to Germany and adopted by German families. Also, his general refusal to use body guards very often and his habit of frequently riding about in open-topped cars was not due to "arrogance" but instead was due to the fact that he didn't feel the Czech people were interested in killing him as he had given them so many benefits as workers and had immensely improved their working conditions. Heydrich did not only punish criminals and people involved in the underground he also rewarded those whho were good citizens. Because he was winning the hearts and minds of the Czechs, the British had him murdered.
2. Anonymous says:
22 Aug 2011 02:59:41 PM

Shame on you for supporting a Nazi mass-murderer!
3. Anonymous says:
27 Aug 2011 02:02:26 PM

@ Leslie,

The children WERE killed! Except for two or three! 82 where sent to Chelmno concentration camp and gassed there in gas vans! how dare you promote untruths! You do not even know your history!
4. Anonymous says:
19 Sep 2011 11:12:03 PM

Leslie SHOULD BE very ashamed of her/him self. Reinhard Heydrich was an evil, cold-blooded mass-murderer! He did not win the hearts and minds of any one of the Czech people. They HATED him and he was rightfully eliminated. You need psychiatric treatment for your beliefs!
5. Thomas says:
25 Jan 2012 10:37:44 PM

Quit sending messages with this nonsense. The person who said that the Czech people were being won over by the Reichsprotektor is quite right. Also, it is true that none of the children were killed. They were all adopted by German families.Why don't you people read some real history instead of just swallowing the propaganda that is force-fed to everyone. People who learn the truth do not need psychiatric treatment. People who are DENYING the truth need psychiatric treatment.
6. Leslie says:
26 Jan 2012 04:52:03 PM

I have reason to believe, Anonymous, that you might be the person who has just recently tried to get me in trouble by "reporting" my beliefs and activities to my husband's workplace. This conversation on this site was printed out for one thing; it was given to me by the office and I am holding in my hand now.Why does it make you so angry that somebody has different beliefs and feelings than you? I don't hate Jews or anyone. I'm just reporting the truth about history objectively. I am not a hater.
7. Anonymous says:
27 Jan 2012 12:05:42 PM

Well Leslie, you need to be careful with your beliefs and spreading lies. I hope you will see Chełmno on your own eyes and talk to Lidice survivor, than maybe you will understand how stupid and empty are your beliefs and lies.

8. Leslie says:
27 Jan 2012 09:31:38 PM

You have done not a thing to hurt me. It's interesting: I get along with everyone and don't hate, but you do.You really should be ashamed. And the Germans are people too. They made mistakes, they did good, they did bad. They were parents and children and friends and neighbors also. I am presenting a side to balance things is all. Take a good hard look in the mirror over what you have done to make yourself look foolish in this town. I have spread no false information at all. I won't continue this conversation here as it is not the forum for personal things and I respect this website.
9. Leslie says:
27 Jan 2012 10:36:53 PM

For everybody here interested in this subject of Lidice, new developments just came out in an interview his son Heider Heydrich did in a Czech news magazine. Heider reports that when his father was dying in the hospital, that he (Reichsprotektor Heydrich) told Karl Frank that if he did not survive his injuries that under no circumstances did he want any repercussions or revenge taken out on the Czech people. Obviously, Frank, Himmler and Daluege had different ideas and the towns of Lidice and Lesaky were destroyed. Thank you to Lana, a reade here, from Latvia, who informed me of this interview in Prague with the surviving Heydrich son.
10. Anonymous says:
8 Feb 2012 12:38:23 PM

that top speach was from heydrichs point of view saying how he felt towards the people. what was written was what he thought he was doing and what he thought he was doing was right so for all the haters of that post you need to get your history right because history is not only looking at it from the allies point of view but also looking at it from the axis point of view so you can reach a balanced conclusion.
11. Karl W. says:
3 Apr 2012 04:17:13 PM

Just ran across this interesting conversation here. Well, Anonymous, I think YOU should be the one ashamed of spreading lies and hate. I'm an amateur WWII historian and the children of Lidice were NOT killed. They were sent to good homes in Germany where they were adopted. From the other messages here it looks like you are persecuting somebody in your town just because you don't like what they posted here. I wish that people would quit insisting that everything that the Allies did was good and everything that the Nazis did was bad. If you're an adult seriously interested in history you should be able to have an adult and educated way of looking at the facts. If you did spread rumors and do things to hurt this other person here, just because they stated a truth that you don't like, then you are acting disgracefully. Let's discuss WWII history in a more dignified way please!
12. Tom! says:
30 Sep 2013 08:39:22 AM

It's a sad fact that most people cannot get outside the blinkers of their own mental framework, and rationalizations.

One who aspires to know the past must know what happened, but why parties acted as they did. Comprehension, in no way implies agreement.

Another tragic fact of humanity is that a person can commit what are by any standard grotesque atrocities, go home and be a good father. Turning even self evident historical villains into cartoon characters of evil provides no actual enlightenment.

Reinhard Heydrich was a very dangerous man, and I for one am glad he was assassinated. But that's an opinion. Heydrich was chillingly effective in quieting Bohemia & Moravia and increasing its contribution to their war effort. That, is a fact.

He did so thru an intuitive understanding of behavioral psychology. In the first two weeks of his rule, there was a reign of terror unlike any previously seen. Any and all suspects were rounded up and summarily executed or sent to kamps. BUT, if one made it thru that period, AND responded positively to offered amnesty, incentives and his stated goals, life improved markedly.

This completely bypasses cognitive thought of right and wrong on the part of the people: it goes right to survival.

The protectorate became so quiescent and productive that Allied leadership decided at the highest levels he must be eliminated.

The Allies never assassinated gauleiter koch, as his rule over Ukraine turned a friendly people into enemies.

As to whether the children of Lidice were executed, adopted or otherwise, I have no idea. I can believe nazi would murder children, but in their twisted framework, if children were thought to be aryan, who knows. But I am open to consideration any statement supported by some fact or citation.


13. James T. says:
30 Jul 2014 08:50:33 PM

There's much I could add to this talk. Much. But instead, I am just going to post something here which hopefully could open the eyes of a few people, in particular the kind of people like the first person in this thread who blasted some woman for not promoting the "offical" version of what happened at Lidice. This is the information age that we live in now, and the truth about many things is beginning to be known now...

"In 17 countries, questioning any part of the holocaust (and that does not even include “denying” that anything at all happened) can get you arrested and put in jail. Seriously! Against The Wall ( a freedom of speech grassroots organization) gives several documented examples of holocaust mathematical fallacies in a recent report.
The holocaust numbers just don’t add up.In Auschwitz until 1990 a plaque read “4 million Jews were murdered here.”.It was revised in 1990 to say:”1.5 million Jews were murdered here.” Yet the official “6 million dead Jews” remains unchanged, completelyunrevised. Elementary school math sees through this.
I am not denying anything…. just trying to do the math
In the official 1933 census, 15.5 million Jews were in Europe;1939 showed 15.6 million,1947 15.6 million Jews. Where are the missing 6 million!?!? And also, let’s not forget this: We have always been told by holocaust promotion groups that there are 4 million “ Jewish holocaust survivors after the war”, the numbers become even more absurd .I for one can’t use proper math to figure these numbers out. Can you help me please? I’m being sarcastic, of course."
14. Anonymous says:
2 Dec 2014 02:24:30 PM

you are all idiots for real facts go to a different website this one has thousands of flaws
15. Anonymous says:
6 May 2015 07:10:48 AM

The Lidice children were killed. I don't doubt the numbers game has been skewed at various times by various agendas in relation to the raising of the amount of allied or non-Nazi deaths, and the lowering of the numbers of German/Nazi deaths. History is always written by the victors. But even if the Lidice kids were not killed (which I personally believe they were), it was WRONG and against Heydrich's dying wishes to exact retribution and it is WRONG to take kids away from their families! even the way it is sometimes done by our modern protective services is wrong. How dare any state destroy innocent families!D*mn the wars. Perhaps mother nature should kick the lot of us off her back if we continue to attack our own young. that is my opinion and I will leave it now.
16. Anonymous says:
8 Jul 2016 05:11:45 AM

Of course. Heydrich was such peacefull person that he ordered martial law after his arivel to Prague. It was effective since 28th of September 1941 till 20th of January 1942.

From the global perspective was his assasination clearly positive. The people of Czech Republic however payed terrible price. It's a shame that anyone can doubt it. Anyone who doubts what Nazists done in Lidice is idiot.

Unlike other massacres this one was well documented and openly and "proudly" presented by Nazi propaganda. So if any of those "neo-nazi" does not believe "Jewish propaganda" you can see your own. Maybe then you belive and hopefuly realize that your mistake.
17. Roy says:
29 Mar 2017 09:00:04 PM

Reinhardt Heydrich was a warrior at heart and a rabid anti-semite. He awaited his orders and once received nothing would stand in his way. It was once said of him, that if you needed a friend he would sell you one. This is one person that you don't want to be on the wrong side of.

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More on Reinhard Heydrich
Event(s) Participated:
» Kristallnacht
» Wannsee Conference
» Lidice Massacre
» Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust

» Heydrich's Instructions for Measures Against Jews (Kristallnacht)

Reinhard Heydrich Photo Gallery
Portrait of SS-BrigadefĂĽhrer Heydrich, circa late 1933-early 1934Himmler, Heydrich, Daluege, and Adolf HĂĽhnlein at a memorial ceremony on German Police Day, Horst-Wessel-Platz, Berlin, Germany, 16 Jan 1937
See all 15 photographs of Reinhard Heydrich

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