Skip to comments.Himmler and Heydrich: Hitlerís Lieutenants
Posted on 01/09/2012 6:57:50 PM PST by iowamark
In June 1942, Thomas Mann, who was living in exile in California, delivered a commentary on a German-language BBC radio program that decried the sanguinary actions of the Third Reich in avenging the assassination of the leading SS official Reinhard Heydrich in Prague. After Heydrichs elaborate funeral ceremony at the new Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Hitler screamed at the Czech president, Emil Hacha, Nothing can prevent me from deporting millions of Czechs if they do not wish for peaceful coexistence. It wasnt an idle threat. Since the violent death of Heydrich, Mann lamented, terror is raging everywhere, in a more sickly, unrestrained fashion than ever before. . . . An entire town, that supposedly sheltered the perpetrators, is massacred and razed. Indeed, to honor Heydrich and help create what Hitler referred to as Germanys Garden of Eden in the East, the Nazis chose the code name Aktion Reinhard for the extermination of two million people, most of whom were Jewish, in the General Government of Poland by the end of 1943.
None of Hitlers paladins did more to realize the Final Solution than Heydrich and his superior Heinrich Himmler, who ran the SS and the Gestapo. This pair worked assiduously to expand their influence from modest beginnings to the establishment of the most powerful and fearsome security apparatus in the Nazi empire. Now two supremely enlightening biographies, Peter Longerichs Heinrich Himmler and Robert Gerwarths Hitlers Hangman, show how they did it. Longerich is a professor of history at the University of London and the author of several books on the Holocaust. Gerwarth is the director of the Center for War Studies at University College Dublin...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
HEINRICH HIMMLER By Peter Longerich. Translated by Jeremy Noakes and Lesley Sharpe, Illustrated. 1,031 pp. Oxford University Press. $34.95.
HITLERS HANGMAN: The Life of Heydrich By Robert Gerwarth. Illustrated. 393 pp. Yale University Press. $35.
They blowed out Heydrich’s lamp in Prague,,, served him right.
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Himmler didn’t miss Heydrich, he always was suspicious that Heydrich had Jewish blood.
The New York Times pimping for Nazis again. They love all things National Socialist.
And the reason Himmler dispatched his personal physician to Heydrichs care may have been to ensure Heydrich did not recover.
I’ve heard those rumors, the only thing that kept Heydrich in his position was that Hitler loved the guy, even thought the rumors of his Jewish blood would motivate him to be even more ruthless, to in Hitler’s words, “kill the Jew inside of him.”
That wasn’t the only reason Himmler didn’t trust Heydrich. In the multi-layered Nazi apparatus of terror Heydrich was head of the “Sicherhienstdienst’’(SD) or “SS Central Security Office. He kept the goods on EVERYBODY, even Hitler. Everybody in the Nazi hierarchy was nervous around him . It was felt he knew too much about Nazi bigwigs, things that might compromise them and they knew Heydrich was not above using blackmail to eliminate rivals. He ran a brothel called “Salon Kitty’’ and had it rigged for sound, lest some tidbit be given away by some Party member in a moment of passion. The were many who believed Himmler might have even set him up to be killed. Heydrich was a ruthless SS bastard.
I had also heard that on his deathbed, Heydrich was expressing remorse for what he had done, even going so far to request a priest to confess his crimes, even though he had left the Church years before.
That's an interesting one. I hadn't heard that. Perhaps he never fully bought into the Valhalla thing.
Hope his soul was wearing the flame suit just in case.
I would suppose that had Heydrich survived the war and had been captured by the western allies, he would have gotten 20 years, maybe life, later commuted to perhaps 8 years or so due to “ill health”. If you look at many mid-level Nazis, you'll find that was often the case.
Of course, if the Soviets had captured him, that would have been a different story. Likewise if the Mossad had caught up with him.
We ordered this and watched it and it was pretty interesting and amazing.
Heydrich was targeted by the Brits and trained a team of Czech assassins to do the job. If I recall two were caught and killed, the third after threatening to wipe out the home town from where the assassins came from unless hr surrendered did ....After which the NAZIS destroyed the town and murdered all its inhabitants in retaliation...
BTW Who liberated Prague ? It was the White Russian Wheremacht Vasoffs Army ... What was left of 1 million Russians fighting on the German side furnished by Himmler who defeated the SS troops assigned to destroy Prague.... The town fathers in appreciation turned them over to the Russians where most were executed
The “SS Central Security Office” didn’t exist. what i think you’re referring to is the Reichs Main Security Office [Reichssicherheithauptamt], or RSHA, which didn’t come into existence until 1939, and was composed of the Sicherpolizei [Gestapo and Criminal Police], and the SD [SS Security Service]. Heydrich founded the SD shortly after he joined the SS in 1931. He was also in charge of the RSHA, and when he died, he was the Reichs Protector of Bohemia-Moravia [Czechoslavakia].
Heydrich would have hanged, if he’d been tried at Nurenburg. His successor at RSHA, Ernst Kaltenbrunner did, and he had nowhere near the blood on his hands Heydrich did.
As for mid level Nazis, I’d suggest you take a look at the Einsatzgruppen trials. They hanged just about all those guys they caught, including Otto Ohlendorf and Paul Blobnel. In a similar vein, they did a real good job on the camp commanders: Josef Kramer. Rudolf Hoess and a bunch of others.
Didn’t do the Czechs much good. The hit was ordered by the government in exile in London [the Brits thought the Czechs weren’t doing enough], and the assasins were flown in. Aside from Lidice and a lot of dead Czech civilians, the principal accomplishment of Operation anthropoid was the almost total destruction of the Czech Resistance in Czechoslavakia.
Heydrich’s grandmother married [her second marriage] a man named Suess. He was no blood relation to Heydrich, and although the name was a fairly common Jewish name, Mr. Suess wasn’t Jewish. And Himmler knew it.
There is a funny story illustrating Heydrich's insecurity about that issue. Seems it drove him to waste a mirror one night:
Heydrich's ruthless diligence and the rapid success of the SD earned him a quick rise through the SS ranks - appointed SS Major by December, 1931, then SS Colonel with sole control of the SD by July of 1932. In March of 1933, he was promoted to SS Brigadier General, though not yet 30 years old.
The only stumbling block occurred as the old rumors surfaced about possible Jewish ancestry on his father's side of his family. Heydrich's grandmother had married for a second time (after the birth of Heydrich's father) to a man with a Jewish sounding name.
Both Hitler and Himmler quickly became aware of the rumors which were spread by Heydrich's enemies within the Nazi Party. Himmler at one point considered expelling Heydrich from the SS. But Hitler, after a long private meeting with Heydrich, described him as "a highly gifted but also very dangerous man, whose gifts the movement had to retain...extremely useful; for he would eternally be grateful to us that we had kept him and not expelled him and would obey blindly."
Thus Heydrich remained in the elite Aryan order but was haunted by the persistent rumors and as a result developed tremendous hostility toward Jews. Heydrich also suffered great insecurity and some degree of self loathing, exampled by an incident in which he returned home to his apartment after a night of drinking, turned on a light and saw his own reflection in a wall mirror then took out his pistol and fired two shots at himself in the mirror, uttering "filthy Jew!"
“Low level of punishment for mid-level Nazis”?? You need to do some reading. How does 6,000 executions grab you?
Standing at death’s door should be a sobering reality for all. How much more for one responsible for such despicable, unspeakable things. Try as he might he couldn’t kill his conscious, I guess.
Didnt do the Czechs much good.
The Brits were very dismayed when the last of the group surrendered who may have collaboeated then executed ..It became a matter of trust with the Brits and possibly be why (as well as the strong pro Russian communist sympathys whom they didn’t trust) the only way one would know is look at the records which exist ...Plus logistics aircraft had great difficulty getting there.
One must understand the differences between the slavic groups in these amalgamated nations which Hitler did. The Czechs vs the Slovak, the Serbs vs Hervat (Croations) which he exploited. Today they are seperate identities which they allways considered they were.
One could even see what happened with the Saarland which went back to Germany after a post war plebicite at the same count 99%. I love the argument historians put up with this one .That if France moved militarilly into it that would have stopped Hitler. French knew they would lose but they kept Strassbourg and Alsass.
As far as Heydrich is concerned he was aware of the history of the place and the fact that Prague was the last seat of Roman Empire during which time one of its rulers created the Prussian capital of Koenigsberg. And conducted his court in that fashion. He encouraged classical music but excluded one piece, Smetana’s Die Mouldau. But a butcher Heydrich was.
There is a film recreation of the Heydrich episode that was I believe produced by the BBC but I can’t recall the title .
well, God forgives. God knows, not us..
Oh no. Article is wrong. It’s Holder and Napolitano.
No question that Heydrich would have been on trial at Nuremberg and would have been hung, had he survived the war. Several of the other defendants, when talking about Kaltenbrunner, said that he was nowhere near as brutal as Heydrich.
They speculate he was shot with a bullet that was poisoned—some sort of germ warfare to ensure his death.
Joachim Peiper was convicted of the Malmedy massacre, got the death sentence, served 11 years.
Gustav Schluter was convicted by a French court for massacring civilians at Maille. But Germany refused to hand him over, so he didn't serve a day.
Hubert Lanz was convicted of the murder of hundreds of Italian prisoners at Cephalonia, was sentenced to 12 years, served 8.
The list goes on and on.
Yeah, I know the tired old defense, we needed Germany's help in the cold war. But I suppose that's not much comfort to the relatives of those who were massacred.
Consider the examples I cited in my last post. Peiper only served 11 years for his war crime. That was outrageous.(But if you know Peiper's story, justice caught up with him in another form.)
And Schluter didn't serve a day for the deliberate massacre of French civilians, some of whom were children. Again, outrageous.
Peiper served 11 years for a crime he did not order and was not present at, and was later murdered by French communists.
How many Allied and Soviet soldiers were prosecuted for killing German prisoners? None. Victor’s justice, just like the winners write the history books.
Very very true. And as you said, no allied war criminals were ever prosecuted. For example, no Soviets were ever prosecuted for the mass execution of Poles in the Katyn Forest.
But that does not lessen the guilt of the Nazi middle-men.
I’m going to drop this thread before some DB chimes in and calls me a “nazi” for telling the truth.
Fair enough. By the way, I agree with your mentioning of Bomber Harris. Had an impartial panel investigated war crimes (a Swiss panel, perhaps?), Harris surely would have gotten a look.
Heydrich died from perionitis, caused by horsehair and pieces of the the metal springs from the car seat that entered his body after the bomb thrown by one of the Czechs exploded outside Heydrich’s car. the Sten gun, carried by the other Czech jammed, and failed to fire. If the Germans had had penicillin, Heydrich would probably have lived.
Actually, “Bomber” Harris became the orphan of Allied victory. He was the only senior RAF commander not raisded to the peerage. And despite the heaviest losses of the British [at least by percentage if not outright numbers], bomber command was the ONLY major unit never awarded a campaign star.
Heydrich didnt have Jewish Blood. The rumor was spread by a student of Heydrich father who flunked him. They sued the man and he lost. The SS did something like three investigations and found nothing amiss in his bloodline.
Heydrich and Himmler were very close. Heydrich was the loyal hatchet man that Himmler needed.
Both were cold blooded SOB and rightfully deserve their places in hell.
No I meant exactly what I said as per the research I did. The SD was a kind of Military Police within the SS and it was Heydrich who ran it. He had a massive file of index cards of nearly everyone in the SS. The average German wasn’t his real concern. The real power lay in who it was in the hierarchy he could get something on.
Certainly. What does that have to do with my opinion that folks have an obsession with Nazism, whether they are conservatives or liberals?
Operation Daybreak....they actually have the full movie on YouTube
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