By Wilfried Heink
Even though Heydrich was a high ranking official in the Third Reich (1933-1945) and “one of the main architects of the Holocaust” (Wikipedia), relatively little is known about him. He was chief of the security police, the security service (SD), the secret state police (Gestapo), and president of Interpol, the international police force. He is mentioned as the founder of Dachau – the first concentration camp – of the EG (Einsatzgruppen – rapid deployment force) and as the chair of the Wannsee Conference. One would think libraries would be filled with books about him, not so. Sure, information about Heydrich as a cold blooded mass murderer void of any conscience is available, but very few made an effort to look closer. This is confirmed in the September 2011 edition of Der Spiegel (German news magazine), were we read in an article by Georg Bönisch titled “The First In-depth Look at a Nazi ‘God of Death’ “: “Still, until now, almost 70 years after Heydrich’s death, there has never been a serious biography of this cold-blooded architect of mass murder that met high scholarly standards. German historian Robert Gerwarth has stepped in to meet this need.” (http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/reinhard-heydrich-biography-the-first-in-depth-look-at-a-nazi-god-of-death-a-787747.html). The title of the book simply “Reinhard Heydrich: Biographie”(available now in English: “Hitler’s Hangman”), and of course the cold-blooded architect of mass murder part has to be included.
I have not read the book by Gerwarth yet, but plan on doing so for comparison. Herr Bönisch is however ignoring the book by Günther Deschner Reinhard Heydrich. Statthalter der totalen Macht. Biographie (R.H. Representative of total power. Biography, Bechtle Verlag, 1977), and it is this book my essay is based on. The book apparently ignored because it does not meet the ‘high scholarly standards’ set by quack historians and Deschner coming too close to the truth. I was made aware of it while looking through the IfZ (Institute für Zeitgeschichte) archives and coming across an article by Gustav von Schmoller Heydrich im Protectorat Böhmen und Mähren (Heydrich in the protectorate Bohemia and Moravia). Schmoller took issue with the Deschner book, and since the IfZ (maliciously called the ‘institute for contemporary legends’) is not known for objectivity regarding issues of the Third Reich, I decided to buy the book, considering the Schmoller slurs to be evidence of Deschner’s honesty as much as it is possible in the “freest Germany ever”. And I was not disappointed, Deschner tries hard to tow the line, the 1970s the last decade in which writings close to the truth were still published. But throughout the book he struggles with the obvious contradictions, trying to ‘fit’ them in, to make sense of them, explain them. On p.203 he quotes the historian Hans Buchheim, who wrote that the deportation of Jews and mass shootings by the EG were the responsibility of Heydrich’s security forces, the gassings however were ordered by Himmler (SS und Polizei im NS-Staat, Bonn 1964). This provision, i.e., having Heydrich not responsible for the (alleged) gassings, is of importance according to Deschner, because it provides a different picture of ‘Heydrich the fanatical Jew killer’ as he is depicted by historians to this day. But, Deschner continues:
“Indes, es bleibt genug an rigoroser Mittäterschaft Heydrichs bestehen. Sofern man den Nürnberger Prozessen überhaupt einen Sinn von Gerechtigkeit unterlegen will, dann hätte Heydrich mit Sicherheit zu den überzeugenderen Angeklagten gehört. Ein Todesurteil gegen ihn hätte nicht entfernt den Ruch der Siegerwillkür behaftet, wie das Urteil etwa gegen Feldmarschall Jodl oder die lebenslange Rachevollstreckung an Rudolf Heß.“(p.204)
Just roughly: Nevertheless, enough remains to accuse Heydrich of rigorous complicity. In as far as one can attribute even a sense of justice to the Nuremberg trials, Heydrich should have been among the accused, and a death sentence would not have omitted the foul smell of victors justices as did was the Jodl sentence or the livelong revenge based sentence of Rudolf Heß. Deschner even questions the IMT proceedings, wrapped in a contribution to the Zeitgeist. But he is not done and continues:
“…Nur zehn Jahre liegen zwischen seinem 1932 geäußerten Zweifel, er habe mit seiner Hinwendung zum Nationalsozialistischen Antisemitismus , »vielleicht doch auf dem falschen Bahnsteig Hurra gebrüllt« und der Runde Schnaps auf die reibungslos verlaufene Wannsee-Konferenz. ‘Dazwischen stehen auf der einen Seite Heydrichs Bekenntnis zum selbständigen Judenstaat in Palästina, seine an Bewunderung grenzende Sympathie mit der Wiederentdeckung der jüdischen Nation und Rasse durch einen großen Teil der zionistischen Bewegung, sein Abscheu vor der »Kristallnacht« und schließlich seine ernsthafte Förderung des rettenden Madagaskarplans… Was hat der Mann dabei empfunden, der von sich selbst behaupten konnte, als Nationalsozialist sei er »Zionist«? Wir kennen die vollständige Antwort auf diese Frage nicht. Aber von dem wenigen, das festgehalten ist, bleibt doch der Eindruck, daß der blutige Teil seiner schicksalhaften Begegnung mit dem Judentum weder sein auf Zwecknotwendigkeiten und Rationalität begründetes Denken befriedigte, noch daß ihm seine Mitwirkung an den Massentötungen irgendeinen Grad von innerer Zustimmung abgewann.“(pp.204/05)
(Only ten years have passed since his expressed doubt, that by an amalgamation with NS anti-Semitism “he may have yelled ‘Hurray’ on the wrong platform” and the round of drinks following the successful conclusion of the Wannsee-Conference. In between we have the commitment by Heydrich to an independent Jewish state in Palestine, his admiration, bordering on sympathy, concerning the rediscovery of the Jewish nation and race, in large part through the efforts by the Zionist movement, his abhorrence regarding the “Kristallnacht” (Night of broken glass, Nov. 9/10 1938), and finally his determined promotion of the saving Madagascar plan…What did the man, who claimed that by being a National-Socialist he was also a Zionist, feel (re. the alleged liquidation of Jews. Wilf)?We don’t have an answer to that. But from the little that has been recorded we gain the impression that the bloody part of his fateful encounter with Jewry did not satisfy his mentality based on purpose and rational, nor did he take pleasure in the mass killings)
Here he tells us that the contradiction can not be explained but he is not able – either because of the political climate or because he believes in the ‘Heydrich the mass murderer’ story – to come to the logical conclusion: Heydrich was not a mass murderer. Did he order executions? Of course he did, some criminals were executed, the EG shot partisans, saboteurs, instigators, as well as other undesirables. But since there is no substantial evidence of “The Holocaust”, Heydrich could not have been involved in any mass murder of Jews, end of controversy.
Now to the book and I will just tell the story based on Deschner’s book with my comments, if necessary, added separately. In the first chapter of the book we learn that Heydrich was one of the most controversial persons in the Third Reich (TR), some see him as the instigator of the Holocaust, others claim that his grandmother was Jewish. He could play the violin to reduce his listeners to tears – but with one signature could also condemn thousands to a life in concentration camps. It was this nimbus that surrounded Heydrich, this nonconformity between his personality and his actions. It is this mysteriousness that prevented historians from dealing with him, and if they did they used words portraying the sinister as noncommittal, the clearly measurable as unfathomable.
His alleged Jewish ancestry is used to explain his ‘split personality’, his hunger for power, his compliance with Hitler and Himmler and his over eagerness concerning the liquidation of Jews. But without that, there is enough controversy surrounding Heydrich’s personality. For instance, the foreign press and the Czech resistance called him “The butcher of Prague”, the Czech press on the other hand “The darling of the Czech workers”.
Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich, born on March 7, 1904 in Halle/Saale and baptized four days later in the only Catholic Church in the city, was a child of his time. His mother called him Reinhard, ‘strong in giving advice’, named after a hero in one of his fathers operas. His Dad wanted Tristan as in the Wagner opera and finally Eugen, named after his grandfather on mothers side who, as professor and royal advisor on the Saxon court, had founded the world renowned Dresden Conservatory. His dad, Richard Bruno, had also founded a Conservatory in Halle. Bruno made his living as a musician and opera tenor, his Conservatory a private school for music and theater. He was also an actor and often performed privately as “Isodor”, as Jews were called at that time, and with his black hair he came across as a Jew. The Heydrich’s were part of the upper society of Halle, Bruno the co-founder of the lodge “Schlaraffia”, Reinhard later suspected it as a Masonic lodge (Eichmann also visited it, or belonged for a while. Wilf). He also belonged to the Mason Lodge “Zu den drei Degen”, his wife a devout Catholic was not in favor.
Reinhard played piano before he entered school and later took violin lessons. He was a ‘very good’ student, according to his classmates, and aside from the regular curriculum was also taught French, Latin and English. But his voice remained high pitched, earning him the nickname “Hebbe” (goat), doing nothing for his self esteem. But the second nickname “Isi, Isi”, for Isodor, i.e., Jew, hurt even more, his younger brother Heinz-Siegfried ending the taunts by threatening reprisals with his knife. The sons and daughters of Jews studied on Bruno’s conservatorium and Jews were among the Heydrich social circle. Reinhard was also treated as an outsider because of his Catholic faith, that part of Germany staunchly Protestant. Holidays at a forester family, in the summer of 1918 for the last time, took him away from his pious, musician home and here he could be himself, gaining self esteem. The revolutions following WWI also of course had an effect on the Heydrich’s, they destroyed the noble world of his Mother and had a lasting effect on Reinhard. In March 1919 during an attempt by communists to establish a Soviet Republic (Räterepublik) in Saxony, the free corps of general Maerker intervened and prevented it. Reinhard later claimed to have served in that free corps, but that could not be confirmed. He did however serve in the Halle free corps, as did most of Halle’s young men, that corps established by Maerker.
After graduation from an advanced secondary education school (Gymnasium) Reinhard joined the navy to become an officer. His family was taken aback, his Dad had hoped that he would succeed him as director of the conservatory. He was not well suited for soldering, 1.84m (a little over 6’) tall, skinny with seemingly uncoordinated limbs and carrying his beloved violin with him, the rest of the recruits thought he had gotten lost. The first six month were not easy, his alleged Jewishness also an issue. A Jewish historian (Shlomo Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Frühgeschichte von Gestapo und SD, Stuttgart 1971) writes that according to a crew member Heydrich was taunted by a student during leave in Halle: „Look here, young Itzig Süß in navy uniform”. When his comrade asked him what he did about it, Heydrich is supposed to have said: “What was I to do”? The crew member never spoke to him again, Heydrich having forfeited his honor.
This is perhaps the place to take a look at Heydrich’s “Jewish question”, Deschner devotes chapter 6 to it, captioned Der engebildete Jude (The imagined Jew), but it will fit in here nicely. On June 8, 1932 (Heydrich was on the way up then. Wilf) Gregor Strasser received a letter from Rudolf Jordan, Gauleiter (governor) of the Halle-Merseburg district, Jordan asking if a certain Heydrich is in the leadership of the party. His dad lives in the territory, the letter continued, and “there is reason to suspect that Bruno, the father of Heydrich, is Jewish”. As evidence he attached an excerpt from the Riemanns Musik Lexikon in which Heydrich was listed with the addition following his name “née Süß”. The authority re. questions of ancestry, Dr. Achim Gercke, was informed and two weeks later assured the party leadership that “Heydrich is of German origin with no trace of any colored or Jewish blood”. Heydrich’s grandma had indeed been married to a mechanic Gustav Robert Süß, and she had referred to herself on occasion as Süß-Heydrich. But, this particular Süß was not Jewish, according to Gercke.
This should have settled the matter, but didn’t. Even after the war some Halle citizens asserted that it was well known that Bruno Heydrich was half-Jewish. Reinhard Heydrich on several occasions took legal actions, one against a baker Johannes Pabst with the latter found guilty of slander. Deschner then quotes former SD officer Dr. Wilhelm Höttl, I do have the book, here is the part concerning the (alleged?) obliteration of evidence by Heydrich:
“What Heydrich had done was ruthlessly simple. He had ordered his trusty henchman, an S.S. sergeant major from the old Hamburg, days, to break in and steal all documents and registers that might give any pointer to his father’s ancestry, and to destroy them. He quite forgot, however, that in Leipzig there existed a gravestone with the name Sarah. Heydrich. Later, when it did occur to him, he sent the same henchman to obliterate this piece of evidence as well. One night the gravestone of the Jewish grandmother disappeared; it was removed from the cemetery in a lorry and pitched into a neighboring river, and, leaving nothing to chance this time, Heydrich replaced it with another stone bearing the discreet inscription “S. Heydrich.” The bill for this latter was still in existence in Heydrich’s personal Office in 1945.
Had Heydrich thus succeeded in obliterating all possible traces? The indications are that he had not. In Meissen, where both his father and his grandmother Sarah had lived for a long while, there were plenty of indications proving the Jewish origin of the Chief of the German Security Police, and these, apparently fell into the hands of his foremost Opponent, Admiral Canaris. (Secret Front, enigma books 2003 [1953 Weidenfeld & Nicolson], p.15)
Höttl, the inventor of the ‘6 million’ is not the most reliable witness, the reference to Canaris is of interest however. For, and now back to Deschner, the former intelligence aide Helmut Maurer claims to have found incriminating material at the Halle registrars office (Standesamt) in 1940 re. Heydrich’s ancestry. “If I remember correctly”, so Maurer, “the Jewish blood originated from his Fathers site”. Canaris was aware of this and that prevented Heydrich from “shooting him down”. Then we have the English journalist Charles Wighton who comes up with yet another version. His claim is that Heydrich’s mothers ancestry was never considered by Gercke, and even though his mother was mentioned – her mother and grandmother were missing. Heydrich knew that Bormann had that material in his safe, the contents of said safe unknown however. Wighton’s evidence: 1. The first name of this mysterious grandmother was Mautsch. 2. She brought the money into the family. But, Wighton can not swear to it, it results however in a “strong, prima facie case”(Deschner refers to a Spiegel article of Feb. 9,1950, no other details provided). Hugh Trevor-Roper claims that the fear of being exposed drove Heydrich on (T.-R. in Times of June 3, 1962), adding that he declares this “with all the authority that I possess” (Foreword of the English edition of Kersten’s memoirs). Michael Freund also chimed in, as does the intelligence (Abwehr) historian G. Buchheit: “His Aryan evidence was forged”(Karl Dietrich Bracher, Die deutsche Diktatur, Köln-Berlin 1969, pp.60f).
It continues, with Joachim Fest claiming that Heydrich was a marked man: he had Jewish ancestors and therefore needed to murder Jews to cleanse himself (Das Gesicht des dritten Reiches, München 1963, pp.142f). H.G. Adler writes that Heydrich carried the hated Jewish virus and tried to prevail by murdering all available Jews (Theresienstadt, Tübingen 1955, p.645).
Then we have this from Master Spy, by Ian Colvin (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, London, Toronto, 1952):
“Heydrich had come to Canaris asking for access to the files of Abwehr III, where the agents of foreign powers in Germany were listed and classified. This had been the subject of his contention with Captain Patzig, and he gave the new man no respite. He wanted to know who were the foreign agents in Germany, and a scandalous espionage affair that had been tried secretly during 1934 lent weight to his request. It concerned the Poles.
It was noticeable that Canaris treated Heydrich on the footing of an officer who had been at sea with him. He remembered Heydrich from the year 1922, when he had been First Lieutenant of the training cruiser Berlin, and Heydrich a naval cadet. No doubt he said so, leaving Heydrich to guess what was in his mind. He had obtained Heydrich’s service papers from the German Admiralty and refreshed his memory on the court-martial that had found Heydrich guilty of moral delinquency, in the late 1920’s, which had led to his dismissal from the naval service (details to follow). The papers showed Canaris another interesting fact; the father of Heydrich, an operatic tenor in Halle-an-der-Saale, was half Jewish. Canaris gave the service records of Heydrich to a staff officer and instructed him to keep them in his safe. He noted of Heydrich in his diary, “a violent and fanatical man with whom it will be impossible to work at all closely.”(p.20)
So, was Heydrich part Jewish? And is this why he did not move against Canaris even though he must have been aware of his treacherous activities (to be addressed later)? Or was it because of his old friendship with him (details to follow)? Or is it that quack historians who are unable to explain the contradictions away, but have to make a case for “Heydrich the mass murderer of Jews”, need Heydrich to be part Jewish? We will never know for sure, but Deschner does not believe Heydrich was part Jewish.
Back to Heydrich’s career in the navy. Following three month of training on the sailing vessel “Niobe”, he was transferred to the battle cruiser “Berlin”. At the same time Lieutenant Commander Wilhelm Canaris was also assigned to the “Berlin” and their path’ crossed for the first time. Canaris soon noted the special talent of the recluse recruit Heydrich – his violin play. Up to now his play had only earned him ridicule, but now it turned into an advantage. The wife of Canaris had assembled a string quartet and was at this time in need of a second violin. Heydrich was invited into the Canaris home and Frau Canaris was soon enchanted with his masterful play. Heydrich spend many weekends in the Canaris house, as well as in the houses of other officers families in the port city of Kiel. It is likely that Canaris told Heydrich about his service on the “Dresden” in WWI, the only vessel surviving the battle at the Falklands. The “Dresden” was later sited by the British navy, and badly damaged as it was, scuttled. Canaris survived and returned to Germany, his adventures no doubt making an impression on young Reinhard.
His training took the edges of Reinhard, he advanced, was promoted but never comfortable in those surroundings. Even later in the rank of an SS general he tried to avoid social gatherings, sending his second in command. On October 1, 1926 he was promoted to Lieutenant and trained as a short wave operator. He participated in various sports, fencing his favorite but excelled in other disciplines as well. He also furthered his language skills, getting fluent in English, French and Russian. He was an above average radio communications officer, and promoted to Senior Lieutenant (Oberleutnant) in 1928.
Heydrich dreamt of becoming an Admiral, but his dream ended suddenly. On December 6, 1930 he met the blond beauty Lina von Osten at a ball in Kiel, they fell in love and secretly engaged on the 18th. Heydrich visited the von Osten’s at Christmas and for the first time came in contact with National-Socialism. His future brother in law, Jürgen von Osten, having joined the NSDAP (National-Socialist German Workers Party), as well as the SA (storm troopers), in 1928. The von Osten family, strictly nationalist, considered Hitler to be the only one who could save Germany. Lina joined the party in 1929, membership number 1,201,380. Heydrich in contrast was not enchanted with Hitler, scorned political parties in general and in reality was politically naïve at that time anyway, according to his widow. On the second day of Christmas (boxing day) they were officially engaged, Heydrich sending the engagement notice also to a former girl friend he had courted. This girl was the daughter of an influential navy official in Berlin who in turn knew Admiral Raeder. Heydrich had visited the girl (Deschner provides no name) and she saw herself already at the side of the adored marine officer and was shocked by the notice of his engagement, arriving without any commentary. Her father complained and Heydrich had to appear before a navy honor/disciplinary commission (Ehrenrat der Marine), and considering the whole affair as a nuisance, performed badly. He was suspended from duty during the investigation, at the end the commission only put in question Heydrich’s stay in the navy, but send the report to Raeder. Raeder without hesitation decided against Heydrich and in April 1931 he received notice of his dismissal from the navy, citing ‘behavior not becoming an officer” as the reason. One year before becoming eligible for a pension his career in the navy came to an end. Christmas 1931Lina and Reinhold were married, with Heydrich now a member of the SS, more on that to come.
Comment: Heydrich should have been aware of the standard’s of honor of the time, the navy still operating in the Royal traditions as mentioned by Deschner. But perhaps because of his upbringing, his Dad the bohemian type, he had a healthy distain for traditions and showed it. Fact is, he behaved like a klutz sending his former girlfriend the notice of his engagement to another woman without any explanation. Being tossed out of the navy for it is undoubtedly too harsh a punishment, but he apparently did nothing to avoid it.
After his dismissal from the Navy, in April 1931, Heydrich was unemployed, at a time when unemployment was widespread. He did receive offers, but as his widow later told, the dismissal from the Navy hit him hard, the career as a navy officer was his lifelong ambition. He was eventually introduced to Baron Karl von Eberstein, the Baron having joined the National-Socialist party (NSDAP) early on and was now an SA officer. Eberstein also knew Heinrich Himmler, a virtual unknown at that time. Heydrich did not intend to join the SA: his (at the time still) fiancée Lina, an enthusiastic NSDAP member agreeing, saying that the SA at times looked like a bunch of rabble-rousers (Lumpenpack). The small SS units on the other hand were the elite, in her opinion. She eventually encouraged Heydrich to accept the von Eberstein offer, but to insist on a position in the SS. On June 1, 1931, he joined the NSDAP, “just to be inside”, receiving membership number 544,916. He then sent an application for a ‘leading position’ to the party leadership in Munich, which was eventually forwarded to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. When Himmler was appointed to this post as Reichsführer-SS (Head of the SS) in January 1929 by Hitler, he commanded a troop of 280 men. But in 1931 the ‘black elite’ had grown into a considerable force, consisting of workers, academicians, intellectuals and aristocrats, staunch National-Socialists all, very well disciplined.
Himmler, who had received Heydrich’s application including a picture, was impressed by his Nordic appearance. He noticed that Heydrich had served as a Nachrichten officer in the navy (The term Nachrichtenoffizier can mean short wave or intelligence, the BRD equivalent to the CIA called BND – Bundes Nachrichten Dienst). Hitler had just asked Himmler to establish an internal intelligence service because of the many leaks, and Himmler was on the lookout for a suitable person to head the service when he received Heydrich’s application. Himmler was apparently not aware of the different meanings of the term Nachrichtenoffizier, and decided to invite Heydrich for an interview. A further applicant was considered, and Heydrich was told to wait, but he forced the issue and visited Himmler. Only now did Heydrich become aware of the mix-up in terminology re. communications and intelligence, but relied on what he had been taught in the Navy on intelligence matters and was accepted. His co-applicant, police captain Horninger, retired, lost out, a stroke of luck for Himmler, as Horninger had been encouraged by the Munich police to apply, to serve as an informer.
Heydrich’s first office was located in the “Braunen Haus”, the party headquarters in Munich, but he had to share his room with another SS official, Richard Hildebrandt who was on the staff of Sepp Dietrich (later SS general). Heydrich’s office furniture consisted of an old kitchen table and a chair, the typewriter belonged to Hildebrandt but he was able to use it at set times. Himmler placed a stack of folders on the table and Heydrich started to organize the files, using scissors, glue and the borrowed typewriter. Those weeks of late summer 1931 is when the SD (security service) was born. For what had been information collected by Himmler at random was transformed by Heydrich into an orderly assembly of files. Doing so gave him a total picture of the puzzle, and he soon discovered that it was not just the obvious adversaries, the communists mainly, that needed observing but that there also existed another, more potent enemy: the international conspirators.
Heydrich categorized the opponents: first those who openly opposed National-Socialism, i.e., the KPD (communist party) and the SPD (Socialist party), as well as the other parties to some extend. However, he considered the powers working in the background – trying to prevent the National-Socialists from reaching their goals – to be much more dangerous: the political Church, Freemasonry, Jewry and Marxism. Then there was the infighting, the SA having also established an intelligence service, with local party chiefs involved as well: “Everyone considered the other a spy”. With Himmler’s and Heydrich’s organization, if one can call it that, the smallest and least recognized, that being somewhat of an advantage because of the little that was known it. But that was about to change. At the beginning of September 1931 an order was issued to expand the SS intelligence service. The pile of folders on Heydrich’s table grew and he was able to influence proceedings by uncovering a mole in the Braunen Haus, an undercover police officer, and succeeding in ‘turning him’. From November on the Bavarian police was blind on the ‘SS eye’, but Heydrich was well informed about police procedures. Himmler was pleased because it had been his intelligence service that had exposed the mole.
At year’s end 1931, Heydrich moved to a new ‘office’, the party had rented two rooms in the flat of a widow, a party member referred to as “Mother Edrich”. He now also had a staff, three unemployed men who were paid whenever any money was available; mother Edrich helped by providing meals. The office equipment was however still basically the same, and still no typewriter – whenever one was needed, Hildebrandt’s was picked up, using the tram. Heydrich was also poorly paid but Himmler tried to encourage him, promoting him to Hauptsurmführer (captain) and as a wedding present on December 25, 1931 to Sturmbannführer (major). The newlyweds found a flat, “a dump with cracks in the floor a finger wide” as his widow remembered, but “Reinhard had painted the walls” (We must remember that this was before Hitler was appointed chancellor). The information collected was filed in cigar boxes, the categories: Communists, Socialists, political Catholics, Conservatives, representatives of nobility opposed to NS, Freemasons and Jews. Jews were only of interest if active politically. “Jews were of no interest to him as people or a race, only as political problems”, according to his widow.
When the SA and SS were outlawed in April of 1932, the service was renamed to be the “Press and information service” (PID), with Heydrich and his staff laying low. The SA intelligence service did not survive the ban, which ended in the fall of 1932, Heydrich’s service did and became even stronger, and Heydrich needed help. With the intent to personally pick his staff, he embarked on a tour of Germany. The English Secret Service was his model, telling his wife that German governments had operated in the dark since the time of Bismarck and that this had to end. The English elite consider it normal to join the intelligence service, some on a voluntary basis. And Heydrich was able to get academicians to join, doctors and lawyers, etc. A core group was assembled in Munich, operating at times under cover. In July, Heydrich was appointed chief of the SD, the now official name of the service, and promoted to Standartenführer (colonel). The Heydrich’s found a house to rent; it was used as an office almost exclusively since the financial situation of the SS was still precarious. Heydrich finally send a letter to Röhm, chief of the SA, asking for financial assistance. And Röhm, who knew next to nothing about this organization agreed to take a look, he decided on a visit accompanied by and Heß.
A little anecdote to show what Heydrich’s ‘service’ was like, a mixture in fact of family life and officialdom. Heydrich prepared for the visit, wanting to make a good impression, but things did not go as well as planned. His widow tells the story: The masonry heater (Kachelofen) was situated in the hallway and Lina, functioning as the factotum, had to light it every morning. She then placed the matches on the mantel – for them to regularly disappear. That morning she had placed a box on the mantle resembling matches but the tip was a firecracker. Heydrich came running down the stairs telling her that Röhm and Heß were on the way, and also Himmler who had decided to join them. One of the assistants was quickly sent to purchase two cigars, one for Röhm and one for Himmler, as well as half a bottle of port. The guests arrived, Heydrich was promised the sum of 1.000 RM (only half eventually arrived) and to celebrate the occasion cigars and wine were offered. One of the staff pulled matches out of his pocket (Lina now knew who the match thief was), intending to light Röhm’s cigar. An explosion was the result with people looking for cover, after all, it was still fighting times and communists known for being killers. But things settled down, Röhm took it as a joke and when the Heydrich’s first son was born he became his godfather.
When Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933, his closest followers were rewarded with various posts (still practiced today. Wilf), but not Heydrich. Already on January 27 he had resigned his post on the advice of Himmler, to become “officer for special tasks”, ending up in various positions but never at the helm, a big disappointment for him. Himmler sent Heydrich to Berlin, but it turned out that nobody was really interested in any suggestions by Himmler or Heydrich, the latter not even received at some quarters. This demonstrated the uncertainty in regard the positions of Himmler and Heydrich in the first weeks of the Third Reich. Heydrich was then sent to the Geneva disarmament conference in February 1933, along with another SS man, as ‘experts on police and security issues’. Heydrich the conqueror, even though fluent in the official conference languages French and English, was out of place among the diplomats, in this atmosphere of “sorry compromises” (faule Kompromisse). He asked why a competent speaker did not represent Germany, for “these bumblers will never be able to get Germany’s point across”. He shunned the representatives of Germany’s foreign office (AA), but did tell Erich Kordt (traitor extraordinaire. Wilf) that he knows AA officials are hoping for the NS regime to disappear, but that he should not hold his breath. Heydrich also took issue with the fact that the Hakenkreuz flag was not displayed as the official flag of the new Germany. He took matters in his own hands, obtained a huge flag from a Swiss National-Socialist and draped it from the roof of the hotel during the night. Emissary Nadolny, Germany’s Chef de Mission, sent Heydrich packing.
Hitler’s hold on power was not secure after his appointment. On February 6, (1933) Prussia came on line, but when Thuringia as well as others also formed NS governments alarm bells started to ring in Bavaria. Bavarian minister president Heinrich Held oriented his 1933 election campaign against the danger from Prussia, no Berlin official was to be allowed to cross the line into Bavaria. Even Hindenburg had assured Helm that no one would try, and Helm then stated that anyone trying would be arrested. At the March 5 election, the NSdAP received 43.9% of the vote’s country wide, 43% in Bavaria – not enough for a majority. But based on a decree of February 28 Berlin was empowered to intervene in state affairs and thus the Bavarian Gauleiter (Governor) Wagner, along with Himmler and Röhm told Helm to appoint Franz Ritter von Epp as Generalstaatskommissar (roughly: state commissioner). SA and SS formations marched to the government building but the parliament refused to give in, asking the police and Reichswehr, the armed forces of the Weimar republic, for assistance. They refused and at the same time the letter of Epp’s appointment was prepared in Berlin and the Bavarian representative informed. A telegram would be send, informing Helm of the decision and upon receipt of it he would have been obliged to follow the instructions, or be guilty of contempt. All now depended on the delivery of this telegram and that it not somehow disappeared. One SS officer was especially distrustful and with a group of men marched to the telegraph office in Munich. With pistol pointing at the postal official, he demanded that the telegram be handed over and he delivered it. The name of the SS officer: Reinhard Heydrich.
Epp then formed the government and from there things changed rapidly. On April 1, Himmler was appointed commander of Bavaria’s political police and he instructed Heydrich to assemble the force. Heydrich gathered well-trained people from different departments, police officers, clerks who worked for the police, as well as a few old SS comrades, overall about 150 men. A few weeks later the number had doubled. Heydrich now cleaned house, starting with politically unsound and incompetents, all of them were dismissed. The cases of two individuals are of note, the police inspectors Heinrich Müller (later to be called Gestapo-Müller) and Franz Josef Huber. Both had hunted National-Socialists, along with communists. After a short interview, Heydrich left them in their posts, needing them to destroy the communist cadres. Heydrich demonstrating that expertise was more important then the past – as long as they proved their loyalties through their deeds. Party official were not pleased with having both of them spared, even though they had to acknowledge that Müller was a successful communist hunter. Heydrich had no use for this small-minded party mentality, in private he suggested that the party be dissolved as well as the SA, as it was no longer needed. In his opinion the consolidation of power was now the issue, discussions no longer necessary. He also worried about the SS becoming like the SA, outliving their usefulness. He never did understand Hitler who, because of loyalty, supported party members even though they were essentially useless and had proven it.
Heydrich also had no use for those who now made an exhibition of their positions, Gauleiter Wagner, also minister of the interior, one of them, who regularly held court in the Hofbräuhaus, a well-known Munich pub. Heydrich voiced his disdain, to be called “the German Reich beer counter” by Wagner. Thus, relations between the police and the Braunen Haus, the party headquarters, soured, but Heydrich at least for now needed them. Piece by piece Heydrich destroyed the power of the opposition in Bavaria, jails soon too small and concentration camps had to be established to hold the prisoners. The legend that Heydrich was responsible for the creation of Dachau is just that, a legend, Dachau was established on orders from Wagner, who suggested to now using the same methods as were used against the NS when they were locked into a building and forgotten. Heydrich proceeded methodically here as well, first the communists, when they were removed Socialist functionaries were next, followed by the leaders of the Marxist unions. Then came “political Catholicism”, the officials of the BVP, the Bavarian Peoples Party – a Catholic stronghold. They were taken into protective custody, 2097 in July 1933 with 1820 released again, in December more people were released than incarcerated. 16,409 persons were incarcerated in 1933 in Bavaria, 12,554 of them released after a short time. Jews were taken to Dachau not because they were Jews, but because of their political activities.
However, Heydrich also moved against profiteers and exploiters of the workers, but was of the opinion that this new state needed a unified police force to combat all of the enemies of the Reich. He approached Himmler with the idea to have the SS elevated to Germany’s police force, and Himmler finally agreed. But, there was opposition to this, Göring, minister president of Prussia had already established a Prussian police force under Diels, the Gestapa (Geheime Staatspolizeiamt), and with Berlin part of Prussia, Göring made it known that “Himmler and Heydrich will never make it to Berlin”. Heydrich was also not enchanted with Göring and his lifestyle, complaining that “we had accused the Weimar fat cats of profiting from the poor, and now we have Göring”.
At the end of 1933 help came from Frick, the minister of the interior, who had decided to amalgamate the police forces, 16 of them, one in every state. But Göring’s imperium was in the way and Frick decided to ask Himmler, with Heydrich in tow, for help. Both had already shown how effective their methods had been in Bavaria and with the assistance of the ministry of the interior one state after the other was conquered and a short while later Himmler was chief of the political police in Germany, with the exception of Prussia. Now Göring realized that hanging on to his imperium would be impossible – gave in and Prussia was incorporated. On April 22, 1934, Heydrich was appointed chief of the secret police in Germany, the whole of Germany’s police force at his disposal. Police officials noted with astonishment how quick this amateur Heydrich took charge, he was immediately part of it. He had the gift to separate the necessary from the unnecessary, officers called to report had to prepare meticulously and still, just minutes into the report Heydrich interrupted telling them that he understood and asked for suggestions.
For Heydrich, an enemy of the state was anyone working against the people and the government, anyone opposing the Führer and by it the strong Germany. These were Communists, Marxists, Jewry, political ecclesiae, Freemasonry, the politically unsatisfied (complainers), saboteurs, habitual criminals as well as abortionists and homosexuals, and people engaging in treason.
The “black duty” attracted renowned intellectuals, Heydrich’s SD the “pool of the most intelligent people in National-Socialism”. Heydrich had them study and investigate potential enemies like those aforementioned. A new definition in regards to police duties emerged, the discussion not initiated by Heydrich but because of his attitude of identifying enemies of the state as part of police duties, it had become a necessity. The police was no longer to be just a protection force, the nation’s night watchman of old, when police only acted after the crime had been committed. Attorney Dr. Werner Best, perhaps the most gifted of Heydrich’s staff, argued that this new social system/order differed substantially from that of the bourgeois state, but was also not a police state. The prominent jurist Dr. Walter Hamel added that the police now have an additional duty, “to incorporate the individual into society”. Whereas, and this was Heydrich’s opinion, the liberal “night watchman state” had the police establish order to ensure the liberties of the individual, the police of the new state would not only be responsible for safety, but to also help build the new society according to the guidelines provided by the political leadership.
Heydrich’s top jurist Hamel formulated it this way: The police was to gauge the political health of the German population, to identify any virus – be it self inflicted or brought in from the outside – and to eliminate it using appropriate measures. Thus, Heydrich considered himself to be like a doctor, not only intend on healing but also to prevent illnesses from occurring. Professional police officers welcomed this approach – tired of arresting the same criminals repeatedly. However, the more liberal courts did not assist at the beginning, but eventually also came on board. Habitual criminals were identified as those who had been arrested three times and sentenced to prison terms, they were then send to concentration camps (KZ). Beggars and vagrant’s, prostitutes and their pimps, homosexuals, black marketers’, psychopaths and those having turned down work without sufficient reason were considered as antisocial and also ended up in the KZ. There they met communists, politically engaged clerics, Marxist unionists and journalists who had been agitating against the regime (no mention of Jews here. Wilf). But, even though Heydrich was legally empowered to send these persons to the camps, this is were his competency ended, Himmler would not allow him to have control over the fate of the interned. That was a concern for Heydrich and he had his people collect material on Eicke, one of the KZ inspectors and as a result, Heydrich’s people started to criticize the treatment of the prisoners (Deschner quotes Höhne here, the latter claiming that this was not done for humanitarian reasons, but in an effort to gain total control, a politically correct assumption by him [Höhne, Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf, p.190]). Nevertheless, Heydrich issued instructions in 1935 to have his officials inform the prosecutor general if the death of a prisoner was not satisfactorily explained. Eicke complained to Himmler about the attitude of the Gestapo (secret state police) who charged that conditions in the KZ’ were horrible (eine Schweinerei herrsche).
Comment: How does this concern for the fate of the prisoners fit in with “Heydrich the mass murderer; Hitler’s Hangman”? It does not, and Deschner passes over it without any comment.
Heydrich’s favorite enemy was Rom, i.e., the Vatican, that even though he was raised as a Catholic. “Are these clever attempts of undermining the political will of the German population not infinitely more dangerous as treason – or the actions by a communist, because they are subtle?” (R. Heydrich über den politischen Katholizismus). Heydrich was however not the first to pick a fight with the Vatican, Bismarck had done so before him, his reasoning:
“He (Bismarck. Wilf) had recognised the coming of this struggle twenty years before, in the Frankfort days, declaring a fight “against the lust of conquest in the Catholic camp” to be inevitable. Since Austria’s concordat, he had held that some of Prussia’s enemies were always to be found in that camp. After he had risen to power, he had (as he knew) actually been characterized in the Vatican as “the incarnation of the devil.” …
But the crisis did not come until the Vatican Council met in Rome, concentrating there anew all the powers of Catholic Europe. In the middle of July 1870, when the war was beginning, the dogma of papal infallibility was proclaimed, affecting Bismarck’s sentiments as much as his calculations. It was intolerable to him that any one should call himself infallible. Why, he did not even believe that Otto von Bismarck was infallible! It was monstrous that all the Germans of one confession should be dependent upon a foreign power. When he was setting out for France, he warned the German bishops against assenting, and warned the pope against using compulsion. At the same time he brought all possible opposing influences to bear, in the hope of protecting his State against Roman powers. If this new dogma were accepted, “the bishops would, vis-a-vis the government, be the officials of a foreign sovereign.” (Emil Ludwig, Bismarck, Little, Brown, and Company Boston, 1927, pp.414/15)
Bismarck was unsuccessful, Prof. E. Adamov describes the efforts by Pope Leo XIII to help encircle Germany before WWI in “Die Diplomatie des Vatikans zur Zeit des Imperialismus” (The diplomacy of the Vatican during imperialism, Verlag von Reimar Hobbing in Berlin, 1932). This book was published by the Soviets to expose the hypocrisy of the Vatican and the machinations of the Entente powers, and it is reasonable to assume that Heydrich was aware of this book. Thus, his own “Kulturkampf” was justified – never trust the Vatican. It must however be stressed that he was not against Christianity – he only opposed the political efforts by religious organizations. And even though Jews and Freemasonry hated anything to do with National-Socialism, first on the list of Heydrich’s enemies was the political clergy, according to his widow. No mention of opposition to the Christian faith in his writings, always only about the political power of the churches and their agitations. In his opinion it was up to every German individual how he worship his/her God.
The Catholic Church stoked the fire. In 1933-1935 publications they presented St. Francis as the Führer of the youth. Heydrich considered the church to be a rival because it, as well as National-Socialism, asked, or better demanded, complete devotion. Then there were the contacts to foreign countries by church officials, and Heydrich ordered the surveillance of all Church emissaries travelling abroad to collect information so as to have it available at the day of reckoning, when he planned to expose the churches as enemies of the Reich. Only his death prevented him from doing so, his “Kulturkampf” also ending in failure.
In 1940, Heydrich – aside from servings as chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA, which included the Gestapo, and Kripo), and also an active pilot in the air force – in August of that year was appointed and served as President of the International Criminal Police Commission (later Interpol, the international law enforcement agency). Representatives of thirty-three member states, among them Great Britain, France and the USA, in 1938 met at Bucharest to decide if the HQ of that organization should be moved from Vienna, since Germany had annexed Austria. Heydrich protested, his protest not seriously challenged by anyone, and when the then President, Vienna’s police chief Otto Steinhäusel, died, Heydrich took over as President on August 28, 1940. Only England, France as well as a few small countries had by then quit the organization. At the same time when Heydrich’s Einsatzgruppen (EG – rapid response force) were pacifying Poland, he became president of the international police force without the slightest concern raised by the representatives of the remaining 30 member states, most of them cheering him on.
Comment: This has me wondering. “Historians” tell us that as soon as the fighting was over, and Poland defeated, the EG committed atrocities upon atrocities with the whole world informed about it. And here we have the representatives of 30 states cheering when Heydrich, the commander of those alleged killing squads, took over as chief of the international police. Is it possible that the “historians” have it wrong, that the EG were units employed to establish order behind the lines and not indiscriminate killers? No doubt in my mind. But to be acknowledged as an expert on the history of the Third Reich, one first must believe that all “Nazis” were criminals and proceed from there. Quacks!
Following Heydrich’s appointment, as new HQ of Interpol a villa on the Wannsee in Berlin was picked. Two Wannsee’s (lakes at the outskirts of Berlin) exist, the big- and the small Wannsee. Deschner writes that the Interpol office was located at the big Wannsee, but has it wrong; the address was “Small Wannsee Nr.16”. Deschner then claims that on January 20, 1942 the infamous Wannsee-Konfernz took place at the HQ of Interpol, wrong again but more on that later.
As mentioned, Heydrich was an active air force pilot, flying reconnaissance missions over England and Scotland but always returning to Berlin between actions to his job as security chief, Hitler and Himmler viewing those activities with mixed feelings. He was also active in sports, fencing his favorite, and made it possible for Paul Sommer, Jew and former German fencing champion, to escape to America. He was always the perfectionist, and what he did, he did meticulously, according to his widow. He did not like to loose, that also true for arguments. But if his counterpart had solid counter-arguments or proposals that differed from his, and if that person stood his ground unwaveringly, Heydrich gave in.
More and more communists, socialists and other enemies of the regime fled to foreign countries, some of them then continuing their subversive work against the Reich from their new domicile. That was a concern for Heydrich, but his jurisdiction ended at Germany’s borders, the intelligence service responsible for foreign countries. Heydrich did not have a good working relationship with the head of that service, especially with Conrad Patzig, predecessor of Canaris. Eventually, Patzig was removed – reconnaissance flights over the then friendly Poland the issue – and in December 1934 replaced by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, picked not lastly because of his good relationship with Heydrich. Canaris promised to work with the SD “in friendship and openness”. The two met at the end of January and renewed their friendship, the families visiting regularly. Erika Canaris also played the violin and the evenings were filled with music. However, competencies of the two services was the issue and negotiations to resolve the differences were started, with Canaris representing the intelligence service and Heydrich, with Dr. Best, the SD. A ten-point program was eventually worked out, the “Ten Commandments”, but it was not perfect, because the borders of political intelligence and military intelligence overlapped, naturally. Canaris deemed it necessary to spy on enemies inside of Germany, with Heydrich doing the same in foreign countries, a necessity if one hopes to be successful. Thus, a new agreement had been worked out, with Canaris having his competencies curtailed. That agreement was to be signed at Prague in May of 1942, just days before Heydrich was assassinated.
Heydrich considered suspicion to be a virtue, his SD officers called “Oberverdachtsschöpfer”, extremely suspicious, and he took this to be a compliment. We need to remember the times here, communists had moved undercover and traitors were present in all spheres of the Reich. As it turned out, he was not suspicious enough, the traitors telling England and Moscow all they needed to know, Deschner makes no mention of that. Heydrich considered multi-national corporations at that time already to be a threat (those of us who pay attention know this to be true), and placed them under surveillance. He had a Berlin brothel, frequented by the affluent, taken over by the SD, but that did not pan out, Heydrich saying that “pillow-talk” is just a legend.
In the fall of 1936, Heydrich received a phone call at home from the attorney Bielschowsky, a Jew, but left alone because he was one of Heydrich’s friends from his home town of Halle (Deschner has to write this. Wilf). Bielschowsky asked Heydrich if he knew a party big wig by the name of Martin Bormann, Heydrich answered something like “unfortunately yes”. This started a five-year investigation and at the end, Heydrich was convinced that Bormann was working for the Soviets. Reinhard Gehlen, an army intelligence officer and later head of the BDR intelligence agency (BND), wrote in his memoirs that Bormann had worked for the Soviets from the start of the war. Others, like Ohlendorf, Schellenberg and Berger also attested to that at the IMT, the latter at the Wilhelmstraße trial. Gehlen, as well as Canaris, investigated and established that Bormann operated the only unobserved short wave transmitter, but neither did anything, claiming that they had been afraid, Bormann then in a powerful position (I have a problem with the ‘investigation’ story, Canaris was a traitor and Gehlen probably also, the Americans insisting on him becoming BRD intelligence chief, payment for services rendered? Wilf.).
After the publication of the Gehlen memoirs, an article appeared in the British, Swedish and BRD press by the Czech journalist Rudolf Ströbinger about a conversation between him and the Czech general Josef Bartik, intelligence officer and Benes (Czech president) confidant (DW von 13. & 14. 9. 1971, “So wurde Martin Bormann ein Agent der Sowjetunion”). Bartik told that Bormann in 1920 was a member of the Freikorps (German paramilitary units formed after WWI); he was taken prisoner by the Bolsheviks but had saved his life by promising to work for them. When Bormann had risen to his position as private secretary to Hitler, the Soviets approached him to remind him of his promise, a signed document, and from then on the Soviets were informed about every detail. Bartik had planned to publish this but when the Soviets entered Prague the material disappeared.
Back to Heydrich, and he naturally asked Bielschowsky (B) why he wanted to know anything about Bormann, who at that time was Heß’ chief of staff. B told him that the wife of a former client, suspected of being a communist – exonerated in 1931 with B as his attorney but now again in protective custody – had asked him to act for her husband again. The wife had brought along material from the previous case, including some pictures of her husband as a Freikorps soldier. She told B that she planned on contacting a former comrade of her husband, the noncom Bormann. Heydrich recognized Bormann on the picture and the woman’s husband was interviewed, with Heydrich attending but not dressed in uniform. During the interview Bormann was mentioned, in passing, and the prisoner remembered him vividly. He told B that Bormann was taken prisoner by the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1919 and to the surprise of everyone had returned unharmed. This after the missing persons report about him had already been typed, ready to be send, for the Bolsheviks did not take prisoners. B had no doubt that the prisoner (unfortunately no name is provided. Wilf) had told the truth, and when Heydrich in his investigation found out that Bormann had not mentioned his imprisonment by the Bolsheviks in his personal files, the “Case Bormann” file started to grow. Heydrich collected material on Bormann, probably personally mostly to not arouse any suspicion, and in spring 1942 he was ready to move against Bormann. But before he could do that, he was assassinated. The assassins were not found for weeks, giving rise to speculations that Bormann might have had his hand in it.
Comment: It appears that Bormann might also have been interested in Heydrich’s elimination, aside from Canaris and the Brits, who were hiding behind the Czech resistance. To this day we don’t know who “Deep Throat” was, fact is, the Soviets were very well informed and that information could only have come from someone close to Hitler. For instance, precise details about the last big German offensive, the Kursk battle, were leaked to the Soviets. The Russian hammered German position with artillery fire in the morning before the battle was to begin, knowing exactly where what was located. That and the treachery by the German staff, von Treschkow in particular, sealed the fate of the German eastern front. Hundreds of thousands of German soldiers died because of treason, the traitors celebrated as hero’s in the BRD. Was it Bormann that supplied the Soviets with information? We don’t know, but he is a strong possibility.
Jewish policies were a hodge-podge of different approaches in the Third Reich, with the foreign office (AA) and NSDAP party officials engaged, as well as other departments, with the SS the last organization to join in. Heydrich had “International Jewry” investigated ‘scientifically’ (Deschner uses quotation marks) and thus felt that he was qualified to get involved. He wrote in 1936 that the driving forces behind the enemies of the Reich were always the same: World Jewry, Freemasonry and the political clergy. “Jews are deadly enemies of all Nordic- healthy societies”, he continued, “their goal always the same – the conquest of the world”, and Heydrich was convinced that Jews and Germans had to be separated. A new department, Referat II, 112, inside the SD was created (no date provided by Deschner, but in 1934 it existed already), responsible for Jewish matters, and some historians claim that this is when the idea of the “Endlösung”, the extermination of Jews, started to take shape in the heads of Himmler and Heydrich. Not so, Heinz Höhne told his readers in a Der Spiegel series in 1966 “…that there is no evidence that the thought of the murder of Jews was present in the hearts and minds of the SS before the order was given” (I would like to know what order he refers to, up to now nothing resembling one has been found. Wilf). “Up to early summer of 1941 we have no document of any SS-Organization re. the planned physical elimination of Jewry” (Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf, p.299) (no idea what documents he refers to from 1941 that have allegedly surfaced. Wilf).
We then learn about the boycott of Jewish businesses on April 1, 1933 (a Sabbath), Deschner of course conveniently forgetting the call for a boycott of German goods by World Jewry of March 24 of that year. In 1934 the terror (Deschner’s words) against Jews subsided, Hans Frank even talked about an end to discrimination. Jews, who had been expelled, also believed that the worst was over, and in May 1935 the Völkische Beobachter, a daily from 1923 on, reported that 10,000 of them had returned. This did not go over well and repressions followed, but calm returned again in 1936, “Jewish businesses flourishing up to November 1938”, according to Aronson (Reinhard Heydrich und die Frühgeschichte von Gestapo und SD, p.205).
The program, suggested by Heydrich, was called Lösung durch Auswanderung (Emigration as the solution) and in 1936 it took shape. Leopold Itz Edler von Mildenstein was appointer as the first head of Referat II, 112, and his successor, Herbert Hagen formulated the SD policy: 1. The elimination of Jewish influence in all spheres, including the economy. 2. Promotion of Jewish emigration. (Göring, in charge of the five-year-plan, voiced reservations re. removing Jews from the economy, saying that this will take time)
Heydrich was convinced that the Jewish problem can only be solved through emigration to Palestine. And instead of those who favored assimilation, he sited with the Zionists, praising their racial policies and the attempt to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. “As a National-Socialist I am a Zionist”, he told friends. In 1938 his policy was accepted, on February 1, 1938 Hitler approving the emigration of Jews to Palestine. Hagen, and his nondescript (unscheinbar, Deschner’s word) assistant Eichmann had already made the necessary preparations. In February 1937 Eichmann had met commander Feifel Polkes of the Zionist secret (terror in fact. Wilf) organization “Haganah” in Berlin and in the fall the visit was returned, Hagen and Eichmann traveled to Palestine. Hagen’s report was received favorably, the SD plan now more and more accepted and Heydrich, because of the research done by his people, acknowledged as an authority. The ministry of the interior issued instructions to ignore prior convictions of Jews who were willing to emigrate, thus making it easier for them.
Eichmann established the Jewish department in Vienna following the Anschluß (union between Germany and Austria) in May 1938, and in the fall of that year Eichmann reported that 45,000 Jews had left Austria. But, not all went smooth. The Swiss complained about the influx of Jews and on October 5th the order was issued that all Jewish passports must show the letter “J” (Jude). The Poles, who had their own Jewish problems, used this as an excuse and followed suit, trying to get rid of Polish Jews living in Germany because it would have been impossible for those Jews to have their passports altered, in Poland, in the short time allotted by Polish authorities. Heydrich, who had no intention of being burdened by an additional 15,000 Polish Jews living in Germany, had them arrested and taken to the border. The Poles refused to accept them but they were pushed across the border at nighttime. Among those forcefully expelled was a tailor named Grynszpan (Grünspan), and when his son Herschel, living in Paris, found out about that he shot the German diplomat Ernst von Rath on November 7, 1938 as revenge (accounts differ, but not the issue. Wilf).
On November 9th 1938 the annual meeting of the “Old Fighters”, the NS elite, took place in Munich. During the gathering it was announced that von Rath had died, Hitler was devastated and refused to speak, Dr. Goebbels filled in for him (This is Deschner’s version, and there are others here as well. Wilf). Goebbels, in his speech, talked of acts of revenge, and the party leaders present interpreted as having received an order and issued the appropriate instructions (Deschner is fantasizing here, Goebbels had no authority outside of Berlin, he could not order anyone to do anything. Wilf). A pogrom erupted suddenly, Jewish businesses destroyed; Synagogues burned, etc., the event recorded in history books as Kristallnacht (Crystal Night). Heydrich, who stayed at the hotel “Vier Jahreszeiten” in Munich was naturally surprised by this, astonished in fact, since his emigration policy worked well. He contacted Himmler who mumbled something about a Führer order (just speculations by Deschner. Wilf) but Heydrich ordered his people to safeguard non-Jewish businesses and also historically valuable material in the synagogues. He ordered the arrest of wealthy Jews, stressing ‘that those arrested are not to be harmed” (They were taken into protective custody and released a short while later). Heydrich called the actions during the night “bone headed” a “disgrace” and “the worst setback in regards to Jewish policy since 1934” (not sure what happened in 1934. Wilf).
Comment: Why did this occur at a time when Jews were encouraged to leave in an orderly fashion? True, other countries did not want Jews, but the efforts continued. The fact about the refusal by others to admit Jews is conveniently ‘forgotten’ by Deschner, but Rudolf Vogel provides details in his book, I wrote an essay based on it
Cui bono? Jewish businesses were insured and Göring had a fit, the details in my essay. The German government did not benefit, Jews were not persecuted at that time, although strongly encouraged to leave. Who benefited from disturbing this relative calm? Ingrid Weckert has some suggestions in her essay “Crystal Night”
In fact, we have a similar occurrence later in the Czech Protectorate, with fatal consequences for Heydrich, more later.
Following crystal night efforts to help Jews to get out of Germany were increased, with Göring now also firmly on board. Heydrich made use of his “Haganah” connections, and contacted the Jewish secret organization “Mossad”, who had made it their calling to smuggle Jews into Palestine. Two Mossad agents, Pino Ginzburg and Moshe Auerbach, took up residence in Berlin, and Heydrich ‘encouraged’ them to smuggle 400 Jews into Palestine per week. A Jewish reservation at Nisko on the river San was proposed after Poland had capitulated. Jews were deported there but because of poor preparations and general unwillingness of Jews to settle there, dropped again. After crystal night, the island of Madagascar was considered as a Jewish homeland. French foreign secretary Bonnet had mentioned to von Ribbentrop that France would like to get rid of some 10,000 Jews, and are considering Madagascar as the destination. Heydrich now urged them on, writing Ribbentrop on June 24, 1940, that Göring had ordered him to find a “territorial solution” to the Jewish problem and that from January 1, 1938 on he had been able to get 200,000 Jews out of Germany through emigration, in spite of all the setbacks because of the war, etc. But 3.25 million Jews remain and need to be settled somewhere, with Madagascar the ideal territory.
Heydrich did not wait for Ribbentrop’s answer but told his staff about the plan and to make preparations for it. His staff enthusiastically went to work, an expert on tropics, Theodor Dannecker, was instructed to investigate the feasibility of Madagascar. However, the war again intervened and Madagascar was officially dropped on February 24, 1942.
Comments: Deschner writes that Heydrich strongly (nachhaltig…eingesetzt) supported the Madagascar plan, but repeatedly refers to the EG actions, with the Wannsee conference thrown in. The official story is, and Deschner apparently signs on to it, that the Einsatzgruppen (EG – rapid response force) were murder squads, roaming the vast expanses of Russia, searching for Jews to kill, thereby all but neglecting what they had been ordered to do: Fight partisans and establish order behind the lines. Deschner is unable to explain this obvious contradiction between Heydrich the savior of Jews and Heydrich the mass murderer of Jews. Deschner refers to Auschwitz as the epitome of the “Final Solution”, i.e., the mass murder of Jews. He also mentions the alleged ‘extermination camps’ of Treblinka and Sobibor, forgetting Belzec, and also not one word about those camps now called “Action Reinhard Camps”, as in Reinhard Heydrich. One has to wonder when this story was concocted, the Deschner book published in 1977. Then of course there is the spelling, at times it is spelled “Reinhardt”, as in Fritz Reinhardt of the economics ministry but the spelling “Reinhard” is preferred to implicate Heydrich (I wrote a short essay on this also outlining a few issues http://www.revblog.codoh.com/2012/01/aktion-reinhardt/ )
Deschner fills pages, trying to make Heydrich into a mass murderer, but he is not successful. This is why this IfZ scribbler von Schmoller I mentioned in Part I has a problem with the book; Deschner comes too close to the truth, contradicting the mass murder stories, lies.
When the state of Czechoslovakia was created following WWI – from parts of the broken up Austro-Hungarian Empire, part of the plan to render powerless German dominated middle Europe – the large minorities were to be given autonomy. Here is what von Neurath, German foreign minister up to 1938, stated at the IMT:
“The Germans living in the Sudetenland as a compact group had been given the assurance, at the peace negotiations in 1919 when they were attached to the Czechoslovak State, that they would be given autonomy on the model of the Swiss Confederation, as expressly stated by Mr. Lloyd George in the House of Commons in 1940. The Sudeten-German delegation at that time, as well as Austria, had demanded an Anschluss with the Reich.
The promise of autonomy was not kept by the Czech Government. Instead of autonomy, there was a vehement policy of “Czechification.” The Germans were forbidden to use their own German language in the courts, as well as in their dealings with administrative authorities, et cetera, under threat of punishment.”
If the Entente powers would have told Czech authorities to adhere to the agreement, there would not have been a Czech crisis. They didn’t, and things deteriorated – finally leading to the 1938 Munich Conference when it was agreed that the Sudetenland would become part of Germany. In a speech of September 26, 1938, following that conference, Hitler stated that he had promised Chamberlain that if the Czechs are able to come to terms with their minorities, peacefully, he would no longer be interested in that state. He ended the speech by saying: “We don’t want any Czechs” (H. Härtle, Die Kriegsschuld der Sieger, Verlag K.W. Schütz, Göttingen 1966, p.275; A. von Ribbentrop, Die Kriegsschuld des Widerstandes, Druffel Verlag 1974, p.174). Hitler needed a secure southern border, and was aware of the efforts by the French and Soviets to have Czechoslovakia serve as “Russian aircraft carrier” on that border, be “a dagger in Germanys soft underbelly” (Härtle, p.182). Hitler is accused of breaking his word, he did not, the Czechs were unable to settle their differences with the remaining minorities, the Slovaks as well as Hungarians, etc., and as a result Czechoslovakia disintegrated, with Hitler not the instigator of the breakup (V. Ribbentrop, p.243; BTW, the same happened after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Slovakia again separated). Czech president Benes fled to England and Hacha, the new president, asked Hitler for assistance. Eventually the remainder of the Czech state was turned into a German Protectorate, not annexed, and Czechs were given autonomy for the most part.
Now back to the Deschner book: Konstantin von Neurath, a career diplomat, served as first Reichsprotektor, governor, of the new protectorate. The Czech people were naturally not happy, and who can blame them, their independent state short lived. Heydrich’s security service filed report after report about strikes and acts of sabotage, instigated by the Benes government in exile in London, and after the start of the Russian campaign – Hitler’s preventive strike – by communists who had up to now been largely inactive because of the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact. Thus the situation deteriorated even further. But Bohemia and Moravia, as it was now referred to, was of vital interest to Germany: One third of the tanks were produced there, one quarter of the trucks and about 40% of the light weaponry used by the German military. The western allies, along with their new ally Russia, were aware of that and jointly organized resistance groups. A conference of the All-Slav Congress was organized, some details:
“Immediately after Hitler attacked Russia on the fateful June 22, 1941, Stalin ceased to look upon the war as a contest of rival imperialist powers. It became a war of “national liberation” in which Russia was fighting the battle of her Slavic brothers against the “Nazi Fascist beasts.”
Although there is no visible record of any Communist-inspired national liberation movement among Slavic nationals of German- occupied territory prior to June 21, 1941, a far-reaching network of organizations was established subsequently for such agitation. On August 10-11, 1941, an all-Slav conference was held in Moscow, where no such gathering could be held without official government sanction. It was formally greeted by the Red army through its official organ, Red Star… The conference called upon the oppressed millions of Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Carpathian Ukrainians, Bulgars, Serbs, Macedonians, Vlakhs, Croats, and Slovenes to “unite against the common enemy of all Slav peoples… Sabotage war production! . . . Do all in your power to slow down the production of lathes and presses! Exert your utmost to spoil the arms that you are compelled to manufacture for your merciless enslavers! Make every effort to have the tanks, airplanes, and armoured cars produced by you soon go out of commission! See to it that the mines and shells do not explode! Disorganize the railroads! Dislocate the transportation systems . . . Disorganize traffic, blow up the bridges . . . Sabotage the production of guns, tanks, ammunition; call strikes! Blow up . . . ammunition dumps and storehouses!
Disorganize their military shipments! “
The BBC broadcast hourly: “Pomalu pracuj” (work slow). Neurath did too little to curb the activities, on of September 21. the German intelligence officer and traitor, Paul Thümmel, wired London that the Gestapo had threatened to take draconian measures but von Neurath would not allow it. Production of war material dropped by 18% on an average, 35% in some factories. Hitler therefore decided to replace von Neurath and Heydrich was chosen as the new Reichsprotektor.
On the early morning of September 27, 1941 Heydrich arrived in Prague, he was totally neutral re. the Czechs according to his widow, who was not in favor of the move. “You need to understand”, Heydrich told her, “that this finally is something positive, I am tired of being the garbage bin of the Reich”. The Czechs had expected the hated Karl Hermann Frank to replace von Neurath, and were cautiously optimistic re. the appointment of Heydrich. A few hours after the arrival of Heydrich in Prague, General Alois Eliáš, second only to president Hacha, was arrested. The Gestapo had collected material about his close collaboration with the resistance, with additional information having been discovered in Paris following the defeat of France. Hacha, as a reaction to the arrest, decided to resign but changed his mind when Heydrich paid him an official visit one day after his arrival. Hacha asked Heydrich to spare the general’s life, and his wish was later granted. Numerous members of resistance groups were caught, about 90 short wave radio stations silenced and the leaders of the groups executed. All of the verdicts were published. Heydrich not only moved against the resistance but also against all kinds of corruption. Black marketer’s, butcher who sold meat illegally, merchants – no one was save. The Czech population accepted this for the most part, Heydrich had promised them that things will improve, more food and other merchandise will become available when corruption is wiped out. On October 2ndHeydrich ordered an inventory of livestock and grain supply to be taken, and whoever corrected the numbers provided in the June inventory, by September 4th , was promised immunity from prosecution. When on October 19th the new numbers became know, it surprised even Heydrich, some farmers had understated their inventories by half.
All of the black market food stuff confiscated was made available to the cafeterias in the big factories. Heydrich expedited the establishment of canteen’s in all big factories, a move welcomed by the workers, because the meals were dispersed free, no ration card required. On October 24th he invited 40 union member to visit him at the Hradčany castle, the seat of the government. This was the first time in Czech history that a workers delegation was welcomed in the Royal hall of the castle. After they had voiced their concerns, Heydrich spoke to them – greeted them as “Comrade workers” – and promised that the food situation will improve further. From the moneys confiscated from black marketers 200,000 pair of work boots were bought and distributed free of charge. Heydrich also improved social conditions, raising pensions and established unemployment insurance. The luxury hotels in the spa town of Luhačovice were turned into workers recreation facilities, three thousand workers were send there free of charge on May 1, 1942, seven thousand in the whole of that year. Heydrich visited the workers in the factories, shook hands with them, to the dismay of his security staff.
Slowly but surely the situation changed, production increased and Heydrich accepted as a friend of the workers, the little people. His wife joined him, they moved into an estate only 20km (12 miles) from Prague. He travelled in an open car, even when it was rainy or cold, telling his driver: “This helps us to keep a clear head, Klein”. Himmler insisted on a guard for his house, Heydrich complained, convinced that “his” Czechs would not harm him, but Himmler insisted. He worked long hours, some days 20, but tried to make it home whenever possible. His wife later saying that this was the happiest time for her.
Heydrich’s next task was the building of a new government, a government that would be accepted by the Czech people but of course also loyal to Germany. He made concessions whenever necessary and on January 19, 1942 the government was formed, Hacha had naturally also been involved in picking the members of this new government. To give this government a good start, Heydrich lifted all remaining restrictions on that day, and also released a number of prisoners. At 5pm on the next day, January 20th, Hacha welcomed the members of the cabinet at the Hradčany and swore them in to be loyal “to the Führer, the patron of Protectorate”. He pointed out that now a new course will be taken, and that the attempts by local and foreign bodies to subvert will be combated. Heydrich then spoke, thanking all for their cooperation (Amtsblatt des Protektorats Böhmen und Mähren, Januar 1942, pp.557-561[official journal of the protectorate Bohemia and Moravia for January 1942, pp.557-561]). And this then takes us nicely to another event, referred to by Deschner throughout the book, a meeting allegedly also taken place on the same date, January 20th, in Berlin, 360km (224 miles) driving distance away (283km, 176 miles as the crow flies), the infamous Wannsee Konferenz.
We are told that at this conference, allegedly chaired by Heydrich, the Endlösung, the physical extermination of the Jews in Europe, 11 million of them, was finalized. Roland Bohlinger and Peter Ney published an analysis of the documents relevant to the meeting, the analysis so far only available in German
But even though this conference is now used as evidence for “The Holocaust” – the building it was allegedly held in turned into a memorial – nothing was known about it during the main Nürnberg trial. Robert Kempner, a German lawyer – expelled from Germany because he was a Jew and subsequently ending up in the US – returned for the Nürnberg trial and is credited with finding the documents concerning that meeting during the preparation of the Foreign Office Trial (AA), one of the subsequent trials (Dec.20,1947-April 14,1949). Kempner tells us in his book “Ankläger einer Epoche“ (Prosecutor of a Epoch), how it was found (Bohlinger/Ney, p.33): During the investigation, Kempner, who had suspected all along that something is missing (up to then not even an indication as to how “The Holocaust” came about. Wilf), received a phone-call from one of his assistance who told him that he has found something, the minutes of a meeting at the Wannsee on January 20, 1942. And at the back of the folder the remark: “Endlösung der Judenfrage (Final solution to the Jewish question). And this is how the minutes were discovered, we are told, along with the supporting documents (The file name on the back? Wilf).
To list all the ‘oddities’ re. the discovery of the documentation, and those contained in the documents, would take too long, Bohlinger/Ney did an excellent job and I understand a translation of their analysis is in the offing. But since the timeline is the issue here the invitations to the meeting, allegedly issued by Heydrich, are the documents of interest. The first invitation is dated November 29, 1941, the meeting set for December 9th but the letter only received by the AA on December 23rd. Two differing ‘originals’ exist of that letter, and, no mention of an Endlösung (Final Solution) of the Jewish question, the issue referred to as Gesamtlösung (Comprehensive Solution). That meeting had to be cancelled, we are told because of Pearl Harbor but that is just speculation, and a second invitation was send, dated January 8, 1942, and in this letter the term Endlösung is used. The same guests were invited to meet on January 20, 1942 at 12 noon with breakfast to follow, the location, On the Big Wannsees Nr. 56-58. On the first invitation the address of Interpol, On the Little Wannsee Nr.16, is typed in, then crossed out and replaced with the Big Wannsee address, in handwriting, but “Office of Interpol” is left in. The handwriting additions differ in the two ‘originals’, but not the issue here. The mix-up however is, for surely Heydrich as president of Interpol would have known where the headquarter is located and not pick this office to discuss the mass murder of Jews. The second address is that of Villa Minoux, purchased by the SS to serve as a conference center. Also, some of the guests invited in the first letter were replaced, and that even though the second invitation states explicitly: “Der in meinem letzten Einladungsschreiben angeführte Kreis der geladenen Herren bleibt unverändert”(The list of names of the Gentlemen invited in my first letter remains unchanged). One more issue: Heydrich the stickler would never have embarrassed himself by sending a letter to high ranking officials with words crossed out and then scribbled over. Assuming that he did change his mind re. the location he without a doubt would have had his secretary type a new letter.
According to the letters, Heydrich invited said high ranking officials to a conference, starting at 12:00 noon, with breakfast to follow. It is highly unlikely that anyone would have set the start of a meeting for 12 o’clock noon, unless it is an emergency (it would have made sense to invite them for 8am, since he had to be in Prague later). At that time in Germany the main meal was taken at 12 noon, the term ‘working lunch’ not know and indeed not suggested. But lets assume it was done, Kempner tells us that “this was a big deal, one had to drive to the Wannsee in winter, it was snowing, the streets were slippery” (Kempner, p.313). It is doubtful that everyone arrived on time, given the road conditions and considering tires and cars then available. Gerwarth, and I received the book in the meantime as a PDF file, writes in regards to the start of the meeting:
“On 20 January 1942, a snowy Tuesday morning, Heydrich gathered fourteen senior Nazi civil servants, party officials and high-ranking SS officers in a former industrialist’s villa on the shores of Berlin’s Lake Wannsee” (Hitlers Hangman, p.209).
A “snowy Tuesday morning”? Noon is not morning, and according to my calculations it was a Wednesday. Here is what we find at the official website of the “House of the Wannsee Conference, Memorial and Educational Site”:
“At noon of 20 January 1942, a meeting of approximately 90 minutes took place in the dining room of the SD guesthouse.” http://www.ghwk.de/engl/wannsee_conference.htm
Lets again assume that the meeting started at 12:00 o’clock, and Eichmann claims to have written the minutes. In those minutes, Reinhard is not mentioned as the chair, highly unusual, also, no time recorded for the start or the conclusion of the conference. Eichmann told at his Jerusalem trial – the whole of it linked to below is well worth reading, his testimony all over the place – with Eichmann all but confirming that there was no meeting:
“The conference itself took only a very short period of time. I can’t recall exactly how long it lasted, but it seems to me that I would not be mistaken in saying that it didn’t take longer than an hour or an hour and a half”.
He further testified:
“These minutes to which I was referring were rendering the salient points quite clearly. But so far as the particulars were concerned, I have to point out that this was not a verbatim report because certain colloquialisms were then couched by me in official language and certain official terms had to be introduced. Later on it had been revised three or four times by Heydrich. It came back through official channels to us through the channel of Mueller and then again we had to elaborate on it until it assumed its final form.” http://www.ghwk.de/engl/texts/eichmanns-testimony.pdf
And in his memoirs, written while in jail in Jerusalem, he wrote:
“Das Protokoll dieser Konferenz war lang, obgleich ich das Unwesentliche nicht einmal hatte stenographieren lassen.
Heydrich arbeitete mit seinem Blaustift und ließ zum Schluß nur noch einen Extrakt gelten; den hatte ich zu bearbeiten und er wurde dann nach weiteren mancherlei Änderungen durch Heydrich, an die nichtsicherheitspolizeilichen Teilnehmer der Konferenz, als „Geheime Reichssache“ zur Absendung gebracht.“
(Roughly: And even though I left out the unnecessary, the minutes still were a lengthy document. Heydrich then went to work correcting it and only an extract was left, to be send to the participants)
It appears that what we have as the Wannsee Protocol is a short form of what was allegedly discussed on that date, and Gerwarth writes that quite a few discussions took place. To then say that it only lasted 90min. is unbelievable, Bohlinger/Ney have it a three hours. And, Eichmann is not sure, it “…seems to me that I would not be mistaken in saying that it didn’t take longer than an hour or an hour and a half”, not really anything to bank on. So, lets assume the conference was over at about 2pm, and that would be at the earliest, considering that the short form of the protocol still contains 15 pages. Did Heydrich then hurry to get to Prague, we know that he was there later that afternoon at the inauguration of the new Czech government, his creation so to speak? Oh no, here is what Eichmann tells us:
“Of course, the gentlemen who participated in it would later on be standing in small groups to discuss the ins and outs of the agenda and also of certain work to be undertaken afterwards. After the conference had been a[d]journed, Heydrich and Müller still remained and I was also permitted to remain and then in this restricted get-together, Heydrich gave expression to his great satisfaction I already referred to before….” http://www.ghwk.de/engl/texts/eichmanns-testimony.pdf
Gerwarth confirms this:
“According to Eichmann, Heydrich was visibly satisfied with the results of the meeting, and invited him and Müller to stay behind for ‘a glass or two or three of cognac”. (p.216)
But Gerwarth has an answer ready, nothing that resembles the truth but he did realize that Heydrich could not be at two places, that far apart, at the same time. He tells us:
“On 19 January 1942, after months of intensive planning, a new Protectorate government was put in place… In his address to the newly established Protectorate government on 19 January 1942, one day before flying to Berlin to chair the Wannsee Conference,…” (pp.239/40)
It is true that Heydrich was in Prague on January 19th also, and that on that day the new government was assembled. But, and Gerwarth omits this, the swearing in, the inauguration/reception, took place on January 20th. Deschner provides one official source, but aside from that we have another confirmation. Wolf Dieter Rothe writes:
“Ein bedeutsames innerpolitisches Ereignis war die Tatsache, daß Staatspräsident Dr. Hacha mit Zustimmung des stellvertretenen Reichsprotektors in Prag, SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich, am 20. Januar eine neue Regierung berufen hat…Auf einem Empfang der neuen Regierung in der Burg betonte…SS-Obergruppenführer General der Polizei Heydrich…“ (Die Endlösung der Judenfrage, Band 1, E. Bierbaum Verlag Frankfurt 1974, p.185; „Deutschland im Kampf“, herausgegeben von A.J. Berndt und Oberst v. Wedel, Januar 1942)
(A important political event was the appointment of a new government by Dr. Hacha on January 20, with the consent of Heydrich …At the reception in the castle Heydrich pointed out…)
No time given here, but it can be taken for granted that Heydrich was in Prague in late afternoon/evening of January 20, 1942. Rothe provides evidence that Heydrich was in Prague on the 19th as well. We also have a notice in the Völkische Beobachter of January 21,1942 confirming this, as well as in Großdeutschland im Weltgeschehen – Tagesbericht 1942, Ernst Breackow publisher, Verlag Johann Kasper & Co, Berlin 1942 (Die Wannsee-Konferenz. Eine kritische Prüfung bekannter positionen nach neuen Dokumentfunden, Wulf von Xanten). The question has to be: Would Heydrich, who was in total control of his itinerary, schedule two important meetings for the same day, in the middle of winter, the locations hundreds of miles apart? The Wannsee conference, including the socializing following it, ended at 3pm at the earliest, the airport more than 20km (14 miles) away, city driving on slippery roads would have take at least ½ hour. At that time, with the sky overcast, it would have been pitch dark at 4pm. Would it have been even possible to fly, given the conditions? With driving to Prague out of the question, why would Heydrich place himself in that predicament, why not pick a date after the inauguration of the new Czech government? Thus, the answer to the above has to be: No.
Considering all the ‘oddities’ contained in the Wannsee Protocol and the documents meant to support it, and the fact that Heydrich was in Prague on January 20th, it is reasonable to say that Kempner concocted this story about the “Endlösung Wannsee-Konferenz”.
But a conference re. the Jewish issue did take place. From the testimony of secretary of state Dr. Bühler at the IMT:
“DR. SEIDL: The Prosecution submitted an extract from Frank’s diary in evidence under Number USA-281 (Document Number 2233(d)-PS.) This is a discussion of Jewish problems. In this connection Frank said, among other things:
“My attitude towards the Jews is based on the expectation that they will disappear; they must go away. I have started negotiations for deporting them to the East. This question will be discussed at a large meeting in Berlin in January, to which I shall send State Secretary Dr. Buehler. This conference is to take place at the Reich Security Main Office in the office of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich. In any case Jewish emigration on a large scale will begin.”
I ask you now, did the Governor General send you to Berlin for that conference; and if so, what was the subject of the conference?
BUEHLER: Yes, I was sent to the conference and the subject of the conference was the Jewish problem. I might say in advance that from the beginning Jewish questions in the Government General were considered as coming under the jurisdiction of the Higher SS and Police Leader and handled accordingly. The handling of Jewish matters by the state administration was supervised and merely tolerated by the Police.
During the years 1940 and 1941 incredible numbers of people, mostly Jews, were brought into the Government General in spite of the objections and protests of the Governor General and his administration. This completely unexpected, unprepared for, and undesired bringing in of the Jewish population from other territories put the administration of the Government General in an extremely difficult position.
Accommodating these masses, feeding them, and caring for their health-combating epidemics for instance-almost, or rather, definitely overtaxed the capacity of the territory. Particularly threatening was the spread of typhus, not only in the ghettos but also among the Polish population and the Germans in the Government General. It appeared as if that epidemic would spread even to the Reich and to the Eastern Front.
At that moment Heydrich’s invitation to the Governor General was received. The conference was originally supposed to take place in November 1941, but it was frequently postponed and it may have taken place in February 1942.
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/04-23-46.asp , pp.68/69
Bühler is one of those listed on the Wannsee-Protocol, no doubt Kempner’s men found references to that meeting among the 485 tons of foreign office documents secured by the western allies. All that needed to be done is make the necessary alterations, the wording suggests that parts were added by someone not in command of the German language (Bohlinger/Ney), then add some documents and presto, The Wannsee-Konferenz is born. It is entirely possible that the first invitation send by Heydrich, that of November 29,1941 is genuine, although the issue of “Starting at 12:00 noon with breakfast to follow” remains. And since only a “comprehensive solution” to the Jewish question was to be discussed, not the “Final solution”, i.e., mass murder, the meeting could well have taken place at the offices of Interpol, as it reads in that invitation. It may have been that that meeting had indeed to be postponed and scheduled for February 1942 as suggested by Bühler.
The reference to a “Final Solution” in the second invitation gives it away as a forgery, that word not used. Göring and the shyster Jackson discussed this at the IMT:
“MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Very well, I will accept that.
“. . . which dealt with arriving at a thorough furtherance of emigration and evacuation, a solution of the Jewish problem, as advantageously as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations in regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.”
Am I correct so far?
Goering: No, that is in no way correctly translated.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Give us your translation of it?
Goering: May I read it as it is written here?
“Complementing the task which was conferred upon you already on 24 January 1939, to solve the Jewish problem by means of emigration and evacuation in the best possible way according to present conditions, I charge you herewith to make all necessary preparations as regards organizational, factual, and material matters ……”
Now comes the decisive word which has been mistranslated: “for a total solution,” not “for a final solution.”
“… for a total solution of the Jewish question within the area of German influence in Europe. Should these come within the competence of other governmental departments, then such departments are to co-operate. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/03-20-46.asp#Goering7 , p.519
We know Heydrich was in Prague in the late afternoon of January 20, would he have been sipping cognac in the Berlin outskirts hours earlier, knowing that he had to be in Prague? Heydrich was a stickler for detail, he would therefore never have scheduled two meetings of that importance for the same day. The Wannsee story is just another lie.
As mentioned, Heydrich was send to the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia as a replacement of Baron von Neurath, the first governor (Reichsprotektor), because of the latters failure to curb the unrest:
“The Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia, Baron von Neurath, had resigned from his post ostensibly because of illness. It was a convenient excuse. He was a failure. Czechoslovakia, far from being the model dependency Hitler expected of a founder member of his Reich, was sullen and uncooperative. Production had fallen; students had the impudence to demonstrate in the streets; it appeared that the puppet government could do nothing with these irascible Czechs.
Upon the 27th September, 1941, SS General Reinhard Heydrich arrived in Prague in the post of Acting Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia to remedy this state of affairs…
Within a matter of days, intelligently appraising the situation, Heydrich had also wooed the workers. Of what use were these Generals and intellectuals to the Czechs, he asked? He appealed on an effective materialistic level. For just a little extra work, extra fat coupons, meat coupons and bread coupons could be won. It was a belly bribery almost impossible to resist. And if a worker really cared to exert himself, there were holidays at the best Spa hotels—once the preserve of the aristocratic and the wealthy—for him and his family, higher wages, and food. Always the promise of more food, Within a month, production, especially war production, was rising…
There was no curfew in Prague in those days (month later. Wilf). It was a very secure corner of Hitlers Reich and the Czechs were a people that Heydrich was quite certain he had tamed.” (Alan Burgess, Seven Men At Daybreak, The Companion Book Club, London 1960, pp.39/40; 89)
This was of course a concern to the Brits and their allies (see part IV), as well as to the Benes Czech government in exile in London and plans were made to assassinate Heydrich. It was hoped that the Germans would react harshly and that the countermeasures taken would incite the Czech public. The operation was codenamed “Anthropoid”.
When the remainder of the Czech state was turned into a German protectorate, a large number of Czech soldiers fled, via Poland and the port of Gdynia, Hungary, the Balkans, as well as other countries, to eventually make it to England. There they were incorporated into the Czech legion, the army of Benes (Stanislav P. Berton, Das Attentat auf Heydrich vom 27. Mai 1942. Ein Bericht des Kriminalrats Heinz Pannwitz [The Heydrich assassination. Report by inspector Heinz Pannwitz], VfZ 1985, vol.4, p.675). Jan Kubis, one of the Heydrich assassins, belonged to a Czech resistance group, he was arrested by the Gestapo but was able to flee to Poland. In the refugee camp he met his co-assassin Josef Gabchik. The French had set up a recruitment office for the French foreign legion in that camp and both joined. Deployed in the western campaign, they were part of the forces who were evacuated at Dunkirk and thus also made it to England. There they joined the Czech legion.
When the British special Operations Executive (SOE), murder squads of the British Secret Service, were looking for people to operate behind German lines, Jan and Josef, along with 160 others, volunteered for actions in the Protectorate. In a six week seminar at Camusdarach/Scotland they were trained by the British to perform acts of sabotage, in hand to hand combat and also taught how to kill. In Manchester they had received a two week training course in the operation in wireless transmission and at the conclusion of the training they were send back to their units to wait for further instructions (VfZ, pp.675/76; Deschner, p.268, source: Charles Wighton, Heydrich – Hitlers most evil Henchman, London 1962, p.268).
Who was responsible for the assassination, the British or the Benes government? Burgess writes in his Authors note:
“I am grateful to the Czech Ministry of Information for allowing my visit and putting no obstacles in the way of my research. On the other hand I formed the definite opinion that because Jan Kubis and Josef Gabchik and the others were trained in Britain, and the operation as a whole was conceived in Britain, the present Communist regime tends—if not to suppress—then at least to play down the story. I am therefore doubly grateful to all of those people in Czechoslovakia, whose names I shall not enumerate, who helped me and gave me information”. (pp.13/14)
The truth is buried in those sentences. Following the war, the Burgess book published in 1960, a lot of subjects were treated as taboos. The “cold war” was in full swing and neither side admitted to any collaboration in the attempts to destroy Germany, the German traitors were ignored, it was in fact forbidden to mention them (H. Rothfels, The German opposition to Hitler, Henry Regnery Company, Hillsdale Illinois 1948, pp.20/21). The communists did not want people to know that it was terrorists who were trained, outfitted and transported by the RAF to Bohemia, that killed Heydrich, so it was ignored. Benes was not in the position to act independently, he had to rely on the Brits. We know that the Brits trained the assassins, but the “fair” British would of course not admit that they would order an assassination, therefore efforts are made to credit Benes with the planning of the assassination. Treachery is perfidious Albion’s game.
On December 29, 1941, Jan and Josef were dropped from a “Halifax” of the Royal Air Force near Plzen, three others near Kolin. Their assignment: The assassination of Heydrich and the blowing up of the Skoda factory in Plzen (VfZ, p.676). Jan and Josef eventually made it to Prague and started to plan the assassination.
As mentioned, the Heydrich’s had moved into a mansion in the village of Panenske Brezany, 20km from Prague. And, Heydrich was a creature of habit, travelling to Berlin often, either by plane or train, but always following the same routine. His driver would take him in the open Mercedes, the same route was taken and when he went to work he travelled at the same time. All of those strictly against all regulations, some of them devised by Heydrich. He had ordered that the backrests of the car seats used by officials be reinforced with steel plates, his Mercedes did not have them. Heydrich had done his job in the Protectorate, Hitler was impressed and since Belgium and Northern-France had become somewhat of a problem, London organized acts of sabotage in the countries, Heydrich counted on being appointed as top official to those places to work his magic. He was instructed to come to Berlin on May 27, 1942 to receive his new orders (Deschner, p.266).
London and Moscow were also aware of those developments, not surprising when considering the mass of traitors in all spheres of the Reich (Deschner mentions a resistance informant, p.270. Wilf). In March 1942, during a routine inspection security police in the Warsaw train station had arrested a musician on his way to Prague. His papers were in order but his brand-new suitcase aroused suspicion. In a secret department the security police found a disassembled, special gun. After lengthy interrogations the suspect admitted to being a Russian and ordered to assassinate Heydrich on his route to Prague or home. His story was taken with caution but before it could be confirmed, the suspect committed suicide in his cell (Ibid, pp.266/67).
The London plans were advancing satisfactorily, Jan and Josef surveyed the Heydrich property, in plain daylight and any observer should have detected them, nobody did. What happened to the guards deployed by Himmler? Plans to kill Heydrich en route were dropped, the car was traveling too fast and there was no place to hide in the open country. Thus, they were changed to have the assassination take place in Prague. Heydrich’s driver, on the way into the city, had to negotiate a hairpin curve, forcing him to slow down. Valcik, a Czech SOE agent had been placed up the street from the curve, to signal, with a mirror, the arrival of Heydrich’s car (Deschner, p.271). Josef was stationed just ahead of the curve, with an English machine gun under his coat, with Jan standing right at the curve, armed with a hand grenade.
The morning of May 27th was a bright and sunny. The plane that he was to pilot to Berlin himself stood at the ready at the airport, but Heydrich took his time getting started on that day. He counted on a longer stay in Berlin and the good-byes stretched out, he played with his kids, but finally, at 10:00am, he left. The assassins in the meantime were getting nervous, Heydrich should have arrived already, had the Gestapo gotten wind of their plan? Not so, at 10:30 Valcik’s mirror flashed and Josef walked over to the other side of the street. The car approached, Klein at the wheel with Heydrich sitting beside him, and getting close to the hair-pin Klein slowed the car and shifted down. When they were right beside Josef, Josef brought the gun out from under his coat, pointed it and pressed the trigger, but nothing happened (Here stories differ but it is believed that he had not completely disengaged the safety. Wilf). If the gun would have fired, Heydrich would have been riddled with bullets. Heydrich of course noticed the would be assassin and ordered Klein to stop. A fatal mistake and against his own instructions, which stated that if an event as this occurs, the driver should try and get away as fast as possible. As the car slowed down, Jan threw his grenade, it exploded just ahead of the right rear wheel, the grenade shrapnel piercing the backrest of Heydrich’s seat and wounding him.
When the car had come to a stop both jumped out to pursue the assassins. Jan tried to flee but bystanders blocked his way, he fired his colt pistol and they dispersed. Heydrich had pulled a pistol out of the door side pocket, aimed at Jan but the gun did not fire, Heydrich had forgotten to work the slide. Klein in the meantime had set out after Josef, but his pistol also did not fire, he had inadvertently pushed the knob to release the magazine. Josef fired at him, wounding him in the knee and Klein went down. Heydrich had in the meantime given up pursuit and returned to the car. There he stood, bend over in pain, completely helpless and alone. Did the people around him take advantage of the situation, did they settle their scores with “The butcher of Prague”? No, a woman approached him to help, a van was flagged down, Heydrich loaded into it and sitting in the loading area was transported to the hospital.
One of the shrapnel had entered Heydrich’s spleen, carrying along some of the horse-hair filling of the seats backrest. In the morning of June 4th Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich died of blood poisoning, in spite of the best care possible. Penicillin might have saved him but non was available in Germany. On the evening of the 5th, a battalion of SS troops, as well as all of SD and security police officers held wake in the yard of the hospital. He was then transported to the Hradčany on a gun carriage, the streets through which the possession passed cleared of civilians, thousands of SS men lining the streets. On this night the SS were among themselves. On June 7th, the corpse lay in state in the yard of the Hradčany castle, a huge wooden iron cross in the background, the coffin flanked by bowls containing a flaming substance. High ranking SS and army officers provided the honor guard, the black and white SS banners at half staff. Starting in early morning, tens of thousands passed by the coffin, Germans, Czechs, policemen, workers, Czech farmers in traditional dress, the woman bringing flowers. In late afternoon a special train, carrying the casket of Reinhard Heydrich, left for Berlin. On June 9th, at 15:00hrs. sharp, the state funeral began, the most impressive celebration since the death of Hindenburg. All the dignitaries spoke, Himmler called Heydrich ‘irreplaceable’ and Hitler pinned the Highest German Order onto a black pillow (Ordenskissen), held by an officer. Only Fritz Todt had received it before, and it was not bestowed to anyone else. The gun carriage with the coffin, decked in a huge Hakenkreuz flag, was drawn by six black stallions, the saber and helmet of the man on top of the coffin. Himmler following right behind, then all of the other dignitaries, among them those glad to be rid of the man who knew too much: Bormann, Lammers, Frick, Dr. Goebbels, Rosenberg…(Deschner, p.302)
An investigation was ordered following the assassination, a reward of one million Mark offered. A curfew was put in place, Kurt Daluge, head of the Order Police, arrived in Prague but Nebe and Müller only send deputies. The investigations were unsuccessful, in spite of a huge effort. Reprisals were ordered, in Lidice, a town that had housed some of the “parachutists”, as the British trained Czech terrorist were called, was leveled, the men shot. Finally, on June 16th, the Czech Karel Curda appeared at the Prague state police office and asked to be taken to a leading officer. He gave the police the name of Josef Grabcik and Jan Kubis was then soon identified. They were holed up in a church, along with five other terrorists. On the morning of June 18th, the church was surrounded and all of terrorists shot, some died of the gunshot wounds later (Deschner, pp.311/12)
Comments: Some of the details vary, different authors give different accounts. What is of interest however is the time it took to finally find the murderers. Heydrich’s men had almost wiped out Czech resistance and were also successful in intercepting parachutists. Was the delay the work of people behind the scenes? Canaris had very good connections to abroad and it is possible that he had known about the SOE plans. Deschner writes that Heydrich was about to expose Canaris, the assassination prevented that. Then we have the police inspector Heinz Pannwitz, in 1940 appointed head of department II g (assassinations, illegal possession of weapons, sabotage) of the Gestapo in Prague. Following Heydrich’s assassination he was put in charge of the investigations, and compiled the final report (I have the report but this is a separate issue. Wilf). In the introduction to the report by Stanislav F. Berton, who found it, we read re. Pannwitz: “Das Ende seiner Karriere…kam mit seiner Verhaftung durch die französische Militärpolizei Anfang Mai 1945 in Österreich. Auf eigenen Wunsch wurde er den Sowjets übergeben“ (His arrest by the French military police in May 1945 in Austria ended his career. At his request he was handed over to the Soviets)(VfZ, 1985, vol.4, p.671). A traitor leading the investigation? The Brits, and Benes, had hoped that the reaction by the Germans would incite the Czechs, that they would rise up and make it very difficult for the Germans. That did not happen, but perhaps it was hoped that by dragging out the investigation, and by the continued repression, the revolt would start, even if delayed? Too many loose ends here, but I find it hard to believe that it had to take an informant to finally locate the murderers.
Did Heydrich tempt fate? Highly unlikely, he was convinced that “his” Czechs would not harm him. And they didn’t, Czech onlookers tried to get in the way of the British trained assassins and only when threatened with a gun by him did they give way. Heydrich was helped by Czech civilians to get to the hospital, would they have done so if the story of “Heydrich, the butcher of Prague” is true? Of course not, they knew that Heydrich had acted fairly and had improved conditions for the working people. No revolt broke out, even after the reprisals by the Germans.
The last chapter in Deschner’s book is titled Die Summe eines Lebens (Summary of a Life). He tells us that Eugen Kogon, a communist who had spend time in a concentration camp (KZ), has Heydrich as the inventor of the KZ’s, a fable. Jacob Burckhard, League of Nations commissioner of Danzig and who had only briefly met Heydrich, told that he had Raphaelian hands, made for slow strangulation. Post war allied propaganda has him as Heydrich the Butcher, but when considering the divergences a different picture emerges. Joachim Fest was aware of the contradictions and tried to build a small bridge for himself, claiming that Heydrich was a broken person, fighting his demons. But that bridge can only carry weight if the Jewish ancestry supports are left in place, a legend.
Heydrich was the impersonation of National-Socialism (NS) as a new ideal/model (without the Holocaust lie. Wilf). If NS would have looked into the mirror the picture of Heydrich would have looked back. Prof. Ernst Nolte, an expert on NS, stated that most NS personalities had an unidentifiable identity. Not so Heydrich, he was homogenous, he had an identifiable identity. He had been able to assemble the most intelligent NS people around him. He was not burdened by party politics but realized that for a revolution to be successful in an highly advanced industrialized nation as Germany – that it would be necessary to have people of intelligence and conviction in all important positions. Traitors and enemies of this new ideal had to be removed. “Two Vatican’s are issuing encyclicals today”, he told his officers, “one is located in Rom and the other in Moscow, and we are the heretics of both religions”. He was also not really committed to NS ideology, but instead to his conviction that a new order must be created. Hatred of Slavs or Czechs was foreign to him, he told German officials at the beginning of his tenure in Prague that pacifying the Czechs was his mission and that he would work with anyone committed to that. He did not spare Germans who were negligent.
Deschner claims that the transit camps in which Jews were sanitized and relieved of most of their earthly belonging were called “Aktion Reinhard” camps in his hono. A strange statement by Deschner, he does not refer to the Reinhardt camps as extermination sites, mentions only the confiscation of property. He also has the name wrong, his source: R. Kempner in Vorwärts of June 8, 1972, p.9. One has to wonder when the extermination camp story was concocted. But what about his Einsatzgruppen (EG), the alleged “Nazi” murder squads? No mass graves have ever been found by independent investigators. The Russians claim to have investigated, but not one of those graves alleged to have been found by them is on display, all we have are papers of dubious origin (F. Seidler, Das Recht in Siegerhand, pp.271ff). Prof. Maser wrote that huge areas in Eastern Europe, the alleged killing sites, are still today terra incognita, historians are reluctant to investigate out of fear not to find what is allegedly there (Fälschung, Dichtung und Wahrheit…, p.332). And only investigations by experts in the field of crime investigations should be accepted, not the efforts by some amateurs. We also have the testimony by perpetrators, that by attorney and economist Otto Ohlendorf for instance, who told his interrogators that his EG had shot 90,000 Jews, but this has never been substantiated, no grave ever found.
Heydrich does not come across as someone with a split personality, quite the contrary. This is why Deschner’s biography is ignored and a new one had to be produced by the Netsbeschmutzer and story-teller Gerwarth, something more compatible with the Zeitgeist. Heydrich was not a mass murderer, his personality did not lend itself to it. Neither were the intellectuals he had gathered around him, and since the murder story rests on testimonies and has never been substantiated, we can safely dismiss it as a lie. Heydrich of course ordered the hanging or shooting of enemies of the Reich, his EG did the same and yes, Jews were among those killed. He told his wife Lina: „Ich fühle mich frei von jeder Schuld“ (I am free of any guilt feelings). And he should be, his job was not an easy one and he had to make life and death decisions, difficult for him and Deschner makes that clear. But he never was “Heydrich the Butcher”.