Reinhard Heydrich rose from leader of an intelligence agency, of which he was the only employee at first, to the second most powerful man within the Nazi terror machine. Joseph Goebbels (Bio Goebbels) called him: "The most radical and most successful fighter against enemies of the state." During the war he stood at the helm of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (R.S.H.A. or Head office of state security) in which the security and police services he was in charge of, were united.
Heydrich has become especially notorious for his close involvement in the realisation of the Holocaust. Because he had succumbed to his injuries after an attempt in June 1942, he did not witness the mass deportations to the various extermination camps but his role in the previous period was extremely important. After the Kristallnacht, he saw to it that the Jewish question was dealt with in increasingly radical measure. During the war, Heydrich was the one to dispatch the Einsatzgruppen (Einsatzgruppen Art.) to the Soviet Union with orders to execute Jews. He worked towards the so called Endlösung (Final solution) that was discussed at the Wannsee conference in January 1942 with representatives of the ministeries invited by him.
Due to his Arian appearance, his radical commitment, his willpower and his urge to achieve things, Heydrich was the role model of the Nationalsocialist. He was a workaholic, combining his work for the SS with sports, a career as a fighterpilot and ultimately with the post of Reichsprotektor of Bohemen und Moravien (State protector of Bohemia and Moravia). This article is about the person who combined his zest for work with an immense urge for destruction.
- “Taskforces of Deployment Squads”. Special units composed of various SS and police services under supervision of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). Einsatzgruppen were deployed during the invasion of Poland in 1939 and during operation Barbarossa in 1941. In 1939 these units were ordered to eliminate the Polish intelligentsia. In the Soviet Union they were deployed to execute various political and racial enemies of the Third Reich, like Jews, gypsies and communists. The “Holocaust by bullets” in the Soviet Union was the horrendous first act of the eventual “final solution”.
- Euphemistic term for the final solution the Nazis had in store for the “Jewish problem”. Eventually the Endlösung would get the form of annihilating the entire Jewish people in extermination camps.
- Term for the destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis. Holokauston is the Greek term for a completely burnt sacrifice.
- Middle Eastern people with own religion that lived in Palestine. They distinguished themselves by their strong monotheism and the strict observance of the Law and tradition. During World War 2 the Jewish people were ruthlessly persecuted and annihilated by the German Nazis. . An estimated 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated.
- The night of 9-10 November 1938. Over 250 German synagogues were destroyed. Tens of thousands of Jews were arrested.
- Abbreviation of a national socialist.
- Soviet Union
- Soviet Russia, alternative name for the USSR.
- Wannsee conference
- Conference at the Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The Nazi’s made final agreements about the extermination of Jews in Europe, the Final Solution (Ëndlösung).