Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reinhard Heydrich is mortally wounded by Czech Assassins - May 27, 1942

A Nazi stamp memorializing the death of Reinhard Heydrich
A Nazi stamp memorializing the death of Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich (1904 – 1942) was the chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo, SD and Kripo Nazi police agencies) and Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Adolf Hitler considered him a possible successor. Heydrich chaired the 1942 Wannsee Conference, which discussed plans for the deportation and extermination of all Jews in German-occupied territory. He was attacked, by assassins sent by the Czechoslovak government in exile in London and the British SOE, in Prague on 27 May 1942 and died over a week later from complications arising from his injuries.

Heydrich was one of the main architects of the Holocaust during the first years of the war, answering only to, and taking orders only from Hitler and Himmler in all matters that pertained to the deportation, imprisonment, and extermination of Jews.

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

After Kristallnacht, Göring assigned him as head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration. In this position, he worked tirelessly both to coordinate various initiatives for the Final Solution, and to assert SS dominance over Jewish policy.

He was involved in several mass deportations. On Oct 10, 1941, he was the senior officer at a meeting in Prague that discussed evacuating 50,000 Jewish people from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (mostly in the modern day Czech Republic) to ghettos in Minsk and Riga. Also discussed was the taking of 5,000 Jewish people "in the next few weeks" from Prague and handing them over to the Einsatzgruppen commanders Nebe and Rasch. The creation of ghettos in the Protectorate was also discussed, which would eventually result in the construction of Theresienstadt, where 33,000 people would eventually die, and tens of thousands more would pass through on their way to death in the East.

In 1941 Himmler named Heydrich as "responsible for implementing" the forced movement of 60,000 Jewish people from Germany and Czechoslovakia to the Lodz (Litzmannstadt) Ghetto in Poland.

Most famously in this respect, on 20 January 1942, Heydrich chaired the Wannsee Conference, at which he presented to the heads of a number of German Government departments a plan for the deportation and transporting of 11 million Jewish people from every country in Europe to be worked to death or outright killed in the East.

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)

No comments:

Post a Comment