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HEYDRICH - THE MASTER VILLAIN
The man entrusted with implementing Hitler decision to eradicate the Jewish population of Europe was Himmler's deputy - Rheinhard Heydrich. He was intimately connected with all phases of the Final Solution; he created the master plan, organized the ghettos, trained and supervised the Einsatzgrouppen, he was in charge of the resettlement of the Jews to the gas chambers.
Heydrich was the chairman of the infamous Wannasee Conference that sealed the fate of the European Jewry, he ordered the creation of the Ghettos in Poland, at railroad junctures to facilitate their future "resettlement", he was in charge rounding up and transportation of the Jews to the Death Factories. Heydrich was the trailblazer, who hew the new trails and harnessed the German organizational genius in service of cruelty terror and destruction.
"Heydrich had an incredible acute perception of the moral, human, professional and political weaknesses of others and he also had the ability to grasp a political situation in its entirety. His unusual intellect was matched by he ever-watchful instincts of a predatory animal, always alert to danger and ready to act swiftly and ruthlessly".
Heydrich joined the German Navy, after the end of the First World War, and was promoted to the rank of a lieutenant. In 1930 he was forced to resign by an Officers Court of Honor, because he impregnated a girl and refused to marry her. In 1931, while unemployed, he was recommended to Himmler and was assigned to organize the internal Nazi Party Security Service, later known as the infamous SD (Sicherheit Dienst-Security Service) and later became Himmler's deputy.
Heydrich was the evil genius of the Third Reich; it was Heydrich that changed the role of the police in the Totalitarian State from an instrument of law and order to an instrument of oppression of the citizens, to prevent them from acting against the interest of the State. It was a novel, revolutionary idea to put citizens into concentration camp not for offenses committed, but to prevent them from thinking about committing offenses against the Fuhrer. Heydrich organized and took part in all the dirty tricks of the Third Reich: burning of the Reichstag that gave Hitler the pretext of assuming dictatorial powers, the Night of the Long Knights-the killing of Roehm and disbanding of the SA, the assassination of Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss that paved the way of annexation of the Austria, engineering of the border incidents that give Hitler the excuse to attack Poland in 1939. Heydrich's even sold to the Stalin's Intelligence Service faked documents incriminating the Russian Marshall Tuchaczesky and other Generals. Consequently Stalin eliminated all the implicated officers, thus weakening significantly the Red Army.
Heydrich was an intelligent, cold blooded individual, compulsively trying to prove his superiority. Of a keen and quick intelligence, he excelled equally in tests of strength and cunning. He practiced fencing and pistol shooting every day. He had a relish for danger in its extreme form. An amateur pilot, he had not been able to rest until Goering let him go on hunting expeditions -flying missions, where sixty missions had earned him the Cross of Iron, First Class.
" This man (Heydrich) was the hidden pivot around which the Nazi regime revolved. The development of a whole nation was guided indirectly by this forceful character. He was far superior to all his political colleagues and controlled them as he controlled the vast intelligence machine of the SD (Sicherheit Dienst)."
"Heydrich was a master manipulator, he manipulated everybody, including Himmler and Hitler. He used his extensive knowledge of the weaknesses and ambitions of others, to render them dependent on himself. This enabled him to hold and manipulate the balance of power in a milieu full of intrigue, rivalry and animosity, while he himself remained in the background. He was a master at playing antagonists off one against the other, feeding each one with detrimental information about his rival, and getting damaging information in return. Heydrich was, in fact, the puppet master of the third Reich."
"He made Hitler dependent on him by fulfilling al his most insane schemes, thus making himself indispensable. He supplied Himmler with brilliant ideas so that he could shine in conferences with Hitler, and would do it so tactfully that Himmler never suspected that these ideas were not his own.
After Hitler, it was Heydrich that made the greatest contribution to changing the nightmarish dream of destroying the Jews into reality. It was Heydrich who initiated the tearing down the fabric of the Jewish society through starvation coupled with terror and senseless brutality, the extensive use of victims in the process of their own destruction, the camouflaging the gas chambers as showers for disinfection, the inciting starved people to volunteer to "resettlement" by offering them bread and sugar, bringing Jews from the west in first class railroad cars with dining cars to Auschwitz. All the dirty tricks played on the hapless victims, bear the stamp of Heydrich's personality.
Heydrich was put in charge of the settling the Jewish question and all the annihilation process bears the imprint of his "dirty tricks" on a gigantic scale. Heydrich was blazing ingeniously new trails in human cruelty, in completely uncharted waters of human behavior. Heydrich perceived quite rightly that it is easier to convert a group of ordinary people into mass murderers than to make a single murderer from an ordinary individual. He personally selected the Einsatzgrouppen from ordinary people, not psychopaths; they were bankers, policemen, clerks and even one pastor.
Heydrich was one of those gifted individuals who can do perfectly whatever they set out to accomplish. A restless ambition to excel at any price dogged him all his life, he played the violin, skied, fenced, pilot an plane and undertake any office. He was the most dangerous man in Germany. Heydrich had big ambitions, he wanted to become Reichsminister and maybe the next leader of Germany. Hitler found that the best way to deal with Himmler is to multiple his responsibilities, and the best way to deal with Heydrich is to divide his responsibilities. In Germany it was not possible to attain office and to remain in office without using blackmail. The were rumors that Heydrich was of Jewish origin (His grandfather was named Sus, a Jewish name), and this fact was used by Himmler to keep Heydrich in check, because of his vulnerability to blackmail.
Heydrich was nominated by Hitler as the Protector of Czechoslovakia, and on this post he performed a very good job; Heydrich introduced a series of liberalizing moves, decreased the level terror, increased the food rations. The Czechoslovakian Government in Exile afraid of losing it's influence ordered his killing. Heydrich was killed by agents of the Czechoslovakian Government in exile on June 4, 1942. His death contributed to the partial survival of the Jews in Bulgaria, France and Hungary. After Heydrich's death the execution of the Final Solution rested in the hands of Himmler, who pursued it with brutal force, but the cunning, bluffing and superior intelligence of Heydrich was gone. It is doubtful that with Heydrich being alive the Jews in France, Hungary, Bulgaria would have survived. Eichman did not have the standing and ability of Heydrich. It also worth noting that in October of 1944, Himmler suspended the mass killing, disregarding Hitler's orders and overruling the objection of the head of Gestapo, Miller. It is safe to assume that if Heydrich would have been killed earlier more Jews would have survived.