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Heinz Heydrich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heinz Heydrich
Reinhard Heydrich (left) and Heinz Heydrich
Birth nameHeinz Siegfried Heydrich
Born(1905-09-29)29 September 1905
Halle an der Saale, Prussia, German Empire
Died19 November 1944(1944-11-19) (aged 39)
East Prussia
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Commands heldeditor of Die Panzerfaust
Battles/warsWorld War II
Spouse(s)Trude Heydrich (née Werther)

Heinz Siegfried Heydrich (29 September 1905 – 19 November 1944) was the son of Richard Bruno Heydrich and the younger brother of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich. After the death of his brother in June 1942, Heinz Heydrich helped Jews escape the Holocaust.[1]


Heinz Heydrich was born in Halle an der Saale to composer Richard Bruno Heydrich, a Protestant, and his wife Elisabeth Anna Maria Amalia Krantz, a Catholic. Her father was Eugen Krantz, director of the Dresden Royal Conservatory.[2]

Heydrich's family held social standing and substantial financial means. The father, Richard Bruno Heydrich, was an opera singer, the founder of a music conservatory in Halle, and a German Nationalist who instilled patriotic ideas in the minds of his three children.[3] The Heydrich household was very strict and the children were frequently disciplined. As a youth, Heydrich engaged his older brother, Reinhard Heydrich, in mock fencing duels.[4]

Career in the SS

Heinz Heydrich was an Obersturmführer (lieutenant), journalist, and publisher of the soldiers' newspaper, Die Panzerfaust. He was at first a fervent admirer of Hitler. But before Reinhard Heydrich's State funeral in Berlin in June 1942, Heinz Heydrich had been given a large packet containing his brother's files, released from his strongbox at Gestapo Headquarters, 8 Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, Berlin.[5] Heinz had shut himself away in his room with the papers. The next morning, his wife noticed that her husband had sat up all night burning the documents from the package. Heinz, on leave from the front, could not be engaged in conversation, his wife remembered; he seemed to be elsewhere mentally, and like stone. The files in the package were probably Reinhard Heydrich's personal files, from which Heinz Heydrich understood for the first time in all its enormity the systematic extermination of the Jews, the so-called Final Solution.[6][7] Thereafter, Heinz Heydrich helped many Jews escape by forging identity documents and printing them on Die Panzerfaust presses.[8][9]


When in November 1944 an economic commission headed by a State Attorney investigated the editorial staff of Die Panzerfaust, Heinz Heydrich thought he had been discovered and shot himself in order to protect his family from the Gestapo.[10] In reality, the attorney knew nothing about the forgeries, and was only trying to find out the reason for shortages in paper supplies.[11] According to his nephew Heider, however, Heydrich committed suicide because of a pending court martial case against him for theft and corruption.[12]

Heinz Heydrich is buried in the war cemetery of Riesenburg, according to the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt).[13]


Heinz Heydrich had five children. His oldest, Peter Thomas Heydrich [de] (1931–2000), was a well-known German cabaret singer, and wrote a book about his childhood, father, and uncle. In the book, Peter Heydrich describes how, as a youth, he enjoyed the fame of being a "crown prince", as the nephew of Reinhard Heydrich. During boyhood, he thought of his uncle as a successful sportsman and a sensitive musician. In Prague, Peter observed that his uncle had become a "bigwig". Peter derived many privileges from being Reinhard Heydrich's nephew. Even after the war, Peter still felt some pride in the familial relationship, if not so openly. But finally, Peter Heydrich had to admit that Reinhard Heydrich was a devious schemer, who planned and executed important parts of the Holocaust and other crimes. Peter died on 22 November 2000, after a long illness.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Lehrer, Steven Wannsee House and the Holocaust. McFarland. Jefferson, North Carolina 2000 pp 53-87 [1]
  2. ^ "Das Spiel ist Aus — Arthur Nebe". Der Spiegel 6/1950 vom 09.02.1950, page 21 (in German). Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  3. ^ "Reinhard Heydrich".
  4. ^ Robert., Gerwarth (2016), Hitler's hangman : the life of Heydrich, Tantor Media, ISBN 978-1-5159-1081-7, OCLC 959572414, retrieved 2023-02-13
  5. ^ Donnelley, Paul (2008). Assassins and assassinations : history's most infamous plots. New Holland. ISBN 978-1-84537-940-7. OCLC 231589691.
  6. ^ Callum MacDonald. The killing of Reinhard Heydrich: the SS "Butcher of Prague. Da Capo Press (August 21, 1998). p. 5
  7. ^ McKinney, Dagney (2020-02-15). "Reinhard Heydrich and the Heydrich Terror: The Real Story Behind Operation Anthropoid | Cultura Obscura". Retrieved 2023-02-13.
  8. ^ Leong Kok Wey, Adam (2012-04-01). "Operation Anthropoid". The RUSI Journal. 157 (2): 68–75. doi:10.1080/03071847.2012.675808. ISSN 0307-1847.
  9. ^ Donald, Graeme (2011). The man who shot the man who shot Lincoln : and 44 other forgotten figures from history. Lyons Press. ISBN 978-0-7627-7584-2. OCLC 1298714596.
  10. ^ Dederichs, Mario (April 19, 2009). Heydrich: The Face of Evil. STACKPOLE BOOKS. p. 165. ISBN 1-78438-893-9. OCLC 1327553239.
  11. ^ Dederichs, Mario R. (2006). Heydrich: the face of evil. Translated by Geoffrey Brooks. Greenhill Books, p. 166. ISBN 1-85367-686-1
  12. ^ Gerwarth, Robert (2011-11-15). Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich. Yale University Press. p. 290. ISBN 9780300115758.
  13. ^ Hopmans, Rob (2018-09-22). "Heinz Siegfried Heydrich, the younger brother of SS General Reinhard Heydrich". WW2 Gravestone. Retrieved 2023-02-13.
  14. ^ Peter Thomas Heydrich, et al. Ich war der Kronprinz von Heydrich: eine Kindheit im Schatten des Henkers von Prag. Kreuz Verlag, Stuttgart, 2006
This page was last edited on 14 February 2023, at 04:23
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