1904: Reinhard Heydrich – Hitler’s “Man with the Iron Heart”

1904: Reinhard Heydrich – Hitler’s “Man with the Iron Heart”

Story Highlights

  • HIstorical event:
  • 7. March 1904
  • He held the high ranks of SS-Obergruppenführer i General of Police (German: General der Polizei). During World War II, he was even the president of Interpol.

Notorious Nazi war criminal Reinhard Heydrich, one of the most powerful members of the SS, was born on this day. He held the high ranks of SS-Obergruppenführer i General of Police (German: General der Polizei). Heydrich was also the chief of the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt – RSHA). Namely, the Gestapo and the other security services of the Third Reich were also part of the RSHA.

It is interesting to note that Reinhard Heydrich was also the president of Interpol. He was one of the most brutal Nazis, so that allegedly even Adolf Hitler called him the “man with the iron heart” (German: “Mann mit dem eisernen Herzen”)

Heydrich was born in the German city of Halle an der Saale, around 30 km from Leipzig. His father was an opera singer, a tenor. His father also composed operas, and named Reinhard after a character from his first opera.

Reinhard Heydrich was killed near Prague by Czech and Slovak resistance fighters. Namely, during World War II Heydrich was a sort of governor of the Czech lands, with the title of Acting Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia (German: Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor in Böhmen und Mähren). As such, he had almost dictatorial powers in those countries. As a reprisal, the Nazis destroyed an entire village in the Czech Republic (Lidice).

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