Reinhard Heydrich  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich (7 March 1904 – 4 June 1942) was a high-ranking German Nazi official during World War II, and one of the main architects of the Holocaust. He was SS-Obergruppenführer (General) and General der Polizei, chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo and Kripo) and Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy Reich-Protector) of Bohemia and Moravia (in what is now known as the Czech Republic). Heydrich served as President of Interpol (the international law enforcement agency) and chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference, which formalised plans for the final solution to the Jewish Question—the deportation and extermination of all Jews in German-occupied territory.

Historians regard him as the darkest figure within the Nazi elite; Adolf Hitler christened him "the man with the iron heart".Template:Sfn He was the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), an intelligence organisation charged with seeking out and neutralising resistance to the Nazi Party via arrests, deportations, and killings. He helped organize Kristallnacht, a series of co-ordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938. The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians, presaged the Holocaust. Upon his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance.

Heydrich was attacked in Prague on 27 May 1942 by a British-trained team of Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been sent by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile to kill him in an operation code named Operation Anthropoid. He died from his injuries a week later. Intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Lidice was razed to the ground; all adult males were executed, and all but a handful of its women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps.




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