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Reinhard Heydrich

Heydrich, Reinhard Tristran Eugen and The SD (Security Service). In June 1931, Reinhard Heydrich, a former naval communications officer who had been dismissed after a court martial found him guilty of having an affair with a young girl joined Himmler Black Order as a Sturmfurher and was tasked with organising an SS intelligence service to keep tabs on political opponents (known as Ic of the SS-Amt) The service was later renamed the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsfuhrer-SS (Security Service of the Reichsfuhrer-SS), or the SD. In June 1932, Heydrich, now promoted to SS-Sturmbannfuhrer established his headquarters in Munich. After Hitler won power in January 1933, Heydrich set new sites and dramatically expanded the SD throughout the Reich. As soon as Himmler took over the Gestapo (security police), Heydrich, now a Brigadefuhrer set about reorganising it and placed handpicked SD men to learn all about the activities of the political police and gain valuable experience. In 1939, the SD was almost completely absorbed into the security police itself. Soon the SDs remit expanded to incorporate social, economic and religious matters. Detailed studies of communism and Judaism were made as well as a detailed list of so-called subversives. Other groups were added, such as religious sects and freemasons. During the early days of the war, Wehrmacht troops, whom detested the security policemen, shot a few that they had conveniently mistaken for resistance fighters. For their own protection, many of the SD men were instructed to wear the grey SS uniform, which had the SD symbol sewn onto the collar and sleeve and which had police shoulder straps. In 1940, Heydrich was elected to the presidency of the International Criminal Police Commission, in which he sought to establish a German system of espionage within other countries. He earned promotion again in 1941 when he was given the rank of Obergruppenfuehrer-SS. Soon his ghettos and concentration camps spread throughout occupied Europe.
On September 1941, Hitler made him Deputy Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia. On 20 January 1942, he informed other leading ministers of the Final Solution at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin. Heydrich had been chosen to administer the systematic destruction of Europes Jews as well as other undesirables.

In Czechoslovakia, Heydrich ruled with an iron fist that cost many Czech patriots their lives. On 27 May, 1942, three men from the Czech resistance were parachuted back into their country with assassination as their goal and Heydrich as their target. They attacked two days later, and Heydrich died of his wounds caused by the bomb that had been thrown at his staff car. At his funeral Hitler referred to him as a man with iron heart. The German reprisals were brutal and barbaric. An entire village (Lidice) in Czechoslovakia was destroyed. All the males 16 and over were shot and the children that the Germans believed could be Germanised were sent to families within the Reich as the remainder of the children and women were sent to their deaths within the Nazi concentration camp system. Heydrich was a sadist with a greet desire for power. Some of Hydrichs opponents within the Reich believed that he had Jewish blood running through his veins but could not, or feared not, to prove it.



Joseph Darnand
Founder of the French Milice, whose men had arrested several thousand of Frances Jews for deportation to the death camps in the east. Darnand was arrested after the war and stood trial for war crimes. Found guilty and was executed on 3 October 1945.

Julius Streicher
National Socialist politician. Widely known as an anti-Semite extremist. He founded the right wing, anti-Semite newspaper-Der Strumer. He preached death to all things Jewish even when the Jews were being exterminated in the death camps. After the war he executed after being found guilty on count 4 (crimes against humanity) His last words on the scaffold was Heil Hitler!

Father Yosef Tiso
Roman Catholic priest and former President of the Slovak Republic. Tried by a court in Bratislava, condemned to death and hanged. He had been the first Head of State allied to Germany, who sent his Jewish citizens to slave labour and death camps in German occupied Poland.

SS-Major Dieter Wisliceny
Responsible for the deportation of Jews from Slovakia, Greece and Hungry. Was executed in 1948

SS-General Oswald Pohl
Chief of the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office. Tried by an American tribunal in 1951. He organised the despatch to Germany of the personal possessions of Jews murdered in the death camps- including, clothing, gold teeth, wedding rings, jewellery, womens hair, etc. At his trial he told the court that everyone down to the lowest clerk knew what went on in the concentration camps.  He was sentenced to death and hanged.

Heinrich Schmitz:
Deputy Commander of the Gestapo in Lithuania. Brought to trial in Wiesbaden, West Germany in 1962. Committed suicide in his cell before sentence was passed.

Hans Stark:
Gestapo member. Found guilty on 41 separate occasions of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Hans was involved in the killing of over 200 camp inmates. He was sentenced to only 10 years imprisonment for his crimes.

Helmut Rauca.
On 28 October 1941, Helmut helped to select more than 10,000 Kovno Jews for execution. After Germanys defeat, he fled to Canada. Charged in 1984 by a Toronto court with entering Canada under a false declaration and was extradited to West Germany.. Sent for trial in Frankfurt for the murder
of 11,500 Jews. Died in Hospital awaiting trial.


As a means of identifying Jews, the Germans forced them to wear the Star of David on their clothing

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