Reinhard Heydrich is widely recognized as one of the great iconic villains of the 20th century, an appalling figure even within the context of the Nazi leadership. Chief of the Nazi Criminal Police, the SS Security Service, and the Gestapo, ruthless overlord of Nazi-occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and leading planner of the "Final Solution," Heydrich played a central role in Hitler's Germany. He shouldered a major share of responsibility for some of the worst Nazi atrocities, and up to his assassination in Prague in 1942, he was widely seen as one of the most dangerous men in Nazi Germany.
Yet Heydrich has received remarkably modest attention in the extensive literature of the Third Reich. Robert Gerwarth weaves together little-known stories of Heydrich's private life with his deeds as head of the Nazi Reich Security Main Office. Fully exploring Heydrich's progression from a privileged middle-class youth to a rapacious mass murderer, Gerwarth sheds new light on the complexity of Heydrich's adult character, his motivations, the incremental steps that led to unimaginable atrocities, and the consequences of his murderous efforts toward recreating the entire ethnic makeup of Europe.
©2011 Robert Gerwarth (P)2016 Tantor
"This admirable biography makes plausible what actually happened and makes human what we might prefer to dismiss as monstrous." (The Wall Street Journal)
A startlingly well researched work which succeeds in painting a fully rounded portrait of Heydreich and allows the reader to grapple with the deeply human complexities of the man as opposed to painting him as a one dimensional caricature of history .
Possibly the definitive Biography of Heydreich .
"A different perspective on the Third Reich"
This is an important book for anyone interested in WWII. Robert Gerwarth is a master story-teller, skillfully documenting Heydrich's life and the influences on his development and thinking from his birth to his death. Having the lesser-known Nazi, Heydrich, as the central figure in the story brings a different perspective to this fateful era of modern history. The atrocities committed in the aftermath of Heydrich's death bring this necessarily grim book to its all-too-predictable terrible conclusion. To complement the master story-teller, Napoleon Ryan is the master narrator - perfect voice for the topic: accent, tone, pauses, voices spot-on, and he is proficient with German pronunciations (at least to my non-German ear). Few things ruin a good book so much as mangled attempts at foreign words.
Drawing on more recent scholarship than earlier accounts detailing the life and crimes of Reinhard Heydrich, this book is all the more terrifying a read. Heydrich has often been portrayed as arriving of arriving as Hitler's hang man fully formed. This excellent work shows the making of the monster, and should be read by anyone with a serious interest in where the very worst of Hitler's henchmen came from.
"Even a twisted mind can justify murder."
A detailed account of Germany and lts implementation of the 'Final solution '. A lot of background information on the reasoning or need to eliminate the Jewish people.
"insight to an ss monster"
a well thought out historical account; enjoyed the content and my first experience with the audible app and player- can no longer handle a 400 page read but the audio version put me back on track and allowed me to enjoy or rather appreciate a great non fiction masterpiece.
"The hangman and the Jewish question"
The book covered a great deal of the Jewish question but except for Himmler no one was more involved with said question. The author did cover his early years in the military but I would have liked more on his childhood.
This was a good biography and well worth the time the reader was excellent.
The book gives you a good look into the nazi death machine. The cold blooded way they decided who lived and who died like they were solving a business problem is just chilling. Heydrich was a true believer and encouraged his people to be just as radical as he was. The book also covers his assassination and the repercussions.
"Interesting! a fair account of a true sociopath"
His early years dragged on but overall I enjoyed the story he was a brutal man
"TOO MUCH POLITICS--TOO MUCH HOLOCAUST HISTORY-"
I LOVED THE PERSONAL ANECDOTES WHICH WERE FAR AND IN BETWEEN. FOR EXAMPLE, THE MORNING BEFORE HIS ASSASSINATION, HE WAS PLAYING WITH HIS THREE CHILDREN. MORTALLY WOUNDED, THIS FANATICAL NAZI SOLDIER GOT OUT HIS CAR AND CHASED ONE OF THE ASSASSINS ON FOOT UNTIL HE COLLAPSED IN FRONT OF HIM.
HIS WIFE---VERY LITTLE ABOUT HER TOO MUCH ABOUT THE WORKAHOLIC MURDERER'S SCHEDULES AND MEETINGS AND SPEECHES AND ARTICLES. SHE WASN'T THE COMPLACENT NOT GET INVOLVED IN YOUR HUSBANDS LIFE NAZI WIFE. AFTER HE DIED SHE WAS SUEING AND WINNING CASES AGAINST THE GERMAN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND EVEN WROTE HER AUTOBIO--"MARRIED TO A WAR CRIMINAL."
I HAVE NEVER HEARD HEYDRICH SPEAK BUT WITH A THE SLIGHT, VERY, VERY SLIGHT EMOTIONAL LISP HE DID THE HANGMAN'S VOICE PERFECTLY. HE ALSO DID THE VERY BEST HITLER VOICE I'VE EVER HEARD---AND WE HAVE ALL HEARD HITLER AND SEEN THE MANY DOCUDRAMAS.
YES!!! AFTER VIEWING THE ACTUAL SITES WHERE THOUSANDS OF HIS HELPLESS VICTIMS HAVE BEEN HEARTLESSLY MURDERED, HE GOES OFF TO PRACTICE FOR THE FENCING (SWORD FIGHTING) COMPETITION WHERE HE PLACED FIFTH.
TOO MUCH HOLOCAUST. THE TOPIC HAS ALREADLY BEEN COVERED VERY, VERY WELL BY MANY, MANY SCHOLARS. I FEEL I MISSED THE ACTUAL MAN. BUT THE BOOK IS EXCELLENT AND VERY WELL RESEARCHED AND I WOULD RECOMMEND THE BOOK TO ANYONE. HIS HISTORICAL JUDGMENTS ARE PERFECT. HIS VALUES FROM THE A NON NAZI- WESTERN VIEW WERE NEVER UNFAIR--IF ANYTHING VERY, VERY FAIR TO HEYDRICH I.E. THROWN OUT OF THE NAVY (HIS LIFE AND DREAM) MADLY IN LOVE WITH LENA, HIS FANATICALLY NAZI WIFE, HE BECAME A NAZI TOO. BUT WHY DID HE BECOME A MASS MURDERER?
WHAT WAS HITLER'S STRANGE SPELL? THERE WAS NOTHING IN THIS GIFTED VIOLINIST PAST TO EXPLAIN THIS. HIS PARENTS WERE GOOD NON "JEW HATING" CARING GERMAN PARENTS. HE WASN'T IN THE FIRST WAR AND NEITHER WAS HIS FAMILY.
I DID BREATHE A SIGN OF RELIEF WHEN I FINISHED THE BOOK: THANK GOD HEYDRICH AND HIS KIND DID NOT WIN THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
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