Heydrich The Pursuit Of Total Power
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A chilling biography of the head of Nazi Germany’s terror apparatus, a key player in the Third Reich whose full story has never before been told. Reinhard Heydrich is widely recognized as one of the great iconic villains of the twentieth 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 re-creating the entire ethnic makeup of Europe. “This admirable biography makes plausible what actually happened and makes human what we might prefer to dismiss as monstrous.”—Timothy Snyder, Wall Street Journal “[A] probing biography…. Gerwarth’s fine study shows in chilling detail how genocide emerged from the practicalities of implementing a demented belief system.”—Publishers Weekly “A thoroughly documented, scholarly, and eminently readable account of this mass murderer.”—The New Republic
During World War II, the British formed a secret division, the 'SOE' or Special Operations Executive, in order to support resistance organisations in occupied Europe. It also engaged in 'targeted killing' - the assassination of enemy political and military leaders. The unit is famous for equipping its agents with tools for use behind enemy lines, such as folding motorbikes, miniature submarines and suicide pills disguised as coat buttons. But its activities are now also gaining attention as a forerunner to today's 'extra-legal' killings of wartime enemies in foreign territory, for example through the use of unmanned drones. Adam Leong's work evaluates the effectiveness of political assassination in wartime using four examples: Heydrich's assassination in Prague (Operation Anthropoid); the daring kidnap of Major General Kreipe in Crete by Patrick Leigh Fermor; the failed attempt to assassinate Rommel, known as Operation Flipper; and the American assassination of General Yamamoto.
An encyclopedia of topics relationg to the German leader such as his most important collaborators and opponents, his domestic and foreign policies, the use of propaganda, racial persecuation and the Holocaust, and Hitler as a war leader.
A music historian uncovers Nazi Germany’s use of Mozart as a WWII propaganda tool in this “intriguing study [that] comprehends a range of vital topics” (Choice). As the Nazi war machine expanded its bloody ambitions across Europe, the Third Reich sought to promote a sophisticated and even humanitarian image of German culture through the tireless promotion of Mozart’s music. In this revelatory book, Erik Levi draws on World War II era articles, diaries, speeches, and other archival materials to provide a new understanding of how the Nazis shamelessly manipulated Mozart for their own political advantage. Mozart and the Nazis also explores the continued Jewish veneration of the composer during this period while also highlighting some of the disturbing legacies that resulted from the Nazi appropriation of his work. Enhanced by rare contemporary illustrations, Mozart and the Nazis is a fascinating addition to the study of music history, World War II propaganda, and twentieth century politics.
This volume takes a comparative approach, locating totalitarianism in the vastly complex web of fragmented pasts, diverse presents and differently envisaged futures to enhance our understanding of this fraught era in European history. It shows that no matter how often totalitarian societies spoke of and imagined their subjects as so many slates to be wiped clean and re-written on, older identities, familial loyalties and the enormous resilience of the individual (or groups of individuals) meant that the almost impossible demands of their regimes needed to be constantly transformed, limited and recast.
The controversial journalistic analysis of the mentality that fostered the Holocaust, from the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism Sparking a flurry of heated debate, Hannah Arendt’s authoritative and stunning report on the trial of German Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann first appeared as a series of articles in The New Yorker in 1963. This revised edition includes material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt’s postscript directly addressing the controversy that arose over her account. A major journalistic triumph by an intellectual of singular influence, Eichmann in Jerusalem is as shocking as it is informative—an unflinching look at one of the most unsettling (and unsettled) issues of the twentieth century.
Chronicles the life of the Nazi leader, including his childhood and youth, his transformation of the SS from a small bodyguard unit into a powerful organization within the Nazi Party, and how his political maneuvering and rise in power set the tone for the party's goals.
Traces Heydrich's rise in the Nazi hierarchy, his role in mass exterminations, and the events leading to his assasination
“Oh my human brothers, let me tell you how it happened.” Dr. Max Aue, the man at the heart of Jonathan Littell’s stunning and controversial novel The Kindly Ones, personifies the evils of the Second World War and the Holocaust. Highly educated and cultured, he was an ambitious SS officer, a Nazi and mass murderer who was in the upper echelons of the Third Reich. He tells us of his experience during the war. He was present at Auschwitz and Babi Yar, witnessed the battle of Stalingrad, and survived the fall of Berlin — receiving a medal from Hitler personally in the last days of Nazi Germany. Long after the war, he is living a comfortable bourgeois life in France, married with two children, managing a lace factory. And now, having evaded justice, he speaks out, giving a precise and accurate record of his life. The tone of his account is detached, lapidary, and for the most part unrepentant, whether he is describing his participation in mass murder on the Eastern Front, his bureaucratic investigations of labour productivity in the death camps, his casual murder of civilians as he tries to break through Russian lines towards the end of the war, or his fervid and convoluted relationship with his twin sister. Over its course, by entwining Aue’s life with those of historical figures such as Eichmann and Speer, Himmler and indeed Hitler, The Kindly Ones comes to depict the entire architecture of Nazism — from its grandest intellectual pretensions to its most minute, most chilling managerial details and executions. The Kindly Ones presents — with unprecedented realism, meticulous research that is both fascinating and compelling, and brilliant literary accomplishment — the greatest horrors imaginable. “War and murder are a question, a question without an answer, for when you cry out in the night, no one answers,” Aue says. In the same way, this powerfully affecting, powerfully challenging book confronts the reader with the most profound questions about history, morality, and art without offering any easy resolution. Written originally in French, and published now in English for the first time, The Kindly Ones has already sold to date well over a million copies in Europe. In France it won two prestigious prizes, including the Goncourt, and has been compared to War and Peace and other great classics of literature. From the Hardcover edition.
TWO MEN. . . ONE MISSION. . . TO KILL THE MAN WITH THE IRON HEART Bestselling author Howard Linskey's fifteen year fascination with the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich, the architect of the holocaust, has produced a meticulously researched, historically accurate thriller with a plot that echoes The Day of the Jackal and The Eagle has Landed. 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on a man so evil even fellow SS officers referred to him as the 'Blond Beast'. In Prague he was known as the Hangman. Hitler, who called him 'The Man with the Iron Heart', considered Heydrich to be his heir, and entrusted him with the implementation of the 'Final Solution' to the Jewish question: the systematic murder of eleven million people. In 1942 two men were trained by the British SOE to parachute back into their native Czech territory to kill the man ruling their homeland. Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik risked everything for their country. Their attempt on Reinhard Heydrich's life was one of the single most dramatic events of the Second World War, with horrific consequences for thousands of innocent people. Hunting the Hangman is a tale of courage, resilience and betrayal with a devastating finale. Based on true events, the story reads like a classic World War Two thriller and is the subject of two big-budget Hollywood films that coincide with the anniversary of Operation Anthropoid.
This meticulously researched biography creates a complete and balanced picture of Reinhard Heydrich. A leading figure within the Nazi Party, he was responsible more than Himmler for the planning and execution of the Holocaust. Having joined the Nazi Party in 1931, Heydrich rose quickly through the ranks of the SS. By the age of twenty-nine he had become an SS Brigadier General, and his ruthless ambition led many senior Nazis to believe that he was the natural successor to Hitler. It was Heydrich’s initiative to create the Einsatzgruppen, paramilitary units which were established before Operation Barbarossa to murder Jews and political operatives of the Communist party. In 1941 Heydrich was made Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Supremely confident of his authority within the province, he would often drive alone in an open-top car. British-trained Czech partisans took advantage of this gesture, and in 1942 carried out a daring assassination attempt. Heydrich was mortally wounded in the ambush and died a week later in hospital. The reprisals that followed were brutal: more than 15,000 Czechs were murdered and the town of Lidice was razed to the ground. This book examines Heydrich’s meteoric rise to power, his complex personality, and the aftermath of his death: Hitler’s vengeance and the postwar fortunes of Heydrich’s widow and descendants.
The holocaust will remain a stain on the history of mankind in perpetuity, long after the recollection of many of the perpetrators has faded. Some names will remain, however, indelibly printed in the records and the memories of future generations. Adolf Hitler's political protestations against certain sections of twentieth-century European society developed into national policy once he achieved his grip on power. His vision of a Europe free of these 'undesirables' almost became a reality. In Heinrich Himmler, he had a loyal servant, only too willing to sell his soul to the Devil to please his master. Himmler's SS organisation was the ideal tool to execute Hitler's plans, and what better administrator than the intelligent and obedient ex-naval officer who directed the Reich security police? From an early age, Reinhard Heydrich was determined to succeed at every challenge he encountered. An ambitious sportsman, a loving family man, and a ruthless executive, Heydrich possessed all the qualities necessary to carry out Hitler's policy in Himmler's name. This book illustrates the life of the architect of genocide, his background, his upbringing, his family, and his career, which developed into engineering one of the greatest crimes in history.
THE MAN WITH THE IRON HEART Hitler called him “The man with the iron heart”—yet Reinhard Heydrich was utterly different from those other iron men who served the Führer. Gifted with intellect, charm and great courage, Heydrich used his outstanding talents to create the Nazi Security Service, the notorious SD (Sicherheitsdienst), thereby becoming one of the most powerful figures—perhaps the most evil influence of all—in Nazi Germany. Charles Wighton, through unprecedented co-operation on both sides of the Iron Curtain, has had access to top secret Nazi Party files, to official sources in East Germany, to highly secret records in Czechoslovakia—and to the frank recollections of Heydrich’s widow. The result is a fascinatingly detailed revelation of the rise of this diabolical genius. Through Heydrich’s racial campaigns, which gathered their own momentum after his death, six million Jews were murdered by 1945. And yet this son of a cultured, upper-middle-class Roman Catholic family, who became the real power behind Himmler, was himself blackmailed by the Führer for possessing non-Aryan blood. In addition to clarifying this aspect of Heydrich’s astonishing career, the author throws new light, too, on “Plan Ost”, the blueprint for the extermination of thirty million Slavs, and on the mystery surrounding Heydrich’s assassination in 1942. Here, then, is the full story of the man with the iron heart—Heydrich, Hitler’s most evil henchman.
Horrified by the Holocaust, social psychologist Stanley Milgram wondered if he could recreate the Holocaust in the laboratory setting. Unabated for more than half a century, his (in)famous results have continued to intrigue scholars. Based on unpublished archival data from Milgram’s personal collection, volume one of this two-volume set introduces readers to a behind the scenes account showing how during Milgram’s unpublished pilot studies he step-by-step invented his official experimental procedure—how he gradually learnt to transform most ordinary people into willing inflictors of harm. The open access volume two then illustrates how certain innovators within the Nazi regime used the very same Milgram-like learning techniques that with increasing effectiveness gradually enabled them to also transform most ordinary people into increasingly capable executioners of other men, women, and children. Volume two effectively attempts to capture how step-by-step these Nazi innovators attempted to transform the Führer’s wish of a Jewish-free Europe into a frightening reality. By the books’ end the reader will gain an insight into how the seemingly undoable can become increasingly doable.
A total and groundbreaking reassessment of the life of Adolf Eichmann—a superb work of scholarship that reveals his activities and notoriety among a global network of National Socialists following the collapse of the Third Reich and that permanently challenges Hannah Arendt’s notion of the “banality of evil.” Smuggled out of Europe after the collapse of Germany, Eichmann managed to live a peaceful and active exile in Argentina for years before his capture by the Mossad. Though once widely known by nicknames such as “Manager of the Holocaust,” in 1961 he was able to portray himself, from the defendant’s box in Jerusalem, as an overworked bureaucrat following orders—no more, he said, than “just a small cog in Adolf Hitler’s extermination machine.” How was this carefully crafted obfuscation possible? How did a central architect of the Final Solution manage to disappear? And what had he done with his time while in hiding? Bettina Stangneth, the first to comprehensively analyze more than 1,300 pages of Eichmann’s own recently discovered written notes— as well as seventy-three extensive audio reel recordings of a crowded Nazi salon held weekly during the 1950s in a popular district of Buenos Aires—draws a chilling portrait, not of a reclusive, taciturn war criminal on the run, but of a highly skilled social manipulator with an inexhaustible ability to reinvent himself, an unrepentant murderer eager for acolytes with whom to discuss past glories while vigorously planning future goals with other like-minded fugitives. A work that continues to garner immense international attention and acclaim, Eichmann Before Jerusalem maps out the astonishing links between innumerable past Nazis—from ace Luftwaffe pilots to SS henchmen—both in exile and in Germany, and reconstructs in detail the postwar life of one of the Holocaust’s principal organizers as no other book has done
“A dense and scholarly book about . . . the relationship between the Nazi party and the occult . . . reveals stranger-than-fiction truths on every page.”—Daily Telegraph The Nazi fascination with the occult is legendary, yet today it is often dismissed as Himmler’s personal obsession or wildly overstated for its novelty. Preposterous though it was, however, supernatural thinking was inextricable from the Nazi project. The regime enlisted astrology and the paranormal, paganism, Indo-Aryan mythology, witchcraft, miracle weapons, and the lost kingdom of Atlantis in reimagining German politics and society and recasting German science and religion. In this eye-opening history, Eric Kurlander reveals how the Third Reich’s relationship to the supernatural was far from straightforward. Even as popular occultism and superstition were intermittently rooted out, suppressed, and outlawed, the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices and esoteric sciences to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire. “[Kurlander] shows how swiftly irrational ideas can take hold, even in an age before social media.”—The Washington Post “Deeply researched, convincingly authenticated, this extraordinary study of the magical and supernatural at the highest levels of Nazi Germany will astonish.”—The Spectator “A trustworthy [book] on an extraordinary subject.”—The Times “A fascinating look at a little-understood aspect of fascism.”—Kirkus Reviews “Kurlander provides a careful, clear-headed, and exhaustive examination of a subject so lurid that it has probably scared away some of the serious research it merits.”—National Review
A political biography of Darre, appointed National Peasant Leader and Minister of Food and Agriculture in 1933. Argues that his ecological ideas are still worthy of attention despite his racism. Although he believed in eugenics and Nordic racism, he did not emphasize their antisemitic aspect until after joining the Nazi Party in 1930, when he began to speak of the Jews as leaders of the capitalist urban threat to rural Germany and of an international Jewish conspiracy. He opposed anti-Jewish boycotts and delayed the Aryanization of Jewish land until 1940, not wanting his land reform program to be controlled by Nazi antisemitism. Although he was excluded from policy decisions after 1939, and dismissed in 1942, Darre was tried as a war criminal in 1949 and found guilty of participation in the Aryanization program and of expropriation of Polish and Jewish farmlands during the resettlement of ethnic Germans.
The abbreviation "Nazi," the acronym "Gestapo," and the initials "SS" have become resonant elements of our vocabulary. Less known is "SD," and hardly anyone recognizes the combination "Sipo and SD." Although Sipo and SD formed the heart of the National Socialist police state, the phrase carries none of the ominous impact that it should. Although no single organization carries full responsibility for the evils of the Third Reich, the SS-police system was the executor of terrorism and "population policy" in the same way the military carried out the Reich's imperialistic aggression. Within the police state, even the concentration camps could not rival the impact of Sipo and SD. It was the source not only of the "desk murderers" who administered terror and genocide by assigning victims to the camps, but also of the police executives for identification and arrest, and of the command and staff for a major instrument of execution, the Einsatzgruppen. Foundations of the Nazi Police State offers the narrative and analysis of the external struggle that created Sipo and SD. This book is the author's preface to his discussion of the internal evolution of these organizations in Hitler's Enforcers: The Gestapo and the SS Security Service in the Nazi Revolution.