Reinhard Heydrich was the second in command of the Nazi SS or Schutzstaffel, the infamous bodyguards, policemen and soldiers of the Nazi Party. Handpicked by the head of the SS Heinrich Himmler after only one interview, Heydrich would eventually plan Hitler's "Final Solution" or the systematic extermination of all the Jews in Europe.
Born in 1904, Heydrich was raised in a wealthy and musical family, with an opera singer father and virtuoso pianist mother. Heydrich himself was an expert violinist. He was constantly bullied and beaten in school and also experienced abuse from his mother, in the form of discipline by whipping. Because of these childhood traumas, he drove himself to excel both in academics and athletics as he got older, eventually becoming a champion fencer.
After being forced to resign the Navy in 1931 due to a sex scandal with an unmarried woman, Heydrich joined the Nazi party and become a member of the newly formed SS. His confidence and Aryan features impressed the SS leader Himmler who then made him second in command. He established the new intelligence service of the SS which compiled dossiers on everyone that might oppose Hitler, keeping detailed records of every little aspect of their lives .
By 1933, the Nazi's had total control over Germany. Heydrich and Himmler ordered mass arrests of anyone who had opposed Hitler, as well as Communists, union members and Catholic politicians. Because so many were arrested, the prisons got full. An unused ammunition factory in Dachau was then converted into a concentration camp for political prisoners.
In June 1934, Hitler ordered a massive purge of the SA during what is now called the Night of the Long Knives. The SA was a paramilitary group within the Nazi Party that helped Hitler rise to power. Many SA members and their families were executed in just one night. Afterwards, the SA lost most of its influence and control to the SS.
In 1938, events began to take a turn for the worse. Attacks and mass arrests occurred throughout the Reich and Heydrich gave the order to send 25,000 Jewish men to concentration camps. When WW2 rolled around and Germany invaded Poland, Hitler wanted to destroy it as a nation and Heydrich rounded up Polish politicians, nationalists, the elite and clergy and had them all executed. Polish Jews who were not killed outright were then stuffed into ghettos, lacking food until many died of disease and starvation.
The SS then turned their attention to the mass murder of Jews. Heydrich came up with a cost and time effective system to carry out the "final solution of the Jewish question."
The railroad car schedules were then organized, the gas chambers built and almost six million Jews, gypsies, priests, artists, and homosexuals were executed from1941 to 1945.
Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated in 1942 by Czech rebels. He was - and is - without the shadow of a doubt - one of the most evil human beings that has ever lived. Not only was he extremely power hungry but also absolutely devoid of human compassion.