New book argues Heydrich was opportunist in perpetrating the HolocaustHistorians in the News
A new biography of Reinhard Heydrich argues that decisions to exterminate the Jews were not made in the 1930s but developed in stages, often in response to changing political and military circumstances.
At the state funeral following the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in May 1942, Heinrich Himmler remembered his colleague as a noble man, “with a character of the rarest purity and a mind of penetrating logic and clarity,” rightly “feared by the sub-humans and slandered by Jews and other criminals.” Visibly moved, Adolf Hitler added that Heydrich had died as a martyr “for the preservation and protection of the Reich.” The Führer decorated him with “the highest award in my gift, the highest stage of the German Order,” and patted the cheeks of his two sons as he left the ceremony.
Chief of the Criminal Police, the SS Security Service, and the Gestapo, and ruler of Nazi-occupied Bohemia and Moravia, Heydrich was a key planner of the genocidal “Final Solution.” And yet, Robert Gewarth, a professor of history at University College Dublin, points out that no serious scholarly biography of him exists. Hitler’s Hangman fills this gap with a careful, compelling and chilling account of the Third Reich’s “administrator of death.”
Employing “a cold empathy,” Gewarth does not downplay Heydrich’s responsibility for his actions or the twisted “morality” he used to justify them. But he reaches beyond characterizations of Heydrich as a depraved monster or a “perversely rational desk-killer.” Dismissing as untenable assertions that Heydrich planned the Holocaust from the 1930s onward, Gewarth argues that decisions to exterminate the Jews developed in stages, often in response to changing political and military circumstances....
comments powered by Disqus
- How Clinton Could Respond on Supreme Court Vacancy
- Trump and Clinton Way Ahead in South Carolina
- McConnell Says Senate Will Wait to Replace Scalia
- Antonin Scalia Is Dead
- Clinton Says Sanders Would Be Threat to Obama Legacy
- Internal Tracker Shows Trump Leading in South Carolina
- How the Primaries are Rigged Against Sanders
- Carson Sees Fundraising Resurgence
- Trump Has GOP Mega Donors Frozen
- Quote of the Day
- Top GOP Candidates Haven’t Released Tax Returns
- Trump Attack Ads Finally Begin
- Super PACs Gear Up for Clinton
- Cruz App Mines Data from Your Phone
- Trump Way Ahead in South Carolina
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- One of the last remaining Nazis goes on trial in Germany
- Inside story finally told of the young US diplomat who cracked the case of the murder of 4 nuns in El Salvador in 1980
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges