On This Day

Reinhard Heydrich

Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich

Profession: Nazi leader


Why Famous: Regarded by many historians as the darkest figure in the Nazi elite, Heydrich chaired the Wannsee Conference in 1941 which formalized plans for the deadliest phase of the Holocaust. He directly oversaw the Einsatzgruppen, the Nazi death squads who killed more than a million Jews, and served as the brutal protector of Bohemia and Moravia during the Nazi occupation, earning him the moniker "the butcher of Prague."

Heydrich had previously served as the director of the Gestapo from 1934 until 1939, when he took over as the director of the Reich Main Security Office, responsible for rooting out opposition and resistance movements in Nazi territory. So crucial was his involvement in the Holocaust that Adolf Hitler once referred to him as "the man with the iron heart."

He was assassinated in Prague by Czech rebels during Operation Anthropoid.

Born: March 7, 1904
Birthplace: Halle an der Saale, German Empire

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dragon
Star Sign: Pisces

Died: June 4, 1942 (aged 38)
Cause of Death: Assassination

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1931-12-26 SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich marries Lina von Osten

Historical Events

  • 1931-06-14 Reinhard Heydrich's first meeting with Heinrich Himmler
  • 1939-01-04 Hermann Goering appoints Reinhard Heydrich head of Jewish Emigration
  • 1939-09-21 Reinhard Heydrich meets in Berlin to discuss final solution of Jews
  • 1941-09-27 Reinhard Heydrich, "butcher of Prague," appointed SS-general (Gruppenfuehrer)
  • 1942-05-27 Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich is mortally wounded by a grenade thrown by Czech rebels in Prague during Operation Anthropoid; he would die a week later
  • 1942-06-09 Nazis kill all inhabitants of Lidice, which had been implicated in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi controller of Bohemia and Moravia, to “teach the Czechs a final lesson of subservience and humility”

Famous Germans