* Lew’s review of The Face of the Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi Leadership by Joachim Fest (chapter on Reinhardt Heydrich)
Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 27, 2016
Joachim Fest has created fascinating, terrifying portraits of the major figures in the Nazi leadership.
I just read the chapter on Reinhardt Heydrich, described by Fest as … the architect and brain behind the SS state … a man free from humanitarian restraints … with an insatiable greed for power … and unencumbered by either ideologies or emotions.
Heydrich was the man who fashioned the Final Solution to murder all the Jews of Europe. Yet, according to Fest … Heydrich lived under the continual constraint of his own Jewish ancestors … he tried to destroy all the evidence … but was unable to prevent enemies and rivals from obtaining documentary evidence.
Fest states that Heydrich went so far as to change the headstone of his grandmother’s grave so that it said ‘S. Heydrich’ rather than ‘Sarah Heydrich.’
According to Fest … Himmler & Hitler were aware of Heydrich’s Jewish ‘problem’ … they regarded Heydrich as gifted but dangerous … and felt their knowledge of his ancestry would keep him in line … he will obey blindly.
It is important to note that Fest’s views on Heydrich’s Jewish ancestry are not universally accepted by other historians.
Heydrich is introduced briefly in Book One of my soon-to-be-published novel A FLOOD OF EVIL, and it is my intent that he will be a major character in Book Two, which I have begun to research and outline.