German Death Camps

Reinhard Heydrich - author of the Final Solution to the Jewish Question

Ostatnia aktualizacja: 17.08.2017 13:15
Reinhard Heydrich, 1.01.1940
Reinhard Heydrich, 1.01.1940Foto: CC BY-SA 3.0 de

1904–1942. From 1931, member of the NSDAP and the SS, where he made a brilliant career. He immediately became the right-hand man of Heinrich Himmler.

Heydrich was filled with blind hatred towards the Jews. At first, he supported deportations of Jews from Nazi-occupied territories, however, eventually, he decided that the "Jewish question" required a "final solution". In 1941, he was ordered by Himmler to develop a "complete solution to the Jewish question in the German zone of influence in Europe". That marked the border between mass murders and organised genocide.

"The Final Solution to the Jewish Question" concerned approx. 11 million Jews who were to be sent to "work" in the East. In reality, it was a death sentence. Heydrich arranged for a special meeting in order to coordinate the actions of many government departments and offices of the Third Reich. The conference was held in a villa at 56–58 Großen Wannsee in Berlin on 20 January 1942. The participants in the Wannsee Conference were not supposed to take any decisions. Their role was to discuss the manner in which orders were to be executed. Heydrich’s ideas were accepted.

After he died on 4 June 1942 of wounds received in an assassination operation carried out in Prague, as a "tribute", the Nazis called the organised killing of Jews "Operation Reinhard".