Can you believe that Hitler, the man who did not hesitate to order the murder of six million people, including Jews, gypsies, beggars, homosexuals, mentally ill, disabled and communists; the man who devastated Europe triggering the Second World War, where 60 million people died; the man who had filmed and later watched, with great pleasure, the execution of the conspirators in the failed assassination attempt on him known as Operation Valkyrie; the man who allowed terrible medical experiments to be performed on Jews and prisoners of war; called one of his closest collaborators “the man with the iron heart”?

Adolf Hitler

But who was this man? And why did Hitler call him that? I mean, here two questions arise: What did this man do for Hitler to call him that? And why, with all the atrocities that Hitler did, he thought that there was someone with a harder heart than his?

Hitler with a girl

This man was nothing more and nothing less than Reinhard Heydrich, nicknamed the butcher of Prague, a nickname that he had earned by force of mass executions, torture and any other method in order to subdue the Czech population, so that they work manufacturing weapons , which were so necessary for Germany. He had already done something similar in Germany, eliminating Hitler’s political opponents.

Reinhard Heydrich

What follows is my speculation as to why Hitler believed that Heydrich had an iron heart. If you check a bit of youtube, it will not be difficult to find videos where Hitler is shown caressing children and also caressing his dog Blondi (of course this could have been pure propaganda). I suppose Hitler knew that Reinhard Heydrich would never pet a child or a dog in public.

Hitler playing with his dog Blondi

He probably knew that Heydrich not only wouldn’t do that but he disliked doing it. Or it is also likely that he personally has seen him give orders for some brutal execution (including torture). Or perhaps even Hitler himself will have felt cold in his veins when he saw Heydrich’s meticulously detailed plans to eliminate the greatest number of Jews in one day. So Hitler, next to Heydrich, felt like a saint. Either way, as the saying goes, no matter how bad one is, one can always find a worse one.

If you want to know more about the man with the iron heart, I recommend the good movie Anthropoid (Anthropoid, 2016). As an anecdotal fact, it is worth mentioning that, when Heydrich did not yet belong to the Nazi party, he got an interview with the head of the Gestapo Heinrich Himmler. Hearing his ideas, he immediately hired him (what would he have said to Himmler!).

Anthropoid movie ad

REFERENCE: Novel “HHhH”, by Laurent Binet, Wikipedia and other internet articles.


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