Heinz Heydrich, brother of SS General Reinhard Heydrich, helped Jews escape the Holocaust after reading his brother’s files after Reinhard’s death.



Heinz Siegfried Heydrich  was the son of Richard Bruno Heydrich and the younger brother of SS General Reinhard Heydrich. After the death of his brother, Heinz Heydrich helped Jews escape the Holocaust.

Heinz Heydrich was born in Halle an der Saale to composer Richard Bruno Heydrich and his wife Elisabeth Anna Maria Amalia Krantz. Her father was Eugen Krantz, director of the Dresden Royal Conservatory.The Heydrich family were well-to-do Catholics. The father, Richard Bruno Heydrich, was an opera singer, the founder of a music conservatory in Halle, and a German Nationalist who instilled patriotic ideas in the minds of his three children. The Heydrich household was very strict and the children were frequently disciplined. As a youth, Heydrich engaged his older brother, Reinhard Heydrich, in mock fencing duels.

Career in the SS

Heinz Heydrich was a lieutenant in the S.S. Originally, he was very proud of his Nazi association and his older brother’s position within this unique organisation. He was a journalist by trade, and published the party newspaper. He continued his active association with the S.S. until June of 1942.

Early in June, Heinz’s older brother Reinhard died, asassinated by resistence-members in Czechosolvakia. His car was ambushed at a blind corner in a road and he was mortally wounded, dying a few days later in hospital. It was this event that changed everything. Almost overnight, Heinz received a bundle of Reinhard’s personal papers and files…included in these were detailed plans about the “Final Solution”, in which Reinhard had been heavily involved.

Next morning his wife noticed that her husband had sat up all night burning the documents from the package. Heinz, on leave from the front, could not be engaged in conversation, his wife remembered; he seemed to be elsewhere mentally, and like stone. The files in the package were probably Reinhard Heydrich’s personal files, from which Heinz Heydrich understood for the first time in all its enormity the systematic extermination of the Jews, the so-called Final Solution. Thereafter, Heinz Heydrich helped many Jews escape by forging identity documents and printing them on Die Panzerfaust presses.