The murderous activities of Himmler’s Einsatzgruppen – or death squads – rank high among the horrors of the Nazi regime during the Second World War. These hand-picked groups followed in the wake of Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht units advancing intro Eastern Europe and Soviet Russia.
Their mass murder of civilians in the occupied territories will never be accurately quantified but is likely to have exceeded two million people, including some 1.3 million of the 6,000,00 Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
The graphic and shocking photoReinhard Heydrich along with Heinrich Himmler, whose deputy he was, will always be regarded as one of the most ruthless of the Nazi elite. Even Hitler described him as ‘a man with an iron heart’.
He established his fearsome reputation in the 1930s, as head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the intelligence organisation which neutralised opposition to the Nazi Party by murder and deportation. He organised Kristalnacht and played a leading role in the Holocaust, chairing the 1942 Wannsee Conference which formalised plans for the ‘Final Solution’. In addition, as head of the Einsatzgruppen murder squads in Eastern Europe he was responsible for countless murders.
Appointed Deputy Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, he died of wounds inflicted by British trained SOE operatives in Prague in May 1942. The reprisals that followed his assassination were extreme by even the terrible standards of Nazi ruthlessness.
Heydrich’s shocking and leading role in the Nazi regime is graphically portrayed in this Images of War book.
I really enjoy the books in this series as my reviews in the past have shown and this one was no different. I like that the images are available to tell the story and you can make your own decisions and views from what you see, the images were handpicked by the author but there is a mix of content.
This book is similar to the author’s other book in this series I have read but for this one there is a key focus on Reinhard Heydrich, who earned, and deserved the “nickname” of “Butcher of Prague”.
The book is not as graphic as some of the others in the series, there are still a few upsetting images but they are needed for the story being told. They did make me think though how many more deaths there would have been had his assassination not ultimately have been successful, and really he was only just getting started – and that is a truly shocking thing to contemplate.
The book is well written and the writing is concise and it tells the story of his rise to power and assassination and state funeral that followed in good death and I loved the number of images, this is the first time that I had seen them.
The chapters are well laid out and this for me, is another example of key reading for anyone interested in World War II and the main “players” from each side. It is 5 stars from me for this one – not easy reading in places due to the graphic images but very highly recommended and a great insight in to one of the worst Nazi party members in my view.