Born in Berlin in 1926, Höhne was educated there until he was called to fight during the last months of the Second World War. After the war, he studied journalism in Munich and went on to work for various newspapers as a freelance reporter. In 1955, he was hired by the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, where he joined the foreign staff of the magazine and eventually took charge of the Anglo-American department.
While employed for Der Spiegel, he became famous for his exploits. Heinz's controversial efforts in covering unexploited areas of Nazi history earned him renown as his painstaking efforts exposed and elucidated missing pieces of the Nazi puzzle. His most famous of these works is titled The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS. (Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf: Die Geschichte der SS). This work first appeared in 1967, and many other notable works subsequently followed, such as his 1971 revisionist study of the Soviet Union's spy network entitled Codeword: Direktor.
There are a large number of references to Höhne's work on the SS by other historians who have written extensive works on the Nazis. Most recently, Adrian Weale's work, Army of Evil: A History of the SS frequently cites Höhne's The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS challenging some of the assertions found therein.
Another notable work from Höhne is Krieg im Dunkeln (1985), which examines the centuries old relationship between Russian and German intelligence. After his retirement, Heinz Höhne worked on a complete history of the Third Reich, the first volume of which, Gebt mir vier Jahre Zeit, appeared in 1996.
- Heinz Höhne, The Order of the Death's Head (New York: Penguin Books, 1971).
- Weale, Adrian (2012). Army of Evil: A History of the SS. New York: NAL Caliber. ISBN 978-0-451-23791-0.
- Anonymous (2 July 1996). "The Service: The Memoirs of General Reinhard Gehlen by Reinhard Gehlen. Book review". CIA Historical Review Program (Release in Full). CIA. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS. (Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf: Die Geschichte der SS) First published in 1967. ISBN 0-14-139012-3
- Codeword: Direktor. (1971)
- with Zolling, Hermann (1972). The General Was a Spy: The Truth about General Gehlen and his spy ring. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. ISBN 0698104307. (American edition of Pullach Intern, 1971, which was originally a series of articles for Der Spiegel, according to the book's front pages)
- Canaris (1976)
- Krieg im Dunkeln (1985)
- Gebt mir vier Jahre Zeit (1996)