Lina Heydrich

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Lina Heydrich
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1972-039-24, Reinhard Heydrich mit Frau.jpg
In Prague, the day before the attack that led to his death, Reinhard Heydrich and wife Lina attend a concert of Richard Bruno Heydrich's music in the Waldstein Palace, May 26, 1942.
Born (1911-06-14)June 14, 1911
Fehmarn, Germany
Died August 14, 1985(1985-08-14) (aged 74)
Fehmarn, Germany
Nationality German
Other names Lina Manninen
Spouse(s)
Children
  • Klaus Heydrich (17 June 1933 – 24 October 1943; traffic accident)
  • Heider Heydrich (born 23 December 1934)
  • Silke Heydrich (born 9 April 1939)
  • Marte Heydrich (born 23 July 1942)

Lina Heydrich (born Lina Mathilde von Osten; June 14, 1911 – August 14, 1985) was the wife of assassinated SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, a central figure in Nazi Germany.

She was the daughter of a minor German aristocrat who worked as a schoolteacher. Lina met Reinhard Heydrich in December 1930, and was married December 26, 1931. They had four children.[1] She claimed that she knew nothing about Reinhard Heydrich’s crimes committed while he was head of the RSHA, or Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office).[2]

National Socialist Party membership[edit]

Lina's brother, Jurgen had joined the Nazi Party and was a member of the Sturmabteilung (SA). He spoke highly of the movement to Lina and she attended a Party rally in 1929 where Adolf Hitler spoke. Shortly thereafter, Lina von Osten joined the Nazi Party with Party Membership Number: 1201380.[3][4] Lina was a fervent Nazi and persuaded Heydrich to look into the recently formed Schutzstaffel (SS) as a career option after his "dismissal for impropriety" from the navy.[5] In 1931, SS Leader Heinrich Himmler began to set up a counter-intelligence division of the SS. Acting on the advice of his Party associate Karl von Eberstein, who was a friend of both the Heydrich family and Lina von Osten, Himmler agreed to interview Heydrich.[6] When Himmler cancelled Heydrich's interview in Munich due to alleged illness, Lina ignored the message, packed Heydrich's suitcase and sent him on a Munich bound train. Karl von Eberstein met Heydrich at the station and drove him to meet Himmler. Himmler received Heydrich and hired him as the chief of the new SS 'Ic Service' or Intelligence Service (which would later become known as the Sicherheitsdienst (SD).[7][8] Heydrich returned to Hamburg with the good news. He entered into the Hamburg SS on July 14. At the beginning of August, he was transferred to Munich. Lina later stated that Reinhard Heydrich never read Hitler's book, Mein Kampf.[9]

Family[edit]

Lina von Osten met the then Naval Lieutenant Heydrich on December 6, 1930, at a gala hosted by the school rowing club in Kiel which Lina attended. There was an immediate attraction and after only a few dates the couple became engaged on December 18, 1930.[10] Lina von Osten was nineteen at the time. After Heydrich's dismissal from the navy, they married at a small church in Grossenbrode on December 26, 1931. Lina Heydrich gave birth to two sons, Klaus (born June 17, 1933) and Heider (born December 23, 1934). By the late 1930s, the duties of Reinhard Heydrich led him to work long hours and often be away from home. This left Lina at home with the children and having to run the household alone. This placed a serious strain on their marriage that nearly resulted in divorce. However, the reconciled Heydrich couple had another child, a daughter named Silke (born April 9, 1939). Reinhard proudly showed off his baby daughter and they had a close relationship.[11] Their fourth child, a daughter named Marte (born July 23, 1942) was born shortly after Reinhard Heydrich's death. Her eldest son, Klaus, died as a result of a traffic accident on October 24, 1943. On that day, Klaus was cycling with his brother Heider Heydrich in the courtyard of the Castle Jungfern-Breschan. Seeing that the gate to the street was open, Klaus rode out onto the street where he was struck by a small truck coming down the road. Klaus died from his injuries later that afternoon.[12]

Post World War II[edit]

In 1965 she met Finnish theatre director Mauno Manninen while she was on a holiday trip to Finland. Eventually they married for the purpose of changing her last name. She received a German state pension and ran Reinhard Heydrich’s former summer house on Fehmarn as a restaurant and inn until it burned down in February 1969.[13] She wrote a memoir, Leben mit einem Kriegsverbrecher (1976) (Life with a War Criminal).[14] She spoke with several authors, sent in letters of correction to many newspapers, and defended her late husband, Reinhard Heydrich, until her death in Fehmarn at the age of 74 on August 14, 1985.[15]

Works[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dederichs, Mario R. (2006) Heydrich: The Face of Evil
  2. ^ McNab, Chris. (2009) The SS: 1923–1945, p 41.
  3. ^ Williams, Max. (2001) Reinhard Heydrich: Volume 1 - The Road To War, p. 22
  4. ^ Ernst Klee. Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945 ("The Cultural Excyclopedia of the Third Reich. Who was What before and after 1945"). Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2007, 720 pages, hardcover, ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5, p. 244
  5. ^ Bullock, Alan. (1962) Hitler: A Study in Tyranny
  6. ^ Williams, Max. (2001) Reinhard Heydrich: Volume 1 - The Road To War, pp. 29, 30
  7. ^ Williams, Max. (2001) Reinhard Heydrich: Volume 1 - The Road To War, p. 30
  8. ^ Deschner, Guenther. (1981) Heydrich: The Pursuit of Total Power
  9. ^ Williams, Max. (2001) Reinhard Heydrich: Volume 1 - The Road To War, pp. 22, 30
  10. ^ Williams, Max. (2001) Reinhard Heydrich: Volume 1 - The Road To War, p. 21
  11. ^ Williams, Max. (2001) Reinhard Heydrich: Volume 1 - The Road To War, pp. 92, 94, 103, 104
  12. ^ Williams, Max. (2003) Reinhard Heydrich: Volume 2 - Enigma
  13. ^ Lehrer, Steven (2000). Wannsee House and the Holocaust. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-7864-0792-7. 
  14. ^ Lehrer, Steven (2002). Hitler Sites: A City-by-city Guidebook (Austria, Germany, France, United States). p. 224. ISBN 0-7864-1045-0. 
  15. ^ Williams, Max. (2003) Reinhard Heydrich: Volume 2 - Enigma

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bullock, Alan (1962) [1952]. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-013564-0. 
  • Dederichs, Mario R. (2006), Heydrich: The Face of Evil, Greenhill Books, London, ISBN 1-85367-686-1.
  • Deschner, Guenther. (1981), Heydrich: The Pursuit of Total Power, Orbis, ISBN 978-0-85-613295-7.
  • Heydrich, Lina. (1976), Leben mit einem Kriegsverbrecher ("Life with a War Criminal"), Ludwig Verlag, Pfaffenhofen, ISBN 3-7787-1025-7.
  • McNab, Chris (2009). The SS: 1923–1945. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-49-5. 
  • Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography, Volume 1—Road To War. Church Stretton: Ulric Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9537577-5-6. 
  • Williams, Max (2003). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography, Volume 2—Enigma. Church Stretton: Ulric Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9537577-6-3.