Operation Anthropoid: The Assassination Of The Final Solution's Architect

By | November 6, 2019

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Source: (Wikimedia Commons)

Arguably, Reinhard Heydrich was the vilest of Adolph Hitler’s henchmen. Not only did he organize the phony attack on a German radio station that led to the invasion of Poland but was one of the organizers of Kristallnacht. Further, he was a lead architect of the genocide of Jews known as the “Final Solution.” Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Gestapo said of Heydrich that he was "an ideal always to be emulated, but perhaps never again to be achieved." To provide further context on Heydrich’s reputation, Hitler called him the “man with the iron heart.”

This “man with the iron heart” was the subject of one of the most daring assassinations in history called Operation Anthropoid. But the effects of the mission was so great that historians ask if it was worth it.

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Heydrich on right with Adolph Hitler. Source: (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Heydrich, being the Nazi’s Nazi that he was, was selected to be the Deputy Reich Protector of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. This was the part of Czechoslovakia corresponding roughly to today’s Czech Republic that was formally annexed by Germany. The region was a key producer of coal as well as an important manufacturing center. However, there was a growing resistance movement. From the Nazi viewpoint, the resistance in Czechoslovakia was proof that the Nazis-in-charge had gone soft. Hitler and Himmler sent in Heydrich. "We will Germanize the Czech vermin,” Heydrich told his subordinates after arriving in Prague.