Reinhard Heydrich is widely recognized as one of the great iconic villains of the twentieth century, an appalling figure even within the context of the Nazi leadership. Chief of the Nazi Criminal Police, the SS Security Service, and the Gestapo, ruthless overlord of Nazi-occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and leading planner of the "Final Solution," Heydrich played a central role in Hitler's Germany. He shouldered a major share of responsibility for some of the worst Nazi atrocities, and up to his assassination in Prague in 1942, he was widely seen as one of the most dangerous men in Nazi Germany. Yet Heydrich has received remarkably modest attention in the extensive literature of the Third Reich. Robert Gerwarth weaves together little-known stories of Heydrich's private life with his deeds as head of the Nazi Reich Security Main Office. Fully exploring Heydrich's progression from a privileged middle-class youth to a rapacious mass murderer, Gerwarth sheds new light on the complexity of Heydrich's adult character, his motivations, the incremental steps that led to unimaginable atrocities, and the consequences of his murderous efforts toward re-creating the entire ethnic makeup of Europe.
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Robert Gerwarth is a professor of modern history at University College Dublin and the director of its Centre for War Studies. The author of The Bismarck Myth, he has studied and taught in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
Napoleon Ryan is a British actor from London. He began his career on stage, acting in the West End and touring with plays and musicals across Britain, Ireland, and Europe. Napoleon performs on television and in films, and is also known for his work as an audiobook narrator.
"This admirable biography makes plausible what actually happened and makes human what we might prefer to dismiss as monstrous." ---The Wall Street Journal
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