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      From the papers of Jean Vaughan, American authoress       

         [Translated by Maria K Shnell. No German text available]   

Lina Heydrich to Jean Vaughan, December(?) 1951.

This is the answer to your letter of Nov. 24.

1. I think it rather superfluous that Herr Niemann should keep up a further correspondence with Herr Neumann. I am afraid that Herr Niemann would not be very successful for everybody, especially people with some "past" are very hesitating and distrustful.

2. It was very interesting for me to hear from you that in foreign countries there is the rumour of Walter Schellenberg's death. Now, to make it entirely clear, I speak of that Schellenberg who was sent into Sweden to [Count] Bernadotte by Himmler in 1945, who stayed there until the Allied forces had him given up to them, who then was kept in Great Britain in order to write and who then came to Nürnberg into the Justizpalast.

His comrades look upon him as a traitor for he is said to have disclosed much at that time and to have written in the tendency of putting the whole blame on my husband, while he pictured himself without any blame. Here he is called the crown witness against the SD (there is no such institution as crown-witness in the German justice). In 1950 he wrote a book: Die geheime Front (the secret front) under the name of Walter Hagen. [Website note: nicht Walter Schellenberg schrieb unter dem Pseudonym "Walter Hagen", sondern Wilhelm Höttl.] In his early time Schellenberg was the fellow worker of my husband, he entered the SD as a Referendar then he was advanced quickly and at the time of my husband's death he was the head of the Section 6 [Amt VI] (spies in foreign countries). In June 1942 people wanted to know that he was very eager to get the place of my late husband to become chief of the SD. Later on, when Kaltenbrunner had become chief of the SD, he always kept close to him, to this politically untrained man, and knew how to attain the favour of Himmler.

Therefore it is no wonder that Schellenberg became the successor of Canaris. Whether Sch. is to blame for the death of Canaris, I don't know, but I know for sure that if my husband had been living, Canaris never would have been hanged. Experts also say, that there never would have been a July 20th, on the one hand nobody [would have] had dared it, and on the other hand my husband had mentioned to me the people of the 20th July [1944 plot] as politically suspicious years before the actual happenings. It was my husband's opinion that only very few officers were able or willing to think politically. For too many years they had been educated as 'unpolitical soldiers.' But to speak once more of Schellenberg, I want to mention to you that there had been a General Schellenberg, who was murdered by partisans in Flanders in spring 1945. Members of the Flemish Waffen SS describe his dying as heroic.

3. Herr Neumann misled Herr Niemann. Herr Neumann lives with Philipp Röhm at Hannover. His wife who lives at Timmendorf / Ostsee, wrote that to me a fortnight ago. If we need Herrn Neumann I can be in touch with him at any time.

4. Herr Niemann was not director of the National Museum in Prague. I asked the chief of the Museum of Brno (Brünn) about it. This Museum of Herr Niemann was a private institution of the German Army, and was unknown to all who had not exactly to do something with it. I don't want to say anything against Herrn Niemann. He is an honourable man, but perhaps not any too bright.

5. Herr Fuchs doesn't count, a person who makes much ado about nothing, likes to earn quickly much money by journalists. He doesn't know anything new about my husband. I know him and his family thoroughly. A brother of Frau Fuchs' worked in the office of my husband, but was killed in the war.

6. There is a misunderstanding about Oberhauser. I did not speak about Oberhauser but Oberg, whom you mentioned at the end of your letter. I know Oberg and Knochen quite well. If it would be possible for you to see or come into contact with Mr Oberg, it would be very valuable. But I am afraid that under the present conditions it will be exceedingly difficult and that perhaps he cannot tell all he knows. I correspond with his wife and expect her news about this possibility daily. I do not know Oberhauser personally. But I think it is correct what [short line missing…]

7. Heinz Heydrich does not live any more. [Website note: Brother of Reinhard Heydrich, committed suicide on the eastern front, 1944]. I am going to ask his wife to write all she knows about his life. Heydrich with sonThey have 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. Peter Heydrich 19, Isa [sic] Heydrich (girl) 16, Ingrid 15, Heider, 13 or 12, and Hartmut 8 years. (I myself have a son Heider, 16 years [see photo at right, talen 1936]. So don't get them mixed up!)

8. A Mrs Chandler is entirely unknown to me, but I shall enquire about her.

9. We will have to talk personally about the "Spiegel" as well as about Himmler, Mrs Himmler, and Häschen [Hedwig] Potthast [Himmler's young mistress].They are all rather subtle and delicate questions, and not quite easy to understand, at the same time they are typical for their mentality. Mrs Himmler did not love me.

10. Otto Strasser really is not worth-while contacting. He does not know the development in Germany during 1933-45 personally, all he knows he heard through third persons. You ought to let people talk who had been in the midst of it.

11. You err in the idea that my husband avoided people or kept away from them from personal dislike. He only saw the idea, the aim. Strasser was opposed to the Third Reich, and that fact decided. In 1939 Göring once intended to arrest my husband. But that was no reason for my husband to hate him. Personal hatred as well as personal friendships were unknown feelings for my husband.

Goebbels, Göring, and all the others were just persons who had to do, sometimes more, sometimes less, with his own work. Besides that they were ministers and as these they were high above his own rank. He was equal to them only when he was ordered to his place in Prague [September 1941]. We had no social intercourse with any of the ministers. My husband had some personal human inclination towards [Albert] Speer and [Herbert] Backe, who were nearer his own age.

It is also a high overvaluation of my husband's position to call him the 'Kronprinz.' Hitler did not love him. Whenever my husband's fellow-workers asked him to ask for a conference with Hitler, because Himmler was unable to attain their aims, my husband used to say, 'Don't go to see the prince, when you are not called. (I translated the German saying: Geh nicht zu Deinem Fürst, wenn Du nicht gerufen wirst. Perhaps there is a similar saying in English, but I do not know it.)

Hitler did not like my husband, because my husband told Hitler the plain truth, and that was not always agreeable for Hitler. My husband never ceased warning, and he often called himself the "German Reich's midwife," [Hebamme] or "its charwoman" [Putzfrau].

My husband did not think much of the Foreign Office, and he thought Ribbentrop much to vain and self sufficient. [Website comment here: I feel that Lina is protesting too much -- is here lapsing into established clichés of the 1950s; from other sources we know that Hitler held Heydrich in very high esteem, and even considered him a possible successor.]. I think he never would have left his SD [Nachtrag Linas: in order to enter the Foreign Office work]. The SD was the task and work of his life. But I think we will have to talk about it.

12. And now about the Heydrichs. [Photos not posted here] The photo of 1922: left- [first line of next page missing] … called Mausi. The boy of the picture (Heinz and myself) is my eldest boy Klaus, who was killed in an [road] accident in Oct 43 in Breschan. The picture was taken in Jungfern-Breschan, my widow-rest (is that a correct expression??) in Nov 42, when we were out hunting.

Elisabeth Krantz, my mother-in-law, died from starvation in the Russian zone, in 1946. The name of the [word: surle?] is Hans and not Mols. Elisabeth Krantz had two brothers, Kurt and Hans, who were directors of the conservatoire, after that had trainings as merchants in London. Bruno Heydrich [father of the SS Obergruppenführer] died from inflammation of the lungs in 1937 and is buried in Halle. My children are: 1. Klaus, killed in an accident in Jungfern-Breschan (Czech: Panenske Breszany) on Oct 23, 1943; 2. Heider, born Dec 28, 1934; 3. Silke, born Apr 9, 1939 (all three born in Berlin); and 4. Marthe, born 23rd of July in Breschan.

13. My husband [Reinhard Heydrich] never was the adjunct [adjutant] of Canaris, though they knew each other from their time in the Navy. Neither had my husband ever been commander [commandant] of Oranienburg. I don't know if there had been a person of the same name.

I still have to talk to you about the inner organisation of the SD.

The nurse on the picture is Trude Flöter.

14. Heydrich and the concentration camps is a chapter by itself. It is entirely wrong to hold him responsible for the ………….ings [half a line lost]. Never is a judge held responsible for the condition of a prison. The concentration camps had commanders [commandants] who were installed by Himmler and who were responsible to him. They had rather far reaching authority. If a man died in the camp, reports had to be handed in to my husband as to the cause of his death, as well as pictures. In this way misuse of authority was disclosed and it was also punished. (See the case of Koch). When inmates of the camps were put to work these groups stood under the survey of the SS Wirtschaftsamt [SS Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt], the chief of which was [Oswald] Pohl. My husband never had to decide as to life or death. He was responsible for the security and safety of the Reich, and only he who worked against it endangered himself. And is that not the way and rule in every country else?

15. Sepp Dietrich is an old comrade of Hitler. He had been locksmith by profession, and in the course of time and events he became the commander of the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH). He has been sentenced in Dachau to 20 years imprisonment. He is imprisoned in Landsberg a. Lech. The reason for his sentence is not known. He did not belong to the office of my husband. But so many people have been sentenced and even hanged who had nothing to do with us. After 1945 Dachau was the concentration camp prison for war criminals of the Americans. There was much excitement about the methods that were used to obtain avowals [confessions] and many educated Americans are disgusted with the inhuman methods that [line missing …?] for refugees from Czechlosvakia. I don't know whether there is still some kind of prison. Sepp Dietrich was much beloved by his men, they would have gone through fire for him. I don't think that he knows anything about my husband. Besides there is a very strict censor. The inmates are allowed to write only a certain number of words and every letter is censored. I don't think that you would get anything from there to help you.

Well I am now at the end of my letter. Your letter, Miss Vaughan, shows me again how important it is that we should come into personal contact. Please don't put off the plan to come here. Everything would be so much easier and perhaps more correct.

Yours, sig. L H

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