History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


 

 

 

915602

Reinhard Heydrich

Heydrich’s personal copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf,

signed by Heydrich and bearing his personal bookplate

Reinhard Eugen Tristan Heydrich, 19041942. Nazi SS Obergruppenführer; head of the Gestapo. Extremely rare and important association book, Heydrich’s personal library copy of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, signed Heydrich in pencil on the front free endpaper.

The brutal Heydrich was second in importance only to Heinrich Himmler in the Nazi Protective Squadron, the Schutzstaffel or SS, and was a principal architect of the Nazis’ plan to exterminate the Jews.  Because of his early assassination at age 38, his autographic material is rare, and it is becoming much more difficult to find.

On Hitler’s order, in July 1941 Reichmarschall Hermann Göring instructed Heydrich to design “a general plan . . . for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.”  Heydrich convened the Wannsee Conference in January 1942.  The resulting plan sought to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe and the Soviet Union, some 11 million people.  “Europe,” Heydrich said, “would be combed of Jews from east to west.”  The official conference minutes, which Heydrich edited, note that instead of immigration, “there is now a further possible solution to which the Führer has already signified his consent—namely deportation to the east.”  The idea was to deport Jews to ghettos in Poland and from there to extermination camps planned at Belsec, Sobibor, and Treblinka.  Heydrich delighted in forcing the Jews themselves to help organize, administer, and finance the plan through Jewish councils that kept records of names and assets.

In September 1941, Heydrich, who had befriended Hitler as well as Himmler, was appointed Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, headquartered in Prague.  He replaced Konstantin von Neurath, whom Hitler thought insufficiently harsh.  Heydrich was brutally repressive toward the Czech resistance.  He also established a Jewish ghetto at Theresienstadt.

On May 27, 1942, a squadron of Czechoslavakian assassins, trained in Britain for the Czech government in exile, attacked Heydrich’s car as it slowed to make a sharp turn on a street in Prague.  Heydrich was severely wounded by debris from a grenade explosion, and he died on June 4, 1942.  Hitler termed him “irreplaceable.”

This book, which contains both parts of Mein Kampf, is the ninth printing, published in German in Munich in 1932.  It has a blue cloth cover gold stamped with the Nazi eagle and swastika on the front and Hitler’s name and the title on the spine, and it contains a photograph of Hitler with a preprinted signature beneath it.  Heydrich’s bookplate is affixed inside the front cover. The bookplate exactly matches—down to the very stamp used to imprint his name on it—another of Heydrich’s personal books that we previously sold.  Click here to compare the bookplate in that book.

The cover is worn and a bit frayed, and there are breaks in the binding at the front and back, but overall the binding is tight. The defects in the book’s condition pale in comparison to its rarity and importance.

We reject Nazism and all that it represented. We nevertheless offered this book because of its extreme rarity and because Nazism, although despised, played a large role in the history of the 20th Century.

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This item has been sold.

 

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