When Donner gives us the ages of Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, and Hermann Goring — self’s jaw drops to the floor. Heinrich Himmler, “leader of the SS and architect of the concentration camp system” is thirty-three. THIRTY-THREE! Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Gestapo, is thirty.
The oldest, Goring, is forty-one.
omg. Rank amateurs, all three. The Night of the Long Knives was their rehearsal.
- In Munich, a man is playing cello in the study of his apartment while his wife prepares dinner and their three children, ages nine, eight, and two, play a game. The doorbell rings. Four SS officers march in and arrest him. Later, they shoot him and deliver his casket to his wife with an apology. The man wasn’t who they thought he was. They’d confused Willi Schmid, a music critic, with Willi Schmidt, a Storm Trooper.