Note 041
by Joachim C. Fest

41 See Frischauer, Himmler. Schellenberg used to emphasize moreover that Heydrich would not have hesitated to liquidate Hitler himself if he had lived to see the progression towards total disaster. But this assumption is evidently based on an overestimation of the power which Heydrich could have mobilized. On the other hand Aronson (see note 11) feels that Heydrich was an insignificant, thoroughly dependent, authority-needing bureaucratic figure; he disputes the idea put forward here of the peculiarly ambivalent relationship between Himmler and Heydrich. Instead he argues Himmler's personal, tactical and administrative superiority. As far as Heydrich is concerned, he gives, I believe, too great weight to the statements of former comrades, particularly those in the Navy; for their remarks on Heydrich's average intelligence, his unremarkableness, and his unimpressive personality were vitiated by the common observation that he had been intolerably taciturn and arrogant The author's remaining observations are predominantly interpretations of behaviour patterns from which deductions with a different emphasis could also be drawn. Aronson's conclusions are only to be contested to the extent that they seek to deny Heydrich almost any individual significance. There is no question that Heydrich knew himself to be curiously inferior to Himmler and this, in the author's view, is related primarily to Heydrich's unsureness about his origin.

From Chapter 8, Reinhard Heydrich , Part 2 of The Face Of The Third Reich by J.C. Fest -- See further Notes

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