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      From the papers of Jean Vaughan, American authoress       

         [10 handwritten pages, translated by Maria K Shnell.
We have corrected spellings, but not grammar or syntax. No German text available]   

Date uncertain, but appears to be 7. IV.51. A postmark on an adjacent envelope in the file reads Burg, 24.4.51

Lina Heydrich, Mar 7, 1951, writes 10 handwritten pages from Burg-Fehmarn, Staakenweg 50 in Schleswig-Holstein, to authoress Jean Vaughan

"Translation continued"

IN June 1934 Himmler was offered the post as head of the police in Prussia (Polizeichef) by Göring. He accepted under the condition that my husband became head of the political police. G. agreed hesitatingly. Diehls [sic. Rudolf Diels. Corrected hereafter] was dismissed, my husband was appointed. That happened a few days before June 30th [1934], the day of the Röhm execution.

It is unlikely that my husband knew anything of this affair beforehand, for when he left München on June 28th [1934], he promised to return on June 30th to take me and the child to Berlin. Our furniture was in the van, but he did not come but phoned, that he could not come because "there was something in the air." Then the events followed each other unintermittently. The Leopoldstrasse was closed, guards were put before it; a Putsch of the SA was expected.

There were rumours that Röhm wanted [to] seize the Power and proclaim a military government (Militärdictatur) by the aid of a foreign power, rumours [sic] spoke of agreements between him and the French Botschafter (now High Commissioner in Germ[any, i.e., André François-Poncet].) I heard of all this in the Leopoldstrasse where I lived while our furniture was put on the way to Berlin.

Then I went to Berlin too, and moved into our apartment in Südende. I did not see my husband during this time. He lived in Prinz-Heinrich Str. And later on we hardly ever talked about these things. We were too much appalled. It was uncomprehendable for us that somebody wanted to act against Adold Hitler, the man in whom we saw everything that was good and worth while living for.

How did we honour, love, and adore this man A.H., though most of us, including me, had as yet not seen him. Even my husband had until then hardly had a glimpse of him. It was Himmler who went to him to report, furnished with the reports by my husband. --


A SHORT time after this June 30th, Kapitän z See Schimpf had committed suicide.* He had been the head of the Abwehr (head of department "espionage"). My husband and he were well acquainted, they had often dined together in the Skagerak Club, my husband thought a lot of him.

Canaris, Photo by Walter FrentzNow, what had happened? Schimpf, who as a matter of fact was very happy married, kept up a liaison with their secretary. One day he came to know that this girl had been an agent and that all the confidential files had been betrayed. Perhaps Schimpf did not see any other way out. He shot himself. Later on, after 1945, people said that my husband had shot Schimpf. That is absolutely untrue. The successor of Schimpf was [Vice Admiral Wilhelm] Canaris [right, photo by Walter Frentz], with whom my husband was also acquainted from his time in the Navy.

The subjects of these two offices (SD and Abwehr) had hardly anything to do with each other, therefore we did not pay much attention as to who had become the successor of Schimpf. Therefore we were very much surprised, when one Sunday morning when we returned from a walk with our little son, we met Herrn Canaris and his wife in our street.

As a matter of fact our two apartments were separated only by a few houses. Mrs Canaris played the violin and so soon we came to see each other frequently, and this social intercourse which was not to be interrupted until the death of my husband. In the course of time there developed a sharp rivalry between the two men as to their work in their departments, but that did not touch our private and social life. It was an excellent example of two men who were able to [keep] office affairs apart from private life. How many wonderful evenings did we spend with Canaris and Frau Erika [Canaris]; how many tasty dinners did we have there, which Canaris liked to prepare and cook himself. --

In 1934 the Canaris's moved into a [Berlin] suburb, where they had a little house built. A few months later the apartment house where we lived was sold, so we had to move too. We bought a little house in [Berlin-] Schlachtensee. When we returned from our walk with our two little sons (the second was born in 1934) the first Sunday morning in our new home, we again meet Canaris and his wife, who again lived only a few houses further on. It was like fate itself!

Do you now understand why I think that my husband would never have let C. be hanged [in April 1945 at Flossenbürg]? He surely would have influenced to such a degree that every thing would have gone all right, if some one should have dared to take steps like the 20th of July [1944] during my husband's lifetime. --

We used to see each other on our birthday parties, the two men went together hunting, no festivities in our houses passed without our reciprocal taking part in them. -- We had a picture of the "Dresden" [cruiser] in the Battle of the Falkland Isles [in World War I]. It was a present from Canaris; he had painted it himself.

The "Dresden" was sunk, and he was saved only in the last minute; he had come to Spain then, and there he was sentenced to death. But the evening before the execution he had asked for a priest, a confessor. He succeeded in obtaining this priest's gown, and dressed in his clothes Can[aris] gained his freedom. Canaris told [us] that, when we received the picture. Canaris and his wife were our last guests in Jungfern-Breschan in the end of 1942. They stayed for several days, and I shall never forget these days.


WITH this talk about Canaris, I told things which happened later. I want to talk about things and an event that happened during the Olympiad [1936].

By the way, I wish you to get this correct now: my husband [Reinhard Heydrich] did not fight duels. He had taken up fencing as sport. He did not approve of duels as a way to settle honour affairs. He was skilled in fencing, if [sic. whether] with Degen, Säbel and Florett (I do not know the adequate expressions in English) in the way they use[d] to fence in Italy and France. Do you know what I mean? [Jan 1952 she adds: "My husband became German fencing champion in 1940. His trophy, a golden pin, is still in my possession."]

But now, about the Olympiad. My husband belonged to the Olympiad Committee as fencer. The wives of the members of the Committee had some privileges, for instance we had good places, we had an awful lot of invitations, and so on. This did not suit Himmler. He was used that my husband was second to him, and not he second to my husband. Perhaps there had also been differences between them in the office, I don't know, at any rate his whole displeasure fell on me. I was accused of the most impossible things, my husband was accused of not being able to keep me within my limits, though I lived as quietly as anybody possibly could.

This went so far that Himmler put my husband before the decision either to divorce me or to quit his work [job]. That neither the one nor the other really became a fact may be due to Himmler's own indecision, perhaps he saw that he had gone too far. (See the article in the "Spiegel"). I myself, however, have never entered Himmler's house again, nor have I ever seen H's wife again. Our social connection remained cold but officially correct.

Himmler may also have seen that he was entirely dependent from [on] the work of my husband at least on the police Ressort [department].


THE position of my husband to Hitler is worth while to be shown. The common idea of it is entirely wrong. My husband has reported personally to Hitler only after he had been appointed in Böhmen [Stellv. Reichsprotektor in September 1941].

Before that, he wrote reports, of which he did not know whether they were read. Himmler took them to Hitler, and my husband did not know whether he read them to Hitler, or if in which sense he read them. My husband suffered much from the aloofness of Hitler and he criticised sharply his dislike to see things as they really were. But in spite of that my husband held H. in high esteem until his death (perhaps I should rather translate: veneration). The reason for that may have been the fact that my husband had never been able to study H., that he had never lived close to him.

During these years the Gestapo, the state institution, and the SD, the institution of the Partei, had been fully developed and had become what my husband wanted them to be: a weapon for the good of the state for the good of the people. During this time my husband wrote a booklet, Wandlungen unseres Kampfes (I try to get it somewhere, I don't have it any more myself).

Nothing could happen, the original of which did not become at once known to the Government, and also things that were going on outside the borders of the Reich were well known.

During that time the war began. My husband had just been head of an International Police Committee [Website note: Now known as Interpol]. There was to be a great meeting. The heads of the Police of many foreign countries wanted to come with their wives. Preparations had been made for entertainments, social bees (teas?) and so on, interpreters had been engaged; the whole programme was ready, even the tailors were in activity!

Now did my husband not know anything, did he not want us to know, I don't know. At any rate, he kept an absolute silence, and if he knew of what was to happen, he certainly succeeded in keeping it from us.

Miss Vaughan, I want to close for today.


Sig. L H


[Not quite right: Kapitanleutnant Hans Schimpf 10.4.1933 - 10.4.35 committed suicide after shooting his mistress April 1935]

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