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Heinrich Müller

"Gestapo Müller"

Heinrich Müller

Heinrich Müller was Head of the Gestapo during World War Two and Adolf Eichmann’s immediate superior, responsible for implementing the “Final Solution”.

Heinrich Müller was born in Munich on 28 April 1901, of Catholic parents. During the Great War he served as a flight leader on the eastern front and was awarded the Iron Cross First Class.

After the war the ambitious Müller made his career in the Bavarian police, specialising in the surveillance of Communist Party functionaries and making a special study of Soviet police methods.

Partly because of his expertise in the field, he was picked out by Reinhard Heydrich to be his closest associate and second-in –command of the Gestapo.

From 1935 the short, stocky Bavarian, with the square head of a peasant and a hard, dry, expressionless face, was virtual head of the Gestapo, even though he was not initially a member of the Nazi Party.

Müller was politically suspect to influential members of the Party, who resented his past record in the Munich State Police, when he had worked against the Nazis.

Not until 1939 was he officially admitted to the NSDAP, yet the stubborn, self-opinionated Müller was highly regarded by both Himmler and Heydrich, who admired his professional competence, blind obedience and willingness to execute “delicate mission,” such as the elimination of leading generals, for example the Blomberg – Fritsch affair.

He also excelled in spying on colleagues and despatching political adversaries without scruples, and the infamous “canned goods” fake attack on the radio station at Gleiwitz, that provided Hitler with the excuse to invade Poland, and thus plunge Europe into the Second World War.

Letter from Heydrich to the Reich Foreign Minister regarding the Reich Office for Jewish Emigration 1939

Müller combined excessive zeal in his duties with docility towards his masters, the very model of a cold dispassionate police chief and bureaucratic fanatic, he earned the nickname “Gestapo- Müller.“.

Müller was rapidly promoted by Heydrich to SS – Colonel in 1937, SS- Brigadier on 20 April 1939, SS- Major General on 14 December 1940, SS- Lieutenant and Police Chief on 9 November 1941.

As head of Amt IV in the RSHA from 1939 to 1945, Müller was more directly involved in the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, than even his superiors, Heydrich, Himmler, and Kaltenbrunner.

Müller signed the circulating order requiring the immediate delivery to Auschwitz by 31 January 1943 of 45,000 Jews for extermination, and countless other documents of a similar nature, which reveal his zeal in carrying out orders.

In the summer of 1943, he was sent to Rome to pressurise the Italians, who were proving somewhat apathetic in arresting Jews. Until the end of the war, Heinrich Müller continued his remorseless prodding of subordinates to greater efforts in sending Jews to Auschwitz.


In his hands mass murder became an automatic administrative procedure, Müller exhibited a similar streak in his treatment of Russian prisoners of war and gave the order to shoot British Officers who had escaped from detention at Sagan, near Breslau, at the end of March 1944.

Müller’s whereabouts at the end of the war are shrouded in mystery – he was last seen in the Fuhrerbunker on 28 April 1945, after which he disappeared.



Though his burial was recorded on 17 May 1945, when the body was later exhumed, it could not be identified. There were persistent rumours that he had defected to the East – for he had established contact with Soviet agents before the end of the war, either to Moscow, Albania or East Germany.

Letter from Huber in Vienna to Müller

Letter from Müller to Huber

Müller was last seen in the bunker on April 29, 1945, the day before Hitler's suicide. Hans Baur, Hitler's pilot, later quoted Müller as saying, "We know the Russian methods exactly. I haven't the faintest intention of being taken prisoner by the Russians." From that day onwards, no trace of him has ever been found. He is the most senior member of the Nazi regime about whose fate nothing is known. This has naturally given rise to decades of speculation. There are three possible explanations for his disappearance:

That Müller was killed, or killed himself, during the chaos of the fall of Berlin, and that his body was never found. This is what happened to Bormann, who was unaccounted for until his remains were found in 1972, and who is now known to have killed himself or been killed soon after leaving the bunker.

That Müller escaped from Berlin and made his way to a safe location, possibly in South America, as did Eichmann and many others, where he lived the rest of his life undetected, and that his identity was not disclosed even after his death.



Who’s Who in Nazi Germany by Robert S Wistrich published by Routledge, London and New York 1995

"Gestapo Chief: The 1948 Interrogation of Heinrich Müller" Gregory Douglas. San Jose, CA: R. James Bender, 1995



Copyright CW/CL H.E.A.R.T 2007



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