|“||You are in the hands of the Gestapo. Don't imagine that we shall show you the slightest consideration. The Führer has already shown the world that he is invincible and soon he will come and liberate the people of England from the Jews and plutocrats such as you. It is war and Germany is fighting for her existence. You are in the greatest danger and if you want to live another day must be very careful.||„|
|~ Heinrich Muller, to Sigismund Payne Best|
Heinrich "Gestapo" Müller (April 28, 1900 - May 1, 1945) was a German police officer and chief of the Gestapo, the political secret state police of Nazi Germany, and was involved in the planning and execution of Jews, Blacks, Poles, Slavs, Communists, Homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Freemasons, disabled, and mentally ill during The Holocaust. He was known as "Gestapo Müller" to distinguish him from another SS general named Heinrich Müller.
Müller joined the Nazi Party at the insistence of Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich. Shortly after, he joined the Schutzstaffel and was recruited into the Gestapo by Heydrich, who was in charge of the Gestapo at the time. By 1936, Müller had become the operations chief of the Gestapo. He was made Inspector of the Security Police for all of Austria following the 1938 Anschluss, while his close friend Franz Josef Huber took charge of the Gestapo office in Vienna. One of Müller's first major acts occurred during the Kristallnacht pogrom of 9–10 November 1938, when he ordered the arrest of between 20,000–30,000 Jews.
In September 1939, when the Gestapo and other police organizations were consolidated under Heydrich into the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), Müller was appointed as the new chief of the Gestapo. In this new position, Müller played a leading role in the detection and suppression of all forms of resistance to the Nazi regime. Trusted by both Heydrich and Himmler, Müller was pivotal in making the Gestapo the "central executive organ of National Socialist terror" according to historians Carsten Dams and Michael Stolle. Under his leadership, the Gestapo succeeded in infiltrating and to a large extent, destroying Nazi opposition groups like the underground networks of the left-wing Social Democratic Party and Communist Party. Along these lines, historian George C. Browder asserts that Müller's "expertise and his ardent hate for Communism guaranteed his future".
When Adolf Hitler and his army chiefs asked for a pretext for the invasion of Poland in 1939, Himmler, Heydrich, and Müller masterminded and carried out a false flag project code-named Operation Himmler. During one of the operations, the clandestine mission to a German radio station on the Polish border, Müller helped collect a dozen or so condemned men from camps, who were then dressed in Polish uniforms. In exchange for their participation, the men were told by Müller that "they would be pardoned and released." Instead, the men were given a lethal injection and gunshot wounds to make them appear to have been killed in action during a fake attack. These incidents (particularly the staged attack on the Gleiwitz radio station) were then used in Nazi propaganda to justify the invasion of Poland, the opening event of World War II.
Müller occupied a position in the Nazi hierarchy close to Himmler, the overall head of the Nazi police apparatus and the chief architect of the plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe, and Eichmann, the man entrusted with arranging the deportations of Jews to the Eastern ghettoes and death camps. Eichmann headed the Gestapo's "Office of Resettlement" and then its "Office of Jewish Affairs" (the RSHA Amt IV sub-section known as Referat IV B4). He was Müller's subordinate. Müller was also involved in the regime's policy towards the Jews, although Himmler and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels drove this area of policy.
Although his chief responsibility was always police work within Germany, he was fully in charge and thus responsible to execute the extermination of the Jews of Europe. When Eichmann reported to Müller sometime in the middle of 1941 that he had been informed by Himmler that the Führer had ordered the physical destruction of the Jews for instance, Müller silently nodded at his desk, indicating to Eichmann that he already knew. Correspondingly, Müller received detailed reports from Eichmann about the Einsatzgruppen death squad units, which according to historian Raul Hilberg killed more than two million people, including 1.3 million Jews between 1941 and 1945. At the end of June 1941, Müller dispatched Eichmann to Minsk, so he could collect detailed information on the execution activities. In August 1941, Müller ordered that these killing reports be forwarded to Hitler. Attempting to keep the brutality of the wholesale slaughter occurring in the East as quiet as possible, Müller sent a telegram to the Einsatzgruppen towards the end of August 1941, which explicitly instructed them "to prevent the crowding of spectators during the mass executions." On October 23rd, 1941, Müller briefed a circular to SiPo stations which exclusively prohibited any future Jewish emigration out of German controlled territory, a directive which presaged their imminent extermination.
After the assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler on July 20th, 1944, Müller was placed in charge of the arrest and interrogation of all those suspected of involvement in the resistance. Over 5,000 people were arrested and about 200 executed. Not long after the anti-Nazi resisters were sadistically killed, Müller allegedly exclaimed, "We won't make the same mistake as in 1918. We won't leave our internal German enemies alive." In the last months of the war, Müller remained at his post, apparently still confident of a German victory — he told one of his officers in December 1944 that the Ardennes offensive would result in the recapture of Paris
He was last seen in the Führerbunker in Berlin on May 1st, 1945, a day after Hitler's death, when Hans Baur recalled Heinrich stating he had no intention of being captured by the soviets. Heinrich remains the most senior figure of the Nazi regime who was never captured or confirmed to have died. Some believe he died or committed suicide in Berlin while others believe he made it to South America with other fellow escaped Nazi war criminals.
The theory of his survival was increased in the 1960s with Adolf Eichmann admitting that Müller might still be alive. One theory suggests that either the United States or the Soviet Union recruited Müller and employed him during the Cold War, but this theory has never been substantiated. His true fate remains unknown to this day.
- Unlike many Nazi leaders who were opposed to Christianity, Müller was a devout Roman Catholic.
- Which is ironic since he was one of Martin Bormann's good friends within the Nazi Regime, since Bormann hated Catholics and wanted to rid Germany of Christianity.
- One of the reason's the Allies couldn't find Heinrich Müller, is because the name was common in Germany and Heinrich had no middle name.