Decorations of Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich (07.03.1904-04.06.1942) made history as one of the most sinister personalities of the Third Reich and is often regarded as probably the darkest figure of the National Socialist elite feared throughout Germany. During his short life Heydrich held several key posts in the state machine – director of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), head of Gestapo, acting protector of Bohemia and Moravia and even president of Interpol. His professional military career began in the Reichsmarine of the Weimar Republic where he was finally promoted to Oberleutnant zur See on July 01, 1928. Interesting to know that Heydrich also served as Hauptmann and then Major der Reserve of the Luftwaffe. Being a skilled civilian pilot prior to the war, he obtained a personal permission of General der Flieger Bruno Lörzer to fly combat missions since the very beginning of the WWII. He flew over Poland, Norway, England and Scotland initially as a gunner in bombers, and as a fighter pilot shortly after. He continued reconnaissance missions at the Eastern Front until being forced to make an emergency landing after aerial combat with Soviet fighters on July 22, 1941 and barely escaping Russian captivity. However, his military career was never fated to become a glittering one as he linked his destiny with Himmler and SS. He was catapulted into the rank of the SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei on September 27, 1941.

German decorations, awards, badges and honorary distinctions

- SS Honour Ring (Totenkopfring für SS-Angehörige) /December 24, 1933/
- Honour Chevron of the Old Guard (Ehrenwinkel der alten Kämpfer) /February 1934/
- SS Yule Lantern (Julleuchter der SS) /December 16, 1935/
- German Olympic Decoration 1st Class (Deutsches Olympia-Ehrenzeichen 1.Klasse) /1936/
- Commemorative Medal of March 13, 1938 (Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13.März 1938) /1938/
- Commemorative Medal of October 1, 1938 with the Prague Castle clasp (Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1.Oktober 1938 mit der Spange “Prager Burg”) /1938/
- NSDAP Golden Party Badge (Goldenes Ehrenzeichen der NSDAP) /January 30, 1939/
- The Return of Memel Commemorative Medal (Medaille zur Erinnerung an die Heimkehr des Memellandes) /1939/
- Westwall Medal (Deutsches Schutzwall-Ehrenzeichen, a.k.a. Westwall-Medaille) /1939/
- Danzig Cross 1st Class (Danziger Kreuz 1.Klasse) /1939/
- SS Long Service Award, 3rd Class (SS-Dienstauszeichnung 3.Stufe) /1939/
- Honour Sword of the SS Reichsführer (Ehrendegen des Reichsführers-SS) /1930s/
- SA Sports Badge in Gold (SA-Sportabzeichen in Gold) /1930s/
- German Sports Badge in Silver (Deutsches Reichssportabzeichen in Silber) /1930s/
- German Red Cross Decoration 1st Class (Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes 1.Klasse) /1930s/
- 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2.Klasse) /May 1940/
- 1939 Iron Cross 1st Class (Eisernes Kreuz 1.Klasse) /July 1941/
- Day Fighter Operational Flying Clasp in Bronze (Frontflugspange für Tagjäger in Bronze) /1941/
- Day Fighter Operational Flying Clasp in Silver (Frontflugspange für Tagjäger in Silber) /July 1941/
- Police Long Service Award 3rd Class (Polizei-Dienstauszeichnung 3.Stufe) /1941/
- Pilot/Observer Badge in Gold with Diamonds (Gemeinsame Flugzeugführer- und Beobachterabzeichen in Gold mit Brillanten, a.k.a. “Luftwaffen-Doppelabzeichen”) /presented to R.Heydrich by Hermann Göring in 1941/
- Badge of Honour for Caring for the German Nation, 1st Class (Ehrenzeichen für deutsche Volkspflege I.Stufe)
- Police Long Service Award 2nd Class (Polizei-Dienstauszeichnung 2.Stufe)
- NSDAP Long Service Award, 3rd Class (Dienstauszeichnung der NSDAP in Bronze)
- Pilot’s Badge (Flugzeugführerabzeichen)
- German Equestrian Badge in Silver (Deutsches Reiterabzeichen in Silber)
- Record-holder and Master of Sports’ Badge of the German Imperial League for Physical Exercise (Leistungs- und Meisterschaftsabzeichen des Deutschen Reichsbundes für Leibesübungen)

Decorations presented to Reinhard Heydrich by foreign states

Kingdom of Bulgaria
- Order of Saint Alexander, Officer Grand Cross (Орден “Свети Александър”, голям офицерски кръст)

Kingdom of Hungary
- Order of Merit, Commander Cross (Magyar Érdemrend középkeresztje csillag a középkereszthez)

Kingdom of Italy
- Order of the Crown of Italy, Knight Grand Cross (Grand’Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Corona d’Italia) /April 20, 1937/
- Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Commander Cross (Commendatore dell’Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro) /September 29, 1937/
- Honour dagger of the National Fascist Party and the Volunteer Militia for National Security, Model 1937 (Pugnale d’onore della PNF e MVSN Modello 1937) /October 19, 1937/
- Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Knight Grand Cross (Grand’Ufficiale dell’Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro) /October 18, 1938/
- Order of the Crown of Italy, Grand Cross (Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’Ordine della Corona d’Italia) /October 18, 1938/
- Military Order of Savoy, Grand Cross (Gran Croce dell’Ordine militare di Savoia) /1930s/
- Breast Badge of the Italian Royal Air Force, Model 1937 (Brevetto da Pilota della Regia Aeronautica Italiana Modello 1937)

Great Empire of Japan
- Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cordon /awarded posthumously in June 1942/

Kingdom of Yugoslavia
- Order of Saint Sava, Grand Cross (Орден Светог Саве 1.реда) /October 18, 1938/

Decorations awarded posthumously on June 09, 1942

- Gold Cross 1st Class with Swords and Oakleaves of the German Order of the Great German Empire (Goldenes Kreuz 1.Klasse mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern des Deutschen Ordens)
- Decoration in Memory of November 9, 1923, a.k.a. the Blood Order (Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 9. November 1923, a.k.a. Blutorden)
- 1939 Wound Badge 1st Class (Verwundetenabzeichen in Gold) /awarded in contravention of the statute of the Badge as the latter wasn’t intended for decoration of killed in action servicemen/