Lina Mathilde Heydrich-von Osten, born 04-06-1911 on Fehmarn, the daughter of a minor German aristocrat who worked as a schoolteacher. Lina met Reinhard Heydrich in December 1930, and was married 26-12-1931. They had four children. She claimed that she knew nothing about Reinhard Heydrich’s crimes committed while he was head of the RSHA, or Reichssicherheitshauptamt, Reich Main Security Office. Lina von Osten met the then Naval Leutnant Heydrich on 06-12-1930, at a gala hosted by the school rowing club in Kiel which Lina attended There was an immediate attraction and after only a few dates the couple became engaged on 18-12-1930. Lina von Osten was nineteen at the time and was already a member of the NSDAP , Heydrich was not, and she, and her Nazi connections, helped put Heydrich in the way of what turned out to be his spectacular Nazi career. After Heydrich’s dismissal from the navy, they married at a small church in Grossenbrode on 26-12-1931. Lina Heydrich gave birth to two sons, Klaus, born 17-06-1933, and Heider, born 13-12-1934.
By the late 1930’s, the duties of Reinhard Heydrich led him to work long hours and often be away from home. This left Lina at home with the children and having to run the household alone. The serious strain on their marriage nearly resulted in divorce. However, the reconciled Heydrich couple had another child, a daughter named Silke, born 09-04-1939. Reinhard proudly showed off his baby daughter and they had a close relationship. Their fourth child, a daughter named Marte, born 23-07-1942, looking like her father, was born shortly after Reinhard Heydrich’s death. Reinhard Heydrich was attacked in Prague on 27 May 1942 by a British-trained team of Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been sent by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile (see Edvard Beneš)
to kill him in an operation code named Operation Anthropoid. Jan Kubish and Josef Gabcik
attacked his staff car and threw a hand grenade in the car which wounded Heydrich. He died from his injuries a week later. Intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Lidice was razed to the ground; all adult males were executed, and all but a handful of its women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps. In 1944, Lina Heydrich had Heider removed from the Hitler Youth out of fear that he may meet the same fate as his father.
Lina’s eldest son, Reinhard Klaus
, died as a result of a traffic accident on 24-10-1943, age 10. On that day, Klaus was cycling with his brother Heider Heydrich in the courtyard of the Castle Jungfern-Breschan. Seeing that the gate to the street was open, Klaus rode out onto the street where he was struck by a small truck coming down the road. Klaus died from his injuries later that afternoon. In 1965 she met Finnish theater director Mauno Manninen
while she was on a holiday trip to Finland. Mauno Manninen died age 54 in 1969. Eventually they married for the purpose of changing her last name. She received a German state pension and ran Reinhard Heydrich’s former summer house on Fehmarn as a restaurant and inn until it burned down in February 1969. Her son Heider
is now a retired engineer in the Bavarian city of Wörthsee. He does not talk about his father. Heydrich’s daughter Marte Beyer still lives on Fehmarn and is an owner of a fashion shop in the city of Burg. Lina wrote a memoir,
Leben mit einem Kriegsverbrecher, Life with a War Criminal. Till the very end she claimed that she knew nothing about her former husband’s terrible crimes, committed or ordered to be committed, while he was head of the Reich Security Service.
Death and burial ground of Heydrich-von Osten, Lina Mathilde.
She spoke with several authors, sent in letters of correction to many newspapers, and defended her late husband, Reinhard Heydrich , until her death in Fehmarn at the age of 74