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Heinz Höhne (1926 Berlin, Germany - 27 March 2010 in Großhansdorf) was a German journalist and historian who specialized in Nazi and intelligence history.


Born in Berlin in 1926, Höhne was educated there until he was called to fight during the last months of the Second World War. After the war, he studied journalism in Munich and went on to work for various newspapers as a freelance reporter. In 1955, he was hired by the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, where he joined the foreign staff of the magazine and eventually took charge of the Anglo-American department.

Heinz's efforts covered Nazi history. His work is entitled The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS. (Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf: Die Geschichte der SS). This work first appeared in 1967, and other works subsequently followed, such as his 1971 study of the Soviet Union's spy network entitled Codeword: Direktor.

In 1976, Höhne went on to write Canaris, an interpretation of Hitler's spymaster, who was in charge of the Abwehr.[1]

There are a number of references to Höhne's work on the SS by other historians who have written works on Nazi Germany. More recently, Adrian Weale's work, Army of Evil: A History of the SS frequently cites Höhne's The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS, although challenging some of the assertions found therein.[2]

Another work from Höhne is Krieg im Dunkeln (1985), which examines the centuries-old relationship between Russian and German intelligence. After his retirement, Heinz Höhne worked on a history of the Third Reich, the first volume of which, Gebt mir vier Jahre Zeit, appeared in 1996.

His book The General Was a Spy: The Truth about General Gehlen and his spy ring received a less than glowing review from a CIA analyst.[3]


  1. ^ Heinz Höhne, The Order of the Death's Head (New York: Penguin Books, 1971).
  2. ^ Weale, Adrian (2012). Army of Evil: A History of the SS. New York: NAL Caliber. ISBN 978-0-451-23791-0.
  3. ^ Anonymous (2 July 1996). "The Service: The Memoirs of General Reinhard Gehlen by Reinhard Gehlen. Book review". CIA Historical Review Program (Release in Full). CIA. Retrieved 18 December 2012.