During World War I 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, specializing in the surveillance of Communist Party functionaries and making a special study of Soviet Russian police methods. Partly because of his expertise in this field, he was picked out by Reinhard Heydrich to be his closest associate and second-in-command of the Gestapo.
From 1935, was virtual head of the Gestapo, even though he was not 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 w hen 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 missions' such as the elimination of leading generals (the Blomberg-Fritsch affair), spying on colleagues and despatching political adversaries without scruples. Müller combined excessive zeal in his duties with docility towards his masters. The model of the cold, dispassionate Police Chief and the bureaucratic fanatic, 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-General and Police Chief on 9 November 1941.
As head of Amt IV (Gestapo) in the RSHA from 1939 to 1945, Müller was more directly involved in the ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Question' than even his superiors, Heydnch, Himmler and Kaltenbrunner. He 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 the same tenor, which reveal his zeal in carrying out orders. In the summer of 1943 he was sent to Rome to pressure the Italians, who were proving singularly inefficient and unenthusiastic 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, near Breslau, at the end of March 1944. Müller's whereabouts at the end of the war are still shrouded in mystery.
He was last seen in the Führerbunker on 28 April 1945, after which he disappeared. Though his bunal 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 (he had established contact with Soviet agents before the end of the war), either to Moscow, Albania or to East Germany. Other uncorroborated reports also placed him in Latin America.
Physical Characteristics: The short, stocky Bavarian, with the square head of a peasant and a hard, dry, expressionless face.