Rudolf Heß

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Rudolf Heß

SS-Obergruppenführer Heß; By 20 September 1933, Hitler decreed that he stop using the titles of Reichsleiter and SS-Obergruppenführer, and use only the title of "Deputy of the Fuhrer"

Deputy Führer of the NSDAP
 National Socialist Germany
In office
21 April 1933 – 12 May 1941
Führer Adolf Hitler
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Martin Bormann
(Chief of the Party Chancellery)

Reichsminister without Portfolio
In office
1 December 1933 – 12 May 1941
Chancellor Adolf Hitler

In office
2 June 1933 – 22 September 1933
Führer Adolf Hitler

Born 26 April 1894(1894-04-26)
Alexandria, Khedivate of Egypt
Died 17 August 1987 (aged 93)
Allied Military Prison in Spandau, West Berlin, West Germany
Nationality German
Political party NSDAP (1920–1941)
Spouse(s) ∞ 1927 Ilse Pröhl
Children Wolf Rüdiger Heß
Alma mater University of Munich
Military service
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch Fahne der Bayerischen Armee.png Royal Bavarian Army
Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
Freikorps Flag.jpg Freikorps
Years of service 1914–1918
1919
Rank Leutnant der Reserve
Unit
  • 7th Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment
  • 1st Infantry Regiment
  • Königlich Bayerische Jagdstaffel Nr. 35
Battles/wars World War I
  • First Battle of Ypres
  • Battle of Verdun

Rudolf Walter Richard Heß (spelled Hess in English; 26 April 1894 – 17 August 1987) was a German officer of the Imperial German Army, the Freikorps and the SS as well as a prominent NSDAP member and later National Socialist Germany official. He participated in the failed 1923 Munich Putsch. Adolf Hitler dictated Mein Kampf to Heß and Emil Maurice, while being in prison for the attempted coup, and Heß participated in the editing. Appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler in 1933, he served in this position until 1941.

On 10 May 1941, during World War II, he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom. Allegedly, this was a personal initiative by Heß without official German approval. The proposal was ignored and Heß was taken prisoner. He eventually became a defendant at the Nuremberg Show Trials and was sentenced to life imprisonment:[1] Britain regarded the 40-year imprisonment of one-time leading Nazi Rudolf Hess as a “charade” but knew it would never be able to convince the Soviet Union to set him free, newly declassified documents show.[2] He allegedly committed suicide in 1987 in the Spandau Prison. He has become a legendary icon and is known today as the "Martyr of Peace" (German: Märtyrer des Friedens).

Life

Leutnant der Reserve Rudolf Heß.jpg
Rudolf Heß and Adolf Hitler.jpg
Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Heß.jpg
Adolf-Hitler-and-Rudolf-Hess-around-1934.jpg
Rudolf-hess-autograph-signed-letter.jpg
Thought to be one of the last photos taken of Rudolf Heß in the 1980's.jpg

Rudolf Heß was born in Egypt (then under British occupation, though formally a part of the Ottoman Empire), the eldest of the four children of Johann Fritz Heß, a Lutheran importer/exporter and Klara, née Münch. The wealthy German family was Originally from Bohemia during the reign of the Holy Roman Empire, the Heß family settled in Wunsiedel, Upper Franconia, in the 1760s. His grandfather, Johann Christian Heß, married Margaretha Bühler, the daughter of a Swiss consul, in 1861 in Trieste. After the birth of Rudolf's father, the family moved to Alexandria, where Johann Christian Heß founded the import company Heß & Co. which his son, Johann Fritz, took over in 1888. His mother, Klara, was the daughter of Rudolf Münch, a textile industrialist and councillor of commerce from Hof, Upper Franconia. His brother, Alfred, was born in 1897 and his sister, Margarete, was born in 1908.The family lived in a villa on the Egyptian coast near Alexandria, and visited Germany often from 1900, staying at their summer home in Reicholdsgrün (now part of Kirchenlamitz) in the Fichtel Mountains.

Heß attended a German language Protestant school in Alexandria from 1900 to 1908, when he was sent back to Germany to study at a boarding school in Bad Godesberg. He demonstrated aptitudes for science and mathematics, had expressed interest in being an astronomer, but his father wished him to join the family business, Heß & Co., so he sent him in 1911 to study at the École supérieure de commerce in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. After a year there, Heß took an apprenticeship at a trading company in Hamburg.

At the onset of World War I, he enlisted in the Königlich Bayerisches 7. Feldartillerie-Regiment „Prinzregent Luitpold“ (Bavarian Army of the Imperial German Army). After basic training, Heß had to perform garrison duties for some time, albeit very reluctantly as he wanted to fight for the Vaterland. This wish of his was fullfilled when he was transfered to the Western Front. He received his baptism of fire on the Somme, he also took part as infantryman of the artillery regiment in the first battle of Ypre, which was launched on 21 October 1914.

On 9 November 1914, Heß was transfered to Königlich Bayerisches 1. Infanterie-Regiment „König“, at that moment stationed in the vicinity of Arras. With this unit he also fought on the Western Front and in Belgium. He considered fighting and risking one’s life for the Fatherland highly honourable. He wrote enthousiastic letters to his parents with phrases like: "Burning villages of exceptional beauty. War!" His comrades described Heß as very courageous, someone who was always at the head of the fighting and who frequently reported as volunteeer to lead a reconnaissance patrol. On 15 April 1915, Heß was promoted to Gefreiter (Corporal).

On 27 April 1915, he was awarded the Eisernes Kreuz 2 (EK 2, Iron Cross). In August 1915, he went to Münster for advanced military training and in October the same year he was promoted to Vizefeldwebel (Staff Sergeant) and posted back to his regiment in the vicinity of Neuville-Saint-Vaast in Artois. He served here as commander of a shock troop (Stoßtrupp) and was wounded in his left hand and upper arm during the fighting for Fort Douaumont near Verdun on 12 June 1916.

After recuperation, he was transferred to Königlich-Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 18, stationed in Romania. On 23 July 1917, Heß was wounded by a shell fragment in his left arm. On 8 August of the same year, he was hit in the chest by a sniper. The bullet penetrated his chest and lung. Consequently, Heß remained in various military hospitals in Hungary and Germany between 10 October and December 1917. On 8 October 1917, he saw him promoted to Leutnant (Lieutenant) of the reserves. On his return, he was given command over a reserve company in the Königlich-Bayerisches Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 16, nicknamed the List regiment after its first commander. This regiment was known for comprising so many intellectuals and students and also for its extremely high losses. One of the regimental couriers was Gefreiter Adolf Hitler, although Heß and Hitler have never met during the war.

Rudolf Heß enrolled in the German air force (Imperial German Air Service) in 1918. He commenced flight training in March on Fliegerhorst (air base) Lechfeld near Augsburg. Heß received his wings only a few weeks prior to the armistice of 11 November 1918. During the last days of the war he served in the Bayerische Jagdstaffel (Bavarian Fightersquadron) Nr. 35 (Jasta 35). He took part in a number of dogfights over Valenciennes in a Fokker D.VII but did not manage anymore to distinguish himself in this short period. After the armistice, Hess left the army in December of the same year, a disillusioned man.[3]

After the war, Heß went to Munich and joined the Freikorps led by Franz Ritter von Epp (de). He was a participant in street battles in the spring of 1919 and led a group which distributed thousands of patriotic pamphlets in Munich. He also joined the Thule Society, a occult-mystical organisation. Heß enrolled in the University of Munich where he studied political science, history, economics, and geopolitics under Professor Karl Haushofer. After hearing Hitler speak in May 1920, he joined the National Socialist movement. Heß participated with Hitler in a failed coup: the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, and served seven and a half months in Landsberg prison. Acting as Hitler's private secretary, he transcribed and partially edited Hitler's book Mein Kampf. Heß eventually rose to deputy party leader and third in leadership of Germany, after Hitler and Hermann Göring.

Allgemeine SS

Heß joined the Allgemeine SS on 1 November 1925 with SS no. 50 and became on 20 July 1929, with effect from 1 April 1925, adjutant to the Reichsfuhrer SS and at the same time personal SS adjutant to the Führer Adolf Hitler. With the SA-Führer-Order No. 6 of 18 December 1931, Heß was appointed SS-Oberführer on the same day. This appointment was renewed with the SA-Führer Order No. 1 "Reorganization of SA and SS" of 1 July 1932. As such, between 1929 and 1 October 1932, Heß headed the SS Upper Section "South" (then called "SS-Gau Süd"). With SA-Führer Order No. 10 of 15 December 1932, he was appointed SS-Gruppenführer retrospectively to 5 December 1932, and with SA-Führer Order No. 15 of 1 July 1933, SS-Obergruppenführer. However, as early as September 1933, Heß had to leave the SS (imperative of neutrality), but as "deputy of the Führer" (Stellvertreter des Führers) he was still allowed to wear the uniform of an SS-Obergruppenführer.

Flight to Scotland

Heß flew to Scotland on 10 May 1941 to negotiate peace between Germany and Britain. He parachuted from his Messerschmitt Bf 110 over Renfrewshire and landed (though breaking his ankle) at Floors Farm near Eaglesham, just south of Glasgow. He was quickly arrested. and first claimed that his name was Leutnant Alfred Horn of the Luftwaffe, then after his transfer in the hands of the British military, he finally revealed his real name and added:

“I have come to save humanity.”

Heß planned to meet the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon. He believed Hamilton to be an opponent of Winston Churchill, whom he held responsible for the outbreak of the war. His proposal of peace included returning all the western European countries conquered by Germany to their own national governments, but German police would remain in position. Germany would also pay back the cost of rebuilding these countries. In return, Britain would have to support the war against the Soviet Union.

In my mind’s eye I kept seeing – in Germany and Britain alike – an endless line of children’s coffins with weeping mothers behind them; and then again, the coffins of mothers, with their children clustered behind them. – Rudolf Heß in captivity, explaining to the Lord Chancellor on 9 June 1941 the reasons for his mission

Churchill rejected Heß's peace offer and held him as a prisoner of war in the Maryhill army barracks. Later, Heß was transferred to Mytchett Place near Aldershot. The house was fitted out with microphones and sound recording equipment. Frank Foley and two other MI6 officers were given the job of debriefing Heß — or "Jonathan", as he was now known. Churchill's instructions were that Heß should be strictly isolated, and that every effort should be taken to get any information out of him that might be useful. Although Heß was officially Deputy Führer, he had little detailed military information to offer.

Controversy surrounds the case of whether Hitler knew of Heß's plans to make peace with Britain. It is known that Heß had been getting flying lessons in a personalized Messerschmitt aircraft and in the early stages of this preparation he was accompanied by Hitler's personal pilot, Hans Baur.

Trial and life imprisonment

Heß was detained by the British for the remainder of the war. He then became a defendant at the Nuremberg Trials of the International Military Tribunal and was declared guilty of "crimes against peace" ("planning and preparation of aggressive war") and "conspiracy" with other German leaders to commit crimes. Heß was found not guilty of "war crimes" or "crimes against humanity."

"Ich bereue nichts"

In his final statement to the court on 31 August 1946, Heß declared:

"[...] The statements which my council made in my name before this court I permitted to be made for the sake of my people's future judgment and of history. Only this is of importance to me. I do not defend myself against accusers to whom I deny the right to bring charges against me and my fellow-countrymen. I do not deal with accusations which are about things that are purely German matters and therefore of no concern to foreigners. I raise no protest against statements which are aimed at attacking my honor, the honor of the German people. I consider such slanderous attacks by adversaries as honorific. I had the privilege of working for many years of my life under the greatest son my nation has brought forth in its thousand-year history. Even if I could, I would not wish to expunge this time from my life. I am happy to know that I have done my duty toward my people, my duty as a German, as a National Socialist, as a loyal follower of my Führer. I regret nothing. If I were standing once more at the beginning I should act once again as I did then, even if I knew that at the end I should be burnt at the stake. No matter what people may do, one day I shall stand before the judgment seat of the Eternal God. I will answer to Him, and I know that He will absolve me."
„[...] Feststellungen, die mein Verteidiger in meinem Namen vor diesem Gericht traf, ließ ich um des dereinstigen Urteils meines Volkes und um der Geschichte willen treffen. Nur dieses ist mir wesentlich. Ich verteidige mich nicht gegen Ankläger, denen ich das Recht abspreche, gegen mich und meine Volksgenossen Anklage zu erheben. Ich setze mich nicht mit Vorwürfen auseinander, die sich mit Dingen befassen, die innerdeutsche Angelegenheiten sind und daher Ausländer nichts angehen. Ich erhebe keinen Einspruch gegen Äußerungen, die darauf abzielen, mich oder das ganze deutsche Volk in der Ehre zu treffen. Ich betrachte solche Anwürfe von Gegnern als Ehrenerweisung. Es war mir vergönnt, viele Jahre meines Lebens unter dem größten Sohne zu wirken, den mein Volk in seiner tausendjährigen Geschichte hervorgebracht hat. Selbst wenn ich es könnte, wollte ich diese Zeit nicht auslöschen aus meinem Dasein. Ich bin glücklich, zu wissen, daß ich meine Pflicht getan habe meinem Volke gegenüber, meine Pflicht als Deutscher, als Nationalsozialist, als treuer Gefolgsmann meines Führers. Ich bereue nichts. Stünde ich wieder am Anfang, würde ich wieder handeln wie ich handelte, auch wenn ich wüßte, daß am Ende ein Scheiterhaufen für meinen Flammentod brennt. Gleichgültig was Menschen tun, dereinst stehe ich vor dem Richterstuhl des Ewigen. Ihm werde ich mich verantworten, und ich weiß, er spricht mich frei.”[4][5]

Spandau

Following the 1966 releases of Baldur von Schirach and Albert Speer, Heß was the sole remaining inmate of Spandau Prison. For two decades, his main companion was warden Eugene K. Bird, with whom he formed a close relationship. Bird would later wright a book on Heß: The Loneliest Man in the World: The Inside Story of the 30-Year Imprisonment of Rudolf Heß.

In the early 1970s, the U.S., British and French governments had approached the Soviet government to propose that Heß be released on humanitarian grounds due to his age. The Soviet official response was apparently to reject these attempts and reportedly "refused to consider any reduction in Heß's life sentence." U.S. president Richard Nixon was in favor of releasing Heß and stated that the U.S., Britain, and France should continue to entreat the Soviet Union for his release.

In the final years of his life, Heß was a weak and frail old man, blind in one eye, who walked stooped forward with a cane. He lived in virtually total isolation according to a strictly regulated daily routine. Regulations stipulated that prison officials could not ever call Heß by name. He was addressed only as "prisoner No. 7." During his rare meetings with his wife and son, he was not allowed to embrace or even touch them. [6]

Keeping one man in Spandau cost the West German government about 850,000 marks a year. In addition, each of the four Allied powers had to provide an officer and 37 soldiers during their respective shifts, as well as a director and team of warders throughout the entire year. The permanent maintenance staff of 22 included cooks, waitresses and cleaners.

Death

Patriots hold up a banner reading "We commemorate Rudolf Heß" (WIR GEDENKEN RUDOLF HESS) during a procession or commemorative march (Rudolf-Heß-Gedenkmarsch since 1987) of thousands in Wunsiedel, some 120 kilometres northeast of Nuremberg on 18 August 2001
The remains of Rudolf Heß were exhumed and cremated for a sea burial, the family grave in Wunsiedel dissolved (German: aufgelöst) in 2011

On 17 August 1987, Heß died while under Four Power imprisonment at Spandau Prison in West Berlin. At 93, he was one of the oldest prisoners in the world. He was found in a summer house in a garden located in a secure area of the prison with an electrical cord wrapped around his neck. His death was ruled a suicide by self-asphyxiation, accomplished by tying the cord to a window latch in the summer house. He was buried in Wunsiedel, and Spandau Prison was subsequently demolished to prevent it becoming a shrine.

Heß was too frail and senile at the time to kill himself. He could not raise his arms above shoulder level and too weak to tie the noose. The scar around his neck was horizontal whereas the scar of a hanged man is usually diagonal. The evidence points to strangulation by a third party. The government delivered his body in a casket that was steel and welded shut. The British government stopped the German government from a police investigation.[7]

Criticisms of the politically correct view on the peace proposal, the sentencing, and the alleged suicide

Controversy surrounds the peace proposal, what it offered, and if Hitler knew about it. The very strict lifelong imprisonment and "suicide" of Heß have been seen as intended to prevent Heß from revealing circumstances embarrassing for the (Western) Allies. For example, a British acceptance of a German peace proposal may possibly have prevented the later enormous casualties and destruction due to the war, "the Holocaust", and the postwar Communist occupation of and terror in Eastern Europe.

The official National Socialist rejection of Heß and the peace proposal (once it failed) may have been due to the peace proposal containing sensitive details, such as a proposed alliance against the Soviet Union, which was at this time a German ally. Regardless of the above theories are correct or not, the lifelong imprisonment of Heß has been seen as a particularly unjust part of the Nuremberg trials. British historian A.J.P. Taylor once summed up the arguments for the injustice of the Hess case:

"Hess came to this country in 1941 as an ambassador of peace. He came with the ... intention of restoring peace between Great Britain and Germany. He acted in good faith. He fell into our hands and was quite unjustly treated as a prisoner of war. After the war, we should have released him. Instead, the British government of the time delivered him for sentencing to the International Tribunal at Nuremberg ... No crime has ever been proved against Hess ... As far as the records show, he was never at even one of the secret discussions at which Hitler explained his war plans."[8]

Regarding the alleged suicide, his lawyer, Dr Seidl, felt Heß was too old and frail to have managed to kill himself. His son Wolf Rüdiger Heß repeatedly stated that his father had been murdered by the British Secret Intelligence Service, to prevent him from revealing not politcally correct information. In David Irvings Hess: The Missing Years 1941-1945 (1987 edition; 2010 Classic edition) one can read:

"Until now nobody has been able to explain the actions of Rudolf Hess. In previously ignored American and British archives David Irving found secret records kept by British medical officers during the internment of Rudolf Hess. He has also been able to obtain file from the Swiss government containing letters written by Hess during his imprisonment and suppressed by the British, including letters to King George VI. From these and other private sources, Irving has solved a riddle which has perplexed historians for more than half a century - the last great riddle of the Third Reich. This book tells the Real History of the dramatic flight which Adolf Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess made in 1941 to Scotland in an attempt to stop the war before the saturation bombing holocaust began. Intercepted before he could reach His Majesty the King, Hess vanished into the maw of the Secret Service, and was held as Winston Churchill’s personal prisoner. British files relate how experts used truth drugs and hidden microphones to try to prise the secrets out of him. Taken to Nuremberg in 1945, Hess outwitted - and eventually outlived - his tormentors. He died mysteriously in 1987 after spending 46 years in jail, strangled by his Negro GI guard, Tony Jordan. Jordan still lives freely in Berlin; the US State Dept and the British Foreign Office have chosen to draw a veil over the embarrassing killing."

Abdallah Melaouhi, a Tunisian who served as Heß's nurse from 1 August 1982 until his murder on 17 August 1987 told BBC Newsnight reporter Olenka Frenkiel that when he found Heß apparently lifeless in the summer-house two men he had never seen before were standing by the body dressed American Army overalls. The furniture was in disarray after what appeared to have been a wrestling match. He also saw the American Duty Cell Warder Tony Jordan. The only cable in the room was attached to a fallen lamp, which was still plugged into the wall. Melaouhi wrote the book Rudolf Hess – His Betrayal and Murder:

On the day of Mr. Hess’s death, he commenced his duties as usual. Around 11am on that day, the male nurse left to run some errands. At 2 p.m. he was called to the prison, as there had been “an incident”... The scene he saw looked like a wrestling match had taken place; the entire place was in confusion... The lifeless body of Mr. Hess was lying on the floor of the summerhouse, apparently lifeless. Near to his body stood two unknown U.S. soldiers. The prison guard appeared agitated. He was sweating heavily, his shirt was saturated with sweat, and he was not wearing a tie. The author ask the guard: “What have you done with him” He replied: “The pig is finished; you won’t have to work a night shift any longer.” During the five years in which Mr. Melaouhi daily cared for Mr. Hess, he was able to obtain an accurate impression of his physical capabilities. Mr. Melaouhi does not consider that it would have been possible for Mr. Hess to have committed suicide by hanging himself, as was later published by the Allied powers. It is clear that he met his death by strangulation, at the hands of a third party. "The Barnes Review" is the only publishing house gutsy enough to publish the book. Several mainstream publishers promising to publish the book and then backing out at the last minute. What is it that is so dangerous about this crime and this book that it scared off big publishing houses? You will have to determine that for yourself.

A report released in 2012 again raised the question of whether Heß was murdered. Historian Peter Padfield claims the suicide note found on the body appears to have been written when Heß was hospitalized in 1969. A 2013 article in The Telegraph stated that

"Peter Padfield, an historian, has uncovered evidence he says shows that, Hess, the deputy Fuhrer, brought with him from Hitler, a detailed peace treaty, under which the Nazis would withdraw from western Europe, in exchange for British neutrality over the imminent attack on Russia. The existence of such a document was revealed to him by an informant who claims that he and other German speakers were called in by MI6 to translate the treaty for Churchill. [...] There is no mention of the treaty in any of the official archives which have since been made public, but Mr Padfield believes this is because there has been an ongoing cover-up to protect the reputations of powerful figures. The author says that his informant broke off contact with him after approaching his former masters in the security services."[9]

Family

On 20 December 1927, Heß married 27-year-old Ilse Pröhl (22 June 1900–7 September 1995) from Hanover. Together they had a son, Wolf Rüdiger Heß (1937–2001).

Reverence

Wunsiedel

After Heß's death nationalists from Germany and the rest of Europe gathered in Wunsiedel for a memorial march and similar demonstrations took place every year around the anniversary of Heß's death. These gatherings were banned from 1991 to 2000 and nationalists tried to assemble in other cities and countries (such as the Netherlands and Denmark). Demonstrations in Wunsiedel were again legalised in 2001. Over 5,000 nationalists marched in 2003, with around 7,000 in 2004, marking some of the biggest national demonstrations in Germany since 1945. After stricter German legislation regarding demonstrations by nationalists was enacted in March 2005 the demonstrations were banned again.

The Queen's Lost Uncle

Related claims were made in The Queen's Lost Uncle, a television programme broadcast in November 2003 and March 2005 on Britain's Channel 4. This programme reported that, according to unspecified "recently released" documents, Hess flew to the UK to meet Prince George, Duke of Kent, who had to be rushed from the scene due to Heß's botched arrival. This was supposedly also part of a plot to fool the Germans into thinking the prince was plotting with other senior figures to overthrow Winston Churchill.

Lured into a trap?

There is circumstantial evidence which suggests that Heß was lured to Scotland by the British secret service. Violet Roberts, whose nephew, Walter Roberts was a close relative of the Duke of Hamilton and was working in the political intelligence and propaganda branch of the Secret Intelligence Service (SO1/PWE), was friends with Heß's mentor Karl Haushofer and wrote a letter to Haushofer, which Heß took great interest in prior to his flight. Haushofer replied to Violet Roberts, suggesting a post office box in Portugal for further correspondence. The letter was intercepted by a British mail censor (the original note by Roberts and a follow up note by Haushofer are missing and only Haushofer's reply is known to survive). Certain documents Heß brought with him to Britain were to be sealed until 2017 but when the seal was broken in 1991-92 they were missing. Edvard Beneš, head of the Czechoslovak Government in Exile and his intelligence chief František Moravec, who worked with SO1/PWE, speculated that British Intelligence used Haushofer's reply to Violet Roberts as a means to trap Heß.

The fact that the files concerning Heß will be kept closed to the public until 2016 does allow the debate to continue, since without these files the existing theories cannot be fully verified. Heß was in captivity for almost 4 years of the war and thus he was basically absent from it, in contrast to the others who stood accused at Nuremberg. According to data published in a book about Wilhelm Canaris: the head of German intelligence, a number of contacts between England and Germany were kept during the war. It cannot be known, however, whether these were direct contacts on specific affairs or an intentional confusion created between secret services for the purpose of deception.

Heß's landing

After Heß's Bf 110 was detected on radar, a number of pilots were scrambled to meet it, (including ace Alan Deere), but none made contact. (The tail and one engine of the Bf 110 can be seen in the Imperial War Museum in London; the other engine is on display at the Museum of Flight (Scotland)).

Some witnesses in the nearby suburb of Clarkston claimed Rudolf Heß's plane landed smoothly in a field near Carnbooth House. They reported seeing the gunners of a nearby heavy anti-aircraft artillery battery drag Rudolf Heß out of the aircraft, causing the injury to his leg. The following night a Luftwaffe aircraft circled the area above Carnbooth House, possibly in an attempt to locate Heß's plane or recover Heß. It was shot down.

The witness accounts are said to uncover various insights. Heß's flight path implies he was looking for the home of Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, a large house on the River Cart. However, Heß landed near Carnbooth House, the first large house on the River Cart, located to the west of Cynthia Marciniak's house, his presumed destination. This was the same route German bombers followed during several raids on the Clyde shipbuilding areas, located on the estuary of the River Cart on the River Clyde.

Remembrances and destruction of remains

The above contributed to Heß becoming a symbol for critics of the official view on National Socialist Germany and the war. Remembrances and demonstrations have been held at anniversaries of his death, and in particular in Wunsiedel, where Heß was buried.

In order to try to prevent remembrances and symbolism, the entire Spandau Prison has been demolished. Demonstrations have been banned. In 2011, the remains of Heß himself were exhumed, cremated, and scattered at sea. The gravestone, which bore the epitaph "Ich hab's gewagt" ("I have dared"), was destroyed.

Awards and decorations

Commeration 2017: "Murder never expires" (German: Mord verjährt nie)
Edgar-W-Geiß+Rudolf-Heß-Märtyrer-für-den-Frieden.jpg

Rudolf Heß had many German and foreign awards, which he hardly ever wore, due to his self-imposed humbleness. Among them:

Further reading

  • J. Bernard Hutton: Hess, London, April 1970
  • Rudolf Heß: Märtyrer des Friedens – 46 Jahre Gefangener der Unmenschlichkeit, Bürgerinitiative gegen Kriegsschuld- und Antideutsche Greuellügen, 1987
  • David Irving: Hess – The Missing Years 1941-1945
  • Wolf Rüdiger Heß:
    • Weder Recht noch Menschlichkeit, Druffel, Leoni am Starnberger See, 1974
    • Mein Vater Rudolf Heß, Langen Müller, München 1984
    • Mord an Rudolf Heß?, Druffel, Leoni am Starnberger See, 1989
    • Rudolf Heß: Ich bereue nichts, Leopold Stocker Verlag, Graz-Stuttgart 1994
  • Martin Allen: The Hitler/Hess Deception – British Intelligence's Best-Kept Secret of the Second World War, 2004

External links

2013 articles

Article archives

References