Rudolf Hess

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Hess, Rudolf,

1894–1987, German National Socialist leader, b. Alexandria, Egypt; son of a German merchant. In 1920 he became an ardent follower of Adolf Hitler and after the Munich "beer-hall putsch" (1923) shared Hitler's imprisonment. Hitler dictated Mein Kampf to him. In 1933 he became deputy Führer and minister without portfolio. In 1939, Hitler named him second in line of succession after Hermann GoeringGoering or Göring, Hermann Wilhelm
, 1893–1946, German National Socialist leader. In World War I he was a hero of the German air force.
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. Hess created a worldwide sensation when he stole an airplane and flew (May, 1941) from Augsburg to Scotland (where he was arrested), apparently in an attempt to negotiate a peace agreement with Great Britain. At the Nuremberg war-crimes trial he was sentenced (1946) to life imprisonment at Spandau prison. Hess's behavior both before and during his trial raised questions as to his sanity. At the time of his death, he was Spandau's last remaining prisoner.

Bibliography

See J. Douglas-Hamilton, Motive for a Mission (1971); W. Schwarzwaller, Rudolf Hess: The Last Nazi (1988).

Hess, Rudolf

 

Born Apr. 26, 1894, in Alexandria, Egypt. One of the principal war criminals of fascist Germany.

Hess became a member of the National Socialist Party in 1920. In 1925 he became Hitler’s personal secretary, and in April 1933 his acting deputy in the party. Hess was one of the principal organizers of terror against antifascist forces and of Germany’s preparation and unleashing of World War II. In May 1941 he traveled by airplane to Great Britain and in Hitler’s name proposed that that country conclude a peace with Germany and participate in the attack on the USSR. He was interned as a prisoner of war in Great Britain. At the Nuremberg trial of 1945-46 he was condemned to life imprisonment, which he has been serving since 1946 in the Spandau Prison in West Berlin.

REFERENCES

Niurnbergskii protsess nad glavnymi nemetskimi prestupnikami: Sb. mat-lov, vols. 1-7. Moscow, 1957-61.
Trukhanovskii, V. G. Vneshniaia politika Anglii v period vtoroi mirovoi voiny. Moscow, 1965. Pages 190-98.