Rudolf Hess was born in 1894 and died in Spandau Prison in 19. Rudolf Hess was Hitler’s deputy leader in the Nazi Party. Hess had been involved with the Nazi Party from its earliest days and was on the march to the Beer Hall that lead to his and Hitler’s imprisonment at Landsberg Prison from 1923 to 1924.It was in prison that Hitler dictated “Mein Kampf” to Hess who acted as Hitler’s personal secretary while in prison. In fact, Hess was seen by many to be Hitler’s most loyal follower.

Hess had fought in World War One with a unit from Bavaria. He fought at the Battle of Ypres before he enrolled for the newly formed German Air Force. After the war, Hess joined Munich University and he met Hitler at a meeting of a society devoted to the study of Nordic myths and legends. In 1920, Hess became Hitler’s political secretary.

To many in the party Hess remained an odd figure – distant and strange. To Hitler, he was simply a devoted follower who had shared with Hitler the ravages of the Battle of Ypres and imprisonment. With Hitler’s support, the position of Hess in the party was unchallenged. In 1934, he was appointed deputy leader of the party and in 1939, he was appointed second in succession after Göering to the position of Head of State.

To all people it appeared as if Hess was the perfect follower of Hitler. In his speeches, Hess proclaimed that:

“The party is Hitler and Hitler is Germany”.

“Hitler is simply pure reason incarnate”

Then in May 1941, Hess did something that took everybody by surprise. On May 10th, he took a Messerschmidt 110 and flew it solo to Scotland where he crash landed the plane. It seems that Hess took it upon himself to secure a negotiated peace between the British government (that, he stipulated, should not include Winston Churchill!) and Germany. Hess was found by a Scots farmer and arrested. Those who arrested Hess were impressed with his manners – he would not sit down until told that he could do so etc. Hess was interned, including a four day say at the Tower of London where he signed autographs for the warders – one of which is still in the warders bar. Hitler immediately stripped Hess of all the ranks he held in the Nazi Party including being a party member.

He was sent to trial at Nuremburg in 1946 where he was sent to prison for life. With other Nazi leaders, he was sent to Spandau Prison and from 1966 on, he was the only prisoner there. His death while in prison is a bit of a mystery. It appears that Hess committed suicide by hanging himself. However, there are those who believe that he was far too old and frail to do this by himself and that Hess may have received some assistance from others. Nothing has ever been proved. After the death of Hess, Spandau Prison was knocked down.

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