The Late Story of Rudolf Hess

Rudolf Hess, was the Deputy Furhrer within Nazi Germany. He was third in line to become leader before Hitler and Hermann Goring. He served from 1933 to 1941, considered the closest ally to Hitler, serving among his political party since World War I. In May of 1941, Hess was recovered from his solo aircraft in Scotland, claiming he came to negotiate peace on behalf of Adolf Hitler. This was extremely odd because German high command had a direct telegraph line to England, no Nazi officer ever claimed knowledge of Hess’ mission even after the war. He was obviously taken as a prisoner of war. Rudolf Hess was questioned by English intelligence for four years, he never showed any evidence of knowing who he was although remembering Hitler. At the end of the War, Hess was summoned to the Nuremburg Trials and turned over to the US Army for additional questioning. Army psychologists showed Hess videos of him making opening speeches for Hitler and signing bills into law publicly. He claimed he was completely unaware of his rank. Although Hess was shown pictures of his wife and child and even met with his former secretaries. It was becoming increasing evident he might have actually forgotten his own life’s significance. Proving he was aware of his political actions would help the allies immensely, letting a high ranking Nazi official go could spark rebellions. However convicting a man who doesn’t remember his life would question the legitimacy of trials. It would also be difficult to persecute Hess seeing how he was prisoner for a majority of the war. Hess was notified he would most likely he would be set free that afternoon. When called to the stand for official release, Rudolf exclaimed that he was faking the entire time and that he should be tried to he full extent of the law. The leading US Army psychologist examining Hess stated years later, “I was convinced he was faking the whole time until he was going to be released and told the judge panel he should be convicted, I realized this man was legitimately insane”. For the reminder of the trial Hess provided no new information and very little insight. He seemed extremely disinterested, often times reading a book or engaging in uncontrollable fits of laughter. Rudolf would grab his head or stomach in pain and would frequently yell at his fellow defendants that they were betraying the Third Reich interrupting the court proceedings. On one occasion Hess asked Goring if he was excited to lead Germany when they returned. Ultimately Rudolf Hess was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against peace where he later died. Psychologists examining his case file decades after the war believe he was a schizophrenic, no one ever determined if Hess was mentally insane and if he or any human being could consistently lie about not remembering their life for almost 6 years.

Word Count: 480

just thought it was an interesting story.

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The Late Story of Rudolf Hess

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