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On This Day… The Death Of A War Criminal

Written by: George Chittenden : 27 May 2019

It was on this day, 17th August, back in 1987 when Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess finally died at the grand old age of 93 in Spandau Prison. Hess was one of Hitler’s most trusted men and served as Deputy Führer from 1933 until 1941. He was captured in May 1941 after flying to Scotland where he hoped to arrange peace talks with the Duke of Hamilton, whom he thought was in opposition to the British government. Following his arrest, he spent the rest of his life behind bars.

Rudolf Hess was an important figure in the Nazi party, and regularly appeared on Adolf Hitler’s behalf at rallies and other engagements. He also signed in lots of the legislation, including the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which stripped the Jews of Germany of their rights in the lead-up to the Holocaust. Hess returned to Germany after the war, well to Nuremberg where he stood trial and was convicted of crimes against peace and conspiracy with other German leaders to commit crimes.

Hess was transferred to Spandau Prison in 1947. So, he died of old age at 93, right? In fact, he committed suicide. Rudolf Hess hung himself with an extension cord from a lamp inside a summer house that had been set up in the prison garden as a reading room.

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