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British attempts to free Hess from Spandau thwarted by Russians

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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 10:47 AM
Original message
British attempts to free Hess from Spandau thwarted by Russians
The Independent
By Robert Verkaik
05 February 2005


Britain made repeated efforts to free Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's one-time deputy, from Spandau prison but each time were thwarted by the Russians, show newly released documents on the internment of Adolf Hitler's former deputy.

Letters sent by the British military in Berlin also accuse Hess's Soviet guards of mental cruelty. Several times in the 1970s, British officials tried to persuade the Russians to try to persuade them to release Hess or relax his harsh conditions. But each time they were rebuffed.

The story of Rudolf Hess is one of the strangest to emerge from the Second World War.

The former First World War soldier, who joined the Nazi Party in 1920, was captured after flying alone to Scotland in May 1941 to seek an Anglo-German peace deal. Hitler said he had gone mad, but Josef Stalin, the Soviet dictator, suspected some sort of deal was being done with Britain and Nazi Germany, hence the later rough treatment.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?sto...
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. See also: "Poland in uproar over leak of spy files" on DU:
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 10:50 AM
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2. "CIA urged to release Nazi records":
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 10:51 AM
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3. How bizarre that this is all unraveling now ...
... in the same timeframe as all the Watergate stuff is coming out, down in Texas ...


Is the dam about to burst on the BFEE ?? :shrug:
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. The Rome murder trial of "God's banker" Roberto Calvi about
to resume.....

The BCCI UK class action against the Bank of England - opening remarks from the defence expected to end early this week and the real nuts and bolts begin to be laid bare before the public....

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. This is not news, just background on what was already known
It was always known that by the 70s, Britain, France and the USA all wanted to release Hess, but the Soviets insisted he stay in Spandau. All that is new here is the details of what was in the letters.
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 10:52 AM
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4. QEII's role:

The correspondence, released under the Freedom of Information Act, shows the Queen wrote to the former German chancellor, Willi Brandt, saying Britain was doing all it could to try to free him. These efforts were stepped up as Hess approached his 80th birthday. But by May 1974 all hope had faded. Of pressing concern was the increasingly cruel treatment by the Soviets.

In a letter by a senior official in the British Military Government to the British ambassador in Bonn paints a particularly bleak picture. Robert de Burlet, who had diplomatic responsibility for Spandau and visited Hess several times, wrote: "now that the possibility of a tripartite dmarche to the Russians to appeal for Hess's release ... seems to have receded ... I think I should bring up to date on the current situation at the prison."

Mr de Burlet said the Russian governor at Spandau has demanded that Hess be deprived of his glasses between 10pm and 7am every night. The Russians also insisted Hess burn his notebook before being allowed a new one, restricted his access to the prison garden and refused him physical contact with any visitor, including his wife and son.

Mr de Burlet wrote: "This new Russian turn of the screw, is particularly unpleasant and amounts to the infliction of mental torture on the prisoner. It is made more blatant by the fact that since November 1959 when Hess cut his wrists with a fragment of glass from his spectacles he has been given ones with plastic lenses."

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?sto...
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Oh boo hoo
"... deprived of his glasses between 10pm and 7am every night. The Russians also insisted Hess burn his notebook before being allowed a new one, restricted his access to the prison garden and refused him physical contact with any visitor, including his wife and son..."

Considering what was done to the Jewish people, I'd say his punishment was nowhere severe enough !
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GCP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Hess had very little to do with the Holocaust
He parachuted to the UK to try and end the war in 1941 - before the real mass killing began.
Julius Streicher, Himmler and Eichmann were much more involved in the idea of the Holocaust.
I'm not making excuses for him, but he was a lower level of vermin than a lot of the others.
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