DEAD: Rudolf Hess

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Rudolf Hess (aged 93)
20th-century German Nazi leader

Rudolf Walter Richard Hess (Heß in German; 26 April 1894 – 17 August 1987) was a German politician and a leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) of Nazi Germany. Appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler in 1933, Hess served in that position until 1941, when he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom during World War II. He was taken prisoner and eventually convicted of crimes against peace, serving a life sentence until his suicide.

DEATH: Hess died on 17 August 1987, aged 93, in a summer house that had been set up in the prison garden as a reading room. He took an extension cord from one of the lamps, strung it over a window latch, and hanged himself. A short note to his family was found in his pocket, thanking them for all that they had done. The Four Powers released a statement on 17 September ruling the death a suicide. He was initially buried at a secret location to avoid media attention or demonstrations by Nazi sympathisers, but his body was re-interred in a family plot at Wunsiedel on 17 March 1988; his wife was buried beside him in 1995.

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