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Rudolph Hess parachutes in 1941...
Item # 581851
May 13, 1941
LEOMINSTER DAILY ENTERPRISE, May 13, 1941.
* Rudolph Hess Scotland jump mystery (1st report)
* Adolph Hitler's right hand man
This 8 page newspaper has a banner headline on the front page: "British Claim Nazi Break Shown", with subheads that include: "REJOICE OVER ARRIVAL OF HESS", "Claim Examination Shows Man Who Made Flight Escape Is Sane", and more (see Images).
Other news of the day. Light browning, otherwise good condition.
wikipedia notes: Like Goebbels, Hess was privately distressed by the war with Britain. According to William L. Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Hess may have hoped to score a diplomatic victory by sealing a peace between the Third Reich and Britain.
Hess flew to Britain in May 1941 to meet the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, parachuting from his Messerschmitt Bf 110 over Renfrewshire on May 10 and landing (though breaking his ankle) at Floors Farm near Eaglesham, just south of Glasgow.
A young boy who was living on the farm was shooting pigeons at the time when Hess landed nearby. He claimed to have shot down Hess' plane with a stray bullet, a tale that was accepted by the other residents.
Hess was quickly arrested, although the details of how this happened are somewhat unclear and remain controversial. In one newsreel clip, farmhand David McLean claims to have arrested Hess with his pitchfork.
It appears that Hess believed Hamilton to be an opponent of Winston Churchill, whom he held responsible for the outbreak of the war. His proposal of peace included returning all the western European countries conquered by Germany to their own national governments, but German police would remain in position. Germany would also pay back the cost of rebuilding these countries. In return, Britain would have to support the war against Soviet Russia. Hess's strange behaviour and unilateral proposals quickly discredited him as a serious negotiator (especially after it became obvious he did not officially represent the German government). However, Churchill and Stewart Menzies, head of MI6, felt that Hess might have useful military intelligence.
After being held in the Maryhill army barracks, he was transferred to Mytchett Place near Aldershot. The house was fitted out with microphones and sound recording equipment. Frank Foley and two other MI6 officers were given the job of debriefing Hess — or "Jonathan", as he was now known. Churchill's instructions were that Hess should be strictly isolated, and that every effort should be taken to get any information out of him that might be useful.
This turned out not to amount to much. Although Hess was officially Deputy Führer, he had been squeezed out of Hitler's inner circle and had little detailed military information to offer. Hess became increasingly agitated as his conviction grew that he would be murdered. Mealtimes were difficult, since Hess suspected that his food might be poisoned, and the MI6 officers had to exchange their food with his to reassure him. Gradually, their conviction grew that Hess was insane.
Hess was interviewed by psychiatrist John Rawlings Rees who had worked at the Tavistock Clinic prior to becoming a Brigadier in the Army. Rees concluded that he was not insane, but certainly mentally ill and suffering from depression — probably due to the failure of his mission. Hess' diaries from his imprisonment in Britain after 1941 make many references to visits from Rees, whom he did not like and accused of poisoning him and "mesmerising" him. Rees took part in the Nuremberg trial of 1945.
Taken by surprise, Hitler had Hess' staff arrested, then spread word throughout Germany that Hess had gone insane and acted of his own accord. Hearing this, Hess began claiming to his interrogators that as part of a pre-arranged diplomatic cover story, Hitler had agreed to announce to the German people that his deputy Führer was insane. Meanwhile Hitler granted Hess' wife a pension. Martin Bormann succeeded Hess as deputy under a newly-created title.
“ My coming to England in this way is, as I realize, so unusual that nobody will easily understand it. I was confronted by a very hard decision. I do not think I could have arrived at my final choice unless I had continually kept before my eyes the vision of an endless line of children's coffins with weeping mothers behind them, both English and German, and another line of coffins of mothers with mourning children.
Category: The 20th Century