Hess, (Walter Richard) Rudolf

Hess, (Walter Richard) Rudolf

biographical name

(born April 26, 1894, Alexandria, Egypt—died Aug. 17, 1987, West Berlin, W.Ger.) German Nazi leader. He joined the fledgling Nazi Party in 1920 and soon became Adolf Hitler's friend. After participating in the Beer Hall Putsch (1923), he escaped but returned voluntarily to prison, where he took down dictation for Hitler's Mein Kampf. He became Hitler's private secretary and, in 1933, deputy party leader. In the early days of World War II his power waned. In 1941 he created an international sensation when he secretly landed by parachute in Scotland on an abortive mission to negotiate peace between Britain and Germany. The British government held him as a prisoner of war, and his peace initiative was rejected by Hitler. He was given a life sentence at the N├╝rnberg trials, and from 1966 he was the sole inmate at Spandau prison.

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