(1894 - 1987)
Hitler's principal lieutenants in the 1920s and '30s.
Hess, the son of a German merchant, was born
in Alexandria, Egypt. After serving in the
German army during World War I, he joined
the fledgling Nazi Party in 1921.
participated in the Nazi attempt to overthrow
the Bavarian government in 1923 and was imprisoned
with Hitler at Landsberg, becoming the Nazi
leader's private secretary. After Hitler became
chancellor of Germany in 1933, he appointed
Hess his deputy in charge of the party organization.
In 1934 he was elevated to the rank of minister
and appointed a member of Hitler's cabinet.
Hitler named him third deputy of the Reich
in 1939, placing him directly below the Nazi
Göring in line of succession.
years later, when World War II was reaching
its height, Hess made a solo airplane flight
to Scotland; on his immediate arrest as a
prisoner of war he announced that he had flown
to Britain to persuade the British government
to conclude peace with Germany. He remained
a prisoner and at the war
crimes trials held at Nürnberg in 1945-46,
he was convicted as a major war criminal.
Sentenced to life imprisonment at Spandau
Prison, West Berlin, he was its solitary inmate
from 1966 until his suicide in 1987.
Sources: "Rudolf Hess," Microsoft® Encarta® Online
Encyclopedia 2000 http://encarta.msn.com
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