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The Wellington Society

The Wellington Society was proud to host, for the society’s last meeting of this academic year, Major General Williams who spoke about “The Curious Life and Death of Rudolf Hess”. While in Berlin during the Cold War, the speaker had contact with Spandau prison where Hitler’s Deputy, Rudolf Hess, was imprisoned for nearly twenty years.

Rudolf Walter Richard Hess, born 26th April 1894 in Alexandria, was a prominent figure in Nazi Germany, acting as Adolf Hitler’s Deputy. On the eve of war with the Soviet Union (10th May 1941), he flew solo from Augsburg in a Messerschmitt Bf 110 to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom, instead was arrested on arrival. He was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to life in prison at Spandau, where he was known as Prisoner Number 7, and died on 17th August 1987.

Hess’s attempt to negotiate peace with members Anglo-German Fellowship Association and subsequent lifelong imprisonment have given rise to many theories about his motivation for flying to Scotland, and conspiracy theories about why he remained imprisoned alone at Spandau, long after all other convicts had been released.

The talk ended with a discussion about some of these conspiracy theories in a Q&A session. The Wellington Society would like to thank Major General Williams for such an interesting and informative talk.

William Hillgarth

DATE POSTED: 24 May 2009

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