Rudolf Hess - why was he held in Captivity - 1941-1987 for so long?

McTell

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Decades of imprisonment for actions that while he supported he never implemented anything that led to the killing of innocents.

He served his time because of his political Weltanschauung was anathema to the Allied Conquerors of Germany.

Dunno, Hess was totes in favour of blitzkrieging and defeating 7 countries. Thousands of dead civilians, and he didn't mind a bit.

When he flew to scotland in 1941, hitler's biggest worry was that he would blab about the coming invasion of russia, but he didn't. So he played a small part in that as well.

They all had to go dutch on the butcher's bill.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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Therein lies a basic difference.

The Potato Mystic emphasises the syntheses and constructs others (and even the man himself) create out of the thing that was Adolf Hitler. Fair enough.

However useful that approach may be, it isn't — to my mind — 'history'. My 'history' is events, and how we pattern them (and, agreed, that's also the 'syntheses and constructs' of historians).

In the matter of Hess, which I remind myself, is the topic of this thread, we have his responsibilities, and how the exercised them.

To stay with The Potato Mystic's approach, Hess's was the most studied psychopathy of all the Nuremberg defendants, starting with the 'Ashcan' and Dr Gustave Gilbert. His counsel was Günther von Rohrscheidt (about whom I find very little, except his title as 'Attorney'). He made a plea (7 November 1945) that Hess be reported upon by expert witness, specifically from:
the medical faculty of the University of Zurich or, if a competent expert should not be available there, by the medical faculty of Lausanne.
Going on the assumption that no lawyer asks a question without knowing the answer it will elicit, von Rohrscheidt was either looking for an opinion he knew would be favourable, or, more simply, didn't want to be seen to trust the prosecutors' experts.

One part of von Rohrscheidt's plea is highly relevant to this thread:
The defendant declares that he has completely lost his memory since a long period of time, the period of which he can no longer determine.
The official Party declaration issued by the German Propaganda Ministry of 12 May 1941 even mentions "a disease which had been increasing over a period of years" and of "signs of mental derangement". English press reports also state that defendant's conduct after his landing in Scotland showed an absence of "mental clarity".
The Tusas (page 161) have this:
All the teams believed that [Hess's] amnesia was temporary and would vary in intensity. The Americans thought it would disappear Hess was relieved of the threat of punishment; the Russians on the contrary thought it would go if he had to face the unavoidable necessity of confronting the situation.
At the hearing on 30 November, Rohrscheidt pleaded that these reports showed that Hess could not adequately defend himself because there was no certainty he could remember names or incidents vital to his case. he said that conversations with his client showed Hess was incapable of grasping the charges against him. he argued that trial in absentia would be grave injustice since it would deny Hess the right to give evidence and to challenge witnesses personally. Rohrscheidt therefore requested that proceedings against him should be suspended, as in the case of Krupp, only t one resumed should Hess's condition improve.
Also from the Tusas (page 460):
The French thought twenty years was an adequate sentence for Hess. No one else agreed. As ever, the Russians wanted a hanging — in this case they added to their general principle the national prejudice that Hess's flight to Scotland had been an attempt to win Germany a free hand against Russia. They also argued that Hess's signature on the Nuremberg Decrees made him guilty of the deaths of millions of Jews; that his signature of the documents incorporating conquered territories and his establishment of compulsory military service made him at least as culpable as Frick; that his uniquely close relationship with Hitler and vigorous public support for all his policies put him in the same category as Goering; his detailed knowledge of all aggressive planning put him in the same category as many of the defendants who were to hang.
None of which alters the doubt about Hess's state of mind, which persisted, and seems to have borne on the Judges' verdict (three to one against the Russians) that Hess deserved a heavy punishment, but not the death sentence.

That's this morning's homework assignment completed. Sorry: it should have been posted much earlier in the thread.

I am left with one further thought: whatever the verdict, what was to be done with Hess? In the context of the late 1940s, even a not-guilty verdict couldn't have released him into the community. He would have been (as he remained) the prime focus for unreconstructed Nazism. Were he deemed insane, or incapacitated, similarly he would need to be restrained, secluded and protected: in which case, where to house him? Moreover, that required some location under four-power control. At least in Spandau those conditions could be arranged.
Is that you Redfellow?

Although I can’t imagine Malcolm choosing anything religious for his Avatar.
 
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Black Azrael

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Is that you Redfellow?

Although I can’t imagine Malcolm choosing anything religious for his Avatar.
Redfellow? Malcolm? Who he/they?

As for the pseudonym, try Chesterton (a quasi-fascist, but could turn out a thumping rhyme):
his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.
Any chance of more decent history threads?
 

The Field Marshal

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Another one of your very poor efforts at excuse making. There was no equivalence between the Poles and the German positions.

Nazi germany was determined on agressive expansion. Poland was not. Hitler was not interested in genuine negotiation unless it resulted in Poland domination by Germany. Negotiation also served the purpose of portraying Hitlers position as being a reasonable one which of course it was not. That portrayal was mainly intended for his domestic audience....funny that it is now used by apologists on the web eighty years later.
I am not apologising for Hitler.
Had you read my post you would have seen where I stated the German invasion of Poland in 1939 was not justified.
What I am saying is that the German grievances against Poland were entirely justified and the Poles treated German concerns with contempt.

Therefore I have little sympathy for the Poles.
Please try and read posts properly.
You are long enough hanging around and should be able to get the hang of it by now.
 

The Field Marshal

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Ahistorical drivel. You should be embarrassed.
Germany’s 1939 grievances against Poland were well founded and recognized as such by all serious historians.
You obviously never heard of the vindictive Versailles Treaty.
But that is not surprising.
 

Clanrickard

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Germany’s 1939 grievances against Poland were well founded and recognized as such by all serious historians.
You obviously never heard of the vindictive Versailles Treaty.
But that is not surprising.
As Poland didn't negotiate the Versailles Treaty I'd say it has feck all to do with Poland and imagined German grievances.
 

Black Azrael

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As Poland didn't negotiate the Versailles Treaty I'd say it has feck all to do with Poland and imagined German grievances.
My apologies for instructing grandams on ovisuction.

The Nazis had a severe down on all things to do with Versailles Treaty (I'm not getting into the Trianon Treaty over the Kingdom of Hungary right now). The Western powers had had a particular agenda in eastern Europe (which is why 'self-determination' had greater potency there that in Ireland).

The aim was to create states as buffers against the dreaded Bolshevik threat. This divided and sub-divided the former German and Austrian empires. Where the dominant populace was Polish, that became Poland. Where Czechs and Slovaks were the majority, that became Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, from long history (Cf: Teutonic Knights, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and all the rest), there were pockets of minorities suddenly swept into these new nations.

A further complication was the perceived need for the new Poland to access the Baltic. The city of Danzig became a 'free city', guaranteed by the League of Nations, at the head of a 'Polish corridor' which divided East Prussia from Germany.

Danzig/Gdansk had already a colourful history: originally a settlement created by the Sobiesławic, it became a bone of contention between the Danes and the Pomeranians. The Teutonic Knights were recruited to see off the Danes, who celebrated by massacring anyone of whom they disapproved, and making the city their HQ. So enter Germans into the equation.

Danzig became a member of the Hanseatic League in the mid-14th century; and grew to be the major, and most wealthy city of medieval Poland. Which made it a valuable acquisition. Czarist Russia nabbed it through the War of the Polish Succession (Poland's curse was the oxymoron of an elective monarchy). The Kingdom of Prussia grabbed it back in the Second Partition of Poland (to be revisited in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). Napoleon queered that pitch, so for a brief moment Danzig reverted to being a 'free city'. When Europe had to be tidied up after Napoleon, Danzig became the 'capital' of the coastal bit of West Prussia, and so re-Germanised. Things remained thus until Versailles allocated West Prussia to the reborn Second Polish Republic, but the glaring German identity of Danzig itself required it be somehow semi-excluded as a 'free city'.

It's not relevant to this thread, but the story of German Danzig's transformation into Polish Gdansk is one of the great moments of savagery (history in Giles MacDonogh, personal fictionalising by Günter Grass).

Nowhere in all this can I precisely finger why the Nazis had any obvious 'grievance' against Poland (except its very existence). The democratic second republic lasted less than a hundred months, until Piłsudski's coup (12 May 1926). After which the country became authoritarian, anti-Soviet, anti-semitic, using forced imprisonment for political, rural and industrial dissidents, prepared to make moderate concessions to Germany.
 
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Catalpa

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Dunno, Hess was totes in favour of blitzkrieging and defeating 7 countries. Thousands of dead civilians, and he didn't mind a bit.

When he flew to scotland in 1941, hitler's biggest worry was that he would blab about the coming invasion of russia, but he didn't. So he played a small part in that as well.

They all had to go dutch on the butcher's bill.
The British already knew that the attack on the Soviet Union was imminent

Stalin didn't....

Even though they kept on telling him through their Red orchestra set up in IIRC Switzerland.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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I am not apologising for Hitler.
Had you read my post you would have seen where I stated the German invasion of Poland in 1939 was not justified.
What I am saying is that the German grievances against Poland were entirely justified and the Poles treated German concerns with contempt.

Therefore I have little sympathy for the Poles.
Please try and read posts properly.
You are long enough hanging around and should be able to get the hang of it by now.
Oh but you are an apologist...that or else you just like being provocative for a laugh.

You describe Germany’s demands as “very reasonable and genuine German grievences”.....would you describe the German gripe about the Sudetenland in similar terms? If the Munich Crisis had resulted in war would you now be condemning Czechoslovaks as unreasonable and arrogant and responsible for cause general war?

Dispute about Danzig was just a pretext for german domination of Poland either by economic and political subordination or by military conquest. Albert Forster, leading Nazi in Danzig, was instructed by the Berlin to escalate their demands and raise new grievances to a level that would be impossible for the Poles to accept.....this in order to forestall any possibility that the Poles might yield to the existing demands.
 

The Field Marshal

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Oh but you are an apologist...that or else you just like being provocative for a laugh.

You describe Germany’s demands as “very reasonable and genuine German grievences”.....would you describe the German gripe about the Sudetenland in similar terms? If the Munich Crisis had resulted in war would you now be condemning Czechoslovaks as unreasonable and arrogant and responsible for cause general war?

Dispute about Danzig was just a pretext for german domination of Poland either by economic and political subordination or by military conquest. Albert Forster, leading Nazi in Danzig, was instructed by the Berlin to escalate their demands and raise new grievances to a level that would be impossible for the Poles to accept.....this in order to forestall any possibility that the Poles might yield to the existing demands.
I am discussing German Polish relations in the months leading to Sept 1939.
Nothing else.
Objectively speaking the German state was shafted by the Versailles treaty.
That is one major springboard that brought Hitler to power .

Genuine and justified German resentment.
This was particularly acute concerning Danzig and the Polish corridor.
The Poles were intransigent at every step concerning German requests to resolve the issues.

You seem to think the Poles were a bunch of innocent angels doing nothing wrong at all.
That is not the case and not the actual history.

They seriously underestimated and miscalculated on Hitler , as indeed did everybody else.

However as I told you several times I do not think that Germany had the right to invade Poland in the way they did.
 
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