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Rudolf Hess's life sentence?

Article about: I know this may have been asked before, but was just curious. I know Rudolf Hess was given a life sentence for his involvement in the NSDAP and Third Reich. I know he flew to Scotland in May

  1. #1

    Default Rudolf Hess's life sentence?

    I know this may have been asked before, but was just curious. I know Rudolf Hess was given a life sentence for his involvement in the NSDAP and Third Reich. I know he flew to Scotland in May 1941 to try and brokerage a peace plan and was arrested.
    I'm just trying to understand why people such as Albert Speer and Dr. Wernher von Braun just got a "slap on the wrist" as it were for their involvement.
    Was Rudolf Hess just a scapegoat or what? I've read wikipedia, etc... Just trying to figure out the logic behind it. Thanks for any information.

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    Hey Wharfrat, Others will have more to say on this but as for comparing say Hess to Speer, Well it is very simple.. Speer had a bargaining chip & helped the allies immediately following the war's end by openly detailing his strategy's for production of war materials in factories during the time the US were heavily invested in strategic bombing which they believed would end the war early by bombing production factories supplying the Germans. Speer simply took the factories underground to avoid the bombs but the US during the war could never figure out why their bombing campaign was barely effecting German production. When he shared this info with the US I believe it helped somewhat with the Pacific campaign. I am also sure he helped providing other vital information to the allies. That is most likely why you see that difference. Hess probably had no valuable information that could help the allies. Cheers, Sean.

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    My personal opinion has always been that it was due to his high-profile title prior to 41' but even more so that Heß was the one who passed the Nürnberger laws which, as I'm sure you know, dissolved most Jewish and other undesirables civil rights. One could argue these laws were the beginning of the holocaust.
    That said, I feel he was punished a bit too severely.

    -- ----- --

    Valid point seandm. Heß missing presence in the Third Reich after mid May of 1941 would've left him without much information, thus leaving him pretty much useless to the allies besides for propaganda purposes(such as giving a high leader of the Third Reich a life sentence).

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    Oh and to add, It is exactly the same principle with Von Braun if not more so! The US needed his cutting edge expertise in missile design & production. Especially as the cold war escalated. Not to mention he effectively put the first man on the moon lol. Cheers, Sean.

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    "The US needed his cutting edge expertise in missile design & production." - seandm

    And we sure didn't want the Russians getting ahold of it!!

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    Quote by youthcollector1 View Post
    "The US needed his cutting edge expertise in missile design & production." - seandm

    And we sure didn't want the Russians getting ahold of it!!
    Exactly!!!

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    Quick answer when it comes to Hess vs. von Braun specifically:

    Hess was no rocket scientist.

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    Thanks for the input. Yes I can see why Van Braun was so important to us. Some interesting things that went on there...

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    Read Speer's Autobiography 'Inside the Third Reich' and then his 'Spandau, the Secret Diaries'. It gives a pretty interesting take on him and Hess. Speer wasnt involved as early as Hess and he was as deeply involved as the guys like Borman, Himmler, Göring etc. Also, Speer admitted what he did, he wasn't looked at as being a bad guy by many of the Allies. But really, a 20 year sentence isn't exactly small.

  10. #10

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    Had Hess been captured at the end of the war he would undoubtably been executed, IMO his life was saved by flying to Scotland. At the time of the flight the so called final solution to the Jewish problem had not been enacted but I am sure had Hess remained in Germany he would have played a significant role in the Holocaust given his position in the Nazi hierarchy, and thus warranted future execution.

    My understanding is that it was the Soviets that insisted that the life sentence imposed on Hess meant death in prison the "soft" western allies wanted Hess freed on compassionate grounds.

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