A GLIMPSE INTO HISTORY: Rudolf Hess – The Secret Royal Conspiracy Behind The Murder Of A Man Seeking A Peace Deal

Rudolf Walter Richard Heß, also spelled Hess (26 April 1894 – 17 August 1987), was a prominent politician in Nazi Germany. Appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler in 1933, he served in this position until 1941, when he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom during World War II. He was taken prisoner and eventually was  convicted of ” crimes against peace,” – serving a life sentence, until his death by “ suicide.”

Hess, the oldest of three children, was born on 26 April 1894 in Alexandria, Egypt, into the ethnic German family of Fritz Hess, a prosperous merchant from Bavaria, and Clara Hess (née Münch). His brother, Alfred, was born in 1897 and his sister, Margarete, was born in 1908. The family lived in a villa on the Egyptian coast near Alexandria, and visited Germany often from 1900, staying at their summer home in Reicholdsgrün (now part of Kirchenlamitz) in the Fichtel Mountains. Hess attended a German language Protestant school in Alexandria from 1900 to 1908, when he was sent back to Germany to study at a boarding school in Bad Godesberg. He demonstrated an aptitude for science and mathematics, but his father wished him to join the family business, Hess & Co., so he sent him in 1911 to study at the École supérieure de commerce in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. After a year there, Hess took an apprenticeship at a trading company in Hamburg.

Hess enlisted in the 7th Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment as an infantryman at the outbreak of World War I. He was wounded several timesover the course of the war and won the Iron Cross, 2nd class, in 1915. Shortly before the war ended, Hess enrolled in training as an aviator, but he saw no action in this role. He left the armed forces in December 1918 with the rank of Leutnant der Reserve. In 1919, Hess enrolled in the University of Munich, where he studied geopolitics under Karl Haushofer, a proponent of the concept of Lebensraum (“living space”), which later became one of the pillars of Nazi Party(National Socialist German Workers Party; NSDAP) ideology. Hess joined the NSDAP on 1 July 1920 and was at Hitler’s side on 8 November 1923 for the Beer Hall Putsch, a failed Nazi attempt to seize control of the government of Bavaria. Whilst serving time in jail for this attempted coup, Hess helped Hitler write his book, Mein Kampf, which became a foundation of the political platform of the NSDAP. After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, Hess was appointed Deputy Führer of the NSDAP – and received a post in Hitler’s cabinet. He was the third most powerful man in Germany, behind only Hitler and Hermann Göring. In addition to appearing on Hitler’s behalf at speaking engagements and rallies, Hess signed into law much of the legislation, including the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which stripped the Jews of Germany of their monopoly rights in the lead-up to the so-called “Holocaust.” 

Hess continued to be interested in aviation, learning to fly the most advanced aircraft that were coming into development at the start of World War II. On 10 May 1941, he undertook a solo flight to Scotland, where he hoped to arrange peace talks with the Duke of Hamilton, whom he believed to be prominent in opposition to the British government. BUT through betrayal from the Scots  Hess was immediately arrested on his arrival and was held in British custody until the end of the war, when he was returned to Germany to stand trial in the Nuremberg Trials of “major war criminals ” in 1946. Throughout much of the trial, he claimed to be suffering from amnesia but later admitted this was a ruse. Hess was convicted of “crimes against peace“- and conspiracy with other German leaders to commit crimes and was transferred to Spandau Prison in 1947, where he served a life sentence. Repeated attempts by family members and prominent politicians to win him early release were blocked by the Soviet Union. Still, in custody in Spandau, he died by suicide in 1987 at the age of 93. After his death, the prison was demolished to prevent it from becoming a “neo-Nazi “ shrine.


Claims that Rudolf Hess was murdered under orders from the British to stop him revealing wartime secrets have been revealed in a police report which has only just seen the light of day after 25 years. According to the documents, a doctor who was treating the NS Party deputy leader supplied Scotland Yard with the names of two British agents who were suspected of the murder, but the force was advised to stop its investigations. The report by Detective Chief Superintendent Howard Jones, which has now been released under the Freedom of Information Act, provides details on the inquiry into surgeon Hugh Thomas’s claims.

It was written two years after Hess’s death in 1987 after the force was called in following claims by Mr. Thomas that the man sent to Spandau Prison in then-West Berlin was not Hess but an imposter sent by the National Socialists in 1941. Allied authorities said Hess “hanged himself ” with an electrical cord in Spandau jail on August 17, 1987, at the age of 93. ( This after he served so many years in prison already?) But Mr. Thomas said the real Hess was in fact killed by two British agents dressed as members of the U.S. forces amid speculation he was about to be released due to a veto by the Soviet Union, Tiohe Independent has reported. The report cites how Mr. Thomas ‘confidentially imparted‘ the names of the two alleged suspects which he had received from a former member of the SAS. Mr. Jones wrote: ‘[Mr. Thomas] had received in formation that two assassins had been ordered on behalf of the British Government to kill Hess in order that he should not be released and free to expose secrets concerning the plot to overthrow the Churchill government.’ Despite not finding ‘much substance‘ to the murder allegations, Mr. Jones ordered an investigation.

According to The Independent, the Crown Prosecution Service received a copy of the report in 1989. Within six months the Director of Public Prosecutions at the time, Sir Allan Green, advised the investigation should not continue. Hess was an early confidant of Hitler, who dictated much of Mein Kampf to him while imprisoned during the 1920’s. He eventually rose to become deputy NS leader and was captured in 1941 during a solo flight to Scotland on an apparently unauthorized peace mission. He was later convicted in the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War ended. At the Nuremberg trials after the war, Hess was found innocent of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity“,-  but sentenced to life imprisonment for “crimes against peace and conspiracy to commit crimes against peace”. His appearance in Britain in 1941 has been the subject of much debate over the years. In March last year a declassified report revealed for the first time the stark scene in which Hess was said to have” killed himself “ and his alleged suicide note. But the report of the investigation into Hess’s death, released last year under Freedom of Information, only deepened the mystery surrounding his final moments.

King George VI’s younger brother was the central figure in a failed Anglo-German conspiracy to topple Winston Churchill and make peace with the Nazis. And it was to happen when Rudolf Hess parachuted into Britain during the Second World War. So claim two experts who believe Prince George, the Duke of Kent, was instrumental in planning an audacious coup d’état to oust the wartime Prime Minister and forge an alliance with Hitler . Unlike Churchill, who famously vowed to “never surrender”, the Prince and his circle feared that Britain could only be ” saved from the clutches of the Gestapo”  by forming a treaty with the Fuhrer. A wartime truce would also protect the Royal Family and the aristocracy from being killed or imprisoned under German rule, historians now believe.

Image result for prince george- duke of kent

 Authors suspect The Duke of Kent was behind a plot to overthrow Winston Churchill
But Churchill, who had the support of the nation and of its military, stood in the way of the potential peace negotiators. In one of the most dramatic moments of intrigue during the Second World War in 1941 Hess took it upon himself to fly solo to Scotland to make contact with the establishment in an attempt to keep Britain out of the war. He parachuted in but was captured by the Home Guard and then held in the Tower of London, he died in 1987 after spending the rest of his life in prison following the Nuremberg trials at the end of the war.
Soldiers and policemen in Eaglesham inspect the wreckage of the Messerschmitt ME-110 in which Nazi leader Rudolf Hess made his solo flight to Scotland
 Soldiers and policemen in Eaglesham inspect the wreckage of the Messerschmitt ME-110 in which Nazi leader Rudolf Hess made his solo flight to Scotland

Hess’ motives have fascinated war historians for more than seven decades and now a new book suggests he was in cahoots with members of the British Royal family. According to Rudolf Hess: Treachery and Deception the Prince, the Queen’s uncle, and his co-conspirators planned to seize power by calling upon the King to depose Churchill using his ‘reserve powers’ — rarely-used special powers that enable a monarch to dismiss a Prime Minister and their Government without any approval. A 30,000-strong army of allied Poles, which by 1941 had fled their homeland and were based in Scotland, were to support the coup with the implied threat of firepower should it be required.

Finnish scholar Tancred Bornius, director of the Polish Relief Fund, sitting in his office
 It has been claimed that during World War II Tancred Borenius worked as a spy for the British government and was instrumental in enticing Rudolf Hess to fly to Britain. The authors of the book say Hitler had “nothing to lose” and if the plan worked, Germany would have the UK as an ally in his planned invasion of Russia. If not, Hitler would continue with his plan to land troops on the south coast and conquer Britain at his leisure, once Russia was beaten. Despite months of planning, the conspiracy failed when Hess was apprehended by government forces after parachuting near Glasgow when his plane ran out of fuel – a pivotal moment in WWII and one that went on to safeguard Britain’s independence. The gripping revelations come on the day of the 75th anniversary of Hess’ flight.
John Harris co-author of Rudolf Hess: Treachery and Deception
John Harris co-author of ” Rudolf Hess: Treachery and Deception.”

Co-authors John Harris and Richard Wilbourn studied almost 10,000 documents over a period of more than 25 years in their quest to discover the real reason behind Hess’ visit – one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the Second World War , and the subject of countless conspiracy theories. The evidence they say, “very strongly points” to an Anglo-German coup centered around the Royal Family itself. It’s not the first time the Royal family has had unwanted Nazi associations – last year footage came to light showing the Queen, then aged either six or seven, join the Queen Mother and her uncle Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, in raising an arm in Nazi salute. Harris, a well-known authority on Hess, said: “The real reason for the Hess F light has been a mystery for three-quarters of a century, but we believe it can only have been for one of two reasons: either it was an elaborate lure by the British to buy time, or it was a genuine attempt by a small group of aristocratic conspirators to stage a coup. “Having weighed up all the evidence, and in light of recent discoveries we have made, we now believe that it was, in fact, a coup attempt centered around Prince George. “The aristocracy had the most to lose from Churchill staying in power. All they knew was that Germany was bombing Britain nightly, softening the country up prior to an invasion, which would surely cost them their wealth, their status, and their lives.

Winston Churchill pictured with his trademark cigar
Winston Churchill pictured with his trademark cigar

“They were also unhappy that Churchill’s strategy revolved around a US alliance, which many quite correctly saw as the end of the British Empire. A peace treaty with Germany, a country that had historic ties with the Royal Family, would have seemed like the most sensible option to them. Communism was the real enemy; particularly to those with much to lose. “There were many parties involved in the plot but our research points time and again to one man who was connected to them all: Prince George.” The authors have jointly penned two books on the subject, previously believed that Hess had been lured to the UK by the British Secret Service on the false pretext of forming a military alliance. Together, Britain and Germany would have the military might to crush Russia – their most hated enemy – and to stamp out communism in the process. But after stud ying thousands of documents from archives across the UK and Europe, and following countless interviews, the pair have identified what they describe as the most likely scenario.

Richard Wilbourn co-author of Rudolf Hess: Treachery and Deception
Richard Wilbourn – co-author of “Rudolf Hess: Treachery and Deception.”

The authors now know that Hess was approached by a faction of the Secret Service, which was working clandestinely in the name ofPrince George – a known proponent for peace. This top-secret cabal, including MI6 deputy head Claude Dansey, swore allegiance to the Royal Family, who would almost certainly be dethroned in the event of a German invasion. One sympathetic MI6 agent, Tancred Borenius– a close friend of Prince George and of George’s mother, Queen Mary – is believed to have provided Hess with details of the coup and with an invitation to sign the peace treaty on Germany’s behalf during a covert mission to Geneva, Switzerland in January 1941. It is unclear whether or not Hess sought permission from t he Fuhrer, though Harris and Wilbourn believe that Hitler most likely knew of the plan. Harris said: “After years of being the action man – flying fighter planes and taking part in the action – Hess had by 1941 become Hitler’s chief pen pusher.

Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) with his deputy and private secretary, Rudolf Hess (1894 - 1987) at a Nazi Party meeting
Adolf Hitler with his deputy and private secretary, Rudolf Hess at a Nazi Party meeting

“We believe that he was a deeply unhappy and bored man, and that this intrigue was exactly the kind of adventure that he so desperately needed.” But in order for the elaborate ‘peace mission’ to succeed, the Conservative Prime Minister would first have to be ousted from government. The co-conspirators knew that Churchill would never agree to a peace deal with the Nazis. This required the support of King George VI, who would have been called upon to impose his reserve powers to prorogue, or discontinue, Parliament. A coup would have been the only way of getting rid of Churchill as in the UK there are no elections during times of war.

Wladyslaw Sikorski
Wladyslaw Sikorski – the Polish military and political leader is said to have been involved in the plot

The takeover would have been further supported by the might of the fierce Polish army. It’s general, Wladyslaw Eugeniusz Sikorski, was Prince George’s next-door neighbor in Berkshire and a close friend. Harris says that Churchill was aware that his position was under threat, though he did not know the full details of the coup or of the Secret Service’s involvement. Hess planned to fly to an airfield in Ayrshire in Scotland on May 10, 1941, where Harris believes he was planning to meet the Duke of Kent.

Circle diagram of connected parties in 1941
Circle diagram of connected parties in 1941

But Hess was arrested after parachuting from his Messerschmitt Bf 110, which crash-landed in a field in Eaglesham, south of Glasgow. Harris, 56, said the events on the night of Hess’ arrival are either “highly coincidental” or “strongly suggest a conspiracy of the sort we have concluded”. For instance, Prince George, a serving member of the RAF, is believed to have been in Scotland on the day of Hess’ arrival and was a friend of Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the 14th Duke of Hamilton, whom Hess demanded to see when captured.

Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the 14th Duke of Hamilton
Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the 14th Duke of Hamilton, was who Hess wanted to speak to

General Sikorski, meanwhile, ended a fundraising trip in the United States to fly back to Prestwick, near Glasgow, the next day, putting his life at risk by commandeering a new type of plane that was fast but notoriously difficult to control. The RAF have also yet to release any report into the affair, prompting Harris and Wilbourn to conclude that their intelligence department was also implicated. Harris added: “It may seem incredible to think that a member of the Royal Family could have been ready to do a deal with Hess and Hitler, but 25 years of research and digging has led us to this conclusion.

Rudolf Hess: Treachery and Deception book cover
The new book is called “Rudolf Hess: Treachery and Deception.”

“Of course, nothing can be proven. The Secret Service is under no time-bound obligation to declassify documents in the same way as the Government and the Royal archive has been unable to assist with our inquiries into the exact whereabouts of Prince George on the night of May 10th, which is suspicious in itself, as his movements before and after that date are well documented. “We believe the key to the whole affair is the involvement of MI6 agent Tancred Borenius, who was familiar with Prince George and Queen Mary, had been approached by MI6 deputy Claude Dansey, and is recorded as having met with General Sikorski shortly before the Hess Flight. “There is strong, documented evidence for his covert mission to Geneva to pass a message inviting Hess to come to Britain to talk peace, but if it had been a clever lure by the Secret Service then Churchill would have known about it from the onset, which he didn’t, and Borenius would surely have been decorated for his bravery like other war heroes instead of being airbrushed from history for over 70 years.” Hess ended his days in SpandauPrison in Germany, apparently “committing suicide “ in 1987 at the age of 93 without ever revealing the true motives for his flight. Prince George died in a military air crash on August 25, 1942, the first Royal to die in action in 500 years.





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