Hitler's Henchmen

Season 1 Episode 1

The Deputy: Rudolf Hess

Aired Unknown Feb 04, 2013 on
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Episode Summary

The Deputy: Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess was Hitler's first adherent. He was a true and extremely loyal follower and until his mysterious death in 1987 in a prison cell in Spandau, Germany, he was the Führer's longest surviving helper. He steadfastly believed in the Nazi "movement" to the very end. As deputy minister he, more than any other, naively cultivated the Führer cult. But his true influence on the events of his day was marginal. Hess personified the loyal disciple. Film footage from the archives of the Hess family, shown for the first time, demonstrates that Hess was a man who wanted to be led. Until this very day, Hess' unauthorized flight to Scotland on May 10, 1941 remains one of the great mysteries of the Second World War. Documents which have been kept secret for decades, as well as reports from people who were directly involved in this hair-raising escapade, shed light on Hess' motives. For Hess himself the flight meant the beginning of a prison term which was to last 46 years. Eye witness accounts of Hitler's reaction prove that the Führer knew nothing about Hess' "mission of peace" and that he never forgave Hess for his actions. The news of Hess' death in 1987 made headlines worldwide. Year for year Neonazi processions clash with the police as they march to commemorate the anniversary of Hess' death. The Allies' report that Hess used an electrical cable to commit suicide is still viewed by many with skepticism. The film shows, however, in unprecedented reports from witnesses, such as the US prison guard who was on the scene directly after the event occurred, that the suicide theory is almost certainly true.moreless

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