Rudolf Hess's grave, neo-Nazi pilgrimage site, destroyed

Resting place of one-time Hitler deputy had become subject to neo-Nazi demonstrations; body exhumed, ashes to be scattered at sea.

July 21, 2011 11:09
1 minute read.
Nazi Rudolf Hess at Nuremberg Trial in 1945

Rudolf Hess 311. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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The grave of prominent Nazi and one-time deputy to Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, was destroyed on Wednesday and his remains exhumed after the site in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel became a place of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

Since 1987, when Hess killed himself in Spandau Prison for war criminals in Berlin, neo-Nazis had yearly held a demonstration at the grave on the anniversary of his death on August 17, raising their hands in the Nazi salute and laying wreaths on his gravestone.

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The cemetery in Wunsiedel contains the family burial plot of Hess' parents and the Nazi war criminal had expressed a desire to be buried there in his will.

Hess' granddaughter had initially objected to the exhumation of her grandfather's bones, but the board of the Wunsiedel Evangelical Church, who is responsible for the cemetery, convinced her to withdraw a lawsuit against the move.

The Hess family decided to burn his bones and then scatter the ashes in a burial at sea.

In 1941, Hess flew to Scotland in a rogue attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom, but instead was arrested and held in captivity for the rest of the war. Hess was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to life in prison.


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