Nazi Rudolf Hess, one of Hitler’s closest associates, was born on this day. Hess became “Deputy Führer” (Stellvertreter des Führers) after Hitler came to power, making him the second man in the Nazi hierarchy. Interestingly, Hitler and Hess even shared a jail cell after the failed coup in Munich in 1923. In prison, Hitler dictated his book “Mein Kampf” to Hess, and it became very popular.
Rudolf Hess was born in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, which is quite unusual for a German. Namely, his father, Fritz Hess, was a merchant from Bavaria who lived with his family in Egypt. Little Rudolf Hess was educated in the German Protestant School in Alexandria, and occasionally visited Germany.
Probably the most interesting part of Hess’s life was the unusual “peace mission” in 1941, when he tried to make a reconciliation with Great Britain against Hitler’s will. Hess was a trained pilot, so he took a plane and singlehandedly flew from Germany to Scotland, where he sought to meet up with Winston Churchill. However, Prime Minister Churchill did not want to negotiate with Hess. In fact, he was put in jail and never released until his death at the age of 93.