Jewish War Veterans Oppose Move to Free Rudolf Hess, Hitler Deputy
Menu JTA Search

Jewish War Veterans Oppose Move to Free Rudolf Hess, Hitler Deputy

Download PDF for this date

Efforts to free Rudolph Hess, once Adolf Hitler’s deputy and No. 2 man in the Nazi hierarchy, now serving a life sentence in the Spandau international war crimes prison in Berlin, were vigorously opposed by Samuel Samuels, national commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States. In a statement today, Mr. Samuels said that Hess, one of the original storm troopers, had “gone beyond the realm wherein a claim for compassion could be made.” He is the only war criminal left there.

Moves to free Hess have been supported by former United States Attorney General Francis Biddle who had himself passed judgment on the Nazi at the Nuremberg war crimes trials in 1946. Mr. Biddle said recently that he thought Hess, who defected to Britain in 1941, had served long enough and that Lord Oaksey, presiding member of the Nuremberg court, agreed. Mr. Samuels noted that Hess was given a life term and “would have been executed with other extremely brutal Nazis had a question not been raised about his sanity.” To free Hess, he said, “would mock the sacrifices of all those who opposed Nazism.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund