Rally Held to Free Rudolph Hess

Between 600-1000 people carrying banners reading “32 Years Are Enough” and “Freedom for Hess” marched yesterday through Bonn in a demonstration for the release of Rudolph Hess, the one-time No. 2 Nazi who is serving a life sentence for war crimes at Spandau prison in West Berlin. The parade was led by Wolf Ruediger, Hess’ son, who has been campaigning for years for his father’s release. It was sponsored by the “Freedom for Hess” organization of Stuttgart.

Ruediger said at a press conference that he was appealing to Chancellor Willy Brandt to raise the question of Hess release again with Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid Brezhnev when they meet here later this month. Brandt raised the matter with Brezhnev when they met in Crimea in 1971.

The United States, Britain and France reportedly favor Hess’ immediate release but the Russians who share with them the administration of Spandau prison, have refused. Observers here believe that the Russians might now agree to clemency in view of the East-West detente and that Hess, who is 79, may be a free man before the end of the year.

Hitler’s Deputy Fuehrer was imprisoned in Scotland in 1940 after defecting from the Nazis and flying there on a one-man peace mission. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1945 at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. The release of Albert Speer and Baldur Von Schirach from Spandau in 1966 left Hess the only survivor of the Nazis top hierarchy still in prison.

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