Today, Saturday April 26th, is the 75th birthday of Rudolf Hess the last and only prisoner of Spandau.
Today, Saturday April 26th, is the 75th birthday of Rudolf Hess the last and only prisoner of Spandau. To mark the occasion, a group of people calling themselves "Friendship Circle for the Release of Rudolf Hess" gathered outside the austere prison to once more demand the parole of the man who was Adolf Hitler's deputy.
Rudolf Hess, who was condemned to life imprisonment by the War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946, was captured in Scotland when he flew there on a private peace mission on May 10th 1941. He bailed out at Dungavel and his Messerschmidt crashed in a field. Next month, on the 27th anniversary of that day, Professor Rubin of the University of Cologne and Herr Willie Schubert will repeat the parachute jump in an attempt to attract attention to their plea for the release of the aging Hess.
Today, Professional Rubin And Herr Schubert, dressed in the paratroop uniforms they will wear next month for their jump, met outside the walls of Spandau prison with some 40 other supporters of their movement - carrying flowers and distributing pamphlets that ask for the release of the former Nazi leader.
Spandan Prison is the last place in Berlin that is completely and equally governed by the Big Four (USA, Britain, France and USSR) and, although the Western powers have indicated they may be prepared to release Hess, the Russians have so far resisted all appeals. To keep Rudolf Hess -- the only inmate -- in the huge prison, costs the four powers and the West German Government 800,000 marks (80,000 pounds sterling) a year.