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A Daring Venture

Rudolf Hess and the Ill-Fated Peace Mission of 1941

Peter Raina

At the height of the Second World War, Hitler’s Deputy, Rudolf Hess, made a dramatic solo flight to the British Isles. His arrival there was sensational news – and it baffled everyone. Why had he come?
Hess claimed he had flown to Britain entirely of his own initiative and was on a personal mission of peace. But so unlikely was the success of such an appeal in Churchill’s entrenched Britain that historians continue to wonder at his motives.
In this book, Peter Raina publishes, for the first time, complete texts of Hess’s ‘peace proposals’ and a treatise he wrote in captivity outlining how he saw Nazi Germany’s role in Europe. These texts throw considerable light on Hess’s mission and also on how the Nazi leadership saw their programme of expansion and their relations with Britain.
Disconcertingly single-minded and an unashamed disciple of Hitler, Hess was at heart an idealist. His friend and confidant Albrecht Haushofer was an idealist of a different kind, and joined the German Resistance Movement. The frame story of this book relates how the two men moved to their tragic ends.
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Chapter 6: Kirkpatrick Meets Hess: Second Interview –Further Peace Proposals


← 42 | 43 → CHAPTER SIX

Kirkpatrick Meets Hess: Second Interview– Further Peace Proposals

While Hess was still in Scotland, Kirkpatrick was ordered to see the prisoner again. Kirkpatrick met Hess on 14 May, with Hamilton present. Kirkpatrick drafted a report of this conversation:

Record of an Interview with Herr Hess on May 14th1

We started by asking Herr Hess how he was. He replied that he was feeling better. A number of complaints which he had had to make about his treatment had been remedied. In particular, he had objected to being under the constant supervision of a private soldier. He also had a number of requests to make, namely, the loan of certain books including Three Men in a Boat, the return of his drugs, the return of his camera and a piece of his aeroplane as a souvenir. The Duke of Hamilton said that he would make enquiries as to the possibility of giving him satisfaction on these points.

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