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Humanitarian gestures… sort of. August 5, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This brought it back, reading about how Margaret Thatcher, no less, was one of those seeking the release of Rudolf Hess from Spandau in the 1980s.

The papers left by the British military governor of Spandau show pleas for Hess’s release on humanitarian grounds were made by foreign secretaries including Alec Douglas-Home, James Callaghan and Douglas Hurd. An appeal was also drafted in the name of Margaret Thatcher in 1982 to be sent to the Soviet premier, Leonid Brezhnev.
“There is to my mind no justification for keeping Hess in prison any longer. He is 88. He has been in prison for 40 years. He has been without the company of other prisoners for over 16 years. Humanitarian reasons demand that no one should be treated this way,” the draft letter said.

The reasons given for not releasing him by the Soviets were…

…an unwavering Soviet insistence that the release of the former deputy Nazi leader would be an insult to the 20 million Soviet war dead. There were also fears that his release could fuel a resurgence of neo-Nazism.

It was always a strange one, Hess. It’s long forgotten now, but in the late 70s there was an echo of this in punk and associated genres. Joy Division and Angelic Upstarts both referenced him in song and Spandau Ballet kind of sort of referenced his place of incarceration.


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