July 26, 2011

Rudolf Hess's remains exhumed, cremated and scattered

After committing suicide in 1987 while serving a life sentence in Berlin for crimes against peace, Rudolf Hess, once deputy Nazi party leader and confidant of Adolf Hitler,  was buried in his family plot.

But in recent years he has come to be seen as a martyr by the far-Right and thousands of neo-Nazis have used the anniversary of his death on August 17 as an occasion to hold rallies in the town.

Rudolf Hess's remains taken from grave in dead of night, cremated and scattered after it became neo-Nazi pilgrimage site

The grave of Adolf Hitler’s deputy has been dismantled to stop  neo-Nazis using it as a pilgrimage point.
Rudolf Hess’s remains were exhumed from the burial plot in a cemetery in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel. They will be cremated and scattered at sea in a secret operation.

German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung said the descendants of Hess were initially against the idea of exhuming his body.  A granddaughter of Hess even filed a law suit to prevent it.  But the family eventually caved in to pressure from the local authorities and agreed to have his remains taken away.

Especially after Norway, we do not need Nazi graves as pilgrimage sites.  Municipal authorities acted wisely and so  did the family in acquiescing to the removal.

Posted by Jill Fallon at July 26, 2011 2:25 PM | Permalink