19 August 2009

We Think We May Have Hurt Their Feelings

A few days ago we suggested the celebration of a new holiday we called "Dead Nazi Day" to memorialize the suicide of Rudolph Hess. We thought er might hit a nerve. Oh, you have no idea!

We received a great deal of feedback from boneheads who were, shall we say, displeased with our characterization of the corpse formerly known as Herr Hess. We can't post it all, but we have selected two which sort of reflect the general mood. Evidently, the boneheads believe we've been unfair in our assessment of Hess:

"Wow. You're attitude towards Hess is rather sickening.

Check out his wiki page and get your facts straight..."

But this was nothing compared to a second rant we received:

I understand your requirement, as propagandists, to defame and minimise the actions and, indeed, the lives of your past nemeses; however please refrain from complete fabrications. I say this largely because it only makes your cause look more pathetic to those who already know otherwise.

Firstly, Hess did not hang himself in prison. He was done-in by the prison guards who knew they would never be reprimanded for executing a "war criminal."

Second, Hess was Hitler's respected Right-Hand Man, and it is entirely ludicrous to pass him off as less than such. You are aware, certainly, that it was he himself who the Führer chose to write his words down in a document that would later be known as "Mein Kampf."

Hess was one of the most accomplished pilots of the Luftwaffe and survived incredible odds, including being shot down numerous times, only to by the grace of God survive each without serious injury.

His weak testimony at Nouremburg was not as pathetic as you attempt to portray it; Hess was tortured, beaten, his family threatened, all to obtain a false confession that would put him behind bars for the rest of his life -- despite the fact that he had never killed an innocent person, other than perhaps by bombs that fell from his bomber. Nothing, I should say, that wasn't done tenfold worse by the Allied forces during the same war.

Furthermore, you severely downplay the attempts that Hess made to bring peace and honour to both sides of the war. During his personal mission to Britain -- which you herein touched upon -- he brought with him a message of peace and respect, which was spat upon, and he was beaten and imprisoned illegally.

Your disrespect towards this defamed hero is revolting; surely you rather spit upon the name of Hess than ever acknowledge that a good man may have been your enemy. You wish to remain blisfully ignorant and continue to assume that every living German during the 1940s was evil, sadistic, and inhuman.

Your hatred and defamations will return to you tenfold in times to come, that is a thing of which to be certain.

We can actually picture the person sobbing as he wrote the above post.

"Leave Rudolph ALONE!"

Oh, whoops. Wrong link. Well, we're sure it was close enough to the spirit of the post.

Anyways, the second message makes certain claims. We figured that we would take on the challenge of the first message and use wikipedia to counter the claims:

Firstly, Hess did not hang himself in prison. He was done-in by the prison guards who knew they would never be reprimanded for executing a "war criminal."

This is a claim made by Hess apologists for two decades now. The crux of the main murder claim is that Hess was murdered by the British SAS or MI6 in order to prevent him from releasing damaging information about Churchill:

The British feared, so the theory alleges, that Hess could tell details about his negotiations about peace with them in 1941, which would damage the credibility of Churchill's policy of no peace with the Nazis without unconditional surrender.

Problem with this "theory" is that the British were actually open to releasing Hess and that it was the Soviets who refused to budge, though even that was changing by the time Gorby came to power. But why let the truth get in the way of a good conspiracy theory?

Second, Hess was Hitler's respected Right-Hand Man, and it is entirely ludicrous to pass him off as less than such. You are aware, certainly, that it was he himself who the Führer chose to write his words down in a document that would later be known as "Mein Kampf."

Yep, a glorified stenographer. Very important. Here's how important Hess was in the Nazi Party:

Soon after Hitler assumed dictatorial powers, Hess was named "Deputy Fuhrer." Hess had a privileged position as Hitler's deputy in the early years of the Nazi movement and in the early years of the Third Reich. For instance, he had the power to take "merciless action" against any defendant whom he thought got off too lightly—especially in cases of those found guilty of attacking the party, Hitler or the state. Hess also played a prominent part in the creation of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935. Hitler biographer John Toland described Hess's political insight and abilities as somewhat limited.

However, he was increasingly marginalized throughout the 1930s as foreign policy took greater prominence. The alienation of Hess increased during the early years of the war, as attention and glory were focused on military leaders, along with Göring, Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler...

And how did Hess' idol feel about his flight to Scotland?

Taken by surprise, Hitler had Hess's staff arrested. Questioning revealed that Hess was not motivated by disloyalty, but had simply cracked under the strain of the war. The official statement from the German government said that Hess had fallen victim to hallucinations brought on by old injuries from the previous war.

"My coming to England in this way is, as I realise, so unusual that nobody will easily understand it. I was confronted by a very hard decision. I do not think I could have arrived at my final choice unless I had continually kept before my eyes the vision of an endless line of children's coffins with weeping mothers behind them, both English and German, and another line of coffins of mothers with mourning children."

—10 June 1941 (from Rudolf Hess: Prisoner of Peace by his wife, Ilse Hess)

Hitler also stripped Hess of all of his party and state offices, and privately ordered him shot on sight if he ever returned to Germany. However, Hitler did grant Hess's wife a pension. Martin Bormann succeeded Hess as deputy under a newly-created title.

Here is our favourite claim:

Hess was one of the most accomplished pilots of the Luftwaffe and survived incredible odds, including being shot down numerous times, only to by the grace of God survive each without serious injury.

This is concerning Hess' service during the First World War. Ladies and gentlemen, let's go to the tapes. Er... Wikipedia:

At the onset of World War I he enlisted in the 7th Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment, became an infantryman, and was awarded the Iron Cross, second class. After numerous injuries, including a chest wound severe enough that he was not allowed to return to the front as an infantryman, he transferred to the Imperial Air Corps (after being rejected once). He then took aeronautical training and served in an operational squadron, Jasta 35b (Bavarian), with the rank of lieutenant, from 16 October, 1918. He had no victories.

Let's look at that again:

After numerous injuries, including a chest wound severe enough that he was not allowed to return to the front as an infantryman, he transferred to the Imperial Air Corps (after being rejected once). He then took aeronautical training and served in an operational squadron, Jasta 35b (Bavarian), with the rank of lieutenant, from 16 October, 1918. He had no victories.

So he was in the Imperial Air Corps for less than a month, as the war all but ended on November 11. And during that time he scored no victories. And according to the poster, he was shot down numerous times.

Wow, ya, that's an impresive record. We think you just shit on the legacy of people like the Red Baron dude.

Furthermore, you severely downplay the attempts that Hess made to bring peace and honour to both sides of the war. During his personal mission to Britain -- which you herein touched upon -- he brought with him a message of peace and respect, which was spat upon, and he was beaten and imprisoned illegally.

Well we've already established that Hitler was pissed off. But how was he treated by his captors?

Hess became increasingly agitated as his conviction grew that he would be murdered. Mealtimes were difficult, since Hess suspected that his food might be poisoned, and the MI6 officers had to exchange their food with his to reassure him. Gradually, their conviction grew that Hess was insane.

And we're not sure how he was illegally imprisoned. He was a high profile member of the Nazi Party and German government who flew into the airspace of a country with whom Germany was currently at war. When captured, he was treated as a prisoner of war.

His weak testimony at Nouremburg was not as pathetic as you attempt to portray it; Hess was tortured, beaten, his family threatened, all to obtain a false confession that would put him behind bars for the rest of his life -- despite the fact that he had never killed an innocent person, other than perhaps by bombs that fell from his bomber. Nothing, I should say, that wasn't done tenfold worse by the Allied forces during the same war.

Sure. Let's go back to Wiki:

Hess was detained by the British for the remainder of the war, for most of the time at Maindiff Court Military Hospital in Abergavenny, Wales, where he would often be taken to the White Castle on Offa's Dyke path. It was rumoured that he was befriended by the local populace. He then became a defendant at the Nuremberg Trials of the International Military Tribunal, where he was found guilty on two of four counts and given a life sentence.

He was declared guilty of "crimes against peace" ("planning and preparation of aggressive war") and "conspiracy" with other German leaders to commit crimes. Hess was found not guilty of "war crimes" or "crimes against humanity."

Some of his last words before the tribunal were, "I do not regret anything." For decades he was addressed only as prisoner number seven. Throughout the investigations prior to trial Hess claimed amnesia, insisting that he had no memory of his role in the Nazi Party. He went on to pretend not to recognise even Hermann Göring — who was as convinced as the psychiatric team that Hess had lost his mind. Hess then addressed the court, several weeks into hearing evidence, to announce that his memory had returned — thereby destroying his defence of diminished responsibility. He later confessed to having enjoyed pulling the wool over the eyes of the investigative psychiatric team.

Hess was considered to be the most mentally unstable of all the defendants. He would be seen talking to himself in court, counting on his fingers, laughing for no obvious reason. Such behaviour was a source of great annoyance to Göring, who made clear his desire to be seated apart from him. The request was denied.

So, what did we write about originally that can be refuted with legitimate sources?

Your disrespect towards this defamed hero is revolting; surely you rather spit upon the name of Hess than ever acknowledge that a good man may have been your enemy.

Naw, we wouldn't want to spit on his name. We'd rather spit on his rotting corpse, but he really isn't worth the purchase of a shovel to dig him up.

You wish to remain blisfully ignorant and continue to assume that every living German during the 1940s was evil, sadistic, and inhuman.

Well you know what happens when you assume, right? There were a number Germans, both men and women, who lived during World War II who deserve a great deal of respect. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Hermann Sasse, Karl Barth, Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and other members of the White Rose, Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, Liselotte Herrmann, Ernst Knaack, Leo Borchard, and a host of others resisted and condemned Hitler and his policies, often at the cost of their own lives. And as at least one of the writers of this blog is of German ancestry, it's sort of hard to accuse us of an anti-German bias.

Dear readers, we believe that this confirms our belief that "Dead Nazi Day" must become an anual event. It has been far too much fun.

2 comments:

AuntieFa said...

My favourite part is the persistent claim by boneheads that Brit spooks killed Hess. Let me get this straight - The Brits had Hess, let him go to whatever prison (outside of the UK to boot!) after Nuremberg and waited like 30 or so years before deciding to ice him because he supposedly had dirt on somebody who is now a matter of history.

Why is it so hard to believe Hess just accepted his mediocrity and did the world a favour by swinging from a rope? The Brits should have just shot him the minute he landed there.....but why waste precious bullets on a second rate politician who ran like a little bitch?

TorontoSHARP said...

Can we have cake and balloons on this day? I'd be down for celebrating it with some cake and balloons.