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Nazi Heß exhumed, ashes to be scattered at sea

The Local · 21 Jul 2011, 09:08

Published: 21 Jul 2011 09:08 GMT+02:00

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The move was made quietly in Wunsiedel in northern Bavaria early on Wednesday morning, by choice of a church board that supervises the cemetery where Hess was buried, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

His remains will be cremated and scattered at sea, the newspaper reported on Thursday.

The decision was made because the grave in the town of about 9,500 has become a neo-Nazi pilgrimage site over the last few years – much to the dismay of local politicians and many residents.

Despite a court order banning their assembly, skinheads have commemorated Heß – who died in a German prison in 1987 while serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity – by marching through Wunsiedel’s streets every year and saluting Heß at his grave.

In an effort to stop this, the cemetery’s owners terminated the lease on the grave, which was shared with some family members, and decreed that the body would only be allowed to remain in Wunsiedel until October.

Although relatives initially resisted – one family member even filed a lawsuit to stop the exhumation – intensive negotiations resulted in the agreement to remove Heß’ remains, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Heß was originally allowed to be buried in Wunsiedel because he had asked for it in his will.

One of Hitler’s closest aides, Heß was eventually made the Nazi dictator's deputy.

Story continues below…

However, he was marginalized in the Nazi leadership over time, and he flew to Scotland in 1941 in a failed attempt to convince Great Britain to forge a peace agreement with Nazi Germany.

He was sentenced after the war during the Nuremberg Trials and imprisoned at Spandau Prison in Berlin.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 July 21, 2011 by oldWine
ARe neo nazis so much rich that they travel from different bundesland and visitz his grave yard. Probably they stay in expensive hotels /resorts who knows wher. But who pays the their bill, how can after 60 years of wwII they are ina strong position?

Do these people work and pay tax regularly or eating the arbeitlosen geld and hartz IV?

(just surprises me)
10:01 July 21, 2011 by Shiny Flu
oldWine. What part of fanatical/extremist do you not understand?

Much in the same way god fearing/loving people travel to Jerusalem and Mecca... walk around the mountains of Tibet to reach a temple... football fans catch trains to other cities... nerds and geeks go to various conferences etc. etc. etc. etc. Pretty simple mate.

Your assumption that Neo-Nazi's are staying in 5 star hotels is a bit far fetched no? Whilst obviously some sectors of their little group can probably afford so, you are correct in that most are poor and in fact can't. Most are either on social welfare, semi-supported or simply not earning enough to be heavily taxed.

To deny, even a Neo-Nazi, basic social welfare (Hartz VI) is inhumane and undemocratic. To do so, would akin to effectively stooping your/our morality to their level of unintellectual, non-cognitive and ignorant thinking. 60 years after the end of WWII, it's a reflection of Germany's transition to a stable democracy and equality that allows it to tolerate others' intolerance - within the law and constitution that is.
10:18 July 21, 2011 by oldWine
Normally they keep standing near the bahnhofs/city centers with their dogs and they seem to be not interseted in doing any jobs as you can see these people all the time there.

So it makes me understand that these people are lazy ( lazy people brain is devil's house) so I wondered how they go to visit his (grave shrine!) and may be doing a uebernachtung!

@shiny flu: can you write some simple english ( which is undestandable?) and I did not say to deny them any social-welfare. But society need to teach them to understand that:

if they love their country from heart (true love) then rather than standing and harming ( uttering bad slangs to foreigners) they should start working. And law enformcing agnecy should find out who is financing them or brain washing their brains.
12:16 July 21, 2011 by wenddiver
What type of Church can not forgive?? The Pastor should try and talk to thes obviously confused young people. The whole thing is sad, at some point people have to move on. Let the dead rest.

In the US we would have exploited him as a TOURIST ATTRACTION. SHOULD HAVE SOLD TICKETS TO THE CEMETARY, CRUMMY T-SHIRTS, bad fast food, cheap souvegnoirs, bumper stickers, history DVDs, the whole thing, exploitation to the max. Then Neo-Nazis would have "I've been to Hess's Grave and Elvis's and they are both expensive, but if I had to go back to one I would go to Elvis's. Another problem solved.
13:06 July 21, 2011 by bernie1927
Well, well, well. Here we go again. These "Neo-Nazis" have absolutely nothing to do with Nazis. They are just a bunch of lazy hoodlums. You give them far too much credit by calling them Nazis. Can't you arrest them for loitering and throw them in the clink? Threaten them with hard labor. That would scare the hell out of them. As for Mr. Hess! Who cares?Aren't graves flattened after a number of years anyway?
15:44 July 21, 2011 by oldWine

Actually you are right we should not give them credits ( by the way I did not know that real Nazis were "credited" for thei deeds, is that a joke or you really meant it?

Social system should make/hel to grow the mentality to work and then automatically these mean mindness ( that auslanders are scheisse will be gone!).Once they started working properly according to their qualifications there will be no time attending these kind of stupid things and also they won't like to scare people.

Abundance of work is left to make this beautiful country number one, not only in science many things to be done in agricultural thing farming many ...one has to inspire them.
16:10 July 21, 2011 by Woden's Day
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:58 July 21, 2011 by AWAGNER
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:07 July 21, 2011 by vonSchwerin
Onkel Bernhard! You're still hanging around here? How are things in upstate New York?
17:30 July 21, 2011 by rphillips@windstream.net
A few years back, the authorities at Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris almost evicted the body of the singer Jim Morrison for fan disturbance of his departed neighbors.

I can understand the feeling of German authorities about Hess becoming a shrine for neo-nazis. Still, there is something less than civilized about digging up a corpse, cremating it, and burying it at sea in order to keep it from becoming a political rallying cry.

Germany hasn't progressed beyond 1933-45 as much as one would hope, it seems. I wouldn't want to live there.
18:25 July 21, 2011 by Jerr-Berlin
in response to rphillips

...frankly, Germany is one of the best places to live these days...
19:21 July 21, 2011 by AWAGNER
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:34 July 21, 2011 by lunchbreak
The fact that Hess's body had to be disposed of in this manner is one more confirmation that Germany continues to struggle with its fascist elements. This episode is another unmistakeable sign that germans must be continually reminded of their history and responsibilities.
21:06 July 21, 2011 by reconpresseusa
Stories and photos from original newspaper articles of Hess' capture in Scotland in 1941, see:


21:31 July 21, 2011 by Klaipeda
If the second most powerful man in Germany, however flawed he might have been, who tried to bring peace and end a war [that took over fifty million lives] by flying from Germany to Great Britain on a solo flight in the middle of the war, crash landing his plane and almost killing himself in the process has to have his grave dug up because it is dangerous, then Winston Churchill, the racist leader of the western allies who deliberately starved 3 million Indians to death during WW II should have his grave dug up because it is equally dangerous.

Here are two reviews of a book written about Churchill's deliberate starvation of millions of Indians during WW II. The allies covered this massacre up but an Indian has now written a book about it.



How do the authorities know that only neo-NAZIS visit Hess's gravesite? I'm a believer in democracy and if I was in the area I might visit his grave.
23:08 July 21, 2011 by ElbflorenzAmiExpat
This is excellent and well worth attempting. If it works and the Neo monkey boys start jumping into the sea, this will be regarded as a brilliant ploy in the fight against racism for generations to come.
23:09 July 21, 2011 by Perser=Anti-arabism
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
04:34 July 22, 2011 by Johnne
That these morons exist in this country is the biggest shame. But it doesn´t matter, they should just thank their heads that we don´t see them around train stations or a Marienplatz in my own city (Munich) any one with 2 heads or 4 balls should expose himself or come near us...We´ll show them what real belief in democracy and freedom of expression is, and show Nazis/racists that never again are black people, coloured, women, gays, jews, muslims will tolerate "intolerance" even if the institutional racist soceity does.
07:43 July 22, 2011 by Talonx
I've seen a number of people imply that Geramany has some huge special neo-nazi problem.

At the top of that list is actually the U.S. the U.K. and Russia (in that order). Germany doesn't even register, the fact that these guys get news coverage and seem stronger than they are (due to over-representation in the news) is more a function of Germany being an extremely safe country with barely any crime to speak of. So instead of murder after murder in the papers, the newsmen give the neo-nazis page-time.

Germany today is at the top of the list for the least nationalistic country on the planet and they are one of the only ones that actually teaches its dark history.
08:32 July 22, 2011 by authun
Can't say it ain't true! Praise Talon!
08:52 July 22, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ Talonx

Can you please provide the source of your information? Who monitored the Neo-Nazi activities?
17:23 July 22, 2011 by roger-briggs
I like Wenndiver´s suggestion, probably tongue in cheek, of making the grave into an Elvis-style tourist attraction of such bad taste it would lose its attraction to Hess´s "Fans". The crucial difference between Hess and Elvis, apart from the fact that Hess couldn´t sing, is that Hess was made in to a martyr. Look a the photo a the top of the piece: "Martyrs never die". Isn´t that the point?

I believe it was the Russians who vetoed Hess´s release from Spandau although I personally felt it was inhuman to keep such an old man in jail for so long. I also believe it was the Russians who, having hid Hitler´s body from the other victorious allies, eventually realised the only thing to do was to cremate his bones and pour the ashes in a river, the Elbe. Allowing Hess a grave was bound to lead to it becoming a shrine.I also suspect Klaipeda might have a point about Churchill. There were crimes committed by we British to be sure, but it got brushed under the carpet because Britain was on the winning side. The same is probably true of the US and other allies. It may be unjust but that is the way of the world. At least in the past twenty years Europe has begun to take a lead by setting up the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. But to get taken there, so far at least, you have to be on the losing side.

Finally, may I offer a thought about the unemployed right wingers. Annoying they may be but no society has ever found a suitable solution. The Romans gave the Proletarian bread and circuses to keep them quiet, not jobs. The Nazis rounded up asocial families and tried to re-socialise them but it was too expensive and it did not work so the asocial camps became concentration camps. So much easier to enslave them and work them to death. In the balancing act between cruel Nazi social cleansing and tolerating them as we do, with close surveillance but respecting their human rights, I know which I choose,
17:30 July 22, 2011 by Englishted
If they scatter his ashes at sea.

Then offer free coach trips to see the final resting place to the neo-nazis.
07:36 July 24, 2011 by Dan Hansen
This whole story is just weird. Digging up old crazy nazi corpses, cremating them, and scattering their ashes in the North Sea. I don't think you could make this stuff up.

I looked up the wikipedia entry on Hess just to see who he was and read about his trip to Britain and his time in Spandau prison - it just makes the whole story even weirder.
18:55 July 26, 2011 by GFG
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:21 July 27, 2011 by whatsup
Best thing they could do, and leave no place for a pilgrimage.
19:18 August 4, 2011 by Klaipeda
No, it was a criminal action. His grandchildren didn't want their grandfather dumped in the ocean. Above, someone commented that Hess's flight to Britain in an attempt to end the war and bring peace was "weird". There was nothing weird about it. Hess was one of the most powerful men in Germany and the current German mentality thinks lying about history is alright as long as it fits what the occupying allies forced on Germany in its education and media - Germans/NAZIS = evil, Americans, British, French and Soviets = angels that saved the world and did nothing wrong in the entire war.

The so called "NAZI' Hess tried to bring peace while the murderous racist Winston Churchill shouted to his people "I want a war".
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