The last den of fascism
Within an hour and a half, Woodd had finished with all the major Nazi criminals sentenced to death. The remaining seven convicts of the Nuremberg Tribunal were transported to serve the sentence in the most convenient for the protection and isolated prison in Berlin - Spandau. On the Soviet side, the duty to protect them was assigned to a company from the 133-th separate motorized rifle battalion.
Soviet and American soldiers against the backdrop of the gates of the prison of Spandau.
INTERNET UNION OF SPANDAU
The dark fortress prison of Spandau was built of solid red brick in a pseudo-medieval style in the shape of a Maltese cross. Designed by the size of many hundreds of people, it became a prison for those sentenced to long-term imprisonment Rudolf Hess, Walter Funck, Karl Doenitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Albert Speer and Konstantin von Neurath.
To guard the prison, a four-sided guard changed every month. Alternately, the Soviet, American, French, and British troops stepped in.
From the Soviet Union, servicemen in Spandau were carried by soldiers of the 133-th separate motorized rifle battalion. Soviet soldiers stepped on guarding the prison for three months a year - in March, July and November. For the rest of the time, the unit was engaged in regular military work — combat and political training, and went into outfits.
The changing of the guard took place in a solemn atmosphere.
Former battalion serviceman N. Sysoev describes it as follows: “Special attention was paid to the solemn ritual of accepting a protected object from the French and putting it to the Americans. Here, we could not hit the face in the dirt, but we had to + show everything that the soldiers of the victorious country are capable of. The gates of the prison entered with an impeccable line of steps, while with particular zeal the soles of boots that were lined with steel plates were printed to the pavement, creating an eerie roar under the arches of the arch.
The personnel stood up in a special service uniform: a single-breasted coat and trousers — soldiers' parade, chrome boots, a hat and an overcoat — were officers.
A new guard lined up in a column of three, headed by a commander and a marching step, entered the prison gates.
The guard stayed in the courtyard, where the French were already. Here there was an exchange of short reports of the commanders of the guard.
The ritual of the shift was not complete without oddities. One of them is described in the book of the military translator Lt. Col. MA Non-manual "Forty years of loneliness." “Our company commander is a senior lieutenant, a young, handsome brunette. “The poured out Grigory Melekhov,” said one French woman who obviously read Silent Don by Sholokhov. During the transfer of security ... when an American officer reported to the head of the guard and, on behalf of the US government, he accepted the protection of the Spandau inter-allied prison, our Melekhov shook his hand so firmly that the American even sat down in surprise. Through the rows of numerous spectators who filled the parade ground in front of the prison, he ran a chuckle ... "
After the military ritual, the first change of guards, accompanied by a divorcing party, went to posts. The sentries performed their duties on towers located along the perimeter of the prison on a brick wall about six meters high. Each country had its own methods of providing protection. Our sentries were located on seven watchtowers, one post was “wandering”. During service, the guard with the guard approached each tower with an interval of 15 minutes, and each time the watch shouted, according to the regulations, “Comrade Sergeant, everything is fine at the post!” Two barbed wire fences were installed on the outside of the wall meter, to one of them was connected to the high voltage current. A neutral strip was installed between the outer wall and the electrified fence. Along the perimeter and at the gates of the prison were announcements that forbade approaching her: “Attention! Dangerously! Do not come, the guard will shoot. "
The guard included 27 military personnel. The service was carried a full month with two compositions of the guard, replacing each other daily. A new guard from the location of the Berlin Brigade arrived in Spandau to 17 hours. The ride took 40 – 45 minutes. The checkpoint at the border of the sectors passed without much trouble. Weapon, the property was imported without restrictions. The East German border guards had lists of cars that could easily cross the state border. From the side of West Berlin nobody protected the border. When the buses drove through the “iron curtain” - a dividing strip drawn by yellow paint on asphalt, the English jeep met the guard and escorted to the prison building. There were cases when the buses with the Soviet guard threw stones, eggs, tomatoes. Periodically, along the road, young Germans appeared with anti-Soviet posters.
Twice a day, representatives of the 6 Brigade or the 133 Battalion traveled to Spandau to check the guard. A special verification team consisted of a unit control officer (unit), a translator and a communications man. In May, 1985, on the way to Spandau, a group of young people blocked the Volga road with an inspection officer. When the car stopped, the neo-fascists began to break windows and rock the car. As a result, the Volga with the battalion commander was turned upside down. Fortunately, the military did not suffer.
The situation around Spandau was destabilized not only by neo-fascists, but also by old Nazis. All the world's media spread around the statement of Otto Skorzeny - special forces, who saved with the help of gliders Mussolini.
The SS officer said: "Give me a hundred reliable people and two helicopters, and I will bring Hess out ... from Spandau prison." British intelligence during the interrogation of six Nazis accused of conspiracy to overthrow the government of West Germany, received information that the conspirators, led by Werner Neumann, also planned to organize the escape of the main war criminals from Spandau prison. Often stones and bottles flew through the windows of the barracks, and once even shot through the window. All this, of course, forced to be fully armed.
How did the relationship between prisoners and soldiers of the guard evolved? Have they come across? This can be judged at least by the following fact. In the early years, Hess demanded from the rank of the guard giving military honor. The British were quite serious about their subordination, the Americans saluted jokingly, how the Russians behaved is not difficult to guess. The military man of the 133 Battalion, Pyotr Lipeiko, describes his first meeting with the prisoner: “He was walking towards me along the narrow path of the prison park, and someone had to give way. Here even a certain anger was found on me: why should I, an army officer of the victorious country, do this? We stopped, and I saw a very attentive and domineering glance from under shaggy eyebrows, which were beyond the years. For a few moments, Hess studied the novice, then the prisoner slowly got off the trail. Interestingly, after this "duel" he began to greet me, although the old Nazi never welcomed the Russians. " In turn, the Soviet soldiers and officers, to put it mildly, did not like Hess. Sentinels on the towers, stepping on the post at night, slammed steel manhole covers with a roar.
The guard carried out external security. The internal regime was handled by the staff of the administration, which was quadrilateral. From each country was appointed director in the rank of lieutenant colonel. They were constantly in prison, but they took the chair once a month. The administration took decisions with the general consent.
The health of the prisoners was monitored by four military doctors, representatives of the victor countries. According to the memoirs of Fyodor Vadimovich Kozlikov, who was the last doctor of Rudolf Hess from the Soviet side, in addition to his direct responsibility for monitoring the health of the “Nazi number 2”, the political task imposed by the Cold War was also placed on the Soviet physician. On the eve of his appointment to the post of the foreign affairs officer of the GSVG, he formulated it like this: “You must be on guard that Hess will not leave the prison without objective medical evidence. A war criminal must serve his sentence precisely in Spandau! ”
The disciplinary staff consisted of civilian overseers. For obvious reasons, the “civilian overseers” from the USSR were military counterintelligence officers of the State Security Committee.
A four-sided shift was observed during the duty. The duty schedule was designed so that the internal posts at the same time were guards from four countries.
CONCLUDED NO. 7
For a long time, the huge prison continued to serve as a haven only for “Nazi number 2” - Rudolf Hess. The Führer’s Deputy for the National Socialist Party of Germany was to remain there for life. Only death could save him from imprisonment. In the basement of the prison for him a coffin was prepared in advance of roughly hewn pine boards ...
The prisoner was kept in fairly comfortable conditions. Hess in 1980-e years occupied two cameras. One on the north side, the other on the south. They were in them "Deputy Fuhrer" alternately, depending on the time of year. Especially for Hess a few years before his death, an elevator was equipped in Spandau, which was connected with the illness he suffered.
The camera was a room of approximately 18 square meters. In the middle was a medical bed with height adjustable ends. To her right was a hospital bedside table, to her left a table with an electric kettle, a mug and other tea and coffee accessories, as well as a desk lamp. On the nightstand lay fiction and periodicals. Above the table on the wall hung a map of the lunar surface, sent by NASA. Barred window, curtain on it. The floor was covered with some kind of soft coating. In addition, the camera was a radio. To the right of the entrance is the door to the lavatory. Another of the chambers was converted into a library. In it on the simple planed shelves was placed classic literature. Among the books were editions of the XVIII, XIX centuries. Hess received four German newspapers every day: “Noyes Deutschland”, “De Welt”, “Der Tages Spiegel” and “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”.
Two cameras were combined under the medical center. There was a medical officer on duty permanently - a representative of the four-sided prison administration. There were also chambers, refurbished under the shower and bathroom, rest room. In the latter was installed a large Japanese TV. Restrictions were imposed by prison directors only on viewing individual programs.
Hess was allowed dating with loved ones. For these purposes, there was a special room. Visits took place at the request of his relatives. A wife, sister and son came to the prisoner. The intensity of dating Hess in different years was not the same. So, from the time of the flight to England in May 1941 of the year to December 1969, Hess has never met either his wife, his son, or his only sister. Hess explained the refusal to meet him by saying that "he is not a criminal and therefore does not want them to see him in prison."
At the same time, there is another version about the reason for the refusal of Hess from dating. According to her, even before the Nuremberg process, the "Deputy Fuhrer" was replaced by a twin. The organizers of the substitution called the British special services. According to this version, the motive for not meeting was the need to stretch time so that none of the people who knew Hess earlier would be able to identify with certainty a twin.
Two facts make one doubt the plausibility of the version about replacing Hess with a double. The first is Hess's regular meetings with relatives who have been going on since 1969.
Wolfgang Rüdiger, son of Hess, described one of them in the following way: “The dates were strictly stipulated by nine conditions: it was not allowed to touch the father - to shake hands and hug, to give presents. It was forbidden to talk about national socialism, about the conditions of detention in prison, about the flight to England, it was also impossible to discuss the process in Nuremberg and the topic "Hitler and the Second World War." The meetings took place in a specially designated room at the table, on which a transparent barrier was fixed. ”
The second well-known fact is the correspondence. With the outside world, the "Deputy Fuhrer" maintained postal communication. The correspondence was censored. This involved translators. The prison charter determined that a prisoner had the right to write and receive one letter per week. Letters were to be written in German, legibly, without cipher or shorthand. It was not allowed to emphasize anything, to use abbreviations. Images were not allowed to be characters without decoding them. Letters for censorship should have been submitted in open form.
Letters Hess wrote with his own hand. It also calls into question the version in the Western press about replacing the last prisoner Spandau with a double.
Once a month, in 20-x numbers (from 20 to 23-e), there was an inspection check of finding Hess in the chamber. The commission consisted of four prison wardens and representatives of the command of the winning countries. During such a check, the brigade V.I. Marchenkov:
- By the middle of 80, Hess was already an old man. From the "Deputy Führer" there were only penetrating eyes under shaggy eyebrows. Rudolf Hess looked like a pathetic old man. He was dressed in cream trousers, a white shirt, a black jacket. Leaned on a cane ...
Changing international guard time.
Remember the story of an eyewitness about the physical condition of Hess.
Did the "pitiful old man" repent?
Under the exterior of a weak prisoner was an unbroken spirit. “Hess not only did not plead guilty,” writes MA Nerucheva, - but even in prison he did not express repentance ... He sought to remain "the most faithful of the faithful to Hitler."
Not changed not only beliefs, but also the habits of Hess. "Nazi number 2" remained a vegetarian. Two Afghan cooks cooked for him. In addition to culinary abilities, special demands were placed on cooks - they were supposed to be citizens of a country that did not participate in World War II. A similar requirement was imposed on all attendants.
Hess ate in the chamber. Products were checked daily by a medical officer. Food was brought by an orderly and a warder. During the meal, the prisoner was allowed to use only a spoon. The menu depended on whose guard was serving this month. The Western Allies spoiled the prisoner by offering roast, chicken, beans, cakes, and coffee with cream. The Russian table was more modest: always the first course, buckwheat porridge, herring, tea.
In total, the attendants consisted of 59 people: janitors, cooks, nurses, fire supporters ...
Walked Hess twice a day: from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 16.00 to 18.00. During walks through the territory with him, there was an inseparable guard from among the guards. The walks were either in the prison yard or in the garden, which occupied a large part of the prison courtyard.
In bad weather, the prisoner was allowed to while away the time in the garden house. He was a metal trailer with an entrance and a window facing the prison wall. Inside the house were a chair, a table with a desk lamp ...
THE SECRET OF THE LAST PERSON
The prison of its last prisoner lost 17 August 1987 of the year. According to the official version, put forward by the British side, whose guard and the administration then served, the “Führer Deputy” committed suicide by hanging himself while walking on a piece of wire in a metal trailer in the prison yard.
The press release was made by the American prison director: “Hess, as usual, while on a walk,” the director told media representatives, “accompanied by an American guard, he headed for the garden house. At this time, the warden (Jordan. - Comm. Ed.) Unexpectedly called to the phone, and he ran into the prison building. When he returned to the house a few minutes later, he found Hess breathless with an electric cord wrapped around his neck. Resuscitation measures were taken, and Hess was taken to a British military hospital. After repeated attempts at reviving, his death was announced in 16.00. ”
When inspecting Hess's personal belongings, a note was found in the inner pocket of his jacket: “Please send it to the prison administration home. Written a few minutes before my death. I thank you all, my dear, for all the good that you have done for me. Tell Freiberg (who serves the Hess Chancellery) that, to my great regret, I, starting from the Nuremberg process, had to behave as if I did not know it. I had nothing else to do ... I was so glad to see her again. I got her photos and all of you. Your grandfather (Euer Grosser). ”
A note is another reason to doubt the official version. It is “written on the back of a letter from the daughter-in-law dated July 20 1987 of the year”, but at the same time, the content of the note, the researchers came to the conclusion that it was not death and was written not only that. He did not use the signature "Euer Grosser" from the 70-s, when he began to subscribe simply "der Euer" ("Your"). In addition, the mention of Freiberg and not a word about the grandchildren suggests that the note appeared to have been written 20 years ago, during an exacerbation of the disease, and not a few minutes before the “voluntary retirement”.
The posthumous letter, says Eugene Baird, the former head of the Spandau prison (1966 – 1972), was written in 1971, and he saw it with his own eyes. “Hess was sure that he would die in a couple of days, and after his son visited him, he called me, asked for paper and a pencil. Do not ask me where the letter has been for all these years - I do not know either. But it appeared again only after the death of Hess. ”
The medical examination, in addition to traces characteristic of hanging suicide, "found jaw bruises, hemorrhage under the hair on the back of the head, multiple broken ribs and sternum." The conclusion of the pathologist: death was caused by suffocation. But did the prisoner hang himself?
Hess tried to "commit suicide" five times. Most attempts were imitations.
The first attempt was made by Hess in England. Then he jumped over the railing of the stairs. From the second attempt of "suicide" in the heart area, the "Deputy Fuhrer" remained a small scar (in the Hess hospital with a table knife he easily hit himself in the chest).
In October, 1959, “during our next round of the chamber block, our doctor Hess showed the lieutenant colonel a bloody left arm wrapped in a towel. It turns out ... Hess pulled the glass out of his glasses and tried to open their veins. "
The reasons of the “suicide” attempts were explained by the “Fuhrer’s Deputy” by the fact that the future of Germany seemed hopeless to him, he was depressed, he was literally going crazy.
Was Rudolf Hess insane, able to commit suicide? There is no definite answer.
In prison, "Nazi number 2" was examined for mental health. Here is an excerpt from the conclusion of the American psychiatrist Dr. Maurice Welch: “First of all, I am deeply convinced that Rudolf Hess is not currently suffering from psychosis at all. There are no signs of hallucinations or the tendency to hallucinations. His mood during the conversation should be qualified as completely normal. There is no sign of paranoid change in his state of mind. Summarizing, we can say that Hess gives the impression of an individual with an extraordinary mind, distinguished by some schizophrenic features; on the other hand, there is evidence that at least twice he had bouts of hysterical amnesia and he fell into depression, which was accompanied by attempts to commit suicide ... "
Doubt the version proposed by the British, causes first of all the physical condition of Hess at the time of death. According to eyewitnesses - the Soviet soldiers, 93-year-old "Nazi number 2" was a decrepit old man who could hardly tear the cable, and then quietly make him a loop and strangle himself:
“In 87, he was not only very old, but also very sick. I could not stand up by myself, I moved only with the help of a stick, I pulled my leg behind me - the consequences of a stroke. I saw it very badly. He suffered from arthritis, almost did not own the fingers of both hands. I had to push the spoon into his hand so that he could use it. He could not even tie his shoelaces, raise his hands above the shoulders. ”
The reason to doubt the suicide of Hess is the fact that, according to the Tunisian nurse, Melauhi, in the garden house where the accident occurred, "there were an American warden and two other military men." The presence of unknown people in uniform is a gross violation of the Spandau Charter. With the exception of directors, warders, a priest and a medic, no one had the right to be near a prisoner.
“Two unknowns in the American uniform,” who were found in the house by the orderly Melauhi, were allegedly disguised agents of the British special services SAS (SAS - from Special Air Service). So says Wolf Rüdiger. This is confirmed by the fact that later no researcher was able to identify their identities.
The reason for the possible execution of the old Nazi is that Rudolf Hess, having been released, could tell the world a lot of interesting things. “Do you remember the acts that London has coded for many years to come?” - Eugene Baird writes in his memoirs. - Now imagine what would have happened, leave Hess to freedom! I knew the old man well - he would not be silent for a minute. His freedom would be a bomb for many politicians. ” And he had a chance to go free.
13 April, the West German weekly Der Spiegel published a note that Mikhail Gorbachev is considering the question of the release of Hess. In June, Radio Moscow reported that Gorbachev’s latest statement gives hope that Hess will be released soon. Perhaps these events were the reason why prisoner No. 7 was killed.
At the trial, Hess played the insane. “Nazi No. 2” did not communicate with anyone in prison. The possibility of his release led to the "problem of information leakage." For example, about the reasons for the flight to England. In confirmation of this, historians cite one of the episodes of the Nuremberg process. “31 August 1946 of the year Hess at the court hearing wished to inform the Tribunal about his mission to England:“ In the spring of 1941 of the year ... ”he began his story. But then he was interrupted by the Chairman of the Tribunal, the Englishman Lawrence ... "
Thus, the official version of Hess's suicide can be, not without reason, questioned. Do we know the true reason?
In the UK, archival documents were to be declassified and the entire truth about Hesse was published. But "the archival documents on the Rudolph Hess case are classified as high state secrets, will be declassified in 2017 year and until the expiration of this period can not be issued to the family."
After the sudden death of Hess, a company from the 133-th separate motorized rifle battalion, which served to guard the Inter-Union Prison, was disbanded. Today there is no building itself. Immediately after the removal of the guard, the English engineering units began to destroy its walls: "Deleted from the face of the earth as the last den of fascism." The demolition of the prison - the decision of the Nuremberg Tribunal.
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