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Editorial – Rudolf Hess

17 May 1941

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 17 May 1941

Rudolf Hess

Rudolf Hess is a welcome gift in one sense, for he comes as light relief to the grimmer tidings of sinkings, raidings and bombings. We do not know in what character or for what purpose he has left his beloved Reich and Fuehrer.

We are officially informed that he is a refugee from the Gestapo. Whether, when or why he was to be liquidated, we do not pretend to know. Whether plotting or plotted against, whether fleeing, like the wicked ” when no man pursueth,” whether taking the wings of the morning out of disgust with Nazi sadism, whether dramatically disillusioned about the Nazi mission to purge and purify, whether his infatuation with Hitler has been shattered by a lightning revelation of the vileness of the man, or whether, with unrivalled means of estimating the prospects of the Nazi regime, he has chosen this moment to ” rat” – Hess best knows.

Meanwhile we may be permitted to employ our imagination on this agreeable mystery. If it was an escape it was boldly conceived; nothing could exceed the effrontery of his choke of a haven, nothing surpass the eloquence of the tacit confession that in Britain alone is to be found asylum even for the murderous enemies of Britain; nowhere in the world is there a refuge, outside the British Empire, from the Gestapo.

What a confession! What an admission! What devastating testimony in the issue now being tried between the British and the Nazi philosophy—and from what an authority! This man, now sheltering behind British custody, fed and nursed by British mercy and charity, has for years plotted against our race, and for months waged bitter, ruthless war upon it. There is not an infamy, not a brutality, not a crime, not a deed of shame, not an outrage committed by or for Hitler that this man has not approved, applauded, and justified—for years he has worshipped, aided, abetted, comforted and inspired the supreme author of all this evil; he has not only worshipped Hitler as a god, but has blasphemously proclaimed him a god.

What we are to do with him now that he has flown to us for protection, how we are to use him, or how his defection, can be made to help our cause—these are problems /or subtler minds. We see the man only as a troubler of this world’s peace, an eager partaker with Hitler, Goering, Ribbentrop, Geobbels, Himmler and the rest of the criminal Nazi junta in the war for the extermination of decency. He has earned, with them, the lowest hell we devoutly hope that he will yet find. If he is not immediately sent back to Germany with his neck wrung we shall get more of this black cattle winging their way hither, and that may suit us very well—but their treachery to their’ own foul brood will not cancel crimes, for which, one day, please God, they shall pay to the uttermost.