Herald Sun – May 30, 2011
NAZI dictator Adolf Hitler ordered one of his key henchmen on a secret solo mission to broker peace with Britain two years into World War II.
The find, according to a newly discovered document cited by The Scotsman, opens an intriguing new angle into the May, 1941 journey of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, who was taken into captivity after flying a Messerschmitt plane into Scotland.
The incident remains one of the war’s biggest mysteries.
It has been suggested previously that Hess was deserting, was trying to strike a peace deal without Hitler’s knowledge, or was even out of his mind.
But a notebook found in the files of the Russian Federation in Moscow, written by Hess’ long-time adjutant in 1948, says Hitler knew of the flight – and hoped that an “agreement with the Englishmen would be successful”.
The mission came just weeks before Germany launched its invasion of Russia.
The aide, Major Karlheinz Pintsch, was interrogated under torture for years in captivity by the Soviets.
According to interrogation transcripts found in the archive with the notebook, he said that when the notoriously hot-tempered Hitler – who was paranoid about being betrayed – heard Hess had been captured, he “did not seem surprised, nor did he rant and rave about what Hess had done”.
Major Pintsch was also recorded as saying, “Hitler then went on to read a letter that Hess had sent him. He read the following significant passage out aloud. ‘And if this project … end in failure … it will always be possible for you to deny all responsibility. Simply say I was out of my mind.’”
Hitler and British leader Winston Churchill both did claim Hess – who was captured by a farmer after bailing out of his plane and parachuting into a field – was deranged.
Hess was tried after conflict ended in 1945 and was sentenced to life in prison for war crimes. He killed himself in Berlin’s Spandau Prison in 1987, aged 93.
Pintsch was released by the Soviets in 1955.