Leeds nostalgia: Hitler’s fury at Hess’s peace plan

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Turn the clock back 70 years and Russia was involved in a politically tense situation in the Middle East.

In what was deemed at the time as a surprise move, Russia withdrew all its troops from Teheran. Russia invaded the country, along with Britain and other Commonwealth nations, in 1941 in order to secure precious oil fields during the Second World War.

On December 12, after weeks of violent clashes a Soviet-backed separatist People’s Republic of Azerbaijan was founded.

There was also more from the Nuremberg Trials, in particular on why Rudopf Hess flew to England in 1941 to meet the Duke of Hamilton. The reason given, incredible as it seems, was to attempt to convince King George to go to Germany for a conference with Hitler, with the goal of establishing peace.

The trial heard that “Hitler knew nothing of Hess’s plans but Hess left behind a letter to the Fuehrer describing what he was about to do.”

Hess said he could not accept the fact that “the two greatest peoples on earth were attempting to annihilate each other.” He said Hitler himself had always wanted to “get together” with England and that he himself thought it possible.

Hess told no-one of his plans, except his secretary and his adjutant, both of whom were imprisoned by Hitler for complicity.

Hitler, upon hearing the news, apparently flew into a rage. Goering told interrogators: “I found Hitler sitting at his desk, holding Hess’s letter. He was immobile. After several minutes, he limply handed me the letter, then he became furious, started raging and called everyone who could possible know about it.”