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The Loneliest Man

Rudolf Hess, 1894–1987

291 words

“My coming to England [sic] in this way is, as I realize, so unusual that nobody will easily understand it. I was confronted by a very hard decision. I do not think I could have arrived at my final choice unless I had continually kept before my eyes the vision of an endless line of children’s coffins with weeping mothers behind them, both English and German, and another line of coffins of mothers with mourning children.”

—Rudolf Hess to his wife Ilse, June 10, 1941 

He had fought in the trenches, watched the rats
gnawing the feet of dead or dying soldiers,
the flower of Europa slain in youth.
He understood Trakl’s pain, the grandsons who
would never father future generations.
So the mission in his mind was clear:
he climbed into the cockpit of a fighter
and flew to Scotland. Ankle broken now,
parachute on the ground, he babbled to
a farmer, to Lord Churchill. Neither listened.
They declared him mad, and locked him up
inside the tower of London, where the rooks
of war besieged his mind, and where the clouds
brought back memories of his Grecian mother.
At Nuremberg his final words were: “I
have no regrets.” He would repeat them how
many times in his cell at Spandau prison
as years turned into decades and he found
himself the lone remaining prisoner?
Towards the end, he’d whisper to pale flowers,
glance at Erich Honecker’s grey portrait,
the covers of East German TV guides,
senile, limping, propped up by a cane,
a friendless, shunned, and isolated man.
When the guards found him in the summer garden
a power cord was wrapped around his neck.

From Tikkun Olam and Other Poems


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  1. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Based on a private conversation with one the Prison workers, his son Wolf believed him to have been assasinated the day before his release by British agents dressed in US military uniforms.

    • Sandy
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      Jaego,I think it is safe to say that privately most Brits believe the old boy was murdered.

      • Mike P.
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes, he was definately murdered. It has been determined that because of his age around the time he died, it was physically impossible for him to kill himself in the way it is stated that he did. Plus he was about to be released just two weeks before his suicide. I don’t know why anybody would kill themselves just a couple weeks before getting out of prison. It has to be murder.

  2. Maaldweb
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    He is one of our Saints.

    • Jaego Scorzne
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Has anyone written the story of this man in detail? I picked up a bit of the story here and there, from Savitri Devi and others. Do the Spandau Diaries have anything about him? And can it be trusted?

  3. Michael (Germany)
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    His martyrdom and his murderers will not be forgotten.

  4. Posted February 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I thought I hated poetry, but then I read Halloween and then I read this one and quite liked it. So I suppose I only like good poetry, not the agenda driven nonsense I had to read in college. Thanks for posting this stuff. Lots of Eastern Europe representing!

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