Remains of Nazi Rudolf Hess exhumed: report

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The remains of Adolf Hitler's one-time deputy Rudolf Hess have been exhumed in Germany and his grave destroyed because it had become a shrine for neo-Nazis, a newspaper report said Thursday.

The remains of Hess, who killed himself at Spandau Prison in West Berlin in 1987 aged 93, were removed at dawn on Wednesday and are due to be cremated and scattered at sea, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

Hess was buried according to his wishes in a churchyard in Wunsiedel in Bavaria, southern Germany, where his parents had had a holiday home, with the approval of the local Lutheran church council.

But because of neo-Nazis trying to hold demonstrations, laying flowers and performing Hitler salutes in front of the grave, the council refused to extend a lease when it came up for renewal, the paper said.

Hess's descendants, including a granddaughter, initially objected but the head of the council managed to persuade them to agree, the paper added.

Hess parachuted into Scotland in an apparent peace mission in 1941 without Hitler's approval. He was kept prisoner for the remainder of World War II before being sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nuremberg trials in 1946.

He was long held as the sole prisoner at Spandau Prison until he was found hanged in August 1987.

© 2011 AFP

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