History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Rudolf Hess

Scroll down to see images of the item below the description

Virtually pristine signed portrait of Hess

Rudolf Walter Richard Hess (German, Heß), 1894–1987. Nazi German Reichsminister Without Portfolio and Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler, 1933–1941.  3⅜” x 5½” portrait photograph signed, R Hess.  With accompanying letter from Hess’s adjutant on engraved, blind-embossed stationery of the Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Der Stellvertreter des Führers (National Socialist German Workers’ Party, The Führer’s Deputy), May 5, 1936.  In German, with translation.

This is a virtually pristine black-and-white bust portrait of Hess by Conrad of Berlin.  Hess, with piercing, deep-set eyes, heavy eyebrows, and a serious expression on his face, appears in unform with a heavy overcoat prominently featuring a button with a Nazi eagle and swastika design.  He has signed with a bold signature in blue-black ink in the broad white margin at the bottom of the photograph.

In the accompanying cover letter, Hess’s adjutant Winkler writes to send the photograph to a young girl.  In full:  “I am pleased to be able to send you the enclosed photograph of the Führer’s Deputy with the desired signature.  Heil, Hitler!”

Hess was Hitler’s deputy from 1933 until 1941, when he made a still-largely-unexplained solo flight to Scotland in a supposed effort to broker peace with Great Britain.  He said that he had made the flight without telling Hitler.  When his plane ran out of fuel as Hess, flying after dark, after he failed to find his target, Hess parachuted out of his plane and was captured by the British.  He was held by the British until the end of World War II, when he was charged with war crimes and transported to Nuremburg for the trial.  He was convicted of crimes against peace—planning and preparing a war of aggression—and conspiracy with other German leaders to commit crimes.  He was sentenced to life in prison.  The Soviet Union vetoed requests for his release, and Hess, who remained an unrepentant Nazi, spent the rest of his life as, ultimately, the only prisoner in Spandau Prison in Berlin.  He was found hanged, ostensibly of suicide, in 1987 at age 93.

This photo has the name of the girl’s father and his address written on the back in pencil with the notation “Gau,” together with the notation “Hess” on the edge in blue ink.  It is very fine, and only the notations on the back keep it from being extra fine.  The accompanying cover letter is signed Winkler in blue fountain pen.  It has crossing mailing folds, one of which goes through the blind-embossed Nazi eagle in the letterhead, a paper clip stain in the blank upper right margin, two small holes in folds, and a tiny split in the top of the vertical fold.  It is fine. 

We reject Nazism and all that it represented.  Yet the German Third Reich and the Holocaust that it systematically carried out played an undeniable role in 20th Century history.  Since we believe that to decline to offer Third Reich material, although it is offensive, would aid those who want to sweep the Third Reich under the rug and deny that the Holocaust occurred, we offer this material because the world must never forget what happened, lest it happen again.  As Winston Churchill said, paraphrasing the Spanish philosopher George Santayana, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  Click here to read more about these thoughts in our Blog posts of January 8 and February 26, 2010. 


Click here to see more Third Reich and World History items.





To the extent applicable to those affected by German law, particularly § 86a StGB, historical and military items from or relating to the period and personalities of the German Third Reich are offered for only purposes of education and research regarding

historical events and military history and uniforms.  Clients who purchase such items agree that they will not use them for propaganda or other purposes that would be punishable under § 86a StGB.


home  |  presidents  |  supreme court  |  american history  |  world history  |  contact us


© History In Ink, L.L.C.




 Registered Dealer # RD281