Bavaria is for Beer, Skiing, Polka and Pilgrims

It seems there is yet another thing I have to cross off of the itinerary of my next Bavarian vacation. The remains of Rudolf Hess, noted Nazi propagandist and skydiver, were exhumed from his grave in Wunseidel, Bavaria. The tombstone was removed and the remains shall be cremated and scattered at sea.

Hess’ grave was a noted tourist destination for goose-stepping tourists from as far away as Iowa who would come to gawk at the tombstone and pay their respects to the ‘last man in Spandau Prison.’ The general creepiness of the visitors who would travel from distant lands to leave flowers and shed tears are one of the reasons that the town of Wunseidel decided that this was one tourist attraction that they would prefer to do without. That and all the skinheads who liked to descend on their town for rallies in which the ‘achievements’ of a dubious regime and it’s suicidal leadership were celebrated. Perhaps Wunseidel’s populace would like to become known for other things… or think that being unknown is preferable to being known as the Neo-Nazi ‘Sturgis’ of Bavaria.

Check out Hess’ Groucho eyebrows in the pic at right. Although Rudolf’s dad was as Aryan as the driven snow, his mother was a Greek, which probably required considerable pruning of the Hess family tree in order to make Hitler’s right hand appear presentably Aryan.

He also provided considerable fodder for conspiracy theorists. Hess started off as Hitler’s right hand man but abruptly ended up parachuting into England Scotland where he was promptly imprisoned. Some said Hess was attempting to broker a peace deal; others said he feared assassination in Germany and decided to ‘escape’ to England Great Britain. Like the child of divorced parents, the former allies and the USSR had a ‘shared custody’ arrangement at Spandau Prison. Hess could look forward to Russian guards one month, American guards the next, etc. Long after the West had lost interest in keeping Hess in prison, the USSR continued to insist he remain there, giving rise to yet more theories on what secrets Hess knew and why the Russians wanted to keep him there. Hess hung himself (or was murdered by the British, according to the theorists) in 1987. Before he died, one of the prison doctors made headlines by declaring that the man in Spandau was NOT Rudolf Hess. Others insist that it was indeed Hess but trying to quash conspiracy rumors with facts is a hopeless enterprise.

6 Comments on “Bavaria is for Beer, Skiing, Polka and Pilgrims”

  1. ClawCarver says:

    Ahem. He parachuted into Scotland, not England. The knackered remains of his plane are on display at the Museum of Flight in East Fortune, near where I live, so if the weeping Nazis of Iowa need a new holiday destination, I suppose that might suffice.

  2. Limpey says:

    Parachuted into Scotland? That is just what the suppressors of the truth would have you believe! (seriously; will correct the above post to reflect this nugget of info — thank you)
    I wonder if the pilgrims will be laying wreaths and bouquets around the wreckage of his plane and filling their handkerchiefs with tears. Local scots can hopefully make a bundle selling 'Hess dolls' (complete with parachute and bandaged ankle). What is the old joke? “Rudolf; so glad you decided to drop in!”

    One of the ironies of these 'Nazi shrines' is that my older German relatives who lived through those times would grow spitting mad whenever they saw a photo or mention of famous fascists like Hess, Himmler, Goring, etc., and I suspect the only reason they would have visited his grave would have been to spit on it. I suppose it is similar to the way in which people whose distant ancestors came to the US from Ireland go Irish crazy with green beer, drunken parades, endless choruses of 'Danny Boy' and plastic green bowler hats on Saint Patrick's day whereas the actual Irish probably just go to church.

  3. Heh, I'm of Irish and German descent. But yeah, you won't find much love for the Nazis in Germany these days amongst the general populace.

  4. ClawCarver says:

    It does look like the kind of thing that would end up being used as an altar by an insane cult in some weird post-apocalypse movie or role-playing adventure. It bears numerals of mystical significance. And look at that row of six screaming demon faces along the base!:

  5. sirlarkins says:

    When I read that article yesterday I was frankly puzzled to find Hess has achieved such a cult-like following. After his “escape” to England, he was pretty much persona non grata around the Hitler house.

    When I saw that thumbnail on my blog roll, I initially thought, “Why is Robert E. Howard wearing a Nazi uniform?”

  6. Limpey says:

    ClawCarver: I think you may be on to something. I remember that Hess was deep into all the Nazi occult shit… he was probably trying to get in touch with Druids of The Loch Ness Monster no doubt. And Wikipedia tells me that the farmer who found Hess was armed with a pitchfork! There are NO coincidences, only more mysteries! The next time I need to draw a demonic altar I'm going to try to work that source pic in.

    Sir Larkins: I didn't notice the resemblance, but, now that you mention it, I can't unsee it. Damn you!

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