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August 28, 1987 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

BACKGROU N D

77""1801.111M1.10111.110

..120,,9334

"Where You Come First -

The Julius Chajes
Music Fund
Concert Series
1987-1988 Season

Kosins

Uptown

Southfield Rd. at
11 1/2 Mile • 559-3900

Big & Tall

at the Jewish Community Center
of Metropolitan Detroit

Southfield at
101/2 Mile • 569-6930

Sunday, September 13, 1987
3:30 p.m.

the lk a a wlwalk

Hess Garnered Sympathy
As Death Approached

LOTHAR KAHN

Special to The Jewish News

Louis Nagel, Pianist

Other dates:
Sunday, February 14, 1988
Saturday, March 19, 1988
Sunday, April 10, 1988

TO LOOK YOUR
BEST

For season pass and ticket information
call Annette Chajes at 661-1000, x-335.

SHOP

THE BRIGHT IDEA

THE JEWISH NEWS

send
as a gift

ExcellenOe

in Fashion for the Young at Heart.
6919 Orchard Lake Rd. • West Bloomfield, MI
855-5528

354 6060

-

JACK A. ROBINSON DINNER
GENERAL CHAIRPERSONS

Dr. Joseph M. Jacobson

Norman A. Pappas

Fred S. Yaffe

DINNER CHAIRPERSONS

Marlene Borman

Lois Spector Freeman

Nancy Jacobson

Susan Pappas

Kathy Yaffe

DETROIT COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN

Robert Sosnick

The Detroit - Committee for the
Weizmann Institute of Science

requests the pleasure of your company at a dinner honoring

JACK A. ROBINSON

establishing the Jack A. Robinson Research Fund
at the Weizmann Institute of Science

Thursday, September 10, 6:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dearborn, Ml

Couvert: $250 per person
Black Tie

30

FRIDAY, AUG. 28, 1987

Dietary Laws Observed

For Information Call:

855-4112

T

oward the close of his
eerie existence, Ru-
dolf Hess took on some
of the characteristics of a
Dickens of Dumas character.
In spite of his shady Nazi past
and known criminal ac-
tivities, his fate as the sole
surviving Nazi bigwig living
out his life in total isolation
had begun to arouse the sym-
pathy of many decent men
and women who were furious
at the Russians for obstruc-
ting Hess's release.
After all, they said, he was
in a British prison when the
Nazis committed their
heinous acts of genocide. He
was not even present, I have
heard Jews say, at the Wann-
see Conference when the deci-
sion was made to engineer a
"Final Solution."
According to some reports
Hess even lamented the
pogroms of Crystal Night,
much earlier, in 1938. But
those who report his opposi-
tion and disgust at the
hoodlum acts forget one fact:
Hess was not opposed to the
pogroms because they were
inhumane or dealt with Jews
criminally and harshly.
More than other Nazi
moguls he was sensitive to
British and American public
opinion and he knew that
Nazi hoodlumism was being
depicted more negatively
than ever before. Hess was
then, as from the first and as
to the last, an uncompromis-
ing anti-Semite.
Like Hitler, Hess had been
an ardent nationalist and
could not emotionally
tolerate Germany's defeat in
1918. He could not forgive
those who had made a
"shameful peace" or those
who had "stabbed Germany
in the back." He had in mind
those Jewish revolutionaries
in Bavaria (where both he
and Hitler — whom he did not
yet know — were then living)
who had made revolution in
that province and some of
whom had sought to establish
a Soviet-type republic in
Munich and environs.
In Hess's mind Jew and
Bolshevik were henceforth
permanently - linked. He
joined super-patriotic, pre-
Nazi organizations like the
Thule Society which was
pledged to eradicating the
Jewish-Bolshevik influence
and restore Germany to the
true Germans. This was the
time in which, according to

Golo Mann (son of Thomas), a
major historian, anti-
Semitism was stronger
among the people than it ever
was under the Nazi regime.
It was also at this time that,
only months apart, Hess
came under -.11.e influence of a
professor, who was also a
general, Karl Haushofer and
of Adolf Hitler. There was one
problem ur-i !.-1 the hero wor-
shipping Hess.
Prof. Haushofer, later to be
known as the "father" of geo-
politics, had a wife who was
half Jewish. Hess ignored the
fact and later, when he was
chief of the Nazi party, he ex--
empted Frau Haushofer and
her two children from the
anti-Jewish laws by declaring
them "honorary Aryans" and
even provided them with
government jobs.
It was one of the Haushofer
boys who, a poet, musician
and diplomat, worshipped
things British and induced
Hess, the deputy leader in
1941, to try to establish peace
with England before the
Fuhrer would launch his Rus-
sian campaign. Thus the
Haushofer connection proved
significant in Hess's life: it
brought the older Haushofer
in touch with Hitler whose
ideas he influenced- to the
degree to which Hitler could
understand them; secondly,
the younger Haushofer was
influential, unwittingly, in
planting the seed for Hess's
dramatic, if lunatic, trip to
England.
Of course, Hess did not
merely want to make peace
with England. Instead
he succeeded only in getting
Hitler to proclaim that his
deputy was insane.
As for the Haushofers, the
Hess trip endangered all of
them. In the waning days of
the war, the younger
Haushofer had joined the op-
position and had been ex-
ecuted. The father, in despair,
poisoned both himself and his
wife shortly thereafter.
It is easy to guess what his
position would have been
regarding the Final Solution.
Not having foreign opposition
to worry about any more, he
would have voted for death as
once he had endorsed exclu-
sion. His anti-Semitism was
intact as was his anti-
Bolshevism, and even more so
his adoration of "the greatest
man of all time."

Lothar Kahn is a retired
Connecticut State University
professor.

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