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Rudolf Hess

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Hess was slightly off balance for as long as I can recall. Why the Fuhrer kept him on as head of the party was a mystery to most people, but to me I always felt it was Hitler's loyalty to his old friends. I remember Hess had a bright idea once in treating me for some neuralgia that I had at the time. It was in 1936 or so. Anyway, one day lots of pots and pans arrived of all different sizes. I didn't know what they were for. One was for soaking my arm, another my forearm, another size for my leg, my thing, and so on. I called him up and asked him what he had sent me so many pots for - did he think I wanted to start an aquarium? But Hess explained that I told him I had neuralgia and that this was the treatment for it. I thanked him over the telephone and laughed for days.
--
Hermann Goering
--
[to Leon Goldensohn, May 27, 1946]

 
Rudolf Hess

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It is difficult to describe such a character. He was not highly educated but he was able and extremely industrious in technical office work. He was also extremely unscrupulous and very practical. His practicality was obvious even in his speech and appearance. He was a short, stocky man, quite fat, with an oxlike character. He had been a schoolteacher early in his career just as Streicher had been a schoolteacher, so you can see that being a schoolteacher is no sign of education. Technically and officially Bormann was the head of the party. Besides that, however, he was in reality the prime minister because all of Hitler's orders went through his hands. Bormann's real period of power began in 1941, although long before that, as far back as 1937, he had been a strong personal influence on Hitler. It was very strange. You know he was the chief of staff under Hess, but even while Hess was his superior, Bormann was much closer to Hitler in the hierarchy than was Hess. I think that Hess lost all his power because Bormann took it away from him, despite the fact that Hess was Bormann's superior. Bormann virtually became Hess's boss. Bormann entered party history in 1929 when he came to Munich. Before that he lived in my hometown of Weimar and used to chauffeur Sauckel, when the latter made propaganda and campaign speeches in Thuringia. Bormann at that time worked for Sauckel, and in a very minor, subordinate position. In 1929 he began doing financial work within the party. He continued with this task until 1933, when Hess made him his chief of staff.

 
Martin Bormann
 

Hess was an idealist, but the man who took his place, Bormann, was definitely a power-crazy, stingy man. Whereas Hess had the attitude of a worldly man, Bormann had the attitude of a newcomer. I believe that Bormann had no friends and that he was one of the most despised of men. The only reason he could hold the confidence of Hitler was that Hitler had been tremendously mistrusting during the last few years - a sickly mistrust.

 
Martin Bormann
 

The powerful men under Hitler were already jealously watching one another like so many pretenders to the throne. Quite early there were struggles for position among Goebbels, Goering, Rosenberg, Ley, Himmler, Ribbentrop, and Hess. Only Roehm had been left by the wayside, and before long Hess was to lose all his influence. But none of them recognized a threat in the shape of trusty Bormann. He had succeeded in representing himself as insignificant while imperceptibly building up his bastions. Even among so many ruthless men, he stood out by his brutality and coarseness. He had no culture, which might have put some restraints on him, and in every case he carried out whatever Hitler had ordered or what he himself had gathered from Hitler's hints. A subordinate by nature, he treated his own subordinates as if he were dealing with cows and oxen.

 
Martin Bormann
 

I felt this war coming. I tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Hitler in 1945. I am not concerned with jurisdiction of the court as Hess or others are. History will show the trials to be necessary.

 
Albert Speer
 

We do not, however, reckon that trade disadvantageous which consists in the exchange of the hard-ware of England for the wines of France;and yet hard-ware is a very durable commodity, and were it not for this continual exportation, might too be accumulated for ages together, to the incredible augmentation of the pots and pans of the country. But it readily occurs that the number of such utensils is in every country necessarily limited by the use which there is for them;that it would be absurd to have more pots and pans than were necessary for cooking the victuals usually consumed there;and that if the quantity of victuals were to increase, the number of pots and pans would readily increase along with it, apart of the increased quantity of victuals being employed in purchasing them, or in maintaining an additional number of workman whose business it was to make them.

 
Adam Smith
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