The bones of Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, have been exhumed and burned due to frequent pilgrimages by neo-Nazis to his Wunsiedel, Bavaria grave, reports the New York Times
Wunsiedel’s mayor since 2002, Karl-Willi Beck, said that Hess’s remains were dug up early Wednesday by grave administrators. “It was the right thing to do,” said Beck. The bones were to be burned and thrown into a lake, he added.
Hess, born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1894, was given a life sentence at the Nuremberg trials for his actions during World War I. On Aug. 17, 1987, the 93-year-old was found hanged at Spandau Prison in West Berlin, where he spent his sentence.
Since his burial in Wunsiedel, where his family had a vacation house, Hess’s grave has been a popular spot for traveling neo-Nazis, drawing as many as 6,000 to 7,000 visitors each year.
“When I was elected, we organized a resistance against these neo-Nazis,” said Mr. Beck, a member of Bavaria’s governing Christian Social Union. “The churches and all the political parties and the trade unions and other organizations rallied together to demonstrate against the neo-Nazis and have them banned from visiting the cemetery each August.”
The gatherings were banned by court order in 2005, but Hess’ grave continued to attract neo-Nazis, who referred him as a “martyr.” Suing
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