Rudolf Hess and the Tower of London in World War II

Rudolf Hess was the “Deputy Fuhrer”, second in command to Hitler.

He claimed to live a simple life, although he was plagued with health problems – some of which never really existed; it’s thought he had health anxiety.

There are prescriptions for sedative medicine, issued to him when he was in the Tower.

He was also quite spiritual and believed in signs and superstitions. He is recorded as saying his plan to go to England was an idea he had in a dream.

He was behind the laws which treated certain citizens differently – for example preventing Jewish people from marrying and saying where they could and could not live and work.

Hess could authorise the death or interment of anyone – and he was responsible for many hundreds of thousands of people being sent to camps or executed.

It’s not known why he flew to England but he claimed it was to broker peace – it’s unlikely that Hitler knew of his plans, because when he found out he said that Hess should be shot on sight.

Germany was struggling at this time, with strikes and poverty and so it’s possible that an agreement was sought by some German officers, but Hitler would never give up.

The Tower of London was used in the second world war to house prisoners of war, especially those who were very high-profile, or thought to be particularly dangerous.

Josef Josek was a German spy who was executed by firing squad at the Tower, the last execution to be held at the Tower.

Locked Up In The Tower is supported by Historic Royal Palaces