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Primary Sources: Faces of Nazi Germany during World War II

Photos of Walter Richard Rudolf Hess

One of Adolf Hitler’s principal lieutenants in the 1920s and ‘30s. Hess, the son of a German merchant, was born in Alexandria, Egypt. After serving in the German army during World War I, he joined the fledgling Nazi Party in 1921. Hess participated in the Nazi attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government in 1923 and was imprisoned with Hitler at Landsberg, becoming the Nazi leader’s private secretary. After Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, he appointed Hess his deputy in charge of the party organization. In 1934 he was elevated to the rank of minister and appointed a member of Hitler’s cabinet. Hitler named him the third deputy of the Reich in 1939, placing him directly below the Nazi leader Hermann Göring in line of succession. Jewish Virtual Library

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