We believe that the imposter Rudolf Hess was interrogated by the very best people at MI5. Somebody like Lt-Colonel Robin ‘Tin Eye’ Stephens. Stephens wore a Gurkha uniform and monocle and was an expert interrogator born in Egypt and educated at a Lycée Francais, before spending years as an officer among the Gurkhas, the elite regiment of Nepalese troops in the British army. He spoke seven languages including Urdu, Arabic, Somali, French and, of course, German. He was xenophobic, hated homosexuals and Germans alike, and had a record of breaking down even the most hardened of spies.

Lt-Colonel Robin ‘Tin Eye’ Stephens

Stephens would have examined every detail of Hess’s previous life. No decoy or Hess double could have withstood five minutes under this kind of professional scrutiny (childhood in Egypt, education in Germany, pay, housing, insurance, parents, co-workers, etc.). Every facet of a man’s life would be examined under a critical eye and Hess’ life was well known to his interrogators since he was a public figure and had been on a podium with Hitler for almost 20 years. It is almost inconceivable that the MI5 did not discover the truth about the man.

Even in the first few days in Scotland, the Hess double had already made numerous elementary errors about his past. To a medical professional, he gave the wrong age and declared that he has been one of four children when the real Hess had only one brother and one sister. The real Hess was a well educated, even brilliant writer and thinker, cool and reserved, the man in British hands spouted political arguments with the reasoning of a child. The real Hess was once called the “conscience of the Nazi party” and was a vegetarian, the man in the cell in Scotland was no intellectual and would eat anything displaying horrendous table manners. The real Hess loved to play tennis, but the man in Scotland had no knowledge of the sport.

Another question is how this man got to Scotland in a Messerschmitt plane leaving from Augsburg in Southern Germany without refueling? The D model had a range of some 700-850 miles and the flight to Scotland would take him over 1200 miles. Hess was photographed climbing into a Series D model in Augsburg but later parachuted out of a Series E2 model in Scotland.

It seems self-evident that MI5 would have learned the truth about Hess which is one of the reasons that I wrote this novel. It’s hard to believe, however, that the British government would knowingly send an imposter to Nuremberg for a war crimes trial unless it was expedient to do so. Of course, every intelligence service in the world lies to its citizens and feigns ignorance when it is useful to do so. Remember the case of the arms of massive destruction hidden in Iraq by Saddam Hussein.

If there was ever a mystery about an imposter, this is it!


Rudolf Hess was Hitler’s deputy and best friend for some twenty years. After hearing Hitler speak in a small Munich beer hall, he joined the Nazi Party on July 1, 1920, becoming the sixteenth member of the party. When Hitler was jailed in the 1920s in Landsberg prison, Hess was jailed with him and helped him write his infamous book Mein Kampf which is today a bestseller in Germany.

Adolf Hitler, Emile Maurice, Hermann Kriebel, Rudolf Hess and Friedrich Weber inside the Landsberg prison (picture: Heinrich Hoffmann, 1924)

Rudolf Hess was a bit of a deception for the British Secret Services. He was examined by the highest level of the British government, a certain Ivone Kirkpatrick who had been First Secretary at the British Embassy in Berlin from 1933 to 1938. The man quickly provided reassurances to Churchill and the government that they had hooked the real Rudolf Hess and not some impersonator.

In 1941 Churchill was desperately trying to lure the Americans into a war that Britain was losing on every front. Now Hitler had sent a peace envoy to sabotage his efforts. The day after the news broke, Hitler flew into a rage over the disappearance of his deputy and was clearly fearful that Hess would reveal Nazi plans to invade Russia during the summer.

So Churchill locked Hess up in the London tower and let MI6 have a go at him. The results of the interrogation were never revealed and Churchill prepared special accommodation for the prisoner. Hess was put in Camp Z, a fortified manor house near Mytchett southwest of London where he would be protected by the Scots Guards in case a Nazi commando came looking for him, but also any word he uttered would be recorded by special microphones hidden throughout the building. Churchill’s instructions were very clear: he was to have food, books, writing materials and limited recreation, he was to be cut off from all communication (newspapers, radio) with the outside world, and was to receive no visitors without Foreign Office approval. Finally, he was to be treated as a very special prisoner of war and possibly a war criminal.

Churchill’s approach was clearly to delay and hide the man away. He certainly didn’t want Hess talking to journalists about peace proposals when he was trying to salvage his disastrous policy of war with Hitler.

Playing Rudolf Hess has been published!


I am happy to announce that my novel Playing Rudolf Hess is out on Amazon and Booklocker. The price is US$19.95 for paperback and US$4.99 for the ebook. The various ebook choices will be available in a week or two. On the Booklocker site (www.booklocker.com) you can download an excerpt of the first three chapters.

Tell me what you think about it!