Don Stuart Friedkin '42
Out of the maelstrom of fanciful stories and blind alleys that has accompanied the capture and detention of Rudolf Hess, several Faculty professors well-acquainted with the situation inside Germany, have emerged with almost identical opinions. In view of the importance that has been attached to the Hess affair, the CRIMSON is presenting their composite judgment.
They emphatically deny that Hess is a traitor or that he is insane. Although Hitler knew of his departure he was permitted to leave Germany without official approval. An audience with Churchill to launch a trial balloon for a peace compromise was his goal.
Letter to Hamilton
Paving the way for his audience with Churchill, Hess wrote an old acquaintance, the Duke of Hamilton, who turned the letter over to the Ministry of Home Security. Although the British deny having answered, the professors think that a forged letter in the Duke of Hamilton's name urged him to come to England.
This plot, they agree, is retaliation for the Nazi coup of November, 1930 when several top-flight British Secret Service men walked into a trap on the Dutch border.
Despite the fact that the Nazis have called him insane, they have not denounced him. The professors discount the charge of mental derangement; since the failure of his peace venture necessitated some explanation by the Germans.
Plane Filled With Gas
Clearing away the conflicting reports surrounding Hess's plane, they say that if the report that his plane carried no ammunition is true, it was due to the weight of the extra gas he had to carry to make the trip.
The story of the bullet holes in his plane was fabricated by the British to foster the idea that the Nazis tried to prevent his flight. It is their belief that, slowed down by his load of gas, the Germans could have stopped him had they wished too.
On the other hand, if a British pilot had seen him, he, too, could have downed the Messerschmidt. The long period of daylight in Scotland would have enabled the R.A.F. flyer to catch and down the defenseless German.