Jump to content
The Education Forum

Rudolf Hess, Fascism and the British Establishment

John Simkin

Recommended Posts

The Paperclip Project sent elite teams of scientists and investigators, known as 'T-Forces', into Europe to

confiscate all documents, files, hardware in German labs, and even scientific personnel who were involved in the Nazi aerospace research, an operation which led to the great European 'brain drain' following WWII.

The British angle to this story is very interesting. In the late 1920s Anthony Blunt met Kim Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. All of them became secret supporters of the Communist Party.

In the early 1930s Blunt was recruited as a Soviet agent. He was a Fellow of Trinity and in this post worked as a talent-spotter for the Soviet Union. A homosexual, it is claimed he blackmailed other homosexuals into spying for the Soviets.

On the outbreak of the Second World War Blunt joined the British Army. In 1939 he was sent to France where he served with the Army Intelligence Corps. When the German Army invaded in May 1940 Maclean returned to England. Soon afterwards he was recruited by MI5.

Blunt was placed in charge of the section that dealt with examining the communications of foreign embassies. This enabled him to pass valuable information to the Soviet Union. He later became the personal assistant to Guy Liddell, Deputy Director-General of MI5. In 1944 Blunt was responsible for liaison between MI5 and Allied Supreme Headquarters concerning the invasion of Europe.

At the end of the war Blunt was sent to Germany on a secret mission for the Royal family. A few months later Blunt retired from MI5 to become Surveyor of the King's Pictures. He continued to be a member of the spy ring led by Kim Philby and in 1951 helped Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean to defect to the Soviet Union. Blunt, who had been seen in the company of Burgess and Maclean just before they disappeared, was interviewed by eleven times by MI5 but was never charged with spying. Instead, Queen Elizabeth II asked Blunt to become Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures a post he held until his retirement in 1978.


Blunt's role as a Soviet agent was exposed in Andrew Boyle's book, The Climate of Treason in 1979. This resulted in his knighthood, awarded in 1956, being annulled. However, he was never charged with any offence. Why? The fact is that the establishment could not allow Blunt to tell his story in court. This is because he read those documents that he had sent to Germany to collect for the royal family. What did they say that had to remain a secret? Maybe it was something to do with the highly secret fascist group called the Right Club. This pro-Nazi group included Archibald Ramsay, William Joyce, Anna Wolkoff, A. K. Chesterton, Francis Yeats-Brown, E. H. Cole, Lord Redesdale, 5th Duke of Wellington, Duke of Westminster, Aubrey Lees, John Stourton, Thomas Hunter, Samuel Chapman, Ernest Bennett, Charles Kerr, John MacKie, James Edmondson, Mavis Tate, Marquess of Graham, Margaret Bothamley, Lord Sempill, Earl of Galloway, H. T. Mills, Richard Findlay and Serrocold Skeels.


Maxwell Knight, the head of B5b, a unit within MI5 that conducted the monitoring of political subversion, was formerly Director of Intelligence of the British Fascisti (BF). In the 1930s MI5 were very keen to recruit fascists. This is how Kim Philby and Guy Burgess managed to be recruited (they pretended to be fascists by joining the Anglo-German Fellowship, a pro-Nazi pressure group).

After the outbreak of the war several members of the Right Club spied on the UK for Nazi Germany. They also tried to negotiate an end to the war. I believe the Neville Chamberlain government and King George VI were implicated in these secret negotiations. So also was the previous monarch, Edward VIII).



This helps to explain why Rudolf Hess was kept from making any public statements after being captured in Scotland on 10th May, 1941. Hess had been trying to reach the Duke of Hamilton, a member of the Right Club.


The problem for the British establishment is that the Americans discovered that Tyler Kent, a cypher clerk from the American Embassy, was a spy. He had been recruited by Anna Wolkoff, a member of the Right Club. Wolkoff was the daughter of Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff, the former aide-to-camp to the Nicholas II in London. Wolkoff ran the Russian Tea Room in South Kensington and this eventually became the main meeting place for members of the Right Club.

In the 1930s Anna Wolkoff had meetings with Hans Frank and Rudolf Hess. In 1935 her actions began to be monitored by MI5. Agents warned that Wolkoff had developed a close relationship with Wallis Simpson (the future wife of Edward VIII) and that the two women might be involved in passing state secrets to the German government.

In February 1940, Wolkoff met Tyler Kent. He soon became a regular visitor to the Russian Tea Room where he met other members of the Right Club including Ramsay. Wolkoff, Kent and Ramsay talked about politics and agreed that they all shared the same views on Jews.

Kent was concerned that the American government wanted the United States to join the war against Germany. He said he had evidence of this as he had been making copies of the correspondence between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent invited Wolkoff and Ramsay back to his flat to look at these documents. This included secret assurances that the United States would support France if it was invaded by the German Army. Kent later argued that he had shown these documents to Ramsay in the hope that he would pass this information to American politicians hostile to Roosevelt.

On 13th April 1940 Wolkoff went to Kent's flat and made copies of some of these documents. Joan Miller and Marjorie Amor, two MI5 agents who were members of the Right Club, were later to testify that these documents were then passed on to Duco del Monte, Assistant Naval Attaché at the Italian Embassy. Soon afterwards, MI8, the wireless interception service, picked up messages between Rome and Berlin that indicated that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence (Abwehr), had seen the Roosevelt-Churchill correspondence.

Soon afterwards Anna Wolkoff asked Joan Miller if she would use her contacts at the Italian Embassy to pass a coded letter to William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) in Germany. The letter contained information that he could use in his broadcasts on Radio Hamburg. MI5 still did nothing about this until they received information from sources in the United States.

On 18th May, 1940, Knight was forced to tell Guy Liddell of MI5 about the Right Club spy ring. Liddell immediately had a meeting with Joseph Kennedy, the American Ambassador in London. Kennedy agreed to waive Kent's diplomatic immunity and on 20th May, 1940, the Special Branch raided his flat. Inside they found the copies of 1,929 classified documents, including the secret correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent was also found in possession of what became known as Ramsay's Red Book. This book had the names and addresses of members of the Right Club and had been given to Kent for safe keeping.

Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent were arrested and charged under the Official Secrets Act. The trial took place in secret and on 7th November 1940, Wolkoff was sentenced to ten years. Kent, because he was an American citizen, was treated less harshly and received only seven years.

Archibald Ramsay was surprisingly not charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act. Instead he was interned under Defence Regulation 18B. Ramsay now joined other right-wing extremists such as Oswald Mosley and Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff in Brixton Prison.

The government found it difficult to suppress the story and in 1941 the New York Times claimed that Ramsay had been guilty of spying for Nazi Germany: "Before the war he (Ramsay) was strongly anti-Communist, anti-semitic, and pro-Hitler. Though no specific charges were brought against him - Defence Regulations allow that - informed American sources said that he had sent to the German Legation in Dublin treasonable information given to him by Tyler Kent, clerk to the American Embassy in London."

Some left-wing politicians in the House of Commons began demanding the publication of Ramsay's Red Book. They suspected that several senior members of the Conservative Party had been members of the Right Club. Some took the view that Ramsay had done some sort of deal in order to prevent him being charged with treason.

Herbert Morrison, the Home Secretary refused to reveal the contents of Ramsay's Red Book. He claimed that it was impossible to know if the names in the book were really members of the Right Club. If this was the case, the publication of the book would unfairly smear innocent people.

Archibald Ramsay sued the owners of the New York Times for libel. In court Ramsay argued that if there had been any evidence of him passing secrets to the Germans he would have been tried under the Official Secrets Act alongside Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent in 1940. The newspaper owners were found guilty of libel but the case became a disaster for Ramsay when he was awarded a farthing in damages. As well as the extremely damaging publicity he endured, Ramsay was forced to pay the costs of the case.

During the summer of 1944 several Conservative Party MPs in the House of Commons called for Ramsay to be released from prison. William Gallacher, a member of the Communist Party, argued that he should remain in detention. He pointed out that Ramsay was "a rabid anti-Semite" and that "anti-Semitism is an incitement to murder." He asked "if the mothers of this country, whose lads are being sacrificed now, are to be informed by him that their sacrifices have enabled him to release this unspeakable blackguard." When Gallacher refused to withdraw these comments he was suspended from the House of Commons.

Ramsay was released from Brixton Prison on 26th September, 1944. He was defeated in the 1945 General Election and in 1955 he published his book The Nameless War.

Ramsay died in 1955 and it was not until 1989 that the Red Book was found in the safe of Ramsay's former solicitors. The book included the names of 235 people. Unfortunately a lot of the names were in code. However, it did contain the names of several senior Tories including a large number of MPs and peers of the realm.

To go back to the Anthony Blunt case. His mission was to obtain documents that implicated the British royal family in negotiations that went on with Hitler in the 1930s and the 1940s. As Blunt told friends, the information he found in those documents gave him "protection for life". That is why he got the job of Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, a post he held even after MI5 discovered that he was a long-term Soviet spy. It is also the reason why he was never charged with any spying offences. Unlike with Archibald Ramsay, Blunt could not be tried in secret.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • 2 months later...
My research on this incident shows a very complex series of conspiracies and counterconspiracies [but everyone admits that wars are conspiracies]....a good bood on the subject is The Hitler/Hess Deception by Martin Allen. However, I think there were a few layers more and Hilter and Bormann were long trying to convince the Allies to join in their war against the Bolsheviks. Further, right-wing Allied industrialists and bankers, etc who had had connections before and even at beginning of the War with their 'brother' Oligarchs in the Axis powers wanted to also change the War into one along these lines. Hess had to spend his days in prison so as to never tell what he knew and the truth which would have greatly embarrassed highly placed people in America and England.....who went along to differing extents in these negotiations with Hitler or his minions - officially or exofficio.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The British treatment of Hess was always very strange. There was little evidence to connect him with Nazi war-crimes. In fact he was in prison in England when the Holocaust took place. Several Nazi leaders were treated very generously (see the thread on John McCloy) but the British always insisted that Hess should be kept in captivity until he died.

Most experts considered that in accordance with the Geneva and Hague Conventions, Hess was not in a fit state to stand trial. Churchill told Stalin that Hess was mentally ill but this was to be kept secret otherwise – under the terms of the Geneva Convention – he would have to be repatriated.

Hess’s defence counsel requested that he should be examined by a psychiatrist from neutral Switzerland. The request was denied and instead he was examined by psychiatrists from all four victorious countries. He was eventually examined by eight doctors – three British, three Soviets, one American and one French doctor. Seven of the eight said he was fit to stand trial. The eighth, Lord Moran, who was Churchill’s personal doctor, claimed he was too ill to stand trial and should be handed back to the British.

According to Gordon Thomas (Journey into Madness), Allen W. Dulles, had a meeting with Dr. Donald Cameron, the American psychiatrist, before he examined Hess:

“Dulles first swore Dr Cameron to secrecy, and then told him an astounding story. He had reason to believe that the man Dr Cameron was to examine was not Rudolf Hess but an impostor; that the real Deputy Führer had been secretly executed on Churchill’s orders. Dulles had explained that Dr Cameron could prove the point by a simple physical examination of the man’s torso. If he was the genuine Hess, there should be scar tissue over his left lung, a legacy from the day the young Hess had been wounded in the First World War.”

Dr. Hugh Thomas, a British doctor who examined Hess during his tour of duty in Berlin in 1973, later confirmed in his book, The Murder of Rudolf Hess (1979) that he showed no evidence of chest scars from the First World War.

Hess was apparently suffering from amnesia and did not remember the existence of his own son Wolf. Nor did he remember, other leading Nazis he met during the Nuremberg trials. When he met Göring his first response was: “Who are you?”

Göring also said something very interesting about Hess. He was overheard saying to Hess during the recess of the trial: “By the way, Hess, when are you going to let us in on your great secret?”

Of all the prisoners who were sentenced to death, only Göring cheated the hangman by taking poison in his cell, before he could make a final statement to the court. Was Göring murdered as well?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 years later...

I am currently reading Raymond Gram Swing's Good Evening (1964). He has an interesting section on meeting Churchill two months after the arrival of Hess in England:

The luncheon at Chequers as guest of the Prime Minister on Sunday noon was the accolade of the trip. I sat at the right hand of Mr. Churchill, in a room filled with about two dozen diners, among them Harry Hopkins and Averell Harriman, who were in England on a lend-lease mission....

After the meal, the Prime Minister invited me to take a walk with him in the garden. This turned out to be the occasion for an unexpected and, I must say, somewhat disconcerting exposition to me of the terms on which Britain at that time could make a separate peace with Nazi Germany. The gist of the terms was that Britain could retain its empire, which Germany would guarantee, with the exception of the former German colonies, which were to be returned. The timing of this conversation seemed to me significant. Rudolf Hess, the number-three Nazi, had landed by parachute in Scotland less than two months before, where he had attempted to make contact with the Duke of Hamilton, whom the Nazis believed to be an enemy of Mr. Churchill and his policies. Hess was, of course, safely stowed away in a British prison. But if he had had anything fresh and authoritative to say on Hitler's behalf about a separate peace, his imprisonment would not have silenced him.

Mr. Churchill said nothing to me about Herr Hess. But he expounded to me the advantage of the German terms; and he seemed to be trying to arouse in me a feeling that unless the United States became more actively involved in the war, Britain might find it to her interest to accept them. I may be ascribing to him intentions he did not have. Later I was to learn that Hitler himself had proposed broadly similar terms to Britain before the war actually began. But I was under the impression that the allurements of peace had been recently underlined by Rudolf Hess, and that Mr. Churchill was impatient with the United States, lend-lease and Iceland not-withstanding. I did not have the impression that he meant me to convey what he was saying to Washington. Both Harry Hopkins and Averell Harriman were at Chequers at that moment. They would be message-bearers, not I. But it troubled me to have him give me his exposition, which must have lasted a full twenty minutes. For my part, I believed that the United States's interests made our entry in the war imperative. But I did not believe it would spur the country to come in to be told that if it did not, Winston Churchill would make a separate peace with Hitler and put his empire under a Hitler guarantee of safety.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...