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1987: Hitler's deputy found dead
Rudolf Hess, who was Adolf Hilter's right-hand man at the start of World War II, has been found dead.

The body of Hess, 93, was found in the grounds of Spandau Prison in west Berlin, where he had been held since his conviction in 1946 at the Nuremberg war crimes trial.

There are unconfirmed reports that he may have committed suicide.

For more than 20 years Hess was the only inmate at the prison after the release of Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach in October 1966.

The Soviet Union - which had joint control of the prison with the US, Britain and France - would not agree to Hess being set free.

They argued that as one of the most senior figures in the Nazi regime he should have been executed.

Rudolf Hess was among the first to join the Nazi party in 1920.

He took part in the abortive coup attempt in 1923 when Hitler tried to overthrow the Bavarian government and subsequently spent time in jail with the Nazi party leader.

After they were released in 1925, Hess became Hitler's personal assistant and private secretary.

By the time war broke out between Germany and Britain in 1939 Hess was a minister in the Nazi regime whose signature appeared on all new legislation.

In 1941 Rudolf Hess secretly flew to Scotland to try and negotiate a peace treaty but was arrested.

When news of his flight reached Germany he was disowned by Hitler.

Questions regarding Hess' sanity were raised both during his internment in Britain and his trial at Nuremberg.

It is expected his body will be taken to his hometown of Wunsiedel in Bavaria for burial once a post mortem has been carried out.

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Hess, top right, at the Nuremburg War Crimes trial, September 1946.
Hess was imprisoned after a trial at Nuremberg



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