Friday 22 February 2019

Judge pleaded for release of Rudolf Hess

30 year release of State papers

Judge Frank Roe, who was a well known judge on the Eastern Circuit and cousin of former Dundalk Democrat editor Tom Roe, wrote to the Government in December 1977, urging Ireland to intercede for the release from prison of Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

Explaining that this was his 'Christmas good deed', Judge Roe, urged Ireland to get involved in the campaign to have Hess released from Spandau Prison in Germany, where he had been held for four decades.

In a letter to the then Foreign Affairs Minister Michael O'Kennedy, he asked him if he could do 'anything to get unfortunate Rudolf Hess released?' He noted that the historian AJP Tayor, who he always found 'very favourable to Ireland', had made 'an unanswerable case' for the release of Hess.

State papers released last week revealed how successive Irish Governments refused to get involved in the Hess case even on humanitarian grounds.

Hess fell from the Fuhrer's favour after flying solo to Britain at the height of World War II to personally try to negotiate a peace settlement.

The Argus