Hitler Saved a Jewish Acquaintance

Hitler's commanding officer in WWI got special protection, for a while
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2012 11:04 AM CDT
In this July 31, 1938, file photo, Adolf Hitler salutes a crowd in Breslau, Germany.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – Maybe Hollywood should make a movie called Hitler's List. Like Oskar Schindler, Adolf Hitler personally intervened to save a Jewish person from persecution and deportation to a concentration camp—too bad Hitler's list had just one name one it. The man Hitler saved was Ernst Hess, his old commanding officer from World War I, who was raised Protestant but had a Jewish mother, which was more than enough to get someone sent away in Nazi Germany, reports the Telegraph.

SS chief Heinrich Himmler wrote a letter in 1940 saying that Hess should be left alone "as per the Fuehrer's wishes," notes the Jerusalem Post. The letter was recently discovered by the Jewish Voice From Germany newspaper. Unfortunately, Hitler's protection did not last for long, and Hess was sent to a camp around 1942. His marriage to a "pure-blooded" German seems to have saved his life, however. After the war, he became president of the Federal Railway Authority. Hess's daughter says her father had few memories of Hitler from WWI, save that he had no friends in the regiment. (Read more Adolf Hitler stories.)

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