Major-General Peter Williams, a former British Army Officer and Cold War Spy, was welcomed back to Radley for his third visit to the College to give a talk on "Rudolf Hess: A Most Curious Life & Death". After an amusing introduction on the misinterpretation of the name Rudolf by individuals who had previously heard the talk, General Williams set about recounting the bizarre life of the man who was Hitler's devoted deputy for the first part of the Second World War.
Hess, a clearly intelligent and talented man, seemed to end up making several exceedingly misinformed decisions, ultimately ending up in his imprisonment for over 40 years as a "VIP" (Very Important Prisoner), within the British Isles and Berlin, where he ultimately met his demise by his own doing. General Williams, whose job it was to command the prison in which Hess was detained after the Nuremberg Trials as a British Officer, speculated that a man who was a form of celebrity in Germany in the build-up to the war, probably took his own life, as it was the last thing this man who believed so much in the future of Germany and his beloved Fuhrer, had control over.
General Williams held the large audience brilliantly, making for a very engaging talk. We look forward to his next visit.
Report by George Egerton-Warburton, G Social 6.1