The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our 2019 Annual Report

Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess really did die in Spandau prison, DNA test confirms

| | January 23, 2019
Rudolf Hess, at right, was a Nazi leader when he flew to Scotland in May of 1941. Image credit: Associated Press
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

It is one of the greatest remaining conspiracy theories of the second world war. In May 1941, Adolf Hitler’s deputy führer, Rudolf Hess, flew solo from Germany to Scotland in an apparent attempt to broker a peace deal between Britain and Germany. …He was eventually tried at the military tribunals in Nuremberg and incarcerated in Spandau prison in Berlin, where he died in 1987.

But from the start, there were doubts over whether the prisoner designated “Spandau #7” really was Hess.

Now the mystery has finally been solved by a piece of DNA detective work by a retired military doctor from the US Army and forensic scientists from Austria. …

In 1982, a blood sample was taken from Hess by a US army doctor, Phillip Pittman, as part of a routine health check. …The slide was labelled “Spandau #7” and hermetically sealed… .

Related article:  Does marijuana help with depression and anxiety? This study finds scant evidence to support growing claims

Working under standard forensic DNA protocols, [molecular biologist Jan] Cemper-Kiesslich’s team extracted DNA from the dried blood. …

The forensic DNA analysis centred on the Y chromosome, which is inherited only down the male line… . The male relative and another member of the Hess family have seen and approved of the publication of the DNA results, but do not want to take part in any further discussion of the findings.

Statistical analysis of the results suggests a 99.99 per cent likelihood that the blood sample on the slide comes from a close family member of the living relative of Hess… .

Read full, original post: Exclusive: DNA solves Rudolf Hess doppelgänger conspiracy theory

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend