Forensic science international. Genetics | 2019
Rudolf Hess - The Doppelgänger conspiracy theory disproved.
The Deputy Führer of the Third Reich Rudolf Hess was captured after a controversial flight to Scotland in 1941. Hess was sentenced to life imprisonment during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. He was detained in Berlin s Spandau Prison under the official security designation Spandau #7. Early doubts arose about the true identity of prisoner Spandau #7. This evolved to a frequently espoused conspiracy theory that prisoner Spandau #7 was an imposter and not Rudolf Hess. After Hess s reputed 1987 suicide, the family grave became a Neo-Nazi pilgrimage site. In 2011, the grave was abandoned and the family remains cremated. Here we report the forensic DNA analysis of the only known extant DNA sample from prisoner Spandau #7 and a match to the Hess male line, thereby refuting the Doppelgänger Theory.