When I played chess with Rudolf Hess





ONE was a notorious Nazi war criminal, the other a young Tyneside soldier.

They came from different countries and from different backgrounds, but they forged a friendship of sorts and ended up playing chess together.

This is the remarkable real life story of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess and Maurice Williams of the Durham Light Infantry.

Charged with guarding Hess in Berlin’s Spandau Prison, Maurice the pair ended up playing a game of chess.

“It was 1951 and our Battalion was taking up guard duty at Spandau Prison,” said Maurice, who lives at Ovington in the Tyne Valley.

“There were a number of Nazi war criminals there and I was curious about the place.

“I decided to take a tour of the prison and it certainly was a grim place. On my travels I came upon this guy in the prison garden, reading a paper.

“It turned out to be Rudolf Hess. We weren’t supposed to talk to either him or the other Nazi prisoners and, if caught, I would have been on a charge, but I was curious about him.

“He had a chess board and I asked him about it. He asked if I played chess and, luckily, I did.”

comments powered by Disqus
History News Network