The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XVI

                                                  [Page 466]


(1)Between 1919 and 1941, Hess held the following positions:

(a) Member of the Nazi Party, 1920-1941 (3191-PS).

(b) Deputy to the Fuehrer, 21 April 1933 to 10 May 1941 (3196-PS).

(c) Reich Minister without Portfolio, 1 December 1933-10 May 1941 (3178-PS).

(d) Member of the Reichstag, 5 March 1933-10 May 1941 (3192-PS).

(e) Member of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the
Reich, 30 August 1930-10 May 1941 (2018-PS).

(f) Member of the Secret Cabinet Council, 4 February 1938 -10 May 
    1941 (1377-PS).

(g) Successor Designate to the Fuehrer, after Goering, 1 September
1939-10 May 1941 (3190-PS).

(h) General in the SS (3198-PS).

(i) Private Secretary and A. d. C. to Hitler, 1925-1932 (3192-PS).

(j) Head of the Central Political Committee of the N.S.D.A.P.,
appointed 15 December 1932 (3132-PS).

(k) Reichsleiter of the N.S.D.A.P. (Member of the Party

(l) Member of the Reichs Defense Council (2261-PS).


The Nazi Party was the conspiracy's main instrument of
control. As its directing head, Hess used this instrument
vigorously to advance the purposes of the conspiracy. He
thus played a decisive part in the preparation and execution
of its criminal designs.

Hess began his conspiratorial activities immediately upon
the termination of World War I by joining militaristic and
nationalistic organizations. He became a member of the Thule
Society and of the Free Corps Epp. In June 1920 he joined
the Nazi Party, receiving membership card No. 16 (191-PS;

By 1923 Hess was an SA leader and head of the Nazi
University Organization in Munich. He took part in the Nazi
Putsch of 8 November 1923-9 November 1923. As a result he
was tried and convicted on a charge of high treason (3132-
PS). He spent 7 1/2 months of his 18 months' sentence with
Hitler at the Landsberg Fortress

                                                  [Page 467]
(3191-PS). There Hitler dictated Mein Kampf to him (3132-

After their release, Hess remained extremely close to
Hitler. In 1925, he became officially his private secretary
and A. d. C (3192-PS).

During the Party crisis which resulted from the sudden
resignation of
Gregor Strasser, head of the Party's Political Organization,
in December 1932, Hitler called on Hess to take charge of
the newly formed Central Political Committee of the Party,
in order to restore its strength and unity (3132-PS).

Shortly thereafter, Hess took part in the decisive
negotiations which brought the Nazi conspirators into power
on 30 January 1933


Upon the conspirators' accession to power, Hess was
appointed Deputy to the Fuehrer of the NSDAP (3196-PS). His
broad powers and responsibilities in that position were
officially described as

     "All the threads of the Party work are gathered
     together by the Deputy of the Fuehrer. He gives
     the final word on all intra-Party plans and all
     questions vital for the existence of the German
     people. The Deputy of the Fuehrer gives the
     directives required for all the Party work, in
     order to maintain the unity, determination and
     striking power of the N.S.D.A.P. as the bearer of
     the National-Socialist philosophy." (3163-PS;
     Chart Number 15).

Through Hess the Conspirators established the control of the
Party over the State. As a first step he obtained a seat in
the Cabinet, which had in effect become the sole legislative
organ of the Reich (2001-PS; 2426-PS; 1395-PS). As a Cabinet
Minister, Hess signed the laws which further strengthened
the political power of the Nazi Party. Among these
enactments were the law of 1 August 1944 consolidating the
positions of Chief of State and Leader of the Party (2003-
PS); and the law of 20 December 1934 against treacherous
attacks on Party and State

Through a long series of decrees Hess obtained control over
every aspect of public and private life in Germany, in order
to subvert it to the aims of the conspiracy, as represented
by the Party.

(1) Hess gained control over all legislation.

A Hitler Decree of 27 July 1934 provided for Hess's
participation in the drafting of all legislation (D-138). In
a circular to

                                                  [Page 468]
Cabinet members on 9 October 1939, Hess stated that he would
in the future veto every bill which reached him to late to
allow him enough time for its thorough study from the Party
point of view (D-139). A letter from Chief of the Reich
Chancellery Lammers, on 12 April 1938, announced a
supplementary decree extending Hess's participation,
especially with regard to the drafting of laws affecting
individual States (D-140; see 1942-PS).

(2) Hess gained control over all government appointments,
those of the judiciary and university teachers.

A decree of 24 September 1935 provided for the consultation
of Hess in the appointment of Reich and State civil servants
(3180-PS). A decree of 10 July 1937 provided for the
participation of the Fuehrer's Deputy in the appointment of
Reich and State civil servants (3184-PS). A decree of 14
October 1936, signed by Hess, regulated the status of Reich
and State civil servants (3183-PS). A further decree of 3
April 1936 provided for Hess's participation in the
appointment of Labor Service officials (3182-PS).

(3) Hess gained control over Local Government

This control was effected through the German Municipality
Act of 30 January 1935 provided for the participation of
Party delegates

(4) Hess gained control over the administration of annexed

Thus, the Ordinance of 10 June 1939 provided for Hess's
participation in the administration of Austria
(Reichsgesetzblatt 1939, Part I, p. 995) while another
Ordinance of the same date provided for Hess's participation
in the administration of the Sudetenland (Reichsgesetzblatt
1939, Part I, p. 997).

(5) Hess, in his capacity as Deputy Leader of the Party,
gained control over the German Youth.

An order of 10 July 1934 set up a University Commission of
the NSDAP under Hess; an Order of 18 July 1934 placed the NS
German Student League directly under Hess; and an Order of
14 November 1934 delegated to the Student League exclusive
jurisdiction over the political and ideological education of
German students (3132-PS). A Hess Decree of 6 June 1936
established the NS Aid Fund for the Struggle in the
Universities (3203-PS; see also 3132-PS and 1392-PS).

The success of this entire program of legislation was
described by Hitler as follows:

     "In this Reich everybody who has a responsible
     position is a National Socialist *** Every
     institution of this Reich
                                             [Page 469]
     is under the orders of the supreme political
     leadership *** The Party leads the Reich (2715-PS;
     see 1774-PS and 3163-PS).

In order to enable the conspirators to buttress their power
through the armed terror of the SA and SS, Hess, while not
actually in control of these Party formations, nevertheless
gave them active support. Thus; he was instrumental in
establishing the Hitler Grant (a large fund contributed
annually by heavy German industry under the chairmanship of
Krupp) and in directing part thereof to the support of the
SA and SS (D-151) .

When several SA men were convicted for mistreatment of
inmates of the Hohnstein concentration camp, two members of
the jury which had voted the conviction were expelled from
the party (784-PS) .

Finally, when Himmler, Reich Leader of the SS, organized the
SD, Hess issued an order establishing the SD as the sole
political information service of the Nazi Party, its
functions to be exercised through the SS (3385-PS).

Hess also sought to destroy the influence of the independent
churches among the German people, in order to wipe out every
opposition to the aims of the conspirators. Thus, Hess's
Chief of Staff, Bormann, issued numerous orders and
communications from Hess's office against the independent
churches. Among these were the Secret Order of 27 July 1938
making clergymen ineligible for party offices (113-PS); the
Party Directive of 14 July 1939 making the clergy and
theology students ineligible for Party membership (840-PS);
the letter of 22 February 1940 discussing ways and means of
eliminating religious instruction from the schools (098-PS);
the report of 25 April on the progressive substitution of
National Socialist mottoes in place of morning prayers in
the schools (070-PS); the letter to Rosenberg of 17 January
1940 concerning the undesirability of religious literature
for members of the Wehrmacht (101-PS); the instructions of 8
March 1940 against the further issuance of newsprint to
confessional newspapers (089-PS); and the letter to the
Minister of the Interior, in May 1938, agreeing to the
invalidation of the Concordat between Austria and the Holy
See (675-PS; 838-PS and 107-PS).


Hess was one of the members of the conspiracy who professed
as early as 1933 the aim of complete world domination (2385-

In pursuance of that aim Hess threw the power of the Party

                                                  [Page 470]
which he directed, behind the war preparations of the
conspiracy. Hess himself described the Party, in this
connection, as the mechanism with which to "organize and
direct offensively and defensively the spiritual and
political strength of the people" (2426-PS).

Hess's tasks in the preparations for aggressive wars fell
mainly into the fields of military preparedness, political
planning, and fifth-column activities.

(1) Rearmament. Even before 1933 Hess took a personal
interest in the secret military training program of the
uniformed Party organizations (1143-PS).

After the conspirators had come to power, Hess was one of
those who echoed the cry of "guns for butter" in his
speeches (2426-PS).

Hess signed the law which reintroduced universal military
conscription in Germany on 16 March 1935 (1654-PS). Hess
admitted that signing this law was no mere formality for
him, but rather the realization of one of his most important
aims, when he declared in a speech to Army officers in 1937:

     "When I spoke about conscription after 16 March
     1935, in what used to be the most radical
     industrial plant of Munich *** to thousands and
     thousands of the same workers who but a few years
     before had been singing the Internationale, I was
     interrupted again and again by such applause and
     cheers as I would never have believed possible.
     That was the most beautiful and at the same time
     the most moving demonstration of my life (3124-

When the Nazi conspirators were ready to launch their
aggressive wars in the fall of 1938, Hess and the Party
agencies under his control cooperated with the Army High
Command in the mobilization of the German Army (388-PS, Item

(2) Political Planning for War. When the Reich Defense
Council was reorganized in September 1938, Hess became one
of its members with the express assignment of assuring "the
political direction of the nation" (2261-PS).

Hess was also made a member of the Ministers' Council for
the Defense of the Reich upon its creation in 1939. Here he
continued to exercise an important war-planning function
with the specific task of "guaranteeing the unity between
Party and State" within that body (2018-PS; 2608-PS).

Hess's functions in the field of political planning for war
were not limited to the domestic sphere. He was also a
member of the Secret Cabinet Council formed to advise Hitler
on foreign policy planning (1377-PS; 3189-PS)

                                                  [Page 471]

(3) Fifth Column Activities. Hess' most important
contribution to the conspirators' preparations for
aggressive war lay in his organization of the German fifth-
columns abroad through the Foreign Organization (Auslands
Organisation (AO)) of the Nazi Party and its various
affiliated semi-official organizations. Through these
channels Hess succeeded in building up conspiratorial shock-
troops in foreign countries, composed of citizens of these
countries who were of German "racial stock." These foreign
citizens were incited by Hess to acts of treason against
their country in furtherance of the plans of the conspiracy.
It was the subversive activities of these fifth-column
groups which prepared the way for the conspirators'
destruction of independence d many countries. Principal
among these were Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.

As his chief instrument in this conspiratorial campaign Hess
created the Foreign Organization of the Nazi Party on 3
October 1933. This office was placed directly under Hess,
who from then on was known to take the greatest personal
interest in its rapid development and expansion (3258-PS;
3401-PS; 3254-PS).

The Foreign Organization extended its activities not only to
German citizens living abroad but to all persons allegedly
of German ancestry regardless of their foreign citizenship.
In the early years after the conspirators' rise to power and
up to 1937 his aim was openly admitted by the responsible
heads of the Foreign Organization (3258-PS).

Hess announced that it was the task of the Foreign
Organization to organize all persons of the German race who
lived abroad and to turn them into active Nazi supporters,
thus making them subservient to the purposes of the
conspiracy. In his speech at the 1937 Congress of the
Foreign Organization, Hess declared:

     "You stand before me as a slice of the great
     German racial community, the racial community
     which extends beyond the borders of our Reich, for
     National Socialism has not only at home created a
     national community transcending all classes and
     groups in a way previously unknown, but it has
     also included German racial comrades [Volks-
     Genossen] in foreign countries. It has made them
     conscious and proud members of this racial
     community! ***

     "Under the leadership of the Foreign Organization,
     Germandom abroad is also becoming more and more
     filled with the National Socialist spirit. The
     Foreign Organization of the NSDAP has brought
     together the Germans out there, who even long
     after the seizure of power were disunited and
                                             [Page 472]
     by class differences, and joined them with Adolf
     Hitler's Reich. The National Socialist care for
     Germandom abroad is maintaining an enormous number
     of Germans for the nation, who otherwise would be
     absorbed as cultural fertilizer for other nations"

The same principle was expressed bluntly by Gauleiter Ernst
Bohle, head of the Foreign Organization of the NSDAP
directly under Hess from 1933 to 1945, who stated in his
address at the Nurnberg Party Congress of 1936:

     "The Fuehrer had to come in order to hammer into
     all of us the fact that the German cannot choose
     and may not, choose whether or not he will be
     German but that he was sent into this world by God
     as a German, that God thereby had laid upon him as
     a German duties of which he cannot divest himself
     without committing treason to Providence.
     Therefore we believe and we know that the German
     everywhere is a German whether he lives in the
     Reich or in Japan, in France or in China or
     anywhere else in the world. Not countries or
     continents, not climate or environments but blood
     and race determine the world of ideas of the
     German." (3258-PS).

Hess was also in control of all other semi-official
organizations associated with the Foreign Organization in
fifth-column work among foreign citizens of German ancestry,
for the purpose of gaining foreign support for the
conspiracy. Thus, by a Secret Circular of 3 February 1939,
Hess ordered the consolidation of the undercover activities
of all organizations active in the foreign field, subject to
the central direction of SS Gruppenfuehrer Werner Lorenz,
head of the Volks-deutsche Mittelstelle (Central Agency for
Racial Germans) (837-PS).

The two most important of these semi-official agencies were
the VDA (League for Germandom Abroad) and the DAI (German
Foreign Institute). The VDA was a vast world-wide
organization giving financial support to various activities
of German groups abroad without regard to their nationality.
Its large funds were collected in Germany with the aid of
the Nazi Government (258-PS). The aim of the activities of
the VDA was to establish a great German world empire of
100,000,000 inhabitants, containing all persons of German
"racial stock" everywhere, including millions of American
citizens (3258-PS). The DAI was a world-wide information
intelligence and propaganda service (3258-PS).

Hess repeatedly stressed the importance of using Germans
abroad for spreading Nazi propaganda (124-PS).

The DAI also based its activities on the proposition that

                                                  [Page 473]

persons of German ancestry belonged to the Nazi German
Reich, though they held citizenship in foreign countries.
This was stated by Nazi Minister-President Mergenthaler of
Wuerttemberg in his address at the 1933 annual meeting of
the DAI:

     "The liberalist ideology which has been overcome
     dealt with the formal concept of the citizen. We
     have gotten rid of that. Today the blood-united
     German racial comrade stands in the center. That
     is the new foundation upon which we must build
     ***. Hence I want to impress on the DAI: Join us
     therefore in taking care that the spirit of
     National Socialism also becomes alive among the
     German racial comrades in foreign countries so
     that streams of energy may emanate from it." (3258-

At the annual meeting held by the DAI in 1937, Frick
restated in his address the fundamental aim of this
organization: to unite every person of German "racial stock"
under the control of the Nazi conspirators.

     "*** the new Germany has recognized that its
     attention and devotion to the welfare of the
     millions of Germans who have not the fortune to
     owe political allegiance to Germany, but who are
     condemned to live abroad, are not merely a matter
     of natural sympathy and solidarity but are in a
     higher degree dictated by the strong political and
     economic interests of the Reich." (3258-PS).

It is noteworthy that the DAI was closely affiliated with
the German-American Bund, a subversive Nazi organization in
the United States. The DAI's official periodical, "Germandom
Abroad" (Deutschtum im Ausland), was edited during the war
Walter Kappe, former press chief of the Bund (3258-PS).
Walter Kappe and Fritz Gissibl, another former leader in the
Bund, established on the premises of the DAI in Stuttgart an
organization called "Comradeship USA." The purpose of this
"Comradeship USA." was to maintain during the war an
organization for all Nazi Party members who had been active
in the Bund in the United States (3258-PS). Even before the
outbreak of the war, in the spring of 1939, Walter Kappe had
undertaken to collect a complete archive of Nazi activities
in the U. S. on behalf of the DAI and the Nazi Party (3258-

The success of this world-wide fifth column directed by Hess
now a matter of historical record. Hess himself guided the
subversive foreign groups which he had created until the day
when the conspirators were ready to annex the countries
which they had undermined.

Thus, the annexation of Austria was principally due to the

                                                  [Page 474]
efforts of the Nazi Party's work within that country under
the orders of Hess. As early as 1934 Hess had appointed
Reinthaler leader of the Nazi peasants in Austria, and thus
placed him in a position to take over the leadership of the
Nazi Fifth Column in Austria (812-PS). Hess took a major
part in the negotiations carried on by Seyss-Inquart and
other members of the conspiracy in preparation of the
Anschluss (3254-PS; 3425-PS). When on 12 March 1938 Germany
invaded Austria, Hess, accompanied by Himmler, was the first
member of the conspiracy to arrive in Vienna at noon on the
same day (L-292). The next day Hess signed the decree by
which the conspirators destroyed the independence of Austria
(2307-PS; 3075-PS).

Once the conspirators had achieved their aim, Hess did not
hesitate to admit publicly that he had approved of the steps
which led to the final subjection of Austria. On 24 July
1938 he addressed a meeting held on the fourth anniversary
of the assassination of Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss by
members of the 89th SS Regiment. He devoted the larger part
of his speech to a justification of that assassination (L-

When the conspirators turned their attention to their next
victim, Czechoslovakia, Hess was again in the forefront
directing the German fifth-column in the Sudetenland. In his
speech at the annual meeting of the Foreign Organization of
the NSDAP on 28 August 1938, Hess declared that Nazi Germany
was giving full backing to the demands of the Sudeten German
agitators. What such support meant in fact became very clear
when Hess pointed to the success of the Nazi policy in
Austria (3258-PS). All through the summer of 1938 Hess was
engaged in consultations with Karl H. Frank and Konrad
Henlein, leaders of the Nazi Sudeten German Party (3061-PS).

A few months later Hess could mark up another success for
his fifth-column. When the Munich Agreement forced
Czechoslovakia to surrender the Sudeten territory to
Germany, Hess went to Reichenberg, the capital of that
district, as Hitler's representative in order to accept the
official incorporation of the Sudeten German Party into the
Nazi Party on 5 November 1938. In his address on that
occasion he emphasized repeatedly that the Nazi conspirators
had been ready to go to war for the possession of the
Sudetenland (3204-PS).

Hess also put his signature to the Act of 14 April 1939
setting up the government of the Sudetenland as an integral
part of the Reich (3076-PS).

Later during the same year, after the conspirators had
loosed their first aggressive war, Hess signed the laws
incorporating first

                                                  [Page 475]

Danzig and then a large portion of Poland into the Reich
(3077-PS; see also Decree 8 October 1939 (RGBl 1939, Part I,
p. 2042); Decree of 12 October 1939, Part I, p.-2077).

When in July 1941 the Nazi conspirators occupied Greece, the
members of the local Nazi Party were ready to take over as
an auxiliary Army service (3258-PS).

Thus, wherever the conspirators sent their invading armies
Hess' fifth-column had prepared the soil.


Hess, as Deputy Leader of the Nazi Party, had the task of
realizing its "ideological" program (3200-PS).

One of the demands of this conspiratorial program was the
destruction of so-called inferior racial stock. Persons who
suffered -from hereditary insanity or other hereditary
diseases were considered useless to the Nazi community. They
were therefore to be killed or at least to be prevented from
procreating their kind.

In order to carry out this plan Hess established a special
Racial -Policy Division on his Staff under Dr. alter Gross,
by his order of 17 November 1933. This Division was to
"participate with the competent government agencies in all
race and population measures" (3322-PS; 3163-PS). In
addition, other agencies of the Nazi Party, under Hess,
actively cooperated in the administration of this criminal
program (D-181; 842-PS; 1969-PS).

In 1937 Hess publicly claimed credit for having used his
Party organization in order to gain the nation's approval
for compulsory sterilization (3124-PS; 3067-PS).

More important still in the Nazi program were the
persecution and extermination of religious and racial
minorities. Hess vigorously propagated the doctrine of the
superiority of the German race with which the conspirators
sought to justify these persecutions

The Nurnberg Laws, which constituted the legal basis of this
campaign, were the work of the Party. This was solemnly
announced by Hitler in the peroration of the address in
which he announced these laws to the Reichstag in Nurnberg
15 September 1935:

     "I now propose to the Reichstag the acceptance of
     those laws which Party member Goering will read to

     "The first and second laws fulfill the program of
     the National Socialist Party in one important
     respect, and thereby pay a
                                             [Page 476]
     debt of gratitude to the Movement under whose
     symbol Germany has regained her freedom.
     "The second law constitutes an attempt to solve by
     legislation a problem, the final solution of
     which, if it should again fail, will then have to
     be referred by law to the National Socialist
     Party. All three laws are backed by the National
     Socialist Party and with it and behind it by the
     German Nation.
     "I ask you to accept these laws." (3419-PS).

Hess, along with Frick, was placed in charge of the
administration of the Nurnberg Laws and of the issuance of
ordnances and regulations thereunder (1416-PS; 3179-PS; 1417-
PS; 2124-PS) .

With the launching of their aggressive wars, the Nazi
conspirators embarked on the execution of their plan to
exterminate the non-German populations which fell into their
hands. This plan, especially insofar as it concerned the
Jews, had been bluntly revealed by Hitler well in advance in
his address to the Reichstag on 30 January 1939:

     "If inter-national finance-Jewry inside and
     outside Europe should succeed in throwing the
     nations into another World War, the result will
     not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thus
     the victory of Jewry, but the destruction of the
     Jewish race n Europe!" (3418-PS).

In support of this campaign, which was continued by his
coconspirators after his flight to Scotland, Hess issued an
order through his Party Chancery on behalf of the SS, which
had been put in charge of the extermination program. In this
order, Hess demanded the support of all Party members for
the recruiting drive of the SS Army Corps (Waffen SS). Hess
added that these SS formations were scheduled for service in
the Eastern occupied areas, where their "special training in
race matters" could be used to best advantage (3245-PS).

By a series of further legislative and administrative
measures, Hess participated in the establishment of a
special regime in Poland which deprived the inhabitants of
that country of their legal protection, and thus initiated
their wholesale extermination (R-139; R-96; R-141).

In pursuance of the same policy Hess signed the decree which
forced certain groups of Polish citizens to surrender their
original national allegiance and to accept German
citizenship (Decree of 24 October 1939, RGBl 1939, Part I,
p. 2077).

Hess also signed the decree establishing the German Racial
Register, under which Allied nationals of German stock were

                                                  [Page 477]

registered and then compelled to accept German nationality
and to remove to German territory (2917-PS).

Hess also used Party channels in order to incite the German
people to violations of the rules of war. Thus, he ordered
that the population be instructed to seize Allied
parachutists or to "liquidate them"

Hess also issued instructions to enforce Hitler's orders
prohibiting the reconstruction of the city of Warsaw or of
any of Poland's destroyed industries (EC-411).

On 10 May 1941, Hess flew to Scotland for the purpose of
seeking an end to the war with England, and support for
Germany's demands against Russia. Upon his arrival, he was
incarcerated and thus forcibly eliminated from further
participation in the crimes of the conspiracy (D-614).


Of all the members of the Nazi conspiracy, Hess was closest
to Hitler from the first. As Hitler's secretary and A. d.
C., as his Deputy, and finally as his Second Successor
Designate, Hess as at all times his direct representative in
all Party matters. Thus, the conspiracy's most powerful
instrument of political action rested in his hands.

Hess used this power to penetrate and dominate the German
government administration with National Socialist
functionaries; to control legislation and education; and to
persecute all independent groups, especially the churches
and the Jews.

Being responsible for the political direction and control of
the German people, through the Party, Hess played a decisive
role in preparing the nation for war. He furthered the
secret rearmament of the Party's military formations; he
signed the Conscription Law of 1935; he sat on the Reichs
Defense Council, the inner Cabinet in which the heads of the
conspiracy blue-printed the administrative, economic, and
political preparation of their aggressive wars.

Hess, above all, was responsible for the creation and
direction of the Nazi fifth-column, in which foreign
citizens of German extraction joined under the Nazi banner
to weaken and undermine those countries which the Nazi
conspirators had determined to subjugate.

All through the years from 1920 to 1941 Hess remained the
most faithful and relentless executor of Hitler's aims and
designs. This complete devotion to the success of the
conspiracy was climaxed by his flight to Scotland in an
attempt to end the war with

                                                  [Page 478]

England and to receive English support for Germany's demands
against Russia, which he had helped to prepare.

The share of Hess' participation in the Nazi conspiracy is
as great as that of the Party which he directed. The Party's
crimes are his.

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