Two years into World War II, Adolf Hitler sent an emissary to Winston Churchill to offer a plan for peace: the Nazis would withdraw from western Europe if the British let them alone to attack the Soviet Union, a historian claims.
The claim may solve the mystery of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, the Telegraph reports. Hess parachuted into Scotland in May 1941, was promptly arrested and spent the rest of the war locked up in England.
Many theories have tried to explain Hess’ action: Without the Führer’s knowledge, he had gone rogue to make peace; he was nuts; he was the victim of a British intelligence sting.
Peter Padfield, author of Hess, Hitler and Churchill, says it was “a turning point of the war. Churchill could have accepted the offer, but he made a very moral choice. He was determined that Hitler, who could not be trusted, would not get away with it. He wanted the U.S. in the war, and to defeat Hitler.”
Of course, the problem is Padfield’s elusive source: The academic who was supposedly called in by MI6 to translate “the peace treaty” is unnamed and long since dead.