Operation Sonderaktion 'Hess'

special action 'Hess'

The 'Sonderaktion 'Hess'' was the German seizure and incarceration of practitioners of what were perceived as the 'dark arts', and especially astrologers (June 1941).

Organised by Martin Bormann, who had become deputy leader of the Nazi party after the flight of Rudolf Hess to Scotland on 10 February 1941 on a private 'peace mission', the 'Sonderaktion 'Hess'' was implemented by the Sicherheitsdienst and Gestapo. Even before his perhaps astrologically inspired flight to Scotland, Hess had long possessed a reputation for his belief in astrology, and Bormann and Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister, now characterised Hess as a mentally confused traitor and at the same time exploited this 'fact' to attempt the destruction of those in the Nazi party and the police services who adhered to the concept of astrology and other 'occultists', as all believers in parapsychology, graphology, the esoteric arts, magic, the occult, spiritualism and unorthodox healing were deemed.