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Arrested Man (Death)

Volume 436: debated on Monday 28 April 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why Oberst Hesselman was imprisoned at Minden without charge by the British authorities in February, 1947; why he was kept in solitary confinement for many days although seriously ill; and why the British authorities allowed his subsequent transportation to the French zone in an open truck on a two-day journey, as a result of which he died on 22nd March, still with no charge having been preferred against him.

Oberst Hesselman was arrested by the military authorities at the request of the French as a war criminal wanted in connection with the murder of a French General. At the time of his arrest he was engaged in agricultural work and no suggestion was made that his health was bad. Three or four days later he complained in prison of sickness. He was immediately examined by a German doctor who advised that the prisoner should, if not moved very soon, be transferred to hospital. He considered that there was no immediate urgency and no danger to life. This information was passed on to the French, who moved Hesselman on 25th February in a private civilian car.