BONN, West Germany -- Rudolf Hess was perhaps the loneliest prisoner in the world, but probably the most pampered while he was the sole inmate of the Spandau War Crimes Prison, set for demolition now that he is dead.
Hess, Adolf Hitler's former deputy who died Monday at the age of 93, was the only inmate in the 147-cell Spandau prison in the British sector of Berlin for 20 years.
The 116-year-old, red brick prison on Wilhelm Strasse in the suburban Spandau district will be torn down now that the last of the seven Nazis sentenced to serve time there has died, a British spokesman said. The Nazis were sentenced on Oct. 1, 1946, by the four-power International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.
When Hess arrived there from Nuremberg in 1947 two years after the end of the war with the other top Nazis, the rules were strict and the food, particularly the months the Soviets were in charge of the four-power prison, not very plentiful.
The seven prisoners lost weight when the Soviets held the rotating chairmanship of the prison and put it back on the following month when the Americans took over.
But as years went by and Hess aged and the American, British, French and Soviet guards no longer had first-hand memories of the war, the treatment improved.
The guards and prison officials of all nations became sorry for the old man who went into the prison garden behind a 15-foot-high wall to feed the crows.
It cost $800,000 annually to run the prison. The West Berlin city government paid the bill as occupation costs.
A $57,000 elevator was built so the frail, aging prisoner could get to the garden safely. He was given his favorite foods.
His single cell was expanded into a suite of cells. The prison chapel was converted into his main room. He had a bathroom, a library, a washroom, a medical room.
Phototgraphs smuggled out of the prison have shown Hess reclining in a leather chair with a pillow behind his back, watching television. He was allowed to watch 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' and the West German 'Black Forest Clinic,' and soccer matches, but not partisan political programs.
Hess, an exprienced pilot, read all the books he could get on space and he was something of an authority on it. The walls of his room were decorated with photos and relief maps of the moon.
Spandau had been an ordinary Berlin prison. But all the other inmates were moved out to make room for Hess and the six others -- Adm. Karl Doenitz, to whom Hitler turned over power when he killed himself in his Chancellery bunker, Grand Adm. Erich Raeder, Economics Minister Walther Funk, former Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath, Hitler Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach and war production chief Albert Speer.
All either served their terms or were granted amnesty. Hess became the only prisoner left on Oct. 1, 1966, when Schirach and Speer completed their 20-year terms.
Even with one prisoner there was a changing of the guard at the prison every month with British soldiers taking over the outer guard every January to be followed in February by the French, then the Soviets and then the Americans.
In addition, there was a permanent staff of 25, including civilian four-power guards and cooks and maintenance workers.
The prison and the four-power Air Safety Center were the only four-power bodies still operating in the former German capital, the last remnants of the four-power rule of Germany and Berlin.
Four-power rule in Germany ended March 20, 1948, when the Soviets walked out of the Control Council to set the stage for the 1948-49 blockade of West Berlin. A few months later they ended four-power rule in Berlin by leaving the city's military council, the Kommandantura.
The official announcement of Hess's death said the prison will be demolished as it has served its function. It also said Hess's body will be turned over to his family in West Germany for burial.
His family had feared the World War II victors would treat Hess as they did the 11 Nazi leaders condemned to death at the Nuremberg trial.
After their execution in Nuremberg -- Luftwaffe chief HermannGoering cheated the gallows by taking poison he had hidden -- their ashes were secretly thrown into a Bavarian river.
The four powers never have disclosed offically the name of the river. Informed Western sources have said it was the Isar River.
The action was taken because of the fear the graves of Goering, Gen. Alfred Jodl, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and the others could become Nazi shrines.
But the neo-Nazi movement in Germany has no strength and there is no fear Hess's grave will become a shrine. The West German Interior Ministry in its report for 1986 said West Germany has 1,460 neo-Nazis in 23 organizations.