Her surname was synonymous with one of the most shameful chapters in European history.
So it is little wonder German Jewish refugee Eleanor Hess sought to distance herself from her infamous namesake Rudolf when she enquired about receiving Foreign Office compensation.
Her tentative request about the pot of cash handed over to the British Government by the Germans nearly two decades after the end of the Second World War was dismissed.
Miss Hess’s speculative handwritten letter – among a cache of historical files released by the National Archives at Kew – was accompanied by a note denying being any relation to Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, as well as to revered British-born concert pianist Myra Hess.
In her letter, in slightly broken English, she wrote: “I saw the above (compensation programme) was flash on TV tonight but do not know whether this applies to me personally.
“I am an orphan since 11 years having come to England with my late mother on 13/3/1939 as a Jewish child, from Germany.
“Thank heavens in about 1950 I became a british subject by naturalisation.
“I most fortunately am not hungry or ‘in need of care and protection’. Save except for the human aspect of a single woman alone in the world!
“Please ignore this note in case I misinterpreted the TV message. No hard feelings towards you, who gave me a house and security which is very different to my childhood experiences.
“Yours Sincerely… PS – no relation to either Rudolf or alas Dame Myra Hess!”
Her application was declined by the Government, who replied: “Although you were a refugee from Nazi persecution, it does not appear from the information in your letter that you were in a concentration camp.”
Sir Eric Pickles MP, UK Post-Holocaust Issues Envoy said: “I welcome this final transfer of Nazi Persecution Files to the National Archive. It is vital these files are available to the public as they offer first-hand accounts of the scale of Nazi persecution and a unique insight into the British story of the Holocaust.”