Rudolf Hess stamps? In Germany? D’oh!

Here’s how not to allow personalized stamps to be produced:

BERLIN — German neo-Nazis used a personalized stamp service offered by Deutsche Post to create a 55-cent stamp carrying a portrait of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, the company said Wednesday.

The latest newsletter of the far-right National Democratic Party gloated about being able to slip the stamp past Deutsche Post’s quality control personnel.

“The Hess stamp is out there,” wrote Hannes Natter in the May edition of Deutsche Stimme, or German Voice.

Deutsche Post spokesman Dirk Klasen confirmed that someone managed to slip an order of 20 of the stamps past the company by using a service that has been printing customized stamps since February — usually for birthdays, anniversaries or other celebrations.

“It runs in most cases without difficulty,” Klasen said. “Only with the Hess image did something go awry.”

Oh, well, I suppose it could have been worse. The neo-Nazis could have slipped in a photo of Rudolf Hoess, the infamous commandant of Auschwitz, rather than Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, who in one of the strangest incidents of World War II parachuted into Scotland in 1941 on a self-initiated peace mission and was promptly arrested. He was tried at Nuremburg and ended up spending the rest of his life in prison. After all, Hess may have helped Hitler rise to power, but his madness later turned to a bizarre bid for peace, while Hoess’ madness was to build the largest single engine of mass murder the world has ever seen.