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Born on 16 March 1888, HANS VON MEND was the son of a smallholder near the Medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria. During the First World War, Mend served in the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment alongside fellow volunteer Adolf Hitler. Having survived the horrors of the Western Front, Mend’s account of this period was published in 1931. Mend was arrested by the German authorities in 1940, and subsequently sentenced to two years in prison. He died in custody at Osterstein Castle, near Zwickau, on 13 February 1942.