Heinrich Hess was born on 24 March 1916 as the son of a municipal alderman in Barmen. His mother, who came from Jena, was a daughter of the well-known anatomist Prof. Karl von Bardeleben (1849-1918). After her husband's death in World War I, Thea Hess and her sons moved back to Jena to her father's house at Forstweg 25. Heinrich Hess passed his Abitur in Jena and then studied economics in Heidelberg and Jena, where he was also intensively involved in social science and modern languages. His doctorate in Jena was accompanied by research by the university authorities into Jewish ancestors. Nevertheless, he was still awarded the doctorate in 1941.
On 11 July 1943 Heinrich Hess was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp as a political prisoner. The reasons for this can no longer be determined exactly. His mother explained in 1948 that her son had been an opponent of National Socialism, and that his "non-Aryan origin" had also played a role in his imprisonment. The confiscation of a typewriter as well as radio parts during Hess' arrest indicate a possible resistance activity. Heinrich Hess died in Buchenwald on 17 January 1944. Officially, "blood poisoning" is given as the cause of death, but it is more likely that he was murdered or died from overexertion.
The stumbling stone for Dr. Heinrich Hess was placed at Forstweg 25 on March 19, 2015 (initiative of the Jenaer Arbeitskreis Judentum).