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Tuesday, October 15, 2013


            On this date, 15 October 1946, Hermann Göring, one of Hitler’s Henchman committed suicide before his execution. I will post information about this fatty Nazi from Wikipedia and other links. Why do the abolitionist keep quiet about his suicide and also keep silent about the ten Nazi War Criminals who were hung?

Hermann Wilhelm Göring (or Goering; 12 January 1893 – 15 October 1946), was a German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). A veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, he was a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as the "Blue Max". He was the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1, the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron".

A member of the NSDAP from its early days, Göring was wounded in 1923 during the failed coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch. He became permanently addicted to morphine after being treated with the drug for his injuries. After helping Adolf Hitler take power in 1933, he became the second-most powerful man in Germany. He founded the Gestapo in 1933. Göring was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe (air force) in 1935, a position he held until the final days of World War II. By 1940 he was at the peak of his power and influence; as minister in charge of the Four Year Plan, he was responsible for much of the functioning of the German economy in the build-up to World War II. Adolf Hitler promoted him to the rank of Reichsmarschall, a rank senior to all other Wehrmacht commanders, and in 1941 Hitler designated him as his successor and deputy in all his offices.

Göring's standing with Hitler was greatly reduced by 1942, with the Luftwaffe unable to fulfill its commitments and the German war effort stumbling on both fronts. Göring largely withdrew from the military and political scene and focused on the acquisition of property and artwork, much of which was confiscated from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Informed on 22 April 1945 that Hitler intended to commit suicide, Göring sent a telegram to Hitler asking to assume control of the Reich. Considering it an act of treason, Hitler removed Göring from all his positions, expelled him from the party, and ordered his arrest. After World War II, Göring was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials; he was the highest-ranking Nazi to be tried there. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but committed suicide by ingesting cyanide the night before the sentence was to be carried out.

Göring wears the order Pour le Mérite
President of the Reichstag
In office
30 August 1932 – 23 April 1945
  • Paul von Hindenburg
  • Adolf Hitler (Führer)
o    Heinrich Brüning
o    Franz von Papen
o    Kurt von Schleicher
o    Adolf Hitler
Preceded by
Paul Löbe
Succeeded by
Minister President of the Free State of Prussia
In office
10 April 1933 – 23 April 1945
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Himself (Reichsstatthalter)
Preceded by
Franz von Papen
Succeeded by
Prussia abolished
Acting Reichsstatthalter of Prussia
In office
30 January 1935 – 23 April 1945
Prime Minister
Preceded by
Adolf Hitler
Succeeded by
Prussia abolished
Reichsminister of Economics
In office
26 November 1937 – 15 January 1938
Adolf Hitler
Preceded by
Position established
Succeeded by
Walther Funk
Reichsminister of Aviation
In office
27 April 1933 – 23 April 1945
Adolf Hitler
Preceded by
Position established
Succeeded by
Robert Ritter von Greim
Reichsminister of Forestry
In office
July 1934 – 23 April 1945
  • Paul von Hindenburg
  • Adolf Hitler (Führer)
Adolf Hitler
Preceded by
Position established
Succeeded by
Personal details
Hermann Wilhelm Göring
12 January 1893
Rosenheim, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
15 October 1946 (aged 53)[3]
Nuremberg, Germany
(Suicide by poison)
Political party
National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) (1922–1945)
  • Carin von Kantzow
    (1923–1931, deceased)
  • Emmy Sonnemann
Edda Göring
Aviator, Politician

Military service
  •  German Empire (1912–1918)
  •  Weimar Republic (1923-1933)
  •  Nazi Germany (1933–1945)
o    German Army
o    Luftstreitkräfte
o    Luftwaffe
Years of service
  • 1912–1918
  • 1923–1945
o    SA-Gruppenführer (to 1945)
o    Generalfeldmarshall (1938–1940)
o    Reichsmarschall (1940–1945)
Luftwaffe (1935–1945)
  • World War I
  • World War II
o    Iron Cross 1st Class
o    Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
o    Zaehring Lion with swords
o    Friedrich Order
o    House Order of Hohenzollern with swords third class
o    Pour le Mérite
o    Grand Cross of the Iron Cross

Hermann Göring, 1907
Early life

Göring was born on 12 January 1893 at the Marienbad sanatorium in Rosenheim, Bavaria. His father, Heinrich Ernst Göring (31 October 1839 – 7 December 1913), a former cavalry officer, had been the first Governor-General of the German protectorate of South-West Africa (modern-day Namibia). Heinrich had five children from a previous marriage. Göring was the fourth of five children by Heinrich's second wife, Franziska Tiefenbrunn (1859–15 July 1923), a Bavarian peasant. Göring's elder siblings were Karl, Olga, and Paula; his younger brother was Albert. At the time Göring was born, his father was serving as consul general in Haiti, and his mother returned home briefly to give birth. She left the six-week-old baby with a friend in Bavaria and did not see the child again for three years, when she and Heinrich returned to Germany.

Göring's godfather was Dr. Hermann Epenstein, a wealthy physician and businessman his father had met in Africa. Epenstein provided the Göring family, who were surviving on Heinrich's pension, with a family home in a small castle called Veldenstein, near Nuremberg. Göring's mother became Epenstein's mistress around this time, and remained so for some fifteen years. Epenstein acquired the minor title of Ritter von Epenstein through service and donations to the Crown.

Interested in a career as a soldier from a very young age, Göring enjoyed playing with toy soldiers and dressing up in a Boer uniform his father had given him. He was sent to boarding school at age eleven, where the food was poor and discipline was harsh. He sold a violin to pay for his train ticket home, and then took to his bed, feigning illness, until he was told he would not have to return. He continued to enjoy war games, pretending to lay siege to the castle Veldenstein and studying Teutonic legends and sagas. He became a mountain climber, scaling peaks in Germany, at the Mont Blanc massif, and in the Austrian Alps. At sixteen he was sent to a military academy at Berlin Lichterfelde, from which he graduated with distinction. In 1946 psychologist Gustave Gilbert measured him as having an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 138. Göring joined the Prince Wilhelm Regiment (112th Infantry) of the Prussian army in 1912. The next year his mother had a falling-out with von Epenstein. The family was forced to leave Veldenstein and moved to Munich; Göring's father passed away shortly afterward. When World War I began in August 1914, Göring was stationed at Mulhouse with his regiment.

First World War

During the first year of World War I, Göring served with his infantry regiment in the Mülhausen region, a garrison town only a mile from the French frontier. He was hospitalized with rheumatism, a result of the damp of trench warfare. While he was recovering, his friend Bruno Loerzer convinced him to transfer to the Luftstreitkräfte ("air combat force") of the German army, but the request was turned down. Later that year, Göring flew as Loerzer's observer in Feldfliegerabteilung 25 (FFA 25) – Göring had informally transferred himself. He was discovered and sentenced to three weeks' confinement to barracks, but the sentence was never carried out. By the time it was supposed to be imposed, Göring's association with Loerzer had been made official. They were assigned as a team to FFA 25 in the Crown Prince's Fifth Army. They flew reconnaissance and bombing missions, for which the Crown Prince invested both Göring and Loerzer with the Iron Cross, first class.

After completing the pilot's training course, Göring was assigned to Jagdstaffel 5. Seriously wounded in the hip in aerial combat, he took nearly a year to recover. He then was transferred to Jagdstaffel 26, commanded by Loerzer, in February 1917. He steadily scored air victories until May, when he was assigned to command Jagdstaffel 27. Serving with Jastas 5, 26, and 27, he continued to win victories. In addition to his Iron Crosses (1st and 2nd Class), he received the Zaehring Lion with swords, the Friedrich Order, the House Order of Hohenzollern with swords third class, and finally in May 1918, the coveted Pour le Mérite. According to Hermann Dahlmann, who knew both men, Göring had Loerzer lobby for the award. He finished the war with 22 victories. Specialist research has since shown only two of his claimed victories were doubtful. Three were possible, but 17 were certain, or highly likely, after a thorough examination of Allied loss records showing a high degree of veracity.

On 7 July 1918, following the death of Wilhelm Reinhard, successor to Manfred von Richthofen, Göring was made commander of the famed "Flying Circus", Jagdgeschwader 1. Because of his arrogance, he was not popular with the men of Jagdgeschwader 1.

In the last days of the war, Göring was repeatedly ordered to withdraw his squadron, first to Tellancourt airdrome, then to Darmstadt. At one point he was ordered to surrender the aircraft to the Allies; he refused. Many of his pilots intentionally crash-landed their planes to keep them from falling into enemy hands.

Like many other German veterans, Göring was a proponent of the Stab-in-the-back legend, the belief that held the German Army had not really lost the war, but instead was betrayed by the civilian leadership: Marxists, Jews, and especially the Republicans, who had overthrown the German monarchy.

Film clip of Göring in the cockpit of a Fokker D.VII during World War I

Göring remained in aviation after the war. He tried barnstorming and worked briefly at Fokker. After spending most of 1919 living in Denmark, he moved to Sweden and joined Svensk Lufttrafik, a Swedish airline. Göring was often hired for private flights. During the winter of 1920–1921 he was hired by Count Eric von Rosen to fly him to his castle from Stockholm. Invited to spend the night, Göring may at this time have first seen the swastika emblem, which von Rosen had set in the chimney piece as a family badge.

This was also the first time Göring saw his future wife; the count introduced his sister-in-law, Baroness Carin von Kantzow (née Freiin von Fock, 1888–1931). Estranged from her husband of ten years, she had an eight-year-old son. Göring was immediately infatuated and asked her to meet him in Stockholm. They arranged a visit at the home of her parents and spent much time together through 1921, when Göring left for Munich to take political science at the university. Carin obtained a divorce, followed Göring to Munich, and married him on 3 February 1922. Their first home together was a hunting lodge at Hochkreuth in the Bavarian Alps, near Bayrischzell, some 80 kilometres (50 mi) from Munich. After Göring met Hitler and joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in 1922, they moved to Obermenzing, a suburb of Munich.

Göring (left) stands in front of Hitler at a Nazi rally in Nuremberg (c. 1928)
Early Nazi career

Göring joined the Nazi Party in 1922 and was given command of the Sturmabteilung (SA) as the Oberster SA-Führer in 1923. He was later appointed an SA-Gruppenführer (Lieutenant General) and held this rank on the SA rolls until 1945. At this time, Carin—who liked Hitler—often played hostess to meetings of leading Nazis, including her husband, Hitler, Rudolf Hess, Alfred Rosenberg, and Ernst Röhm. Hitler later recalled his early association with Göring:

I liked him. I made him the head of my SA. He is the only one of its heads that ran the SA properly. I gave him a dishevelled rabble. In a very short time he had organised a division of 11,000 men.

Hitler and the Nazi Party held mass meetings and rallies in Munich and elsewhere during this period, attempting to gain supporters in a bid for political power. Inspired by Benito Mussolini's March on Rome, the Nazis attempted to seize power on 8–9 November 1923 in a failed coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch. Göring, who was with Hitler heading up the march to the War Ministry, was shot in the leg. Fourteen Nazis and four policemen were killed; many top Nazis, including Hitler, were arrested. With Carin's help, Göring was smuggled to Innsbruck, where he received surgery and was given morphine for the pain. He remained in hospital until 24 December. This was the beginning of his morphine addiction, which lasted until his imprisonment at Nuremberg. Meanwhile the authorities in Munich declared Göring a wanted man. The Görings—acutely short of funds and reliant on the good will of Nazi sympathizers abroad—moved from Austria to Venice. In May 1924 they visited Rome, via Florence and Siena. Göring met Mussolini, who expressed an interest in meeting Hitler, who was by then in prison.

Personal problems continued to multiply. By 1925, Carin's mother was ill. The Görings—with difficulty—raised the money in spring 1925 for a journey to Sweden via Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Danzig (now Gdańsk). Göring had become a violent morphine addict; Carin's family were shocked by his deterioration. Carin, who was ill with epilepsy and a weak heart, had to allow the doctors to take charge of Göring; her son was taken by his father. Göring was certified a dangerous drug addict and was placed in Långbro asylum on 1 September 1925. He was violent to the point where he had to be confined to a straitjacket, but his psychiatrist felt he was sane; the condition was caused solely by the morphine. Weaned off the drug, he left the facility briefly, but had to return for further treatment. He returned to Germany when an amnesty was declared in 1927 and resumed working in the aircraft industry. Hitler, who had written Mein Kampf while in prison, had been released in December 1924. Carin Göring, ill with epilepsy and tuberculosis, died of heart failure on 17 October 1931.

Meanwhile, The NSDAP was in a period of rebuilding and waiting. The economy had recovered, which meant fewer opportunities for the Nazis to agitate for change. The SA was reorganised, but with Franz Pfeffer von Salomon as its head rather than Göring, and the Schutzstaffel (SS) was founded in 1925, initially as a bodyguard for Hitler. Membership in the party increased from 27,000 in 1925 to 108,000 in 1928 and 178,000 in 1929. In the May 1928 elections the party only obtained twelve seats out of an available 491. Göring was elected as a representative from Bavaria. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 led to a disastrous downturn in the German economy, and in the next election, the NSDAP won 6,409,600 votes and 107 seats in the Reichstag. In May 1931 Hitler sent Göring on a mission to the Vatican, where he met the future Pope Pius XII.

Göring in Berlin, 1937

Göring in Berlin, 1937

Reichstag fire

The Reichstag fire occurred on the night of 27 February 1933. Göring was one of the first to arrive on the scene. Marinus van der Lubbe—a communist radical—was arrested and claimed sole responsibility for the fire. Göring immediately called for a crackdown on communists.

The Nazis took advantage of the fire to advance their own political aims. The Reichstag Fire Decree, passed the next day on Hitler's urging, suspended basic rights and allowed detention without trial. Activities of the German Communist Party were suppressed, and some 4,000 communist party members were arrested. Göring demanded that the detainees should be shot, but Rudolf Diels, head of the Prussian political police, ignored the order. Researchers, including William L. Shirer and Alan Bullock, are of the opinion that the NSDAP itself was responsible for starting the fire.

At the Nuremberg Trials, General Franz Halder testified that Göring admitted responsibility for starting the fire. He said that at a luncheon held on Hitler's birthday in 1942, Göring said, "The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!" In his own Nuremberg testimony, Göring denied this story.

Adolf Hitler with Göring, 16 March 1938
Second marriage

During the early 1930s Göring was often in the company of Emmy Sonnemann (1893–1973), an actress from Hamburg. They were married on 10 April 1935 in Berlin; the wedding was celebrated on a huge scale. A large reception was held the night before at the Berlin Opera House. Fighter aircraft flew overhead on the night of the reception and the day of the ceremony. Göring's daughter, Edda, was born on 2 June 1938.

Reichsmarshal Hermann Goering addressing the Reichstag in Berlin.
Nazi potentate

When Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Göring was appointed as minister without portfolio, Minister of the Interior for Prussia, and Reich Commissioner of Aviation. Wilhelm Frick was named Reich Interior Minister. Frick and head of the Schutzstaffel (SS) Heinrich Himmler hoped to create a unified police force for all of Germany, but Göring on 30 November 1933 established a Prussian police force, with Rudolf Diels at its head. The force was called the Geheime Staatspolizei, or Gestapo. Göring, thinking that Diels was not ruthless enough to use the Gestapo effectively to counteract the power of the SA, handed over control of the Gestapo to Himmler on 20 April 1934. By this time the SA numbered over two million men.

Hitler was deeply concerned that Ernst Röhm, the chief of the SA, was planning a coup. Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich plotted with Göring to use the Gestapo and SS to crush the SA. Members of the SA got wind of the proposed action and thousands of them took to the streets in violent demonstrations on the night of 29 June 1934. Enraged, Hitler ordered the arrest of the SA leadership. Röhm was shot dead in his cell when he refused to commit suicide; Göring personally went over the lists of detainees—numbering in the thousands—and determined who else should be shot. At least 85 people were killed in the period of 30 June to 2 July, which is now known as the Night of the Long Knives. Hitler admitted in the Reichstag on 13 July that the killings had been entirely illegal, but claimed a plot had been underway to overthrow the Reich. A retroactive law was passed making the action legal. Criticism was met with arrests.

One of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which has been in place since the end of World War I, stated that Germany was not allowed to maintain an air force. After the 1926 signing of the Kellogg–Briand Pact, police aircraft were permitted. Göring was appointed Air Traffic Minister in May 1933. Germany began to accumulate aircraft in violation of the Treaty, and in 1935 the existence of the Luftwaffe was formally acknowledged, with Göring as Reich Aviation Minister.

During a cabinet meeting in September 1936, Göring and Hitler announced that the German rearmament programme must be sped up. On 18 October Hitler named Göring as Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan to undertake this task. Göring created a new organisation to administer the Plan and drew the ministries of labour and agriculture under its umbrella. He bypassed the economics ministry in his policy-making decisions, to the chagrin of Hjalmar Schacht, the minister in charge. Huge expenditures were made on rearmament, in spite of growing deficits. Schacht resigned on 8 December 1937, and Walther Funk took over the position, as well as control of the Reichsbank. In this way both of these institutions were brought under Göring's control under the auspices of the Four Year Plan.

In 1938 Göring was involved in the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair, which led to the resignations of the War Minister, Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg, and the army commander, General von Fritsch. Göring had acted as witness at Blomberg's wedding to Margarethe Gruhn, a 26-year-old typist, on 12 January 1938. Information received from the police showed that the young bride was a prostitute. Göring felt obligated to tell Hitler, but also saw this event as an opportunity to dispose of the field marshal. Blomberg was forced to resign. Göring did not want Fritsch to be appointed to that position and thus be his superior. Several days later, Heydrich revealed a file on Fritsch that contained allegations of homosexual activity and blackmail. The charges were later proven to be false, but Fritsch had lost Hitler's trust and was forced to resign. Hitler used the dismissals as an opportunity to reshuffle the leadership of the military. Göring asked for the post of War Minister but was turned down; he was appointed to the rank of field marshal. Hitler took over as supreme commander of the armed forces and created subordinate posts to head the three main branches of service.

Main article: Anschluss

As minister in charge of the Four Year Plan, Göring became concerned with the lack of natural resources in Germany, and began pushing for Austria to be incorporated into the Reich. The province of Styria had rich iron ore deposits, and the country as a whole was home to many skilled labourers that would also be useful. Hitler had always been in favour of a takeover of Austria, his native country. He met on 12 February 1938 with Austrian chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, threatening invasion if peaceful unification was not forthcoming. The Nazi party was made legal in Austria to gain a power base, and a referendum on reunification was scheduled for March. When Hitler did not approve of the wording of the plebiscite, Göring telephoned Schuschnigg and Austrian head of state Wilhelm Miklas to demand Schuschnigg's resignation, threatening invasion by German troops and civil unrest by the Austrian Nazi Party members. Schuschnigg resigned on 11 March and the plebiscite was cancelled. By 5:30 the next morning, German troops that had been massing on the border marched into Austria, meeting no resistance.

Although Joachim von Ribbentrop had been named Foreign Minister in February 1938, Göring continued to involve himself in foreign affairs. That July, he contacted the British government with the idea that he should make an official visit to discuss Germany's intentions for Czechoslovakia. Neville Chamberlain was in favour of a meeting, and there was talk of a pact being signed between Britain and Germany. In February 1938 Göring visited Warsaw to quell rumours about the upcoming invasion of Poland. He had conversations with the Hungarian government that summer as well, discussing their potential role in an invasion of Czechoslovakia. At the Nuremberg Rally that September, Göring and other speakers denounced the Czechs as an inferior race that must be conquered. Chamberlain met with Hitler in a series of meetings that led to the signing of the Munich Agreement (29 September 1938), which turned over control of the Sudetenland to Germany.

Rainy weather in October 1941 led to extremely difficult conditions on the Russian front.
Second World War

Göring and other senior officers were concerned that Germany was not yet ready for war, but Hitler insisted on pushing ahead as soon as possible. The invasion of Poland, the opening action of World War II, began at dawn on 1 September 1939. Later in the day, speaking to the Reichstag, Hitler designated Göring as his successor "if anything should befall me."

Initially, decisive German victories followed quickly one after the other. With the help of the Luftwaffe, the Polish Air Force was defeated within a week. The Fallschirmjäger seized vital airfields in Norway and captured Fort Eben-Emael in Belgium. Göring's Luftwaffe played critical roles in the Battles of the Netherlands, Belgium and France in the spring, 1940.

After the defeat of France, Hitler awarded Göring the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross for his successful leadership. By a decree on 19 July 1940, Hitler promoted Göring to the rank of Reichsmarschall des Grossdeutschen Reiches (Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich), a special rank which made him senior to all other army and Luftwaffe field marshals. Göring had already received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 30 September 1939 as Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe.

Main article: Battle of Britain

Britain had declared war on Germany immediately after the invasion of Poland. In July 1940 Hitler began preparations for an invasion of Britain. As part of the plan, the Royal Air Force (RAF) had to be neutralised. Bombing raids commenced on air installations and on cities and centres of industry. Though he was confident the Luftwaffe could defeat the RAF within days, Göring, like Admiral Erich Raeder, commander-in-chief of the Kriegsmarine (Navy), was pessimistic about the chance of success of the planned invasion (codenamed Operation Sea Lion). Göring hoped that a victory in the air would be enough to force peace without an invasion. The campaign failed, and Sea Lion was postponed indefinitely on 17 September 1940. After their defeat in the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe attempted to defeat Britain via strategic bombing. By the end of the year it was clear British morale was not being shaken by the Blitz, though the bombings continued through May 1941.

In spite of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, signed in 1939, Nazi Germany began Operation Barbarossa—the invasion of the Soviet Union—on 22 June 1941. Initially the Luftwaffe was at an advantage, destroying thousands of Soviet aircraft in the first month of fighting. Hitler and his top staff were sure that the campaign would be over by Christmas, and no provisions were made for reserves of men or equipment. But by July the Germans had only 1,000 planes remaining in operation, and their troop losses were over 213,000 men. The choice was made to concentrate the attack on only one part of the vast front; efforts would be directed at capturing Moscow. After the successful Battle of Smolensk, Hitler ordered Army Group Centre to halt its advance to Moscow and temporarily diverted its Panzer groups north and south to aid in the encirclement of Leningrad and Kiev. The pause provided the Red Army with an opportunity to mobilize fresh reserves; historian Russel Stolfi considers it to be one of the major factors that caused the failure of the Moscow offensive, which was resumed in October 1941 with the Battle of Moscow. Poor weather conditions, fuel shortages, and overstretched supply lines were also factors. Hitler did not give permission for even a partial retreat until mid-January 1942; by this time the losses were comparable to French invasion of Russia in 1812.

Hitler decided that the summer 1942 campaign would be concentrated in the south; efforts would be made to capture the oilfields in the Caucasus. The Battle of Stalingrad, a major turning point of the war, began on 23 August 1942 with a bombing campaign by the Luftwaffe. German forces entered the city, but because of its location on the front line, it was still possible for the Soviets to encircle the Germans and trap them there without reinforcements or supplies. When the city was surrounded by the end of December, Göring promised that the Luftwaffe would be able to deliver 300 tons of supplies to the trapped men every day. On the basis of these assurances, Hitler demanded that there be no retreat; they were to fight to the last man. Though some airlifts were able to get through, the amount of supplies delivered never exceeded 120 tons per day. The remnants of the German Sixth Army—some 91,000 men out of an army of 285,000—surrendered in early February 1943; only 5,000 of these captives survived the Russian prisoner of war camps to see Germany again.

Meanwhile, the strength of the American and British bomber fleets had increased. Based in Britain, they began operations against German targets. The first thousand-bomber raid was staged on Cologne on 30 May 1942. Air raids continued on targets further from Britain after auxiliary fuel tanks were installed on American fighter aircraft. Göring refused to believe reports that American fighters had been shot down as far east as Aachen in winter 1943. His reputation began to decline. The American P-51 Mustang, with a range of 1,800 miles (2,900 km), began to accompany the bombers in large numbers to and from the target area in early 1944. From that point onwards, the Luftwaffe began to suffer casualties in aircrews it could not sufficiently replace. By targeting oil refineries and rail communications, Allied bombers crippled the German war effort by late 1944. German civilians blamed Göring for his failure to protect the homeland. Hitler began excluding him from conferences, but continued him in his positions at the head of the Luftwaffe and as plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan. As he lost Hitler's trust, Göring began to spend more time at his various residences. On D-Day (6 June 1944), the Luftwaffe only had some 300 fighters and a small number of bombers in the area of the landings; the Allies had a total strength of 11,000 aircraft.

Göring with Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer, 10 August 1943
End of the war

See also: Göring Telegram

As the Soviets approached Berlin, Hitler's efforts to organize the defence of the city became ever more meaningless and futile. His last birthday, celebrated at the Führerbunker in Berlin on 20 April 1945, was the occasion for leave-taking for many top Nazis, Göring included. By this time Carinhall had been evacuated, the building destroyed, and its art treasures moved to Berchtesgaden and elsewhere. Göring arrived at his estate at Obersalzberg on 22 April, the same day that Hitler, in a lengthy diatribe against his generals, first publicly admitted that the war was lost and that he intended to remain in Berlin to the end and then commit suicide. He also stated that Göring was in a better position to negotiate a peace settlement. In 1941—a week after the start of the Soviet invasion—Hitler had issued a decree naming Göring his successor in the event of his death.

OKW operations chief Alfred Jodl was present for Hitler's rant, and notified Göring's chief of staff, Karl Koller, at a meeting a few hours later. Sensing its implications, Koller immediately flew to Berchtesgaden to notify Göring, who feared being accused of treason if he tried to take power. On the other hand, if he did nothing he feared being accused of dereliction of duty. After some hesitation, Göring reviewed his copy of the 1941 decree naming him Hitler's successor. It not only placed Göring first in the line of succession, but also stated that if Hitler ever lost his freedom of action, Göring had complete authority to act on Hitler's behalf as his deputy. After conferring with Koller and Hans Lammers, the state secretary of the Reich Chancellery, Göring concluded that Hitler had effectively incapacitated himself by remaining in Berlin, and he therefore had a clear duty to take power in Hitler's stead. He was also motivated by fears that his rival, Martin Bormann, would seize power upon Hitler's death and would have him killed as a traitor. With this in mind, Göring sent a carefully-worded telegram asking Hitler for permission to take over as the leader of Germany. He added that if Hitler did not reply by 22:00 that night, he would assume that Hitler had indeed lost his freedom of action, and would assume leadership of the Reich.

The telegram was intercepted by Bormann, who convinced Hitler that Göring was a traitor. Hitler sent a telegram to Göring—prepared with Bormann's help—informing him that unless he resigned immediately, he would be executed for high treason. Soon afterward, Hitler sacked Göring from all of his offices and ordered Göring, his staff, and Lammers placed under house arrest at Obersalzberg. Bormann made an announcement over the radio that Göring had resigned for health reasons.

By 26 April the complex at Obersalzberg was under attack by the Allies, so Göring was moved to his castle at Mauterndorf. In his last will and testament, Hitler expelled Göring from the party and formally rescinded the decree making him his successor. He then appointed Karl Dönitz as president of the Reich and leader of the armed forces. Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, committed suicide on 30 April 1945. Göring was released from his imprisonment on 5 May by a passing Luftwaffe unit, and he made his way to the American lines in hopes of surrendering to them rather than the Russians. He was taken into custody near Radstadt on 6 May. This move likely saved Göring's life; Bormann had ordered him executed if Berlin had fallen.

Göring (first row, far left) at the Nuremberg Trials

Defendant Hermann Goering in the prisoners' dock at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg. Goering was the former head of the Luftwaffe and was at one time second in command to Hitler.
Date: Nov 20, 1945 - Oct 1, 1946
Locale: Nuremberg, [Bavaria] Germany
Photographer: No provenance
Credit: Harry S. Truman Library, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives
Copyright: Public Domain
Trial and death

Main article: Nuremberg Trials

Göring was flown to Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg, the site of a temporary prisoner-of-war camp housed in the Palace Hotel. Here he was weaned off the codeine pills—he had been taking the equivalent of three or four grains (260 to 320 mg) of morphine a day—and was put on a strict diet; he lost 60 pounds (27 kg). His IQ was tested while in custody and found to be 138. Top Nazi officials were transferred in September to Nuremberg, which was to be the location of a series of military tribunals beginning in November.

Göring was the second-highest-ranking Nazi official tried at Nuremberg, behind Reich President (former Admiral) Karl Dönitz. The prosecution levelled an indictment of four charges, including a charge of conspiracy; waging a war of aggression; war crimes, including the plundering and removal to Germany of works of art and other property; and crimes against humanity, including the disappearance of political and other opponents under the Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog) decree; the torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of war; and the murder and enslavement of civilians, including what was at the time estimated to be 5,700,000 Jews. Not permitted to present a lengthy statement, Göring declared himself to be "in the sense of the indictment not guilty." The trial lasted 218 days; the prosecution presented their case from November through March, and Göring's defence—the first to be presented—lasted from 8 to 22 March. The sentences were read out on 30 September 1946. Göring, forced to remain silent while seated in the dock, communicated his opinions about the proceedings using gestures, shaking his head, or laughing. He constantly took notes and whispered with the other defendants, and tried to control the erratic behaviour of Hess, who was seated beside him. During breaks in the proceedings, Göring tried to dominate the other defendants, and he was eventually placed in solitary confinement when he attempted to influence their testimony.

Captain Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking American intelligence officer and psychologist, interviewed Göring and the others in prison during the trial. Gilbert kept a journal, which he later published as Nuremberg Diary. Here he describes Göring on the evening of 18 April 1946, as the trials were halted for a three-day Easter recess:

Sweating in his cell in the evening, Göring was defensive and deflated and not very happy over the turn the trial was taking. He said that he had no control over the actions or the defense of the others, and that he had never been anti-Semitic himself, had not believed these atrocities, and that several Jews had offered to testify on his behalf.

On several occasions over the course of the trial, the prosecution showed films of the concentration camps and other atrocities. Everyone present, including Göring, found the contents of the films shocking; he said that the films must have been faked. Witnesses, including Paul Koerner and Erhard Milch, tried to portray Göring as a peaceful moderate. Milch stated it had been well nigh impossible to oppose Hitler or disobey his orders; to do so would likely have meant death for oneself and one's family. When testifying on his own behalf, Göring emphasised his loyalty to Hitler, and claimed to know nothing about what had happened in the concentration camps, which were under Himmler's purview. He gave evasive convoluted answers to direct questions and had plausible excuses for all his actions during the war. He used the witness stand as a venue to expound at great length on his own role in the Reich, attempting to present himself as a peacemaker and diplomat before the outbreak of the war. During cross-examination, chief prosecutor Robert H. Jackson read out the minutes of a meeting that had been held shortly after Kristallnacht, a major pogrom in November 1938. At the meeting, Göring had callously plotted to steal Jewish property in the wake of the pogrom. Later, Maxwell-Fyfe proved it was impossible for Göring not to have known about the Stalag Luft III murders—the shooting of fifty airmen who had been recaptured after escaping from Stalag Luft III—in time to have prevented the killings. He also presented clear evidence that Göring knew about the extermination of the Hungarian Jews.

Göring was found guilty on all four counts and was sentenced to death by hanging. The judgment stated that:

There is nothing to be said in mitigation. For Göring was often, indeed almost always, the moving force, second only to his leader. He was the leading war aggressor, both as political and as military leader; he was the director of the slave labour programme and the creator of the oppressive programme against the Jews and other races, at home and abroad. All of these crimes he has frankly admitted. On some specific cases there may be conflict of testimony, but in terms of the broad outline, his own admissions are more than sufficiently wide to be conclusive of his guilt. His guilt is unique in its enormity. The record discloses no excuses for this man.

Göring made an appeal asking to be shot as a soldier instead of hanged as a common criminal, but the court refused. Defying the sentence imposed by his captors, he committed suicide with a potassium cyanide capsule the night before he was to be hanged. One theory as to how Göring obtained the poison holds that U.S. Army Lieutenant Jack G. Wheelis, who was stationed at the Nuremberg Trials, retrieved the capsules from their hiding place among Göring's personal effects that had been confiscated by the Army. In 2005 former U.S. Army Private Herbert Lee Stivers, who served in the 1st Infantry Division's 26th Infantry Regiment—the honor guard for the Nuremberg Trials—claimed he gave Göring "medicine" hidden inside a fountain pen a German woman had asked him to smuggle into the prison. Göring's body was displayed at the execution ground for the witnesses of the executions. The bodies were cremated and the ashes were scattered.

Hermann Göring’s corpse after he committed suicide (PHOTO SOURCE:
Personal properties

See also: Nazi plunder

The confiscation of Jewish property gave Göring the opportunity to amass a personal fortune. Some properties he seized himself or acquired for a nominal price. In other cases, he collected bribes for allowing others to steal Jewish property. He took kickbacks from industrialists for favourable decisions as Four Year Plan director, and money for supplying arms to the Spanish Republicans in the Spanish Civil War via Pyrkal in Greece (although Germany was supporting Franco and the Nationalists).

Göring was appointed Reich Master of the Hunt in 1933 and Master of the German Forests in 1934. He instituted reforms to the forestry laws and acted to protect endangered species. Around this time he became interested in Schorfheide Forest, where he set aside 100,000 acres (400 km2) as a state park, which is still extant. There he built an elaborate hunting lodge, Carinhall, in memory of his first wife, Carin. By 1934 her body had been transported to the site and placed in a vault on the estate. The main lodge had a large art gallery where Göring displayed works that had been plundered from private collections and museums around Europe from 1939 onward. Göring worked closely with the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce), an organisation tasked with the looting of artwork and cultural material from Jewish collections, libraries, and museums throughout Europe. Headed by Alfred Rosenberg, the task force set up a collection centre and headquarters in Paris. Some 26,000 railroad cars full of art treasures, furniture, and other looted items were sent to Germany from France alone. Göring repeatedly visited the Paris headquarters to review the incoming stolen goods and to select items to be sent on a special train to Carinhall and his other homes. The estimated value of his collection—numbering some 1,500 pieces—was $200 million.

Göring was known for his extravagant tastes and garish clothing. He had various special uniforms made for the many posts he held; his Reichsmarschall uniform included a jewel-encrusted baton. Hans-Ulrich Rudel, the top Stuka pilot of the war, recalled twice meeting Göring dressed in outlandish costumes: first, a medieval hunting costume, practicing archery with his doctor; and second, dressed in a red toga fastened with a golden clasp, smoking an unusually large pipe. Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano once noted Göring wearing a fur coat that looked like what "a high grade prostitute wears to the opera." He threw lavish housewarming parties each time a round of construction was completed at Carinhall, and changed costumes several times throughout the evening.

Göring was noted for his patronage of music, especially opera. He entertained frequently and sumptuously, and hosted elaborate birthday parties for himself. Armaments minister Albert Speer recalled that guests brought expensive gifts such as gold bars, Dutch cigars, and valuable artwork. For his birthday in 1944, Speer gave Göring an oversize marble bust of Hitler. As a member of the Prussian Council of State, Speer was required to donate considerable portion of his salary towards the Council's birthday gift to Göring without even being asked. Field Marshal Erhard Milch told Speer that similar donations were required out of the Air Ministry's general fund. For his birthday in 1940, Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano decorated Göring with the coveted Collar of Annunziata. The award reduced him to tears.

The design of the Reichsmarschall standard, on a light blue field, featured a gold German eagle grasping a wreath surmounted by two batons overlaid with a swastika. The reverse side of the flag had the Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes ("Grand Cross of the Iron Cross") surrounded by a wreath between four Luftwaffe eagles. The flag was carried by a personal standard-bearer at all public occasions.

Though he liked to be called "der Eiserne" (the Iron Man), the once-dashing and muscular fighter pilot had become corpulent. He was one of the few Nazi leaders who did not take offense at hearing jokes about himself, "no matter how rude," taking them as a sign of popularity. Germans joked about his ego, saying that he would wear an admiral's uniform to take a bath, and his obesity, joking that "he sits down on his stomach." One joke claimed he had sent a wire to Hitler after his visit to the Vatican: "Mission accomplished. Pope unfrocked. Tiara and pontifical vestments are a perfect fit."

Göring's Reichsmarschall baton and Smith & Wesson revolver. To the left is the silver-bound guest book from Carinhall. (West Point Museum)

Göring's uniform on display at the Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr

Standard, on display at the Musée de la Guerre in Les Invalides, Paris
Complicity in the Holocaust

Goebbels and Himmler were far more antisemitic than Göring, who mainly adopted that attitude because party politics required him to do so. His own deputy, Erhard Milch, had a Jewish parent. But Göring supported the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, and later initiated economic measures unfavourable to Jews. He required the registration of all Jewish property as part of the Four Year Plan, and was livid at a meeting held after Kristallnacht that the financial burden for the Jewish losses would have to be made good by German-owned insurance companies. He proposed that the Jews be fined one billion marks. At the same meeting, options for the disposition of the Jews and their property were discussed. Jews would be segregated into ghettos or encouraged to emigrate, and their property would be seized in a programme of aryanization. Compensation for seized property would be low, if any was given at all. Detailed minutes of this meeting and other documents were read out at the Nuremberg trial, proving his knowledge of and complicity with the persecution of the Jews. He told Gilbert that he would never have supported the anti-Jewish measures if he had known what was going to happen. "I only thought we would eliminate Jews from positions in big business and government," he claimed.

In July 1941 Göring issued a memo to Reinhard Heydrich ordering him to organise the practical details of a solution to the "Jewish Question". By the time this letter was written, many Jews and others had already been killed in Poland, Russia, and elsewhere. At the Wannsee Conference, held six months later, Heydrich formally announced that genocide of the Jews of Europe was now official Reich policy. Göring did not attend the conference, but he was present at other meetings where the number of people killed was discussed.

Description: July 1941 letter from Göring to Heydrich concerning the "final solution" of the Jewish question
English: In addition to the task you received with the order of January 24 1939 to solve the Jewish question of emigration or evacuation in a manner feasible according to the temporal circumstances, I hereby command you to make all necessary organizational, functional, and material preparations for a complete solution of the Jewish Question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.
Decorations and awards

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Italian Wikipedia.


  • My measures will not be crippled by any bureaucracy. Here I don't have to worry about Justice; my mission is only to destroy and to exterminate; nothing more.
    • Speech in Frankfurt (3 March 1933), as quoted in Gestapo : Instrument of Tyranny (1956) by Edward Crankshaw, p. 48
  • Shoot first and inquire afterwards, and if you make mistakes, I will protect you.
    • Instruction to the Prussian police (1933); as quoted in The House that Hitler Built (1937) by Stephen Henry Roberts. p. 63
  • Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.
    • Radio broadcast (1936), as quoted in The New Language of Politics: An Anecdotal Dictionary of Catchwords, Slogans, and Political Usage (1968) by William L. Safire, p. 178
    • Variants: Guns will make us strong, butter will only make us fat.
      We have no butter... but I ask you, would you rather have butter or guns? Preparedness makes us powerful. Butter merely makes us fat.
  • We will go down in history either as the world's greatest statesmen or its worst villains.
    • Statement (1937); quoted in Great Powers and Outlaw States : Unequal Sovereigns in the International Legal Order (2004) by Gerry J. Simpson, p. 291
  • The Jew must clearly understand one thing at once, he must get out!
    • Speech in Vienna after the Austrian Anschluss (1938); when asked at the Nuremberg trials whether he meant what he said in this speech he replied "Yes, approximately." As reported from testimony in the Imperial War Museum, Folio 645, Box 156, , (1945-10-20), pp. 5-6
  • No enemy bomber can reach the Ruhr. If one reaches the Ruhr, my name is not Goering. You may call me Meyer.
    • Addressing the Luftwaffe (September 1939) as quoted in August 1939: The Last Days of Peace (1979) by Nicholas Fleming, p. 171; "Meyer" (or "Meier") is a common name in Germany. This statement would come back to haunt him as Allied bombers devastated Germany; many ordinary Germans, especially in Berlin, took to calling him "Meier". It is said that he once himself introduced himself as "Meier" when taking refuge in an air-raid shelter in Berlin.
  • The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!
    • Statement at a luncheon on 20 April 1942, as recounted by General Franz Halder, about the Reichstag Fire, which the Nazis had blamed on "Communist instigators" in securing many of their dictatorial powers. In a way that might indicate Goering was simply joking, Halder testified: "At a luncheon on the birthday of Hitler in 1942 the conversation turned to the topic of the Reichstag building and its artistic value. I heard with my own ears when Goering interrupted the conversation and shouted: 'The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!' With that he slapped his thigh with the flat of his hand."
      Göring later testified: "I had nothing to do with it. I deny this absolutely. I can tell you in all honesty, that the Reichstag fire proved very inconvenient to us. After the fire I had to use the Kroll Opera House as the new Reichstag and the opera seemed to me much more important than the Reichstag. I must repeat that no pretext was needed for taking measures against the Communists. I already had a number of perfectly good reasons in the forms of murders, etc."
  • Why has this silly engine suddenly turned up, which is so idiotically welded together? They told me then, there would be two engines connected behind each other, and suddenly there appears this misbegotten monster of welded-together engines one cannot get at!
    • Comment by Goering to a report submitted to him by Oberst Edgar Petersen, the Kommandeur der Erprobungsstellen (commander of German military aircraft test facilties in the Third Reich) on August 13 1942, regarding the usage and deficient installation design for the trouble-prone, complex Daimler-Benz DB 606 "power system" powerplants for the He 177A, Nazi Germany's only operational heavy bomber, which was suffering from an unending series of engine fires.[1]
  • The people were merely to acknowledge the authority of the Fuehrer, or, let us say, to declare themselves in agreement with the Fuehrer. If they gave the Fuehrer their confidence then it was their concern to exercise the other functions. Thus, not the individual persons were to be selected according to the will of the people, but solely the leadership itself.
  • I especially denounce the terrible mass murders, which I cannot understand ... I never ordered any killing or tortures where I had the power to prevent such actions!
    • Göring's closing statement to the Nuremberg tribunal (31 August 1946); as quoted in Witness to Nuremberg (2006) by Richard Sonnenfeldt, p. 70
  • The German people trusted the Führer. Given his authoritarian direction of the state, they had no influence on events. Ignorant of the crimes of which we know today, the people have fought with loyalty, self-sacrifice, and courage, and they have suffered too in this life-and-death struggle into which they were arbitrarily thrust. The German people are free from blame.
    • Göring's closing statement to the Nuremberg tribunal (31 August 1946)

Nuremberg Diary (1947)

These statements were recorded in Gustave Gilbert's transcriptions of conversations with many of the Nazi leaders during the War Crimes Trials at Nuremberg, and later published in Gilbert's Nuremberg Diary(1947).
  • Der Sieger wird immer der Richter und der Besiegte stets der Angeklagte sein.
  • The victor will always be the judge, and the vanquished the accused.
    • Pg. 4 (1995 edition); also quoted in Nuremberg: A Personal Record of the Trial of the Major Nazi War Criminals in 1945—46(1978) by A. Neave, p.74; original German, as quoted in Der Nürnberger Prozess (1958) by Joe J. Heydecker and Johannes Leeb, p.103
  • After the United States gobbled up California and half of Mexico, and we were stripped down to nothing, territorial expansion suddenly becomes a crime. It's been going on for centuries, and it will still go on.
    • At lunch during the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal (11 December 1945); Nuremberg Diary p.66, 1947 edition.
  • Do you think I give that much of a damn about my lousy life? — For myself, I don't give a damn if I get executed, or drown, or crash in a plane, or drink myself to death! — But there is still a matter of honor in this life! — Assassination attempt on Hitler! — Ugh! — Gott im Himmel!! I could have sunk through the floor! And do you think I would have handed Himmler over to the enemy, guilty as he was? Dammit, I would have liquidated the bastard myself!
    • Interview in Göring's cell (3 January 1946)
  • Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
    Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

The Nuremberg Interviews (2004)

  • What do I care about danger? I've sent soldiers and airmen to death against the enemy — why should I be afraid?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (15 March 1946)
  • Hitler decided that. I thought it was stupid because I believed that first we had to defeat England.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, about attacking Russia (15 March 1946)
  • No. It was the last hours and he (Hitler) was under pressure. If I could have seen him personally it would have been different.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, after being asked if he felt any resentment toward Hitler (15 March 1946)
  • I know you want to study me psychologically. That's reasonable and I appreciate it. At least you don't lecture to me and pry into my affairs. You have a good technique as a psychiatrist. Let the other fellow talk and stick his neck into the noose. I don't mean that the way it sounds. But you hardly say anything. Someday I'm going to ask you questions.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • I have always been interested in family history. Chromosomes are funny things, aren't they? They may skip a generation and you can find children who resemble the grandfather, rather than either parent. Heredity is more important than environment. Blood will tell. For example, a man is either musical by heredity or he is not. You can't make a man musical by the environment. You can find a person who is very musically inclined and be puzzled because neither parents nor grandparents had any ear for music. But if you trace it back, you will find that the great-grandfather was a musician. But the environment plays a great part in the development of a man. It is significant whether a man is brought up in the city or in the country, near a lake or on the shores of the ocean.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • In Berlin Jews controlled almost one hundred percent of the theaters and cinemas before the rise to power.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • Hitler had the willpower of a demon and he needed it. If he didn't have such a strong willpower he couldn't have achieved anything. Don't forget, if Hitler had not lost the war, if he did not have to fight against the combination of big powers like England, America, and Russia — each one he could have conquered individually — these defendants and these generals would now be saying, 'Heil Hitler,' and would not be so damn critical.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • To me there are two Hitlers: one who existed until the end of the French war; the other begins with the Russian campaign. In the beginning he was genial and pleasant. He would have extraordinary willpower and unheard-of influence on people. The important thing to remember is that the first Hitler, the man who I knew until the end of the French war, had much charm and goodwill. He was always frank. The second Hitler, who existed from the beginning of the Russian campaign until his suicide, was always suspicious, easily upset, and tense. He was distrustful to an extreme degree.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • I am a man who is basically opposed to atrocities or ungentlemanly actions. In 1934, I promulgated a law against vivisection. You can see, therefore, that if I disapprove of the experimentation on animals, how could I possibly be in favor of torturing humans? The prosecution says that I had something to do with the freezing experiments which were performed in the concentration camps under the auspices of the air force. That is pure Quatsch! I was much too busy to know about these medical experiments, and if anybody had asked me, I would have disapproved violently. It must have been Himmler who thought up these stupid experiments, although I think he shirked his responsibility by committing suicide. I am not too unhappy about it because I would not particularly enjoy sitting on the same bench with him. The same is true of that drunken Robert Ley, who did us a favor by hanging himself before the trial started. He was not going to be any advantage for us defendants when he took the stand.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • The atrocities are, for me, the most horrible part of the accusation in this trial. They thought that I took it lightly or laughed about it or some such nonsense, in court. That is definitely a mistake. I am the type of person who is naturally against such things and my own psychological reaction is to laugh or smile in the face of adversity. Perhaps that explains my attitude in court. Besides, I was not to blame for these horrors. It's not just that I am a hard man because of my long experience in the army and in politics. It's true that I saw plenty in the First World War and during the air raids and at the front in this war. But I was always a person who felt the suffering of others. To paint me as an unfeeling ogre who laughs in court at the atrocities is stupid.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • All Quatsch. Nobody knows the real Göring. I am a man of many parts, but the autobiography, what does that tell you? Nothing. And those books put out by the party press, they are less than useless.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • I think that women are wonderful but I've never met one yet who didn't show more feeling than logic.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • If I didn't have a sense of humor, how could I stand this trial now?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • In the first place I'm sure Hitler did not write that damned testament himself. Probably some swine like Bormann wrote it for him. But I don't see what is so terrible in the testament when you examine it, anyway. There was Berlin, bombed every minute. The noise of artillery from the lousy Russians, the American and British bombers overhead. Maybe Hitler was a trifle unbalanced by all that. If he wrote the testament at such a time, it was hysteria. But essentially, what difference does it make?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • I have to laugh when the English claim they are such a wonderful nation. Everyone knows that Englishmen are really Germans, that the English kings were German, and that in Russia the emperors were either of German origin or received their education in Germany.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (28 May 1946)
  • The Russians are primitive folk. Besides, Bolshevism is something that stifles individualism and which is against my inner nature. Bolshevism is worse than National Socialism — in fact, it can't be compared to it. Bolshevism is against private property, and I am all in favor of private property. Bolshevism is barbaric and crude, and I am fully convinced that that atrocities committed by the Nazis, which incidentally I knew nothing about, were not nearly as great or as cruel as those committed by the Communists. I hate the Communists bitterly because I hate the system. The delusion that all men are equal is ridiculous. I feel that I am superior to most Russians, not only because I am a German but because my cultural and family background are superior. How ironic it is that crude Russian peasants who wear the uniforms of generals now sit in judgment on me. No matter how educated a Russian might be, he is still a barbaric Asiatic. Secondly, the Russian generals and the Russian government planned a war against Germany because we represented a threat to them ideologically. In the German state, I was the chief opponent of Communism. I admit freely and proudly that it was I who created the first concentration camps in order to put Communists in them. Did I ever tell you that funny story about how I sent to Spain a ship containing mainly bricks and stones, under which I put a single layer of ammunition which had been ordered by the Red government in Spain? The purpose of that ship was to supply the waning Red government with munitions. That was a good practical joke and I am proud of it because I wanted with all my heart to see Russian Communism in Spain defeated finally.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (28 May 1946)


  • When I hear the word culture, I reach for my Browning!
    • Variant: "When I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver." Often attributed to Göring, who might have used such lines, these statements are derived from those in the play Schlageter by Hanns Johst: "Wenn ich Kultur höre ... entsichere ich meinen Browning!" [Whenever I hear of culture... I release the safety-catch of my Browning!] (Act 1, Scene 1) The play was first performed in April 1933 for Hitler's birthday. Reported as a misattribution in Paul F. Boller, Jr., and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (1989), p. 36.
    • "When I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver" was also is used in the 1981 Cannes Film Festival Award winner Mephisto spoken by a character known as "The General" in the English dubbed version.
  • I will decide who is a Jew!
    • Göring is stated to have said this in Non-Germans Under the Third Reich: The Nazi Judicial and Administrative System in Germany (2003) by Diemut Majer, p. 60, and in other works, but he might have merely been repeating or paraphrasing the statement, Wer a Jud is, bestimm i (Only I will decide who is a Jew) which in Strangers at Home and Abroad: Recollections of Austrian Jews Who Escaped Hitler (2000) by Adi Wimmer, p. 6, is said to have originated with Vienna mayor Karl Lueger in response to the observation that despite his anti-semitic speeches he still dined with Jews.

Quotes about Göring

  • Among the higher leadership [in the Nazi Party], while there is still a certain unity, personalities are beginning to play a constantly greater part. Hitler is perhaps more powerful than before, but he becomes more and more a figure separated from actualities. He depends a great deal on Hess, who is really his confidential man now and whom it is likely he may make Foreign Minister. Goering and Goebbels still remain good comrades of Hitler and are undoubtedly attached to him, but the difference* between Goering and Goebbels are becoming more evident. Goering is more moderate, while Goebbels, sensing the feeling of the masses and being above all an opportunist is becoming more radical. If It would come to a show-down between the radical and moderate elements, Goering would, however, undoubtedly be likely to be on the radical side as the one having the more chances. [...] If this Government remains in power for another year and carries on in the same measure in this direction, it will go far towards making Germany a danger to world peace for years to come.
    This is a very disjointed and incoherent letter. I am dictating it under pressure as I wish to catch the courier pouch. What I do want to say really is that for the present this country is headed in directions which can only carry ruin to it and will create a situation here dangerous to world peace. With few exceptions, the men who are running this Government are of a mentality that you and I cannot understand. Some of them are psychopathic cases and would ordinarily be receiving treatment somewhere. Others are exalted and in a frame of mind that knows no reason. The majority are woefully ignorant and unprepared for the tasks which they have to carry through every day. Those men in the party and in responsible positions who are really worth-while, and there are quite a number of these, are powerless because they have to follow the orders of superiors who are suffering from the abnormal psychology prevailing in the country.
  • I can't see a thing wrong with Göring's behavior as far as this trial is concerned. They have proven none of the charges. I have mentioned to Göring that the trouble with National Socialism is that it is a house divided, that we Germans tried to live in a community without considering our neighbors, and Göring agreed with me. So even Göring isn't as bad a fellow as the prosecution would have the world believe.
  • And another question was unfortunately not asked of Göring: 'The German people put faith in you even if they doubted Hitler because you were gentlemanly and more likable. What did you, Göring, do to justify this confidence? You have led a luxurious life and collected stolen art.'
  • Now, for example, Göring made an excellent impression. I must say I rather liked him. The fashion was for 'strong men.' Göring had his weaknesses — he was like a child in many respects — but he was a human being.
  • In Goering's tones there is just such a shadow. He is a complex villain if ever there was one. He also kept his bravery to the end and made a showing at Nuremberg which shamed his colleagues. He also kept his stubborn cunning, defeating the hangman.
    • Edward Crankshaw
  • Goering, wreathed in smiles and orders and decorations received us gaily, his wife at his side. There is something un-Christian about Goering, a strong pagan streak, a touch of the arena, though perhaps, like many who are libidinous-minded like myself, he actually does very little. People say that he can be very hard and ruthless, as are all Nazis when occasion demands, but outwardly he seems all vanity and childish love of display.
  • The large and varied role of Göring was half militarist and half gangster. He stuck his pudgy finger in every pie. He used his SA musclemen to help bring the gang into power. In order to entrench that power, he contrived to have the Reichstag burned, established the Gestapo, and created the concentration camps. He was equally adept at massacring opponents and at framing scandals to get rid of stubborn generals. He built up the Luftwaffe [air force] and hurled it at his defenseless neighbors. He was among the foremost in harrying Jews out of the land. By mobilizing the total economic resources of Germany, he made possible the waging of the war which he had taken a large part in planning. He was, next to Hitler, the man who tied the activities of all the defendants together in a common effort.
  • These men saw no evil, spoke none, and none was uttered in their presence. This claim might sound very plausible if made by one defendant. But when we put all their stories together, the impression which emerges of the Third Reich, which was to last a thousand years, is ludicrous. If we combine only the stories of the front bench, this is the ridiculous composite picture of Hitler's Government that emerges. It was composed of:
    A No. 2 man who knew nothing of the excesses of the Gestapo which he created, and never suspected the Jewish extermination programme although he was the signer of over a score of decrees which instituted the persecution of that race;
    A No. 3 man who was merely an innocent middleman transmitting Hitler's orders without even reading them, like a postman or delivery boy;
    A Foreign Minister who knew little of foreign affairs and nothing of foreign policy;
    A Field-Marshal who issued orders to the armed forces but had no idea of the results they would have in practice ...
    ... This may seem like a fantastic exaggeration, but this is what you would actually be obliged to conclude if you were to acquit these defendants.
    They do protest too much. They deny knowing what was common knowledge. They deny knowing plans and programmes that were as public as Mein Kampf and the Party programme. They deny even knowing the contents of documents which they received and acted upon. ... The defendants have been unanimous, when pressed, in shifting the blame on other men, sometimes on one and sometimes on another. But the names they have repeatedly picked are Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich, Goebbels, and Bormann. All of these are dead or missing. No matter how hard we have pressed the defendants on. the stand, they have never pointed the finger at a living man as guilty. It is a temptation to ponder the wondrous workings of a fate which has left only the guilty dead and only the innocent alive. It is almost too remarkable.
    The chief villain on whom blame is placed — some of the defendants vie with each other in producing appropriate epithets — is Hitler. He is the man at whom nearly every defendant has pointed an accusing finger.
    I shall not dissent from this consensus, nor do I deny that all these dead and missing men shared the guilt. In crimes so reprehensible that degrees of guilt have lost their significance they may have played the most evil parts. But their guilt cannot exculpate the defendants. Hitler did not carry all responsibility to the grave with him. All the guilt is not wrapped in Himmler's shroud. It was these dead men whom these living chose to be their partners in this great conspiratorial brotherhood, and the crimes that they did together they must pay for one by one.
    • Robert H. Jackson in his summation for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials (26 July 1946)


English: Adolf Hitler delivers a speech at the Kroll Opera House to the men of the Reichstag on the subject of Roosevelt and the war in the Pacific, declaring war on the United States. Next to Hitler in the government benches (from right to left) are Joachim von Ribbentrop, Erich Raeder, Walther von Brauchitsch, Wilhelm Keitel, Wilhelm Frick and Joseph Goebbels. In the second row (from right to left) are Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk, Walther Funk, Richard Walther Darré, Bernhard Rust, Hanns Kerrl, Hans Frank, Julius Dorpmüller, Arthur Seyss-Inquart and Fritz Todt. In the third row (from right to left) are Alfred Rosenberg, Otto Meißner and Johannes Popitz. (11 December 1941)

Hitler's Brutal Buccaneer Nicknamed "Meyer!"

"Of all the big Nazi leaders Hermann Goering was for me by far the most sympathetic....a brutal buccaneer.....I had a real liking for him."
So reminisced the British Ambassador to Nazi Germany from 1937-39, Sir Neville Henderson. An amusing story claims that Sir Neville even shouted at Hitler and lived to recount the story. Not sure if this is confirmed but he certainly knew Goering, Ribbentrop and most of the upper echelon of the Nazi party, both politically and socially; always important in diplomatic circles.
If my memory serves me well the pirates or buccaneers of olden days who messed with the Kings Royal Navy, were when after captured and tried strung up from the ships main beam or high gallows. Goering certainly "messed" with British forces and should have hung but he didn't, so how did this "buccaneer" conveniently beat the noose, well we will return to this controversial issue later in another article. And see if perhaps we can offer a likely scenario.
HG as some have referred to him and we will also do the same was born in 1893, to it seems a happy family with a younger brother Albert (interestingly he would later become disillusioned with Hitler and only survived the Gestapo and prison with his brothers influence.) Albert Goering later assisted many Jews and others during those difficult years and today a forest in Israel is quite rightly named after him.) With three sisters who it seems adored HG the family was complete. His father served in the German diplomatic service with the young Herman being baptized in to the Protestant faith but whether this made any spiritual impression on his character in later life is debatable.
Young HG seemed to be a "temperamental and domineering" child and because of this aberration he was later dispatched by his father to a strict boarding school. Then later on to a military cadet academy. This life seem to suit him and later prepare him for entry into an infantry regiment at the beginning of the War (1914-1918) as a 21 year old serving officer. Later he would bag a coveted Iron Cross, maybe or 1st or 2nd class and later as a fresh pilot in the fledgling German Air Force he would join the legendry "Red Baron" Von Richthofen (to Goering this man would be an early hero until Adolph Hitler entered the stage.) HG enlisted in the elite "JG1" flying squadron and received during those war years from the coveted "Order Pour Le Merite." By the wars end the rule of the Kaiser had ceased. Now Germany drifted into dangerous political waters. HG found himself without a job or a mission in life. He did however have one skill to offer-he could fly and the dawn of aviation was just dawning and the Luftwaffe was just around the corner!
If the twisted roots of Nazism flourished anywhere in those turbulent post-war years then Munich has to be awarded that doubtful honour.
Some years ago James and myself visited this Bavarian town to street preach and distribute some German tracts we had purchased. Whilst there we met a German preacher named Roland who very kindly translated for our own preaching. I can still see him now (a tall elderly gentleman clutching a long thin brass cross as he devoutly preached to the passing crowds.) I wonder if he is still doing God's work in that town but it was good to meet him.
In those distorted years of the early 1920s HG enrolled in Munich University as a mature student and incidentally during the war the "White Rose" league, headed by Sophie School and her brother and others, would cause mayhem to the Gestapo German network from this university. The building today with its vast foyer are very much the same as when Sophie threw her anti-war protest flyers to the crowds of students far below the balcony in 1942. It must have been something to see.
It's still our opinion that for the young Christian all universities or any such places of learning are indeed dangerous to the young persons faith. It was also the same in Germany in those frenetic days as Hitler's dangerous grip on the country increased, anywhere that is in the beer cellars, lecture halls and on the streets.
The Nazi menace was now on the march and HG would meet the man who would replace the red baron in his affections this man would be proclaimed: "Der Fuehrer" by millions of adoring Germans. He was of course Adolph Hitler.
When HG happily signed up for the Nazi party in 1922 he was 29-years old-he also quickly accepted Hitler's commission to mould the SA military wing into a street-fighting machine. This it seems he did with much success! The men seemed to like him, maybe he spoke their language.
As one witness wrote concerning Goerings recruits: "On January 28th 1923 for the first time....they marched in serried ranks and the beautiful song, 'We have come to pray' was given a new meaning. Hitler consecrated the flag."
One has to enquire to what god have they come to pray to and as regards Hitler consecrating stained flags, this reminds me of some fanatical Inquisition Cardinal doing the same ritual or a Croatian bishop during the war repeating the same ceremony over dead Serb bodies. It's all religious theatre that achieves nothing.
Any political party that builds is tenets upon religious racism is doomed to failure and that means your government and mine.
With the Nazis there particular animosity was directed solely at the Hebrew race-well at first anyway. Later the eventual Nazi extermination on the coming agenda would have to be worked out in detail at the infamous Wansee conference of 1942. This orchestrated wave of anti-Semitism has always been a stain on Europe's bloody ethnic history. Just look at the pograms and there terrible consequences and don't forget the British extermination camps in South Africa, especially at Blomfontein in 1901. HG was only too happy to remind the British prosecution team years later at Nuremberg about these acts against a defenceless people.
HG had always had an uneasy relationship with the German Jews, the ethnicity of that race had even permeated into his own family, with doubts about his own brother Albert parentage. For years the Reich Marshall would try to conceal this from most of his enemies in and out of the Nazi party.
Incidentally there'd long been suggestions that most of the Jewish DNA bloodlines was also concealed in Hitler's own family tree as well as other prominent Nazi elite including Reinhardt Heydrich and Field Marshall Milch.
One amusing story concerning these rumours was when HG was informed by a zealous SS officer that HG's old aviation mate, Erhard Milch, was after much investigation by his department, deemed to be half Jewish. This was very serious, remarked the officer and what was the Reich Marshall going to do about it. HG merely growled slowly in German when he heard this news: "Wer Jude ist bestime Ich. I decide who is Jewish." And there spoke Hitler's number two henchmen. From now on any on going investigation on this matter was now to be closed. Was that understood he asked. It was replied yes and the officer then quickly left the room. The President of the Reichstag had spoken. Kaput!
However HG certainly assisted many known Jews to obtain exit visas to leave Germany. Indeed many lives and families can thank him for such an act. Including the two Jewish Ballin sisters who had cared for him when the putsch at the Odeonplatz in the centre of the Munich in 1923 failed and HG for his efforts collected a stray bullet in the groin. "We will never forget what you have done for Hermann," wrote an appreciative Karin Goering to the sisters. They would later leave Germany with a safe passage. Goering never forgot the sisters kind treatment that was afforded to him by them. I do wonder if they corresponded with him when he was in prison in 1945/6?
I personally do not think HG was as obsessed with the so-called "Jewish dilemma" as much as some of the others Nazi top brass claimed. Instead he was more preoccupied in quietly gaining his own self-importance in the Nazi party by whatever means, including even murder such as his old rival Ernst Roehm. He would of course willingly submit to the same old sins of the flesh that we all know about that of: prestige, power, and of course pecuniary. So just throw in a castle on the Rhine/or hunting lodge, dress him in a toga and sandals with blood red nails of course. Then you can now present the "emperor Nero" of the Third Reich to his audience. And all of these vanities he would later admit offered him: "twelve happy years." But nothing lasts does it, all things have to pass in this world.
It is certainly not the purpose of this short article to detail the life and eventual downfall of HG. He has many able biographers who have already achieved this.
This is a ministry that tries to understand spiritually how men can through their own selfish endeavours (and much of it self-inflicted) sign their own death warrants. All of us someday will face a higher authority. Then judgment will be quickly dispensed. A shamed fallen world will stand in the dock of retribution awaiting its fate. But it is of the attitude and personality of HG when he was finally caged in Nuremberg jail awaiting his trial (prison number 31G350013 no less!)) with the other Nazi cohorts that becomes interesting at this time of our research.
By 1945 HG was under curfew but as The Reich Marshall's weight decreased (by eighty pounds no less) he still wore his frayed blue Luftwaffe uniform and without any prominent insignia and with the loss of his weight it must have hung from him in folds. His now mental abilities somehow quickly increased.
The American prosecutor Robert Jackson quickly came off second best in his cross questioning of HG because: "Jackson flung down his earphones in a rage at one of Goering's long and persuasive replies," it is reported. It would however be later left to British K.C Sir David Maxwell Fyfe to use his legal skills, "to slice and dice Goering down to size." This Fyfe did. HG would later be punished for this act against the court and encouraging others to do the same. From now on he would eat his meals on his own away from the other defendants. Col. Andrus must have seen him as a bad influence on the other prisoners under his care.
As the trial neared its closure HG I suspect was planning his own departure from this world and it would NOT be at the end of a noose if he had his way in the matter.
Before we examine the suicide of HG and how it could possibly happen, two men would enter the kife of HG and I suspect leave a lasting influence upon his declining days. They would be Capt. Henry Gerecke (the American Lutheran Chaplain) and another assistant Pastor on the ecumenical team was Carl Eggers, he would later sum up HG as a, "good natured charmer." He must have got to know HG rather well it seems. However the one man who did not fall for this false bonhomie was the prison Commandment and professional soldier, Col. Burton C. Andrus. He before Nuremberg was in charge of the Mondorf Interrogation Centre (a holding dock for the prisoners before transfer to Nuremberg.) Later he remembered when he first made the acquaintance of HG: "When Goering came to me he was a simpering slob with two suitcases full of paracodeine. I though he was a drug salesman. But we took him of his dope and made a man of him."
Later the appointed prison shrink offered his own diagnosis after evaluation of HG he surmised that HG was, egotistical, cunning and cynical. Nothing we didn't already know. The former Reich Marshall rated an IQ of 138; he was delighted with the results. (In fact he scored the same as Admiral Doenitz) he weighed 192 lbs and was 5ft10in tall. HG quickly denied any suicidal preoccupations with a straight face and a lie on his lips. Rather looks like this doctor read HG's state of mind very badly doesn't it. I suspect by now HG had decided that he and he alone would decide when he would exit this world and on his own terms no less. Wasn't it just play acting, something he had always enjoyed doing. And what about the trial pictures of him wearing those heavy dark glasses along with Admiral Doenitz sporting a pair. The two rather look like some over the hill Hollywood film producers searching for a viable script to drop into their laps.
In examining HG's spiritual/mental confusion whilst in Nuremberg it seems he obviously had some grounding in Bible theology, yet like so many conceited arrogant men he merely wished to debunk its true meaning and never to try and understand its saving message. In the final months of his life we are told "he wrote more letters to friends and relatives outside the prison than any of the other prisoners," reported the Colonel. Who knows maybe an AV1611 Bible with some tracts arrived in the post for him. I like to think so.
The last few months of HG's life allowed him to participate in the Sunday morning religious services, organized by Chaplain Gerecke for him and thirteen other Lutherans who felt the need to atone for their sins the chaplain humoursly recalled:
"Goering always stumped into the little chapel first to get a seat at the front.....then when they sang a hymn no one boomed it louder that Goering."
Goering certainly sounded devout in the chapel. However the Nazi informed Chaplain Gerecke that he had rejected Lutheranism long ago, although he was not a complete atheist. Again HG like so many other agnostics cannot completely walk away from Christianity. There is always that doubt and although I do not equate the Lutheran faith with the born again aspect of being saved his remarks do shine some peculiar light on the balance of his mind at that time why even HG's second marriage to Emmy was performed in a Protestant cathedral with the pro-Nazi Bishop Muller (there were many others in the denominations in Germany at the time who eagerly supported Hitler and his reforms) performing the so called "Christian nuptials," strange isn't it. But was it all compromise with him or a sly co-operation with the prison authorities to gain favourable points-who knows.
But how easy rejection brings pain, again the Chaplain witnessed Goering break down in tears when told of his little daughters reaction to his death sentence: "I hope to meet daddy in heaven," the little one stated so simply. Despite this Goering ridicules the Holy Bible and its teachings: "Death is death," he replied. "She believes in her manner, and I in mine." Even then he was a loser and couldn't see it. Days later he was dead. I have to believe unsaved. (Following this article we will be looking at the suicide of Hermann Goering and examine some of its findings.)
And it is clear from another confused statement from HG when later he would murmur to Gerecke: "Pastor I believe in God." But isn't this a false image of a God of choice that so many people proudly trumpet and proclaim as their very own. These are merely false replicas from assorted religions that inhabit our fallen world so often promoted by lustful clergy and a tele-evangelist with their snouts permanently in the money trough-how sickening it all is.
Later because of these inconsistent opinions Captain Gerecke refused to permit HG to partake of the last communion, or breaking of the bread. I believe his decision was correct. I do suspect he agonized over its implications.
On the designated night and just two hours before his appointment with the American hangman HG committed suicide and because of this calculated decision his place in history would now be assured forever. But I have to suggest if he had merely been hung that night HG would be a mere footnote in the folk lore of old Nuremberg town.
Finally Herman Goering was but one of the many evil perpetrators of the 20th Century there were indeed many more. "The wicked shall be turned into hell...." Ps. 9:17 gravely reminds us. All of Hermann Goering's deeds and achievements amounted to simply nothing. They are but a warning from history. We chose to ignore them at our own peril.
Footnote: HG once boasted that in sixty years time statues would be erected in his memory throughout Germany. Well he was certainly wrong about that prediction. However some years ago the most popular knitting pattern purchased by German women through mail order was the one with a portrait of HG no less on the cover and there he stands proudly in a white cable woollen cardigan was this The Third Reich's last male model!
PPS: The nickname "Meyer," Goering awarded to himself when in 1940 he proclaimed to the German people, "If any British planes ever drops bombs on Berlin. You can call me Meyer!"
"The RAF will bomb Berlin," ordered Winston Churchill after this boast from HG. The rest is of course history.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
Used Sources
Hermann Goering, Wolfgang Paul
The Reich Marshall, Leonard Mosley
Goering, F.H. Gregory
The Infamous of Nuremberg, Burton C. Andrus


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