Hermann Wilhelm Goering (or Göring) born 12-01-1893 in Rosenheim, the son of a judge who had been sent by Bismarck (see Bismarck) to South-West Africa as the first Resident Minister Plenipotentiary.
Goering’s aristocratic background and his prestige as a war hero made him a prize recruit to the infant Nazi Party and Hitler appointed him to command the SA Brown shirts in December 1922. Nazism offered the swashbuckling Goering the promise of action, adventure, comradeship and an outlet for his unreflective, elemental hunger for power. In 1923 he took part in the Munich Beer Hall Putz, in which he was seriously wounded, in the groin and hip, owing to he remained all his life morfine addicted, and forced to flee from Germany for four years until a general amnesty was declared. He escaped to Austria, Italy and then Sweden, was admitted to a mental hospital and in September 1925, to an asylum for dangerous inmates, becoming a morphine addict in the course of his extended recovery. Returning to Germany in 1927, he rejoined the NSDAP and was elected as one of its first deputies to the Reichstag a year later. During the next five years Goering played a major part in smoothing Hitler’s road to power, (see using his contacts with conservative circles, big business and army officers to reconcile them to the Nazi Party and orchestrating the electoral triumph of 31-07-1932, which brought him the Presidency of the Reichstag. Following Hitler’s (see Adolf Hitler
) appointment as Chancellor on 30-01-1933, von Papen (see von Papen
) was his vice, Hugenberg (see Hugenberg
) Minister of Economy in the new government and Wilhelm Frick (see Frick
) Minister of the Interior. Goering was made Prussian Minister of the Interior, Commander-in-Chief of the Prussian Police and Gestapo and Commissioner for Aviation. As the creator of the Secret Police, Goering, together with Himmler (see Himmler
), Heydrich (see Heydrich
) and Eichmann (see Eichmann
), set up the early concentration camps for political opponents, showing formidable energy in terrorizing and crushing all resistance. The Reichstag fire was the best occasion to start this terrorizing and the Dutch communist Rinus van der Lubbe (see van de Lubbe
) was found guilty and sentenced to death. “Putzi” Hanfstaengl (see Hanfstaengl
), a Hitler intimate and piano player, later claimed to have alerted Hitler and Hermann Goering about the Reichstag fire. Under the pretext of a threatened communist coup, Prussia was “cleansed” and hundreds of officers and thousands of ordinary policemen were purged, being replaced from the great reservoir of SA and SS men who took over the policing of Berlin. Goering exploited the Reichstag fire, which many suspected that he had engineered, to implement a series of emergency decrees that destroyed the last remnants of civil rights in Germany, to imprison communists and Social Democrats and ban the left-wing press. He directed operations during the Blood Purge, which eliminated his rival Ernst Röhm (see Röhm
) and other SA leaders on 30-06-1934, (see Heines
) (see Schweighar
t) in the Knight of the long Knives. The Night of the Long Knives between 30 June and 2 July 1934 saw the killing of approximately 82 SA men, including almost its entire leadership, effectively ending the power of the SA. On 01-03-1935, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force and with Udet (see Udet
) and Erhard Milch, Milch died age 79, on 25-01-1978 in Düsseldorf,
) was responsible for organizing the rapid build-up of the aircraft industry and training of pilots. In 1936 his powers were further extended by his appointment as Plenipotentiary for the implementation of the Four Year Plan, which gave him virtually dictatorial controls to direct the German economy. The creation of the state-owned Hermann Goering Works in 1937, a gigantic industrial nexus which employed 700.000 workers and amassed a capital of 400 million marks, enabled him to accumulate a huge fortune. Goering used his position to indulge in ostentatious luxury, living in a palace in Berlin and building a hunting mansion named after his first wife Karin, she had died of tuberculosis in 1931, where he organized feasts, state hunts, showed off his stolen art treasures and uninhibitedly pursued his extravagant tastes. Changing uniforms and suits five times a day, affecting an archaic Germanic style of hunting dress, replete with green leather jackets, medieval peasant hats and boar spears, flaunting his medals and jewellery, Goering’s transparent enjoyment of the trappings of power, his debauches and bribe-taking, gradually corrupted his judgment. The “Iron Knight,” a curious mixture of condottiere and sybarite, “the last Renaissance man” as he liked to style himself with characteristic egomania, increasingly confused theatrical effect with real power. Nevertheless, he remained genuinely popular with the German masses who regarded him as manly, honest and more accessible than the Fuhrer, mistaking his extrovert bluster and vitality for human warmth. Goering’s cunning, brutality and ambition were displayed in the cabal he engineered against the two leading army Generals, von Fritsch (see Fritsch)
and (see Blomberg
), whom he helped to bring down in February 1938, in the misplaced hope that he would step into their shoes. Following the Crystal Night pogrom of 9 November 1938,
it was Goering who fined the German Jewish, the family Frank (see Anne Frank
) had already left Germany, to Holland, community a billion marks and ordered the elimination of Jews from the German economy, the “Aryanization” of their property and businesses, and their exclusion from schools, resorts, parks, forests, etc. On 12-11-1938 he warned of a “final reckoning with the Jews” should Germany come into conflict with a foreign power. It was also Goering who instructed Heydrich on 31-07-1941 to “carry out all preparations with regard to, a general solution of the Jewish question in those territories of Europe which are under German influence” Goering identified with Hitler’s territorial aspirations, playing a key role in bringing about the Anschluss in 1938 and the bludgeoning of the Czechs into submission, though he preferred to dictate a new order in Europe by “diplomatic” means rather than through a general European war. Appointed Reich Council Chairman for National Defence on 30-08-1939 and officially designated as Hitler’s successor on 1 September, Goering directed the Luftwaffe campaigns against Poland and France and on 19-06-1940 was promoted to Reichsmarschall.
Peter Goering (see Peter Goering
), the son of his brother Albert was killed over the coast of France.
Albert Goering, saviour of victims of the tyranny his brother helped create, was imprisoned for several years after the war for his name alone. During the post-war-years he had many difficulties, the name Goering had become an almost impossible handicap. Grateful survivors, rescued by Albert Goering, helped him survive bitter years of joblessness. He married several times and died in 1966, after working as a designer in a construction firm in Munich. Albert died on 20 December 20, 1966, as a penniless pariah, his chest bare of medals and formal accolades. His body was laid to rest in the Goering family plot in Munich. In August 1940 Hermann confidently threw himself into the great offensive against Great Britain (see Bomber Harris
), Operation Eagle, convinced that he would drive the RAF from the skies and secure the surrender of the British by means of the Luftwaffe alone. Goering, however, lost control of the Battle of Britain and made a fatal, tactical error when he switched to massive night bombings of London on 07-09-1940 just when British fighter defences were reeling from losses in the air and on the ground. This move saved the RAF sector control stations from destruction and gave the British fighter defences precious time to recover. The failure of the Luftwaffe, which Hitler never forgave him, caused the abandonment of Operation Sea Lion, the planned invasion of England, and began the political eclipse of Goering. Further failures of the Luftwaffe on the Russian front and its inability to defend Germany itself from Allied bombing attacks underlined Goering’s incompetence as its supreme commander. Technical research was run down completely, not surprisingly with a Commander-in-Chief who prized personal heroism above scientific know-how and whose idea of dignified combat was ramming enemy aircraft. Goering rapidly sank into lethargy and a world of illusions, expressly forbidding General Galland (see Galland
) to report that enemy fighters were accompanying bomber squadrons deeper and deeper into German territory in 1943. By this time Goering had become a bloated shadow of his former self, discredited, isolated and increasingly despised by Hitler who blamed him for Germany’s defeats. Undermined by Bormann’s (see Martin Bormann
) he died escaping the Führerbunker on 02-05-1945, age 44, suicide, intrigues, overtaken in influence by Himmler (see Himmler
) and Josef Goebbels (see Goebbels
)(see Magda Goebbels
) and Speer (see Speer
), mentally humiliated by his servile dependence on the Fuhrer, Goering’s personality began to disintegrate. By the way all the big Nazis had the same dentist, Hugo Blaschke (see Blaschke
). When Hitler declared that he would remain in the Berlin bunker to the end, Goering, who had already left for Bavaria, misinterpreted this as an abdication and requested that he be allowed to take over at once; he was ignominiously dismissed from all his posts, expelled from the Party and arrested.
With Hitler’s death, he stood out among the defendants as the dominating personality, dictating attitudes to other prisoners in the dock and adopting a pose of self-conscious heroism motivated by the belief that he would be immortalized as a German martyr. Nevertheless, Goering failed to convince the judges, who found him guilty on all four counts: of conspiracy to wage war, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
No mitigating circumstances were found and Goering was sentenced to death by hanging. On 15-11-1946, two hours before his execution was due to take place, Goering committed suicide in his Nuremberg cell,
taking a capsule of poison that he had succeeded in the change of his pistol with the American guard, Ned Putzell. Edwin “Ned” Putzell, the former Naples mayor whose boundless enthusiasm and dedication to the city and Collier County community marked a colourful career and an intriguing life, died late Tuesday, age 90, on 25-12-2003 at Naples Community Hospital after a brief illness. Before his death clergyman Captain Henry Gerecke
sat with each of the condemned men in his charge and asked them to join him in a prayer he had written. Goering wasn’t leaving his cell, he argued again for a firing squad and finally told Gerecke he couldn’t say “Jesus, save me”. When the prison lights went down, Goering broke the glass vial of potassium cyanide he had hidden and cracked it between his teeth, He began gurgling and frothing at the mouth and died quickly. Among his possessions was a silk dress, a silk robe folded under his pillow, two pairs of silk stocks and silk underwear. He also had a pair of U.S. made sunglasses, a shoeshine rag, a deck of playing cards, cigarette papers, Velvet tobacco, Durham tobacco, books and magazines. Following his death, Gerecke visited Goering’s wife, Emmy in her little house north of Nuremberg. Frau Goering, he said “I want to tell you that the act your husband committed is not a suicide in the eyes of God” Gerecke died age 68, in 1961. A
ll Nuremberg condemned and hanged by the U.S hangman John Woods (see Woods
Julius Streicher (see Streicher
), Joachim von Ribbentrop (see Ribbentrop
), Wilhelm Keitel (see Keitel
), Alfred Jodl (see Jodl
), Wilhelm Frick (see Wilhelm Frick
), Arthur Seys Inquart (see Seyss Inquart
), Fritz Sauckel (see Sauckel
), Ernst Kaltenbrunner (see Kaltenbrunner
) and Hans Frank (see Frank
), were secretly in coffins transferred in Army trucks to the Ostfriedhof, Eastern Cemetery of Munich, on 16-10-1946 and cremated. The coffins had faked names and they gave Streicher’s coffin ironical a Jewisch name. The same night four Generals, an American, an Englishman, a Frenchman and a Russian were secretly driven straight to the closest bridge, the Reichenbachbrücke over the river Isar and they scattered the ashes downstream.