Hermann Goering or Hermannn Göring was one of the primary architects of the Third Reich Nazi police state in Germany from 1933 to 1945. He established the Gestapo secret political police and concentration camps for the corrective treatment of opponents.
Born in January 1893, Goering was a German political and military leader. At one point, he was one of the top 3 most powerful figures in the Nazi Party along with Hitler and Heinrich Himmler.
A veteran World War I fighter pilot ace, he was the last commander of the Jadgeschwader 1, the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richtofen.
After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, he named Göring as minister without portfolio in the new government. One of his first acts was to oversee the creation of Gestapo, which he ceded to Heinrich Himmler in 1934.
Goering amassed power and political capital after the establishment of the Nazi state. Many viewed him as the second most powerful man in Germany after Hitler. By 1941, he was at peak of his power and influence.
Today, we will look at a couple of facts about Goering and his life.
Born into an aristocratic family
Born in January in 1983 to Heinrich Goering, a diplomatic consul to German South-West Africa (modern day Namibia) and his second wife, Hermann spent his early life in an aristocratic family.
Fun fact: his godfather Hermannn von Epenstein was of Jewish descend. And yet, Hermann hated the Jews and wanted to eradicate them.
Wounded in the failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923
Göring joined the National Socialists in 1922 after circulating the anti-Weimar and anti-reparation scene. With his military experience, they placed him in command of the SA in December. That fulfilled his desire for action and power.
During the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, he was one of the wounded. Staged by the party and met with police firepower, 14 Nazis were killed alongside 4 policemen during the failed putsch.
Hitler was also wounded during the clash and escaped immediate arrest. But two days later, Hitler was arrested and charged with treason.
Hermann, on the other hand, fled to Austria with a warrant out for his arrest. Goering returned to Germany in 1927 when he was granted full amnesty.
His wife worked for Hitler
Hermann and Adolf were close in and connected in so many ways. Hermann’s second wife, Emma Goering was a German actress and served as Hitler’s hostess at many state functions. Many called her the First Lady of the Third Reich.
She and Hermann got married in April 1935. During Christmas in 1938 Emma received unsolicited membership to the Nazi Party.
Because of her close relationship to Hitler, Adolf’s wife Eva Braun hated despised her. There was a lot of animosity between the two, especially with Emmy receiving the title First Lady of the Third Rauch.
Dreamt of a military career since an early age
Hermann grew up in an aristocratic family. But he also dreamt of a military and political career since an early age. His father was a friend of Otto von Bismarck, who many know as the Iron Chancellor.
Even his father wanted Hermann to build a successful military career. His son had the same wish as well. Goering spent hours playing with toy soldiers and entertained himself with war games from an early age.
And he often wore the uniform his father gave him as a present.
His brother worked in opposition to the Nazi regime
Hermann brother Albert was a total opposite of the Nazi figure. He had dark eyes and central European features, compared to Hermann and his blue eyes and northern profile.
But the difference do not stop there. While Hermann was an influential member of the Nazi regime, his brother pursued a career in filmmaking. He lived and worked in Vienna, Austria. He helped arrange and fund exit visas for his friends. He also defended Jews who were bullied in the street.
Albert had 4 arrest warrants and a death warrant tied to his name by 1944. But he evaded punishment and death penalty thanks to the protection of his powerful brother.
Yet, after the war, the name haunted him. Albert spent two years in prison after the fall of the Nazi regime.
Played a role in the history of medicine
After Hermann was wounded during the Beer Hall Putsch, he developed an addiction for morphine. But at one point, there was a shortage of morphine. So, he ordered pharmaceutical companies to develop and produce a special drug that will relieve pain.
The drug could be used as a replacement for heroin and help avoid withdrawal symptoms. As a result, scientists developed a formula of methadone. The drug is still used nowadays as a cure for heroin addiction.
Hermann rose to power and became one of the richest and most influential people in Nazi Germany. He lived an eccentric lifestyle and even contributed to art. He enjoyed the lifestyle and engaged in many corrupt practices.
He presented himself as the patron of arts, collecting a lot of artwork from Jewish collections, libraries, and museums throughout Europe.
Expelled from the Nazi Party
By April 1945, Hitler’s death was imminent. So, Goering sent a telegram to Adolf in anticipation of his likely death. He asked permission to take up control over Germany. After all, he had been named as successor in 1941.
Hitler considered the request an act of treason. He removed Goering from all his positions, expelled him from the party, and ordered his arrest.
Convicted as a War Criminal
The US Seventh Army captured Goering in May 1945. He was one of the highest ranking Nazi officials during the famous Nuremberg trials. He pleaded that he had not known of many of the crimes that he was accused of. He gave excuses for his role.
Yet, the prosecutors were able to prove his knowledge and found him guilty of all four counts: crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit crimes against peace.
On October 1945, just two hours before his execution was due to take place, he took a cyanide capsule in his cell. His request to be shot rather than hanged had been rejected. But he managed to commit suicide using the cyanide capsule.
His ashes were thrown to obscurity in a river.