Leif Eriksson signs a biographical portrait of the Third Reich’s second man, Hermann Göring, and describes what efforts he made for national socialism.
Hermann Wilhelm Göring was undoubtedly one of the most influential and most skilled statesmen in modern times. He was popular and loved by large parts of the German people both for his cheerful jovial manner and for his power of action. But of his enemies, he was feared for his hardness and reprimanded for his appearance and gold-lined deliveries. In this chronicle, I will present a short but hopefully fair and interesting picture of Adolf Hitler’s closest man – Hermann Göring.
The preparatory years
Hermann Göring was born in Bavaria on January 12, 1893. His father Heinrich was a German colonial official and the mother Franziska was one who was said at that time, a single country girl. By his profession, the father was often stationed abroad at various positions as colonial governor and consul general, and the mother was only on a temporary visit to Germany when she delivered Hermann. After six weeks, the mother returned to her husband in the Caribbean and left the newborn in a friend’s care in the town of Fürth near Nuremberg, where he lived his first three years. After the father was retired, the family lived in Germany, and for the longest time of his birth, Hermann spent at the Veldenstein castle outside Nuremberg, dating back to the Middle Ages. Some historians have thought that this carefree upbringing among thorns and walls with knights and worship of historical heroes characterized the grown-up Hermann in his passion for pomp and splendour and renowned uniforms.
After his graduation from the Royal Prussian cadet school at Berlin-Lichterfelde in 1911 with a brilliant graduation ceremony, Hermann Göring was offered a stewardess at an infantry regiment. When the First World War broke out, he quickly arrived at a flight reserve battalion where, alongside a pilot, he performed reconnaissance flights and photographed the enemy’s landmarks. In 1915 he embarked on the flying school in Freiburg and started a brilliant career as a skilled flyer and celebrated war hero. On June 2, 1918, after 22 winning victories in the air, he received by Emperor Wilhelm II the highest German award ceremony of special kindness, Pour le Mérite.
The sudden and unexpected message of the ceasefire in November 1918 came as a shock to Göring and the fighting force. As he wrote in his own book, Germany reborn, they experienced it as a dagger shock in the back when Social Democrats and Communists in Germany made up with the enemy of peace behind the ignorant forces. The disappointment of this betrayal was becoming one of the great political drivers, not just for Göring but for a growing number of Germans.
To support the war, Göring travelled to Scandinavia where he performed spectacular flight displays, and eventually ended up with Svensk Lufttrafik AB (Swedish Airtraffic AB) as a civil pilot. During one of the missions he accomplished, he met Countess Carin Fock, who became his great love and first wife. Together, the couple moved to Bavaria in 1921. Here another important milestone occurred in Görling’s life when he visited a political meeting at Café Neumann in Munich in autumn 1922, where a certain Adolf Hitler received reception and talked about how Germany would be reborn as a strong nation. In Hitler, he found speeches as “spoken words from my own heart” (Knopp: Göring, 2007) and he quickly decided to join NSDAP. Göring quickly became a close employee to Hitler and in the spring of 1923, he was appointed the leader of the troops (SA). In a short space of time, he succeeded when the rather loosely organized SA built up a powerful private army.
Political backlash and revanche
In 1923, the political and socio-economic situation in Germany rapidly deteriorated and in the autumn, the national socialists in Bavaria decided to try to do something about the situation. Starting on November 8, they made a coup in Munich to initiate a revolution and take over power. Hitler was the leader of the forces and Göring was responsible for security as head of SA. At noon on November 9, a demonstration train of revolutionaries marched from the Bürgerbräukeller meeting room towards Munich city centre. At the end of the train, Göring went next to Hitler and during the march’s walk, more and more people joined the crowd to approach 3,000. When they approached Feldherrnhalle, they met a collision chain of state police officers with armoured vehicles that opened fire against the demonstration train. Fourteen protesters and four state politicians died immediately. Hitler managed to get lost in the middle of the storm, but in the square, Göring was in a blood pool hit by a bullet in the thigh only a few millimetres from the pulse sore.
After the failed coup Hitler was arrested and imprisoned in Landsberg Prison while Göring managed to get to Austria, where he was cared for his damage to a laser dish in Innsbruck. To relieve his enormous pains from the shooting injury, doctors regularly gave him a morphine, something that he found to be addicted to after the release. The couple Hermann and Carin Göring returned to Sweden to try and get a normal life. Hermann was admitted to Långbro mental hospital south of Stockholm for two weeks, and after the second stay, Deputy Chief Doctor Dr C. Francke wrote a certificate stating: “Captain Hermann Göring … where he left the hospital in early June 1926 completely disapproved of the abovementioned use and free from the use of any kind of opium preparation, which is all honoured and conscience. “(Irving: Göring, A Biography, 2001) That Göring, during the rest of his life, went to pain relief during periods of severe pain is well known, but then it took the form of code tablets with a very small dose of morphine as “not enough to affect his mental ability in any way” according to psychiatrist Douglas M. Kelly who investigated Göring during the Nuremberg court trial (Sennerteg: Göring, 2011) .
Göring now arranged his life. He got a job at BMW to sell their aeroplane engines in Scandinavia. But he missed the political struggle and in 1926 he was reached by the news that a political amnesty had been issued in Germany and that both the arrest warrant and the 1923 Supreme Court had been cancelled. This enabled his return to Germany and meant the start of a political comedian career within NSDAP. In January 1928, Göring was nominated as one of the top candidates for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, and after the May elections, he became one of the twelve elected MPs for NSDAP. Success continued. In the parliamentary elections of 14 September 1930, the National Socialists voting figures increased from 2.6 percent to just over 18 percent (6.4 million voters) and the Riksdag mandate increased from 12 to 107.
Göring had acquired a good network of contacts in Berlin and the whole of Preussen in recent years. This saw Hitler as great advantages and appointed Göring to his political representative in Berlin, while Hitler himself stayed in Munich. At Hitler’s appointment, the Göring Parliamentary Group also appointed the Deputy Chairman. At the same time as his political career became brilliant, his wife Carin became increasingly ill and, on the night of October 16, 1931, she died in Stockholm. This meant a huge blow and a great grief for Göring, but at the same time meant that he from now on focused all his energy on the political struggle. In July 1932 a new parliament in Germany was elected and NSDAP received 13.7 million voters, more than twice as many as two years earlier. This meant that the National Socialists, with their 230 mandates, became the largest party group in the Reichstag. In the victory, Göring was elected as the Speaker of the Reichstag, the Republic’s third highest office in rank. In the role of the Reichstag’s Speaker and Hitler’s appointed intermediary, Göring succeeded with proficient diplomacy in negotiations with all parties involved, making President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler to Germany’s new Chancellor of State, which took place on January 30, 1933.
Implementation of National Socialism in Germany
It was during the period of the National Socialist Government from 1933 to the end of 1945, as Hermann Görling’s political genius and unremitting efforts for the construction of the German Empire manifested itself most clearly. And there is no place in such a chronicle to go into detail on each of them. Therefore, I will now make a list of the duties and duties he held during these years with brief comments on what results were achieved.
- Göring created and built Gestapo, the secret police in Germany, needed for the new regime’s struggle against the state and popular enemies. He also attributed the honour of being the one who established the German concentration camps, a name he received from the concentration camps that the British founded during the 1899-1902 farm war.
- Göring, together with Heinrich Himmler, was the brain and the driving force behind the actions taken to stop the undermining and peoples activities of the Communist and Social-Democratic parties in Germany. It was also these two who hardly stopped the planned coup attempt with an attack against the Reichswehr, such as Ernst Röhm and SA, planned in 1934, an operation that afterwards has been named The Long Knives Night.
- Göring was a Prussian ministerial president and deputy prime minister in Preussen in 1933-1945. This meant that in practice he was the one who ruled political life in northern Germany.
- Hitler appointed in 1936 the Mighty Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, a mandate held by him until 1945. The four-year plan was the powerful tool that the National Socialists set up to build the fully-financed economy of the Weimar Republic, and to gain full control of the economy. Like Hitler’s power, Göring had virtually unlimited freedom of action over the economy. He controlled the Kingdom’s assets of foreign currency. He launched huge construction and infrastructure projects, including the construction of cheap housing and the already functioning Autobahn. He put the highest speed on the armour industry to obtain the necessary equipment, cannons, tanks, aircraft for the armed forces. And when the industry began to suffer from raw materials like iron and steel, Göring nationalized with a single pencil throughout the Ruhrin industry. Reichswerke Hermann Göring in Salzgitter grew from nothing to the largest steel group in Europe. This amazing development made unemployment in Germany declining from over 18 percent in 1933 to zero percent and in practice labour shortage in 1937.
- Chairman of the Hermann Goering Werke 1937-1945.
- Secretary of State for Aviation and Commander of Luftwaffe from 1933-1945. Under the supervision of Görling, new modern aircraft types were developed, and Germany resigned from the ashes of the Versailles Treaty until 1939 possessed one of the world’s most efficient air force.
- As a Reichstag master from 1934-1945, Göring was responsible for implementing the world’s most modern laws for nature conservation, environmental protection and animal husbandry, laws that have been the model of countries around the world since then. He set up national parks and nature reserves, established laws that regulated hunting and domestic animals, forbade plaguing animals for circus and entertainment purposes and much more.
- Reichs marshal 1940-1945.
During these intensive years, Göring had, in addition to politics, met a new life mate in Emmy Sonnermann, and the couple’s wedding on April 10, 1935, became a huge manifestation and folk party. The whole of Berlin was on the feet to celebrate the event and when the wedding process went through the city, it was bordered by 30,000 soldiers who stood in the trellis and held back the curious crowd. Although Göring had become known as the “Man of Iron” (the Plaintiffs) by many because of his unmanageable power, he was extremely popular with ordinary people who often called him for thick Hermann. He could shout and swing a beaker with workers in a beer cellar while feeling sympathy with business executives and top executives. His outward way and the fact that he had a wife and hostess meant that Hitler, who was single and lived more ascetic, thought that a couple of Görling’s navy homes in Berlin were the best place for official receptions.
World War and Defeat
When the Second World War started, the pressure on the armour industry became even harder – production has to increase and raw materials and labour became increasingly difficult to achieve. Domestic production of synthetic gasoline and rubber had been launched but it could still not meet the needs of long-term roads. At the same time, Göring’s superior Luftwaffe celebrated fantastic victories in the air during the first year of the war when the German forces seemed impossible to stop. But the longer the war progressed, Luftwaffe also faced problems with its commitments due to the lack of raw materials and production capacity, now worsened by the allies’ bombings of oilseeds and production facilities. When the promised air source to the confined German troops in Stalingrad broke down, it was a catastrophic defeat, also for Göring personally. And when the crisis in the armour industry became unsustainable, Hitler was forced to refurbish the leadership and appoint the architect Albert Speer as his deputy minister. Although this on the paper was subject to the four-year plan, Hitler gave Speer virtually unlimited powers over the armour industry. This was also a psychological defeat for Göring. “Speer was definitely a genius”, he was forced to admit in interrogation in Nuremberg (Sennerteg: Göring, 2011). In just one year, Speer managed to double production through rationalization and a more efficient organization.
When the unavoidable defeat and the end of the war approached, Göring left Berlin with his wife Emmy and the couple’s daughter Edda (born 1938) on a journey to Obersalzberg in Bavaria, an area still free from allied forces. However, the suspension of the inevitable became short and already on May 7, Göring was forced to surrender in the hands of the American forces. In the end, he hoped to be treated with respect for the occupation power and invited to negotiations with Chief Commander Eisenhower on the peace conditions and reconstruction of Germany and Europe. But all his hopes for a worthy and gentlemen end of the war came ashamed, and on 7 and 8 May the German capitulation was signed. Göring was detained by the Americans in prison in various places until August 12, 1945, when he was finally transferred to the prison in Nuremberg, the city where the Zionist-organized railroad raids against the leading people in Nationalsocialist Germany were to be staged.
Ironman’s triumph in Nuremberg
Even though the nation-socialist Germany had now been broken, Hermann Göring was not broken, but rather reckless and ready to do the last big effort for the German people. Already during the preliminary hearings before the Nuremberg courts, Göring declared: “As for the trial, it is only the question of a pre-established political history and I am prepared for the consequences. It’s the victories who judge … I know what to expect “(Tusa: Nuremberg Process, 1983). Nevertheless, Göring succeeded in taking the trial into a brilliant propaganda action for national socialism. He refused to accept any defence attorney without taking his own defence. He was also careful to put himself in the documentation submitted to the court.
Göring stepped up and present his testimony on March 13, 1946. He held a brilliant speech for twelve hours, filed over a couple of trial days. And his appearance made a huge impression not only on the Germans who could hear the speech in radio broadcasts but also in the court and in the media: “Several newspapers … noted his sharpness and intellectual mobility and reluctantly expressed admiration for his great sins to stand up for those others accused … He had delivered something that was as much an appeal to the posterior world as a defence “(Tusa: Nuremberg Process, 1983). Then, when it was time for the US prosecutor and Zionist Robert H. Jackson’s cross-examination of the accused, Göring made a strong defence and made legal knockout on the prosecutor, so that Jackson subsequently turned complaining to court and asked that it prohibit the accused to pronounce itself. Since the outcome of the trial, as Mr Göring said, was decided in advance, Göring, along with eleven of the others, was accused of death by hanging for the alleged “crime against humanity”. Göring appealed to the right to be archived and to die as a soldier with the honour in reserve, but the court rejected his wish.
The executions were to be enforced shortly after midnight on October 16, 1946. The prisoners’ cells, belongings and bodies were carefully searched every day by the prison staff so that no one could hide anything dangerous. The night before the executions at 22.44, Harold Johnson closed the pop-up window in the cell door after checking that everything was going to be done at Göring. A minute later, the guard space outside the door heard a stiff noise from Görings cell. He alarmed and immediately the guard officer and prison physician plunged into the cell, but then Göring was already dead. Between his teeth, a glass vial containing Potassium cyanide was found. In death, this man of iron had surrendered to his enemies and kept his dignity and conviction. His “appealing to the aftermath” is a mood for us who live today never to wake us down and never give up, without taking up the bullet in the necessary match.