Goering's brother, Hermann, was Hitler's closest and most loyal associate
in the Nazi High Command, a top Nazi and Successor designate No. 1 to The
Fuehrer: Reichmarshal and Head of the Luftwaffe; President of the
Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich; member of the Secret
Cabinet Council; Reich Forest Master; Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force;
Prime Minister of Prussia; President of the Prussian State Council;
President of the Reichstag; Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan; Head
of the "Reichswerke Hermann Goering"; SS Obergruppenfuehrer; SA
When Hermann Goering joined the Nazi Party in 1922, Hitler gave him
command of the SA Brownshirts. Badly wounded in the Munich Beer Hall
putsch of 1923, Hermann Goering fled the country for four years. Upon his
return, he aided Hitler's rise to power and later became No. 1 only to
In 1933, when the Nazis came to power, Goering was made commander of the
Luftwaffe, Germany's air force. He soon became the strongest man in the
Nazi ruling circle and by 1936, he controlled Germany's economy
Hermann Goering was addicted to drugs and his behavior became quite
bizarre. But even though he became less effective, and seldom was seen at
Hitler's headquarters, Hitler would not dump him. "Der dicke
Hermann" was the only Nazi leader, other than Hitler, that Germans
could identify with.
Hermann Goering with Edda
Hermann Goering was put on trial at Nuremberg in 1946. During his trial
Goering, who had been taken off drugs, defended himself with aggressive
vigor and skill, frequently outwitting the prosecuting counsel. With
Hitler dead, he stood out among the defendants as the dominating
personality, dictating attitudes to other prisoners in the dock.
Nevertheless, Hermann Goering failed to convince the judges, who found him
guilty, and he was sentenced to death by hanging.
Goering dispatched an appeal in which he said he would accept the court's death penalty if they allowed him to be shot as a soldier instead of hanged as a common criminal, but the court members refused to allow him this honor. Defying the sentence imposed by his captors, he committed suicide with a potassium cyanide capsule
on 15 October 1946, two hours before his execution was due to take place.
at The Nuremberg Trials
Where Goering obtained the cyanide, and how he had managed to hide it during his entire imprisonment at Nuremberg, remains unknown.
Theories speculate that Goering befriended U.S. Army Lieutenant Jack G.
Wheelis, who was stationed at the Nuremberg Trials, and that he helped Goering obtain
the cyanide which had likely been hidden among Goering's personal effects when they were confiscated by the
After his suicide, Hermann Goering was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Conwentzbach in
Munich, which runs into the Isar river.