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Albert 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 Obergruppenfuehrer.

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 Hitler.

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 completely.

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.

Hermann Goering
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 Army.

After his suicide, Hermann Goering was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Conwentzbach in Munich, which runs into the Isar river.





Louis Bülow  ©2011-13
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