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Friday, 17 April 2015

Hermann Göring

Hermann Göring was born on January 12, 1893 in Rosenheim, Bavaria to Ernst Heinrich Göring and Franziska Göring (born Tiefenbrunn)

Göring's father was a judge. The German chancellor Otto von Bismarck made Ernst Göring the first Reichskommissar (Governor-General) of South West Africa (today: Namibia), in 1885.

Goring spent the first three years of his life at the home of a friend of his mother, due to his father being in Namibia.

Goring went in 1905 to a military school in Karlsruhe, where he passed his officer exam seven years later.

Göring in 1907, at age 14. German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv) 
When the First World War started, Göring had the rank of second Lieutenant. By 1915, he was hospitalized for rheumatism; a visit by his friend Bruno Loerzer persuaded Goring to join the air corps.

Goring became a renowned fighter pilot and in 1918, after he shot his 19th plane, he was awarded the coveted Pour le Mérite (also called "The Blue Max"). This was the highest airforce award in Germany.  He clocked up  22 kills in total during the war.

Despite his bravery and numerous victories, Göring wasn’t popular with the other pilots, seemingly due to his arrogance.

After the death of Manfred von Richthofen, Goring became the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1, the fighter wing, dubbed the "Red Baron."

In November 1922, Goring  met Adolf Hitler and became a member of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP).

Goring took part in the 1923 failed coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch. He was wounded and became addicted to morphine after being treated with the drug for his injuries.

Between 1932 and 1945, Goring was President of the German Reichstag and also a minister of the Third Reich.

Hermann Göring By Bundesarchiv, Wikipedia Commons

Göring liked flamboyant costumes and wore a medieval outfit when he went hunting.

Hermann Göring established the Gestapo, the official secret police of Nazi Germany on April 26, 1933. He originally wanted to name it the Secret Police Office (German: Geheimes Polizeiamt), but discovered the German initials "GPA" looked and sounded too much like those of the Russian GPU.

Gestapo headquarters at 8 Prinz Albrecht Street in Berlin (1933)

In the Second World War, Göring was responsible for the creation of the concentration camps. In 1941, he gave Reinhard Heydrich the order to arrange the Final Solution to kill millions of Jews.

Albert Göring, Hermann's younger brother, helped many Jews and dissidents survive in Germany by forging his brother’s signature and falsifying transit documents.

Hitler named Göring to be his successor if he died in 1941. Four years later, when Hitler made it known his plan to commit suicide, Göring sent a telegram to Hitler, requesting permission to assume control of the Reich. Hitler viewed this as treason and had Göring removed from all his positions, expelled him from the party, and ordered his arrest.

Göring was one of the 24 people charged at the Nuremberg Trials. The court decided he was guilty. The judgment said that he was to be hanged, but he killed himself by swallowing a tablet of cyanide on October 15, 1946 before he could be executed.

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