Hermann Goering

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Berlin 1933 -B33- Gestapo

Hermann Goering 1932.jpg

Quote: "History will no doubt recognize that he was a man of extraordinary talents and considerable achievements. He played a large part in restoring the self-respect of the German people and forcing the world to pay attention to them. He built up the German Luftwaffe into a formidable force which might have won World War II for Germany in 1940 had it been used the way he planned. He worked hard, and at considerable risk, to prevent the war in the West from starting in 1939 and the war in Russia in 1941. He was an extremely brave man, and faced manfully up to the challenges of war, of pain, and, at the end, of death without flinching. No future historian will be able to avoid conceding that at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, with a poor case to fight, he challenged his opponents and won. His supreme victory was to cheat them in the end of his body dangling from their gallows. But for all his fearlessness and defiance, there is once vice from which Hermann Goering suffered which will prevent any history book from accepting him as a great man. It was not the vice of vanity, from which, when all's said and done, many great men have suffered. It was not his hard-driving and ruthless ambition, for that has carried many a great leader to the top in times gone by. It was not his flamboyance, which outraged so many of his contemporaries, but would not be unnoticed on Carnaby Street or Sunset Boulevard today. It was not even his Nero-like capacity for fiddling while Rome was burning, or, rather, playing with his jewels and drooling over his pictures while Germany was sinking into defeat, because what else was there to do? The vice from which Goering suffered, and for which the history books will undoubtedly blame him, was his moral cowardice. It was his great crime. All through his association with Adolf Hitler, there were moments when he might have changed the course of National Socialism and Germany's race to perdition- by arguing with and persuading the Fuehrer to begin with, by usurping him when that was no longer possible." -- Leonard Mosley, in his book The Reich Marshal: A Biography of Hermann Goering (1974), p. 360-361.

Sobriquet: "President of the Reichstag - 1933"

Appearance: Goering stands just five foot - ten inches tall and weighs a solid two hundred and sixty pounds. While obviously obese, Goering dresses well, covering his excessive flesh with yards of expensive cloth worked with gold thread, bullion and resplendent in military metals he actually earned. His mode of dress and style will be imitated by an entire generation of petty dictators around the world. With a fair complexion going florid due to his obesity, plump cheeks, light colored eyes, a widows peak accentuated by a receding hairline and ready smile, he appears as nothing so much as a cheerfully obese bureaucrat whose only malicious intent lies towards the buffet table.

Behavior: Hermann Goering as a man is by definition a contradiction. Worldly and cultivated, his love of art and animals is offset by his slavish fawning for Hitler and obsession with the Nazi party. Of him, his vanity makes a peacock, but by turns he is bullying and cunning in statecraft. Clearly obsessed with the pleasures of eating, Goering is a gourmand, but he is also a morphine addict who is obsessed with how others perceive him. Possessed of a twisted kind of honor, he sticks to his word, but hungers for more, more of everything as if trying to fill a void within. Perhaps the strongest man in the Third Reich, he brings a more than touch of competence to an otherwise mad regime and is therefore the most moderate of the ruthlessly right wing madmen who call themselves Nazis. Sadly, Goering will not kneel to the angels of his better nature, wherein he could try to argue the wise course of action with the Führer rather than pandering to his madness. Worse still, where under any other circumstances this brilliant peacock would liquidate any opposition to his power and vision, as he will with his friend Ernst Röhm, Herman Goering simply cannot find it within himself to kill Hitler and take his place as the next Führer of the Thousand Year Reich.

History: Hermann Wilhelm Göring (or Goering; 12 January 1893 – 15 October 1946) was a German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). A veteran World War I fighter pilot ace, he was a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as the "Blue Max". He was the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1, the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richthofen.

A member of the NSDAP from its earliest days, Göring was wounded in 1923 during the failed coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch. He became addicted to morphine after being treated with the drug for his injuries. After helping Adolf Hitler take power in 1933, he became the second-most powerful man in Germany. He founded the Gestapo in 1933, and later gave command of it to Heinrich Himmler.

Recent Events: Göring has recently encountered four Brownshirts who seem to know a lot about the plans of the Third Reich. Believing them to be agents of one of his opponents with the Reich, he has had them imprisoned in the former communist office block at Prinz-Albrecht-Straße. His Gestapo will find out what they know and who sent them soon enough. They appear to be a significant security leak, if they were to reveal what they know to the public or the enemies of the Reich, years of work and the Reich's foothold over Germany could be lost. Therefore, he is overseeing their 'interrogations' personally in order to get to the bottom of this quickly.

Events Soon to Occur: Göring was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe (air force) in 1935, a position he held until the final days of World War II. Before the Allied bombing campaign, he enjoyed widespread popularity among the German public. By 1940, he was at the peak of his power and influence; as minister in charge of the Four Year Plan, he was responsible for much of the functioning of the German economy in the build-up to World War II. Hitler promoted him to the rank of Reichsmarschall, a rank senior to all other Wehrmacht commanders, and in 1941 Hitler designated him as his successor and deputy in all his offices.

Should the Time-line Remain Stable: Göring's standing with Hitler was reduced by the beginning of 1943, when the Luftwaffe failed to stop the Allied bombing of German cities and was unable to resupply German forces trapped in the Battle of Stalingrad. Göring largely withdrew from the military and political scene and focused on the acquisition of property and artwork, much of which was taken from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Informed on 22 April 1945 that Hitler intended to commit suicide, Göring sent a telegram to Hitler requesting permission to assume control of the Reich. Considering it an act of treason, Hitler removed Göring from all his positions, expelled him from the party, and ordered his arrest.

After World War II, Göring was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but committed suicide by ingesting cyanide the night before the sentence was to be carried out.