Goering (1893-1946), Hermann
Goering is usually considered by historians as the second most important satraps of the Nazi regime. Hitler needed him because he had good connections with the army, the administration and the industrial leaders. He became member of the Nazi party in the fall of 1921. He took part in the 1923 Beer Hall putsch. Elected to the Reichstag, he went to Berlin and managed to get important personalities on his side such as the Kaiser’s nephew, August-Wilhelm, who became member of the Nazi party in 1930. From 1931, Goering, with the help of other Nazi members of parliament, carried out a strategy aimed at undermining the catholic majority and developing street violence before every election. As president of the Reichstag, he was the central character of the intrigues concerning von Schleicher and Hindenburg during the negotiations for the function of Chancellor. Nominated Minister without portfolio in 1933, he also became Minister of Prussia. In 1934, he played a major role with Himmler in Ernst Röhm’s assassination. He was nominated Air Force Marshall and Reichsmarschall in 1935. In 1936, he initiated the Four Year Economic Plan, which gave him free hands in the economic field. He created his own state companies that later exploited Jews considered as slaves. During the Cristal Night, he proposed the “Punishment tax”. Hitler asked him to organize the Final Solution and in 1939, he created the Central Office for Jewish Emigration based on Eichmann’s Office in action in Vienna. He also created the Haupttreuhandstelle Ost which function consisted in managing goods stolen from Jews. On July 31, 1941, he transmitted to Heydrich the written order that everything necessary was to be done to implement the Final Solution. At the end of war, Goering fell into disgrace and was replaced by Doenitz. Arrested by the Allies, he committed suicide in his cell before his verdict in Nuremberg. To the psychiatrist Leon Goldensohn, he declared that he was aware of rumors about the extermination of Jews but that he was busy with other matters, which prevented him from investigating the matter. He added that if he had known something, he could probably not have done anything to prevent it.
MANVELL, R., FRAENKEL, H., 1963, Goering, Paris: Stock.
BUTLER E., YOUNG, G., 1952, Göring tel qu’il fut, Paris: Fayard.
GOLDENSOHN, L., 2005, Les entretiens de Nuremberg, Paris: Flammarion.