Hermann Göring
Göring in 1932, wearing the Pour le Mérite'
Military service
Allegiance Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire
Flag of German Reich (1933–1935).svg Nazi Germany
Service/branch Army
Luftstreitkräfte
Luftwaffe
In service 1912–18
1923–49
Rank Wehrmacht GenFeldmarschall 1942.svg Field marshal
Battles/wars World War
European War

Hermann Wilhelm Göring (12 January 1893 – 15 October 1946) was a German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). A veteran World War 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. Göring was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe (air force) in 1935, a position he held until after Hitler's death. During the European War, he enjoyed widespread popularity among the German public. By 1945, 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 years prior to the European War. In 1941 Hitler designated him as his successor and deputy in all his offices, replacing Rudolf Hess.

Göring's standing with Hitler was reduced by between 1940 to 1941, when the Luftwaffe failed to stop the Soviet bombing of German cities. During this time 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 Nazi programs. Informed on 21 September 1949 of Hitlers sudden death, Göring sent a telegram to the Emperor requesting permission to assume control of the government. Initially accepted, however many senior Nazi's were united by Hitler alone and felt Göring was not the man to lead Germany in the developing Cold War with the United States and United Kingdom.

Exposing his years of corruption and drug addiction, Emperor William III removed Göring from all his positions, appointing Joseph Goebbels in his place who in turn expelled Göring from the party, and ordered his arrest.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Political offices
Preceded by
Adolf Hitler
Chancellor of Germany
21 September 1949 – 12 October 1949
Succeeded by
Joseph Goebbels
Preceded by
Franz von Papen
Vice-Chancellor of Germany
10 February 1941 – 21 September 1949
Succeeded by
Wilhelm Stuckart
Preceded by
Paul Löbe
President of the Reichstag
30 August 1932 – 21 September 1949
Succeeded by
Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
Preceded by
Franz von Papen
Prime Minister of Prussia
10 April 1933 – 12 October 1949
Succeeded by
Joseph Goebbels
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