Skip to comments.This Day In History | World War II October 15, 1946 Herman Goering commits suicide
Posted on 10/15/2005 4:47:05 AM PDT by mainepatsfan
This Day In History | World War II
1946 Herman Goering dies
On this day in 1946, Herman Goering, commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, president of the Reichstag, head of the Gestapo, prime minister of Prussia, chief forester of the Reich, chief liquidator of sequestered estates, supreme head of the National Weather Bureau, and Hitler's designated successor dies by his own hand.
Goering was an early member of the Nazi Party and was wounded in the failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. That wound would have long-term effects, as Goering became increasingly addicted to painkillers. Not long after Hitler's accession to power, Goering was instrumental in creating concentration camps for political enemies. Ostentatious and self-indulgent, he changed his uniform five times a day and was notorious for flaunting his decorations, jewelry, and stolen artwork. It was Goering who ordered the purging of German Jews from the economy following the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938, initiating an "Aryanization" policy that confiscated Jewish property and businesses.
Goering's failure to win the Battle of Britain and prevent the Allied bombing of Germany led to his loss of stature within the Party, aggravated by the low esteem with which he was always held by fellow officers because of his egocentrism and position as Hitler's right-hand man. As the war progressed, he dropped into depressions and continued to battle drug addiction.
When Goering fell into U.S. hands after Germany's surrender, he had in his possession a rich stash of paracodin pills, a morphine derivative. He was tried at Nuremberg and charged with various crimes against humanity. Despite a vigorous attempt at self-acquittal, he was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged, but before he could be executed, he committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide tablet he had hidden from his guards.
The best of a bad lot. Goering contributed materially to the Allied victory thru his bureaucratic determination to stay on top of the heap and his incompetence while there.
It's a good thing the Luftwaffe didn't have a competent commander in chief, especially during the Battle of Britain.
you know, when i think of nazi germany, im simply astounded at the confluence of criminal personalities that all converged. or is it that when free wealth is available, these types simply find the road? digesting new data, im a little surprised that it always points to hitlers underlings as the catalysts for the holocaust, maybe i shouldnt be surprised but i am none the less. one more point, this could happen again so very easily, it makes the head spin. our words should be NEVER AGAIN.
I'm just glad the International Criminal court didn't try them. Too many would have escaped justice.
An interesting part left out of this article was the assistance in committing suicide from an American Captain assigned as one of his guards. The Captain snuck the suicide pill into Goering's cell.
I've heard that as well. Has that been confirmed or is it still just a theory?
"He didn't suffer nearly enough."
Hold on there General!
He and 15000 other Nazis were very successfully prosecuted.
The big question is what is preventing the prosecution of the FIRST Communist Genocidal heathen - you know, one of the thousands that are currently living on nice retirement checks in the US, Canada, etc.
After all, they did kill 100 million in the last century.
You can call him 'Meyer'.
Goering was a homosexual pedophile...
True but he should have at least been strangled to death.
Many Germans were doing that from 1940 on. What an idiot.
It's confirmed. I believe the officer in question admitted his complicity. It's been a while since I read that book.
It seems the only likely scenario considering what precautions the Allies were taking to prevent the prisoners from taking their own lives.
Some-how I'm SURE this will also be "Bush's Fault!!" Besides driving the "hurricaine machine" into New Orleans, it is obvious that he is now in possession of a "Time Machine" and has gone back in time to assassinate a foreign political figure, surely an impeachable offense!! (sarcasm off!!)
Being one of the inner clique that brought Hitler to power, Goering fully deserved the gallows death he cheated.
A slow day in history I guess.
you bring up an interesting topic. i sincerely think that people of this caliber usually have sexual issues. wasnt the night of the long knives used to get rid of some homosexuals? most democratic names that are familiar have to be sexually dysfunctional too. imo
Not mentioned in the article was his status as a fighter ace in WWI:
Naturally the common people don't want war... but after all it
is the leaders of a country who determine policy, and it is always
a simple matter to drag the people along... All you have to do is
tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for
lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger
A Hermann Goering, 1936
Basil: "Don't mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it. So it's all forgotten now and let's hear no more about it. So that's two egg mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Herman Goering and four Colditz salads....no, wait a minute...I got confused because everyone keeps mentioning the war."
On the lighter side:
The North Minehead Bye-election from "Monty Python's Flying Circus" and "And
Now for Something Completely Different"
Knock. Door opens.
Landlady (Terry Jones): Hello, Mr and Mrs Johnson?
Mr Johnson (Eric Idle): Yes, that's right. Yes.
Landlady: Oh, come on in. Excuse me not shaking hands, I've just been
putting a bit of lard on the cat's boils. (Door closes)
Johnson: Thank you.
Landlady: Oh, you must be tired. It's a long way from Coventry, isn't it?
Johnson: Well, we usually reckon on five and a half hours and it took us six
hours and 53 minutes, with the 25 minute stop at Frampton Cottrell to
stretch our legs; and we had to wait half an hour to get onto the M5
Johnson: Then there was a three mile queue just before Bridgewater on the A38.
We usually come round on the B3339, you see, just before Bridgewater.
Landlady: Yeah. Really?
Johnson: We decided to risk it 'cause they always say they're going to widen
it there. Yes, well just by the intersection there where the A372
joins up. There's plenty of room to widen it there, there's only
grass verges. They could get another six feet, knock down that
hospital. Then we took the coast road through Williton - we got all
the Taunton traffic on the A358 from Crowcombe and Stogumber.
Landlady: Well you must be dying for a cup of tea.
Johnson: Well, wouldn't say no, long as it's warm and wet.
Landlady: Well come on in the lounge, I'm just going to serve afternoon
Johnson: Very nice.
Landlady: Come on in, Mr and Mrs Johnson and meet Mr and Mrs Phillips.
Mr Phillips (Graham Chapman): Good afternoon.
Johnson: Good afternoon.
Landlady: It's their third time here; we can't keep you away, can we?
And over there is Mr Hilter.
(In the corner are three German generals in full Nazi uniform, poring over a
Hilter (Cleese with heavy German accent): Ach. Ha! Gut time, er, gut afternoon.
Landlady: Oho, planning a little excursion, eh, Mr Hilter?
Hilter: Ja, ja, ve haff a little... (to Palin) was ist Abweise bewegen?
Bimmler (Michael Palin, also with German accent): Hiking.
Hilter: Ah yes, ve make a little *hike* for Bideford.
Johnson: Ah yes. Well, you'll want the A39. Oh, no, you've got the wrong map
there. This is Stalingrad. You want the Ilfracombe and Barnstaple
Hilter: Ah! Stalingrad! Ha ha ha, Heinri...Reginald, you have the wrong map
here you silly old leg-before-vicket English person.
Bimmler: I'm sorry mein Fuhrer, mein (cough) mein Dickie old chum.
Landlady: Oh, lucky Mr Johnson pointed that out. You wouldn't have had much
fun in Stalingrad, would you? Ha ha.
I said, you wouldn't have had much fun in Stalingrad, would you?
Hilter: Not much fun in Stalingrad, no.
Landlady: Oh I'm sorry. I didn't introduce you. This is Ron. Ron Vibbentrop.
Johnson: Oh, not Von Ribbentrop, eh?
Vibbentrop (Graham Chapman, with German Accent): Nein! Nein! Oh. Ha ha.
Different other chap. I in Somerset am being born. Von Ribbentrop is born
Gotterdammerstrasse 46, Dusseldorf Vest 8.....so they say!
Landlady: And this is the quiet one, Heinrich Bimmler.
Bimmler: Pleased to meet you, squire. I also am not of Minehead being born
but I in your Peterborough Lincolnshire was given birth to. But am
staying in Peterborough Lincolnshire house all time during vor, due
to jolly old running sores, and vos unable to go in the streets or to
go visit football matches or go to Nuremburg. Ha ha. Am retired
vindow cleaner and pacifist, without doing war crimes. Oh...and am
glad England vin Vorld Cup. Bobby Charlton. Martin Peters. And
eating I am lots of chips and fish and hole in the toads and Dundee
cakes on Piccadilly Line, don't you know old chap, vot! And I vos
head of Gestapo for ten years.
(Hilter elbows him in the ribs)
Ah! Five years!
(Hilter elbows him again, harder)
Nein! No! Oh. NOT head of Gestapo AT ALL! I was not, I make joke!
Landlady: Oh, Mr Bimmler. You do have us on! (Telephone rings) Oh excuse me.
I'd better get that.
Johnson: How long are you down here for, Mr Hilter, just the fortnight?
Hilter: Vot you ask that for, are you a spy? Get on against the wall,
Britischer Pig, you are going to die!
Bimmler: Take it easy, Dickie old chum!
Vibbentrop: He's a bit on edge, Mr Johnson, he hasn't slept since 1945.
Hilter: Shut your cake-hole, you Nazi!
Vibbentrop: Cool it, Fuhrer cat!
Bimmler: Ha ha, the fun we have!
Johnson: Haven't I seen you on the television?
Hilter, Vibbentrop, Bimmler: (hastily) Nicht. Nein. No.
Johnson: Simon Dee show, or was it Frosty?
Hilter, Vibbentrop, Bimmler: Nein. No.
Landlady: Telephone, Mr Hilter. It's Mr McGoering from the Bell and
Compasses. He says he's found a place where you can hire bombers by
Hilter: If he opens his big mouth again, it's Lapschig time!
Bimmler: Shut up! Ha ha, hire bombers! He's a joker, that Scottish person.
Vibbentrop: Good old Norman!
Landlady (to Johnson): He's on the phone the whole time now.
Johnson: In business, is he?
Bimmler: Soon, baby!
Landlady: Of course it's his big day Thursday. They've been planning it for
Johnson: What's happening Thursday then?
Landlady: Well it's the North Minehead bye-election. Mr Hilter's standing as
the National Bocialist. He's got wonderful plans for Minehead!
Johnson: Like what?
Landlady: Well, for a start he wants to annex Poland.
Johnson: North Minehead's Conservative, isn't it?
Landlady: Well, yes, he gets a lot of people at his rallies.
(Short scene cut: huge crowds outside going "Sieg Heil. Sieg Heil. Sieg Heil.")
Hilter: I am not a racialist, but...and dis is a big but...the National
Bocialist party says that das (stream of German).
Bimmler: Mr Hitler (Hilter slaps him)
...Hilter says historically Taunton is a part of Minehead already!
Hilter: Und der Minehead ist nicht die letze (stream of German)...in die
Crowd: Sieg Heil.
( Cut to interviews on the street: )
Yokel (Jones): Oi don't loike the sound of these 'ere Boncentration Bamps.
Woman (Idle): Well, I gave him my baby to kiss, and he bit it in the head!
Upper class (Cleese): Well, I think he'd do a lot of good to the Stock
Gumby (Palin): I THINK HE'S GOT BEAUTIFUL LEGS!
Conservative (Chapman): (droning) Well... well... as the Conservative
candidate I just drone on and on and on and on without
letting anyone else get a word in edgeways, until I
start to froth at the mouth and fall over backwards.
A fascinating portrayal of Goering's last year can be found in the 2000 miniseries "Nuremberg". Goering is played by the superb character actor Brian Cox, who completely steals the show out from under it's ostensible star Alec Baldwin. Highly recommended for Cox's performance, even though you will have to put up with Baldwin to see it.
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Long read, informative.
Probably just those who could expose the Hitler and Goering as homosexuals and pedophiles...
There is nothing in the record, that I'm aware of, that justifies that statement; Goering was famously fond of his first wife, a gorgeous Swedish dingbat. Perhaps you're confusing him with Roehm?
Goering's suicide is a strange story. The poison was brought to him by a US Army MP whom he had befriended and the Russians insisted on an autopsy in part because they thought that the Americans might be trying to smuggle Goering out of the country in exchange for hidden Nazi secrets.
You're getting your Nazis confused.
The homosexual pedophile was Ernst Roehm leader of the SA (Sturm Abteilung). aka Stormtroopers, Brownshirts
Executed: 1 Jul, 1934; shot by SS-Brigf. Theodor Eicke and/or SS-Stubaf. Michael Lippert at Stadelheim Prison, München (Munich), part of the Night of the Long Knives purge
Shirer really didn't like nazis; I think his dislike sometimes affected his judgement and made him see character defects that weren't there. Not that there was much to admire about that lot, but even evil can be libeled.
It's a good thing the Germans didn't have a competent commander in chief, especially during WW II.
Goering was not really "head of the Gestapo".
From 1934 on the Gestapo was under the direct control of the SS (Schutzstaffel) - as we know led that was led by Himmler. Himmler then turned the Gestapo over to Reinhard Heydrich 1936 with Heinrich Mueller in charge of operations.
Heydrich was eventually assassinated but Mueller was never captured. To my knowledge he remains free (or has died of old age)
I think the National Socialists had their NAZIs confused.
It very well may have been the case as you say. It really matters little...
Consider the Gaystopo of today... history repeats... pink swastikas... peas in a pod...
My judgement is not affected. Goering was the Rip Taylor, the Freddy Mercury of the NAZIs.
Not that there was much to admire about that lot, but even evil can be libeled.
But the authors of such evil, as you say, cannot be...
Even the so-called scientists of the Third Reich had a sadomasochistic sexual charge from the misery they caused both adults and children in their ghoulish experimentation. Goering was no different...
"Hilter: Not much fun in Stalingrad, no. "
Boy I miss that show - come to think of it I miss the 70's.
Anyways, re: nazi homos, etc - lets not forget that the Nazis amassed their power base after news of the genocide of 500,000 mennonites in Ukraine by Stalin hit the Berlin newstands in 1931-32.
Nah, not necessarily.
The true 'Liberal' (pinko-commie subversive puke) loves WWII, but will pooh-pooh our involvement and praise the glorious victories of Stalin's brave troops; i.e.:
The Battle of the Bulge - hogwash, a minor skirmish.
Stalingrad - Now there was a brave and glorious effort!
For what its worth - IMO Patton was right. We should have kept right on rolling.
I'd get my wife to read it but she only speaks it and my Father In Law, born near Vilnius (or was it Kaunus?), passed away.
(are you a Lugan by chance?)
"For what its worth - IMO Patton was right. We should have kept right on rolling."
Well the commies might have gotten him too
I will always see him as Curly Stooge as 'Marshal Herring'.
Moe: "Put that down or I'll take away your medals!"
Curly: "They're not yours! I got 'em at a hoc shop! nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!"
Former GI Claims Role in Goering's Death
By Bob Pool - February 7, 2005
It was one of the most baffling mysteries of the World War II era.
How did convicted war criminal Hermann Goering manage to poison himself as U.S. soldiers prepared to hang him?
A dozen competing theories have swirled for nearly half a century about how the onetime Nazi second in command was able to commit suicide despite around-the-clock surveillance of his military prison cell.
Some historians assert that Goering had the cyanide poison with him throughout his 11-month war crimes trial in Nuremberg, Germany. The poison was hidden under a gold dental crown, or in a hollowed-out tooth, or beneath slicked-back hair, or inserted in his navel or his rectum, various accounts have theorized.
Others contend that someone sneaked poison to him shortly before his death maybe a U.S. Army officer Goering bribed with a watch, or the German doctor who regularly checked on him, or a Nazi SS officer who passed it to him in a bar of GI soap, or his wife, Emmy, who slipped it from her mouth to his in "a kiss of death" on their last visit.
They're all wrong, according to Herbert Lee Stivers.
"I gave it to him," said the retired sheet-metal worker from Hesperia.
Stivers, 78, said he had kept the secret of his role in Goering's death for nearly 60 years, fearful that he could face charges by the U.S. military. Now, at the urging of his daughter, he has decided to go public, he said.
Whether Stivers is telling the truth is impossible to know. Other key players in Goering's case are dead.
An Army spokeswoman at the Pentagon declined to comment on Stivers' statement. But military records do show that Stivers was a guard at the Nuremberg trials.
And some historians contacted by The Times believe his story has a ring of truth. At the very least, they say, Stivers' account underlines the continuing puzzle of how one of the 20th century's worst criminals evaded final justice.
"It doesn't sound like something made up," Cornelius Schnauber, a USC professor who is director of the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, said of Stivers' tale.
"It sounds even more believable than the common story about the poison being in the dental crown."
Schnauber said he believes that someone smuggled in the poison ampul that Goering bit into two hours before he was to be hanged. "It could have been this soldier," he said.
According to Stivers, Goering escaped the hangman because of a teenager's puppy love.
A 19-year-old Army private when he was assigned guard duty at Nuremberg, Stivers said he was only trying to impress a local girl he had met on the street when he agreed to take "medicine" to a supposedly ailing Goering.
Stivers was a member of the 1st Infantry Division's 26th Regiment, whose Company D was assigned to serve as the trial's honor guard. The white-helmeted guards escorted the 22 Nazi defendants in and out of the Palace of Justice courtroom and stood at parade rest behind them during court sessions.
It was boring, Stivers said.
"We spent two hours on and four hours off. They wanted us to be alert and look neat. People had come from all over the world to see the trial," he recalled.
"We didn't carry guns. We had short billy clubs that we held behind our backs. That helped us hold our hands behind us. You'd get pretty tired standing at parade rest."
The guards were free to chat with the prisoners and even collect their autographs.
"Goering was a very pleasant guy. He spoke pretty good English. We'd talk about sports, ballgames. He was a flier, and we talked about Lindbergh," Stivers said. Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly nonstop across the Atlantic, had received a medal from Goering before World War II.
Between court sessions, there were few diversions for the guards. "Off-hours, we had company clubs," Stivers said. "That was the only recreation, except for Frauleins."
Stivers had a German girlfriend an 18-year-old named Hildegarde Bruner to whom he gave candy bars, peanuts and cigarettes he got from the military commissary so she and her mother could trade them for food on the black market.
But he had an eye for pretty girls. And one day outside a hotel housing a military officers' club, Stivers said, he was approached by a flirtatious, dark-haired beauty who said her name was Mona.
"She asked me what I did, and I told her I was a guard. She said, 'Do you get to see all the prisoners?' 'Every day,' I said. She said, 'You don't look like a guard.' I said, 'I can prove it.' I'd just gotten an autograph from [defendant] Baldur von Schirach, and I showed it to her.
"She said, 'Oh, can I have that?' and I said sure. The next day I guarded Goering and got his autograph and handed that to her. She told me that she had a friend she wanted me to meet. The following day we went to his house."
There, Stivers said he was introduced to two men who called themselves Erich and Mathias. They told him that Goering was "a very sick man" who wasn't being given the medicine he needed in prison.
Twice, Stivers said, he took notes hidden by Erich in a fountain pen to Goering. The third time, Erich put a capsule in the pen for him to take to the Nazi.
"He said it was medication, and that if it worked and Goering felt better, they'd send him some more," Stivers said. "He said they'd give him a couple of weeks and that Mona would tell me if they wanted to send him more medicine."
After delivering the "medicine" to Goering, Stivers said, he returned the pen to the young woman.
"I never saw Mona again. I guess she used me," Stivers said. "I wasn't thinking of suicide when I took it to Goering. He was never in a bad frame of mind. He didn't seem suicidal. I would have never knowingly taken something in that I thought was going to be used to help someone cheat the gallows."
But two weeks later Oct. 15, 1946 Goering did just that. He left a suicide note bragging that he'd had the cyanide in his possession all along. A subsequent search of Goering's belongings locked in a prison storeroom uncovered another cyanide vial standard-issue for Nazi leaders hidden in luggage.
Stivers was shaken by Goering's suicide. Guards who were on duty at the time of the death were grilled by Army investigators. But Stivers and other honor guard team members were asked only if they had seen anything suspicious.
The Army's investigation concluded that Goering had the cyanide all along. The report pointed to Goering's note and concluded that the vial was "secreted in the cavity of the umbilical" and at other times "in his alimentary tract" and behind the rim of his cell toilet.
Some historians and others have long been skeptical of the official account. Some Jewish leaders have wondered if Goering escaped the hangman with help from a sympathetic American.
In his 1984 book "The Mystery of Hermann Goering's Suicide," the late author Ben Swearingen brushed aside the Army's conclusion as well as numerous alternative theories.
Swearingen speculated that Army Lt. Jack Wheelis, who had a key to the prison storeroom, had allowed Goering to visit the storage area shortly before his death to retrieve the poison pill from his luggage. Wheelis who died in 1954 had previously been given a wristwatch and other personal items by Goering.
Swearingen did not explain how the closely watched Goering might have gotten to the storeroom. But his research does suggest how the Nazi might have briefly hidden something like the "medicine" Stivers said he delivered.
Goering, who was obese, had lost a lot of weight in prison. By the end of the trial, he was draped in sagging skin that could have easily concealed the capsule. And during the two weeks before his suicide, Goering had passed up opportunities to bathe in a heavily guarded shower area where a concealed vial might have been spotted.
Stivers said he has been haunted by his actions with the fountain pen for 58 years.
He said he has pondered the various theories on Goering's poisoning in an unsuccessful search for a plausible explanation that would ease his sense of guilt.
"I felt very bad after his suicide. I had a funny feeling; I didn't think there was any way he could have hidden it on his body," he said.
The Army's explanation never rang true to him, Stivers said, noting that Goering "was there over a year why would he wait all that time if he had the cyanide?"
It was daughter Linda Dadey who urged him to reveal his role. He disclosed the fountain pen story to her about 15 years ago.
"I said, 'Dad, you're a part of history. You need to tell the story before you pass away,' " said Dadey, 46, of Beaumont. "It's been on his conscience all his life."
Stivers agreed to do so after learning that the statute of limitations had run out long ago, preventing any prosecution of a case against him.
His story "is crazy enough to be true," said Aaron Breitbart, senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "But there's no way in the world it can be proven. Nobody really knows who did it except the person who did it."
As for Stivers, he's convinced that he's that person. And, he said, "I feel very bad about it."
Him and many others unfortunately.
Wasn't he last seen in Berlin as the Russians came rolling in?
In their view we played only a minor supporting role while Stalin heroically defeated Hitler all by himself.
They always seem to forget about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.
Actually Goring was the original head of the Gestapo before it was absorbed into the SS. In fact, he created it.
Sorry .... I need to return to the books or risk being thought of as the MSM.
Yes, IIRC that's in his bio.
BUT if one goes that route, Goering and say Martin Borman or Rudolph Hess for instance, were in charge 'everything' as they were with Hitler from the beginning (Hess was Hitler's typist for Mein Kampf while in Landsdorf Prison).
The point was and is the the History Channel gives misleading information and omits a lot of salient facts. From reading the lede the impression is that Goering was always in charge of the Gestapo. Factually, Goering's involement in the Gestapo and what the Gestapo evolved into was almost nil.
Plus he was too busy 'playing with his airplanes' to run the Gestapo.
(Goering insult intended)