This is the story of the good Nazi you may never have heard of; though the surname will be familiar.
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Hermann Göring was founder of the Gestapo and Hitler’s anointed successor at the start of the second world war.
He was instrumental in creating the first concentration camps and accrued massive wealth from art and property stolen from Jewish holocaust victims.
Convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials he committed suicide the night before his execution.
A thoroughly evil man. But did you know he had a brother?
In fact he had two; an older brother called Karl and a younger brother called Albert.
Herman Goring addressing the Reichstag
Albert Göring was born in 1895. His father was the German Consul General to Haiti and was rarely at home so he and his two brothers and two sisters were raised in a fairy tale castle by their aristocratic godfather, Ritter von Epenstein – a Jew.
The young Albert grew into something of a bon vivant and lived a mostly unremarkable life as a filmmaker – until the Nazis took power in 1933.
While his brother rose rapidly through the ranks to become Hitler’s right hand man, Albert was repelled by fascism and refused to join the National Socialist party.
In fact he actively opposed it.
Once he took off his jacket and joined a group of Jewish women who were being forced to scrub the street. The SS officer supervising them had to call a halt when he realized who Albert was. He could not allow the brother of Hitler’s number 2 to be publicly humiliated.
Then, when the Gestapo arrested his former boss Oskar Pilzer, a Jew, he used his influence to have him freed and then helped Pilzer and his family escape from Germany.
When Albert was made export director at the Skoda factory in Czechoslovakia he even made contact with the Czech resistance and forged his brother’s signature on transit documents to help dissidents escape.
He sent trucks into concentration camps to collect prisoners to work as laborers.
The trucks would then stop in an isolated area, and the workers would be allowed to escape.
Whenever these and other activities landed him in hot water, he called up his brother.
Albert became ever more audacious and survived four arrest warrants because of his brother’s influence.
But by 1944, with a ‘shoot on sight’ order in his name, Albert went on the run in Prague. Hermann dropped everything to save him one final time, intervening personally with Himmler.
Herman Goring at Nuremburg
Albert survived the war but after the fall of Berlin he spent two years as an Allied prisoner, unable to convince his captors of his innocence.
The name that had once saved him and countless others would now make him a pariah for the rest of his life.
He was eventually released but soon fell into depression and alcoholism.
His Czech wife, Mila, requested a divorce and took his only child, Elizabeth, to live in Peru. He never saw or spoke to them again.
He lived in penury for many years with occasional work as a translator.
When he died in 1966 he was living on a pension from the government.
Knowing that his pension would be transferred to his wife, he married his housekeeper a week before he died, as a mark of gratitude.
His wartime activities were never publicly acknowledged.
But if you’re reading this, then at least one more person has acknowledged what he did, right now.
To find out more, read this.
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