Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Blood Brothers

Leah Gebber

At the Nuremberg Trials, he told of how he saved elderly Jewish women, set up syndicates to smuggle money across borders, and aided Jewish refugees. Yet he died an ignoble pariah, linked forever to his brother’s infamy. What was the truth about Albert Goering, the anti-Nazi brother of Hitler’s second-in-command — archmurderer Hermann Goering? A young Australian economics student was driven to find out, spending years traversing the globe on a journey to uncover the mystery surrounding this unlikely hero.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

man with penAugsburg Transit Jail, 1945. He sits in his cell, preparing his defense. The newly victorious Allies have made their first haul of Nazi war criminals. His brother, perhaps the prize catch of the bunch, is incarcerated a few cells down. That brother is Hermann Goering: Reichsmarschall, commander of the Luftwaffe, instigator of the first concentration camps. Second in command to Hitler, Hermann Goering established one of the deadliest reigns of terror history has ever witnessed.

Albert, Hermann’s younger brother, is accused of complicity with the Nazi regime by association. Albert painstakingly rewrites a list of 34 prominent people he has saved from the Nazi war machine. With German exactitude, he places the names in alphabetical order, adding addresses, professions, and assistance given. He gives the list a title: Menschen, denen ich bei eigener Gefahr (dreimal Gestapo-Haftbehele!) Leben oder Existenz rettete—People whose lives I saved at my own peril (three Gestapo arrest warrants). He hands his defense to his jailors.

At his interrogation, he tells Major Paul Kubala of the US Seventh Army that he eschewed the royal lifestyle of the Nazi elite and, with the Nazi takeover in 1933, went into self-imposed exile inAustria. He tells of how he saved old Jewish women in the street, set up syndicates to smuggle money across borders, aided Jewish refugees. His story, however, is not believed, and Kubala writes in his interrogation report on September 19, 1945: “The results of the interrogation ... constitutes as clever a piece of rationalization and white wash... as ever seen. Albert Goering’s lack of subtlety is matched only by the bulk of his obese brother.”

No one even bothered to look at the list of the 34.

Two years later, in 1947, Hermann Goering was sentenced to death at the Nuremberg Trials, but cheated the hangman’s noose the night before his scheduled execution with a smuggled cyanide pill. Albert was eventually released from prison, but the infamous family name haunted him until he died, broken and penniless, in 1966.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”