The Story of Albert Göring, Hermann’s Younger Brother

Albert GoeringAlbert Göring must have been stunned when the American soldiers who tried to arrest him in 1945 did not believe that he had saved many Jewish lives. (Later he was arrested and imprisoned.) As proof of his actions, he compiled a list of thirty-four names. He neatly documented them, previous places of residence, professions, citizenships and current places of residence of “people whose lives or existence I put myself at risk (three Gestapo arrest warrants) to save” and specified their “race” and the “type of help” he had provided. The list includes prominent individuals such as Kurt Schuschnigg, the last Austrian chancellor before the 1938 annexation, and the wife of opera composer Franz Lehár, who was Jewish and No. 15 on the list of people Göring had saved.

The Göring brothers remained loyal to each other. “He is my brother,” Hermann would say, reminding the Gestapo thugs that family members were off limits.

In some of the photos, Albert Göring looks as if he had just emerged from a coffeehouse in the Weimar Republic, with his pencil moustache and cigarette holder, and his misty-eyed and melancholy gaze.

Albert had been imprisoned for a year when a new interrogation specialist named Victor Parker reported for duty. As he was reading the list of thirty-four individuals, he paused when he saw the name Lehár. By a stroke of luck, the composer’s wife was Parker’s aunt. The Americans finally believed the story their prisoner had told them and released him from custody. But he wasn’t freed altogether. Instead, they extradited him to Prague, just in case there was any evidence against him there.

Göring ended up in Pankrác Prison, together with German war criminals, looters and murderers. He was put on trial in a Czechoslovakian people’s court.

As a German named Göring, being put on trial in Prague in 1947 was almost tantamount to a death sentence. But many workers from the Škoda plant and resistance fighters appeared in court to praise the defendant. One authoritative letter to then-President Edvard Beneš, stated that “hundreds of men and women” had Albert Göring to thank for “being rescued from the Gestapo, concentration camps and executioners.” The court acquitted him in March 1947.

Göring spent his last few years living in relative poverty in an apartment building with his former housekeeper, whom he married shortly before his death. He died in Munich on December 20, 1966. His grave in Munich’s Waldfriedhof cemetery no longer exists. It was leveled in 2008.

Unconfirmed rumours suggest that Albert may possibly have been Hermann’s half-brother, the result of an affair between their mother and a doctor of Jewish origins.

Albert is a candidate for being named a Righteous Gentile by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

Source: Spiegel Online, March 7

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One response to “The Story of Albert Göring, Hermann’s Younger Brother

  1. Elisabeth Ecker

    This is fascinating information. There is so little known about the actual story of the time during the Nazi regime.