Campaign launched to recognize chief Nazi
The younger brother of leading Nazi Hermann Goering is being considered for an honour given to those who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
Albert Goering, a German businessman who died in obscurity in 1966, is said to have saved hundreds of Jews and political dissidents during the Second World War.
Irena Steinfeldt, the director of the Righteous Among The Nations department at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and research centre in Israel, is preparing a file that includes Gestapo reports and records of U.S. army interrogations of the younger Goering, as well as statements by people he rescued.
A campaign to honour Albert Goering follows growing recognition of his efforts to save victims of the Nazis from concentration camps, obtain exit permits for Jews and transfer Jewish assets abroad.
On one occasion, he wrote a letter to the commandant of Dachau demanding the release of a doctor named Charvat. Doubt over which prisoner he intended to free resulted in the release of two men with the same surname.
While the Goering brothers were close, their political convictions were far apart.
Albert Goering hated the Nazis. One Gestapo report noted his loathing for Nazi conventions, saying he refused to have the greeting “Heil Hitler” uttered in his presence.
Hermann Goering, meanwhile, was commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, second-in-command after Adolf Hitler and also gave the order to “make all necessary preparations for a final solution of the Jewish question in Europe.”
But it was the family name that shielded Albert Goering from scrutiny from the Gestapo.
Albert Goering “would have been lost without his brother. Without his support, the Gestapo — which knew exactly what Albert Goering was doing and with whom he associated — would have arrested and executed him,” noted Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper in a recent report.
The paper described the younger brother as a colourful character.
“He played the piano, was popular with women and wasn’t necessarily the most loyal person on the planet. He was a snob and a lady’s man, an engineer with a bourgeois manner. And yet he was also a good person, someone with moral convictions,” the paper said.