When you hear a name you often automatically associate that name with the history of that name, especially when it is a famous or infamous name.
When you associate this name with evil then often the assumption is made that every one carrying that name is evil also, but many times nothing could be further from the truth.
The famous Reichmarshal Hermann Goering aided Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and for years he was second in importance only to Hitler in The Third Reich. As founder of the Gestapo, Hermann Goering was instrumental in creating the first concentration camps for political dissidents and a prominent leader of the final solution, the murder of 6.000.000 Jews. Next to Hitler the man who played the largest part in the shaping of the Nazi inferno.
But his younger brother Albert Goering loathed all of Nazism’s inhumanity and at the risk of his career, fortune and life, used his name and connections to save many Jews and gentiles. The parallel with Oscar Schindler is inevitable. The story of Albert Goering, however, is almost unknown – he was shoved into obscurity by the enormity of his brother’s crimes. But testimonies of survivors and a report, buried until recently in British archives, documents that Albert Goering actually saved many lives from the horrors of Holocaust.
At the risk of his career, fortune and life, he used his name and connections to save many Jews and gentiles. He is credited with many acts of kindness, small and large. Even today survivors remember once he took off his jacket, went down on his knees, and scrubbed a sidewalk together with Jews who were ordered by the Nazis to do so in public as a humiliation.
The SS officer in charge inspected his identification, and ordered the group’s scrubbing activity to stop after realizing he could be held responsible for allowing Hermann Göring’s brother to be publicly humiliated.
Albert Göring used his influence to get his Jewish former boss Oskar Pilzer, an Austrian Lawyer and Film producer, freed after the Nazis arrested him.
Göring then helped Pilzer and his family escape from Germany. He is reported to have done the same for many other German dissidents.
Göring intensified his anti-Nazi activity when he was made export director at the Škoda Works in Czechoslovakia. He encouraged minor acts of sabotage and had contact with the Czech resistance.
On many occasions, he forged his brother’s signature on transit documents to enable dissidents to escape. When he was caught, he used his brother’s influence to gain his release. Göring also sent trucks to Nazi concentration camps with requests for labourers. The trucks would stop in an isolated area, and their passengers were then allowed to escape.
Karel Sobota, had been the assistant to Albert Goering for several years, he worked in the Exports Department of Skoda and risked his life by actively partaking in the Czech Resistance.
Karel Sobota later recalled how Albert Goering refused to return the Nazi salute when Nazi officers visited Skoda. At that time, this refusal was sufficient for one man to be imprisoned or worse.
Albert Goering insisted that all people, no matter the rank or position, be announced to him before entering his office. Karel Sobota later told how a high ranking SS officer arrived at Skoda one day and quickly entered unannounced into Albert Goering’s office Sobota unsuccessfully tried to block him. In a rage, Goering told the SS Officer to leave the office and ordered him to wait outside. Then Goering asked Karel Sobota, they calmly talked about the weather and other trivial things for about 30-40 minutes before he called SS officer in again.
After the war, Albert Göring was questioned during the Nuremberg Tribunal. However, many of those he had helped testified for him, and he was released. Soon afterwards, Göring was arrested by the Czechs, but he was again released when the full extent of his activities became known.
In 2010, Edda Göring, the daughter of Hermann, said of her uncle Albert in The Guardian
He could certainly help people in need himself financially and with his personal influence, but, as soon as it was necessary to involve higher authority or officials, then he had to have the support of my father, which he did get
Reich Marshal Hermann Goering with his daughter Edda., 01.01.1939-31.12.1939
On his release, Göring returned to Germany, but he found himself shunned because of his family name. He found work occasionally as a writer and translator, and he lived in a modest flat far from the baronial splendour of his childhood. In his last years, Göring lived on a pension from the government. He knew that if he married, on his death the pension payments would be transferred to his wife. As a sign of gratitude, he married his housekeeper in 1966 so she would receive his pension. One week later, Albert Göring died without having his wartime anti-Nazi activities ever having been publicly acknowledged.
Although Göring lived out his last years in Münich in Bavaria, he died further away in a hospital in Neuenbürg in the neighbouring state of Baden-Württemberg.
Although a good Samaritan, Albert was not a saint,he had divorced his sickly wife of 16 years, despite the fact that she was on her deathbed
Ever the womaniser, he pursued a former Czech beauty queen, Mila,after leaving his wife on her deathbed.
He had a daughter,Elizabeth,with Mila. Elizabeth was his only child.
His saved many lives and I believe this flaw in his personality can be forgiven.
Göring’s story remained largely unknown to the public even three decades after his death. While his infamous brother Herman Göring was subject to many publications little to no attention was paid to Albert. One exception was a short article in the German weekly magazine aktuell by the writer Ernst Neubach in the early 1960s when Göring was still alive. At the very end of the 20th century the situation began to change slowly when Göring started to become the subject of several books and documentaries, which in turn triggered a larger number of news publications.
The British author James Wyllie published the double biography The Warlord and the Renegade in 2006, which was followed by the book Thirty Four by Australian author William Hastings Burke. Albert Göring was also covered in the 2011 book Rettungswiderstand (resistance to save) by the German historian and Holocaust survivor Arno Lustiger.
Göring’s humanitarian efforts are recorded by William Hastings Burke in the book Thirty Four . A review of the book in The Jewish Chronicle concluded with a call for Albert Göring to be honoured at the Yad Vashem memorial;however, Yad Vashem subsequently announced that they would not list Göring as Righteous Among the Nations, explaining that although “(t)here are indications that Albert Goering had a positive attitude to Jews and that he helped some people,” there is not “sufficient proof, i.e., primary sources, showing that he took extraordinary risks to save Jews from danger of deportation and death.”
Göring had become subject to a couple of film documentaries. The first and most extensive one being The Real Albert Goering which produced by 3BM TV and broadcast in UK in 1998. Roughly a decade later William Hastings Burke produced a documentary based on his book and in 2014 Véronique Lhorme’s Le Dossier Albert Göring was broadcast on French TV.
In January 2016 the German TV channel Das Erste broadcast the docudrama Der gute Göring (The Good Göring) with Barnaby Metschurat as Albert Göring and Francis Fulton-Smith as his brother Hermann. A BBC Radio 4 documentary entitled “The Good Goering”, also broadcast in January 2016, featured an investigation of the life of Albert Göring by journalist Gavin Esle.