Christoph Gunkel: The Good Göring ... How a Top Nazi's Brother Saved Lives

Roundup: Talking About History

Christoph Gunkel writes for Spiegel Online.

In downtown Vienna under the Nazis, two members of the SA had decided to humiliate an old woman. A crowd gathered and jeered as the stormtroopers hung a sign bearing the words "I'm a dirty Jew" around the woman's neck. Suddenly, a tall man with a high forehead and thick mustache pushed his way angrily through the mob and freed the woman. "There was a scuffle with two stormtroopers, I hit them and was arrested immediately," the man later said in a matter-of-fact statement.
Despite this open act of rebellion, the man was released immediately. He only had to say his name: Albert Göring, brother of Hermann Göring, the commander of the German air force and Hitler's closest confidant.
Years later, after the fall of the Third Reich, Albert Göring was arrested once again, this time by Americans. Again he gave his name, but this time it had the opposite effect.
"The results of the interrogation of Albert Göring … constitutes as clever a piece of rationalization and 'white wash' as the SAIC (Seventh Army Interrogation Center) has ever seen," American investigator Paul Kubala wrote on September 19, 1945. "Albert's lack of subtlety is matched only by the bulk of his obese brother."
Kubala's interpreter, Richard Sonnenfeldt, was likewise skeptical. "Albert told a fascinating story, but one I had trouble believing," he commented...

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