The notorious Nazi 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
As the brutality of the Nazis accelerated with murder, violence and
terror, the seeds of their plan for the total extermination of the Jews
dawned on Albert Goering in all its horror - he saw the Jews as mothers,
fathers, children. So he decided to act and helped many Jews escape from
Vienna by procuring travel documents. Once he had his brother guarantee
the safety of the famous composer Franz Lehar's Jewish wife.
Professor Guido Knopp, head of history and current affairs at ZDF, a
German national television channel, tells in his book Hitler's
Holocaust that Albert Goering was always willing to help those in need.
On one occasion - in the autumn of 1943 - he signed passports with his own
hand for a Jewish family he had befriended. Once he persuaded SS chief
Heydrich to release some Czech resistance fighters from the cellars of the
Richard Sonnenfeldt, chief interpreter and youngest member of the American
prosecution team at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, later recalled how the
Reichmarshal enjoyed displaying his power to Albert by freeing Jews from
the concentration camps. "Albert would go to his brother Hermann and
say, 'Hermann you're so big and so powerful, and here's a Jew who's a good
Jew and doesn't belong in a concentration camp'," Sonnenfeldt said.
" 'Can't you just sign a paper?' And Hermann would say, 'This is
absolutely the last time I'm going to do this, don't come back',"
said Sonnenfeldt, 80, on a tour of Germany to promote a book about his
Nuremberg experiences Mehr als ein Leben. "A month later,
Albert would be back," he said. "We found a hundred people on
Albert's list that were freed. All because Goering had such a need to show
off to his younger brother."
Albert was arrested by the Gestapo several times, however was released
with the help of his brother.
Albert Goering 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 physician Laszlo Kovacs had been the personal doctor to Albert Goering
since 1939. He later recalled hearing Goering say: 'I defy Hitler, my
brother and all the National Socialists.' He began giving Kovacs money
and set up a joint bank account at the Bank Orelli in Bern which he
instructed Kovacs to use to help Jewish refugees to get to Lisbon. After
the German occupation of Italy in 1943, Goering wrote out a laissez passer
for Kovacs as his personal doctor.
When Albert was stationed in Bucharest, Rumania, two Nazi officers saw him
standing on a balcony and recognized him as the brother of Hermann Goering.
They did the Nazi salute 'Heil Hitler' in front of him, but Albert
coldly replied 'you can kiss my ass ...'
Later - as part of his job as export director of the Czech arms factory Skoda
- Albert Goering was able to save many employees, among them the director
Jan Moravek and his family. He protected several members of the Czech
resistance and covered resistance actions.
Albert Goering - savior of victims of the tyranny his brother helped
create - was imprisoned for several years after the war for his name alone.
During the post-war-years he had many difficulties, the name Goering had
become an almost impossible handicap. Grateful survivors, rescued by
Albert Goering, helped him survive bitter years of joblessness.
He married several times and died in 1966, after working as a designer in
a construction firm in Munich.
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.
- Louis Bülow