Hitler's Third Reich and World War Two in the News

Death of Herman Goering

End of the Third Reich and the Nazi Leaders

What happened to the leading figures of the Third Reich? How and when their stories come to an end? And what kind of an end it was?

Herman Goering

Commander of the Luftwaffe.
Promoted to the unique rank of Reichsmarschall on 1940-07-19.
IQ 138.

Date of death: 1946-10-15, age 53.
Cause of death: Suicide - A potassium cyanide capsule.
Remains: Cremated and scattered in the Conwentzbach in Munich.

Goering killed himself only hours before he was scheduled to be hanged in 1946, following his conviction for war crimes.

A former US guard says he unwittingly gave Nazi leader Hermann Goering the poison he used to commit suicide. Herbert Lee Stivers, who was a 19-year-old guard at the trials, says he agreed to carry "medicine" to the imprisoned Nazi air force chief. He said he was talked into it after meeting a flirtatious local girl. He said he met the girl in the street, and she appeared impressed by his role as a guard at the trials. She introduced him to two men, who asked him to take messages to Goering hidden inside a fountain pen. The third time, he said, the pen hid a pill.

"Shoot first and ask questions later, and don't worry, no matter what happens, I will protect you."
- Hermann Goering

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for the lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
- Hermann Goering

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