Erwin Rommel – and his forced suicide

‘We have a very daring and skilful opponent against us, and, may I say across the havoc of war, a great general.’

The words were Winston Churchill’s and the great general he was referring to was Erwin Rommel.

The Desert Fox

Born 15 November 1891, Erwin Rommel was, as Churchill suggests, respected as a master tactician, the supreme strategist who, in 1940, helped defeat France and the Low Countries and then found lasting fame when sent by Hitler to North Africa where, commanding the Afrika Korps, he earned the sobriquet, the Desert Fox. Germany, his nation, adored him, his troops loved him, Hitler treasured him and his enemies respected him. His Afrika Korps was never charged with any war crimes and prisoners of war were treated humanely. When his only son, Manfred, proposed joining the Waffen SS, Rommel forbade it.

In June 1944 Rommel was sent to Northern France to help co-ordinate the defence against the Allied Normandy Invasion but was wounded a month later when a RAF plane strafed his car. Rommel returned home to Germany to convalesce.

The July Bomb Plot

Meanwhile, on 20 July 1944, Hitler survived an assassination attempt in his Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia, the July Bomb Plot, perpetuated by Nazi officers who hoped to shorten the war with his removal. Hitler, although shaken, suffered only superficial injury and those responsible were soon rounded up and executed. Rommel, although not involved and actively against any plan to assassinate Hitler, did support the idea of having him removed from power. Once his association with the plotters, however tenuous, came to light, his downfall was inevitable and swift.

On 14 October 1944, Hitler dispatched two generals to Rommel’s home to offer the fallen Field Marshal a bleak choice. Manfred, aged 15, was at home with his mother when the call came. He waited nervously as the three men talked in private, and then as his father went upstairs to speak to his mother. Finally Rommel spoke to his son and told him of Hitler’s deal.

Manfred’s story

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Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin’s second wife – a summary

Joseph Stalin married twice. His first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, died in December 1907, aged 22, from typhus. His second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, died, having shot herself, on 9 November 1932, aged 31.

As a two-year-old, Nadezhda, or Nadya, Alliluyeva was reputedly saved from drowning by the visiting 25-year-old Stalin. When staying in St Petersburg (later Petrograd), Stalin often lodged with the Alliluyev family. He may have had an affair with Olga Alliluyeva, Nadya’s mother and his future mother-in-law.

In March 1917, Stalin returned to Petrograd from exile to join the unrest following the February Revolution and the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II. By then Nadya was 16 and she fell for the romantic revolutionary with his sweep of jet-black hair.

Mr and Mrs Stalin

Following the October Revolution of 1917, Nadya became Stalin’s personal assistant as he embarked on his job as the People’s Commissar for Nationalities and joined him in the city of Tsaritsyn during the Russian Civil War. They married in 1919 and had two children: Vasily, born 1921, and Svetlana, born 1926. (In 1967, Svetlana was to defect to the US, became known as Lana Peters and died in Wisconsin on 22 November 2011).

Nadya found life in the Kremlin suffocating. Her husband, whom she once saw as the archetypal Soviet ‘new man’, turned out to be a quarrelsome bore, often drunk and flirtatious with his colleague’s wives. A manic-depressive and prone to violent mood swings, Stalin’s colleagues thought her ‘mad’.

Chemistry student

In 1929, bored of being cooped up in the Kremlin, Nadya enrolled on a course in chemistry. She diligently went to university each morning by public transport, shunning the official limousine. Her new-found student friends, not realising who she was, told her horrific stories concerning Stalin’s collectivization policy. When she confronted her husband, accusing him of ‘butchering the people’, he reacted angrily and had her friends arrested.

Days before her death, according to her daughter, Nadya confided to a friend that ‘nothing made her happy’, least of all her children.

The Banquet

On the evening of 8 November 1932, Stalin and Nadya hosted a banquet to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the October Revolution. They often argued and this party was no different with Nadya accusing Stalin of being inconsiderate towards her. His response was to humiliate her in front of their guests by flicking cigarettes at her and addressing her ‘hey, you!’  Molotov’s wife chased after her and together they walked round the Kremlin grounds until Nadya calmed down and retired for bed.

The following morning, servants found Nadya dead – she had shot herself with a pistol given to her by her brother, Pavel Alliluyev, as a present from Berlin. (Pavel, who was there that morning and comforted his grieving brother-in-law, would die in suspicious circumstances six years later, aged 44. Most of the Alliluyev clan would suffer early deaths on the orders of Stalin. His daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, wondered whether Stalin would eventually have had her own mother arrested).

Reproach and accusations

Nadya had left a note for Stalin which, according to Svetlana, was both personal and ‘partly political’. Although she never saw it, Svetlana described it as being ‘full of reproach and accusations’. Stalin certainly took his Nadya’s death badly, believing that she had taken her own life to punish him. His anger and grief seemed genuine and he was unable to bring himself to attend her funeral or, later, visit her grave.

The public were told that Nadya Alliluyeva had died from appendicitis – as was her daughter, then aged 6. It wouldn’t have been good for Stalin’s image to have had a wife who had committed suicide. Svetlana found out the truth quite by accident a decade later.

On the day of her State funeral, Stalin muttered, ‘She went away as an enemy’.

The Savage YearsRupert Colley.

Gathered together in one collection, 60 of Rupert Colley’s history articles, The Savage Years: Tales From the 20th Century is now available.







Geli Raubal – Hitler’s niece: a summary

On 18 September 1931, a 23-year-old woman was found dead in a sumptuous nine-room Munich apartment, a single shot wound into her heart. Her name was Geli Raubal, the apartment was rented to Adolf Hitler, and the young woman happened to be Hitler’s niece. Cause of death – suicide. Naturally.

Geli Raubal was the daughter of Hitler’s half sister, Angela. Angela and Adolf grew up together; both products of the same father, Alois Hitler, and his second and third wives respectively.

Uncle Alf

Geli RaubalIn 1928, Hitler offered his sister the position of housekeeper in his Bavarian mountain retreat. Angela arrived with her two daughters, Elfriede and nineteen-year-old Angela, known as Geli. Hitler immediately took a shine to the carefree Geli and, in order to remove her from her mother’s watchful eye, installed her into his Munich apartment. Nineteen years Hitler’s junior, she was, according to one of Hitler’s aides, ‘of medium size, well developed, had dark, rather wavy hair, and lively brown eyes… it was simply astonishing to see a young girl at Hitler’s side.’

Geli, who called Hitler ‘Uncle Alf’, had been born in Linz; the town Hitler always considered his hometown, on 4 June 1908.

Hitler liked to be seen with his attractive niece, taking her to meetings, and to restaurants and theatres, but their relationship was a stormy one. Both were consumed by jealousy – Geli of Hitler’s relationship with a seventeen-year-old Eva Braun, a model for Hitler’s photographer, Heinrich Hoffman; and Hitler by Geli’s flirtatious conduct and numerous admirers. Indeed, Hitler once told Hoffman, ‘I love Geli and could marry her.’

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Heinrich Himmler – a brief biography

With his rimless glasses and small physique, Heinrich Himmler’s appearance was at odds with his fearsome manner. Indeed, one English visitor observed, ‘nobody I met in Germany is more normal.’ A German officer described Himmler’s ‘slender, pale and almost girlishly soft hands … He looked to me like an intelligent elementary schoolteacher, certainly not a man of violence.’

Chicken farmer

Heinrich HimmlerHeinrich Himmler was born the son of a Catholic schoolteacher in Munich on 7 October 1900. After a stint in the army during the First World War, although he missed out on seeing active service, Himmler studied agriculture and held a number of jobs including that of a chicken farmer and a fertilizer salesman before joining the Nazi Party in 1921.

Hardworking and meticulous, Himmler became devoted to Hitler and the Nazi cause. He took part in the failed putsch of 1923 in which Hitler tried to seize power in Bavaria. Between 1926 and 1930, Himmler acted as the Nazi party’s propaganda leader until, in 1929, Hitler appointed him head of the SS.

In 1934, Himmler became head of the Prussian division of the Gestapo and, two years later, head of all Nazi security organs. In 1933, soon after Hitler’s coming to power, Himmler established the first concentration camp at Dachau, near Munich, and in 1934, played a vital role in the elimination of Hitler’s opponents during the ‘Night of the Long Knives‘.

A page of glory

During the war Himmler was responsible for co-ordinating the systematic murder of Jews and other victims of the Nazi regime, extending and expanding the network of concentration and death camps, and responsible for implementing the ‘Final Solution’.

Himmler DachauHimmler suffered from various psychosomatic illnesses and intense headaches and was shocked and sickened by what he saw when visiting the camps he administered. Yet he remained determined that the work should continue, however distasteful.

On 4 October 1943, addressing an audience of SS officers in Posen, he said, ‘Whether or not 10,000 Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests me only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany … This is a page of glory in our history, which has never been written and is never to be written…. We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us.’

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Goebbels and the not-so-great German novel

In 1923, the future Nazi minister for propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, wrote a novel. Eighty years later, a carbon copy bearing the author’s corrections and amendments, came up for auction in Connecticut. 158 pages long, Michael Voormann: A Man’s Fate in the Pages of a Diary is written as a diary and is both autobiographical and a tribute to Goebbels’ friend, Richard Flisges, to whom the novel is dedicated.

Goebbels and the First World War

Bild 183-L04035One imagines there’s a degree of envy here – born on 29 October 1897, Joseph Goebbels was old enough to fight in the First World War but was rejected due to his clubfoot. (Throughout his life he had to wear a special shoe to compensate his shorter leg.) After the war, he sometimes liked to pretend that his disability was in fact a war wound. In his novel, Michael, in common with Flisges, sees active service on the Eastern Front during the Great War; Michael’s war record a reflection of Goebbels’ wishful thinking.

Michael returns to a democratic Germany, seeking revolution and answers, but not sure where to find it. Michael is a socialist and a Christian, attempting to write a play about Jesus (as indeed Goebbels had) in which he describes Jesus as one of the greatest men to have lived.

Goebbels in Love

While at college, Michael falls in love with a Hertha Holk (based on Goebbels’ first but unrequited love, Anka Stalherm, whom he met at Heidelberg University, from where he would receive a doctorate in literature). After their split up, Michael finds works in the mines and just as things are coming together for him, is killed in a mining accident – a fate that had befallen Flisges in July 1923.

One recent review of Michael describes its characters as ‘never rising above their basic two-dimensionality; they are cardboard cut-outs whose greatest glory is to become sounding boards for the author’s lugubrious philosophizing’.

Goebbels’ parents had hoped he’d become a priest (as did Stalin’s mother of her son). But Joseph dreamt of being a writer and wrote numerous plays, poems and articles but Michael was his only novel. His literary aspirations however fell well short of his expectations – Michael was eventually published in 1929 by the Nazi’s own publishing house, Eher-Verlag, but merely on the back of Goebbels’ growing status within the party. Back in the early twenties, unable to make a living as a writer, Goebbels was forced to find employment, working on the stock exchange and as a bank clerk, both of which he loathed.

Both great and simple

Goebbels joined the Nazi Party in 1922, seduced, as many were, by the charisma of its leader, Adolf Hitler. But for a couple of years, Goebbels sided with the more socialist side of the party, a division that momentarily threatened to split the movement. ‘I no longer fully believe in Hitler,’ Goebbels confided to his diary. Hitler went on the offensive and through a mixture of bullying and charm, healed the rift. Goebbels was left reeling and utterly in awe of Hitler. From then on, he devoted his life to his leader and remained loyal to the last. ‘Adolf Hitler, I love you because you are both great and simple at the same time. What one calls a genius.’

In 1926, just four years after joining the party, Goebbels was made Gauleiter of Berlin and, in 1929, appointed the party’s propaganda minister where he edited a weekly newspaper called Der Angriff (The Assault). In 1933, following Hitler’s assumption of power, he became the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

Goebbels married Magda Ritschel on 19 December 1931, with Hitler as a witness. They were to have six children, all of whose names began with an H in honour of Hitler.

Following Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945, Goebbels succeeded him as chancellor, a post he was to retain for a single day. With the Red Army bearing down on Berlin and defeat inevitable, Goebbels and his wife couldn’t bear the thought of their children living in a post-Hitler world. Thus, on 1 May, they drugged up their children, aged four to twelve, on morphine, then, with the help of a doctor, crushed ampules of cyanide into their mouths. The girls had ribbons tied in their hair. A couple of hours later, Magda and Goebbels walked out into the Reich Chancellery garden. Goebbels shot his wife and then himself.

In 1987, the novel was published for the first time in English, published by Amok Press.

The auction house, Alexander Autographs, had hoped the book would sell for $10,000 to $12,000 (£6,400 to £7,600). However it remains unsold. But it did sell Hitler’s accounts book, a 175-page handwritten ledger covering his expenses during the last year of his life.

White Venus-1Rupert Colley.

Rupert Colley’s enthralling novel, set in Nazi-occupied France, The White Venus, is now available.

Join the mailing list for digests of history articles or new releases by Rupert Colley and get a free ebook copy of ‘My Brother the Enemy’:
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The Death of Hitler – a summary

The death of Hitler: In January 1945, with the Soviet Red Army bearing down on Germany, Hitler left his HQ in East Prussia and moved back to Berlin and into the Reich Chancellery. A month later, he went underground into the Chancellery’s air-raid shelter, a cavern of dimly-lit rooms made of solid, high-quality concrete.

Hitler’s Health

Adolf HitlerDuring his last few months, Hitler’s health deteriorated rapidly. In February 1945, after so many years of shouting and screaming, he had to have an operation on his vocal chords which, following the operation, obliged him to stay silent for a whole week.

Despite the implorations of his staff, Hitler refused to leave Berlin, and finally, realising the war was truly lost, he decided to end his life. Shuffling around with a stoop, Hitler looked much older than his fifty-six years. A new pain in his eye required daily doses of cocaine drops, and, perhaps from the onset of Parkinson’s disease, his left hand shook constantly. His eyesight had become so poor he had to have his documents written in extra-large print on specially-made ‘Fuhrer’ typewriters.

He ate poorly – devouring large portions of cake. He’d fallen out with many of his senior colleagues – in particular Hermann Goring and Heinrich Himmler, both of whom he accused of treachery and ordered to be arrested on sight and court-martialled. Joseph Goebbels, however, remained loyal to the last, broadcasting to the nation, demanding greater effort and sacrifice against the enemy.

Hitler the General

In his final days Hitler ordered a scorched-earth policy throughout eastern Germany and the destruction of anything that could be of use to the Soviets. What happened to the German citizen was not of Hitler’s concern – as far as Hitler was concerned, they had proved themselves unworthy of him.

From within the bunker, Hitler continued to dictate operations but his grip on reality had deserted him. He refused to listen to the glum reports from the front and ordered a constant stream of counterattacks deploying non-existent troops and refusing the troops that did exist room to retreat and re-group.

On his 56th (and last) birthday on 20 April 1945, a group of nineteen Hitler Youth boys lined-up in the Chancellery garden for Hitler to inspect and decorate with Iron Crosses. Lined-up from the eldest to the youngest, Hitler, with his shaking left hand behind his back, shook hands with each child, pinching the cheek of the last, the youngest child, a 12-year-old boy called Alfred Czech.  ‘The Führer shook my hand,’ said Mr Czech decades later, ‘then he pinched my left cheek. He told me, “Keep it up!” I certainly had the feeling that I had done something remarkable.’ Hitler delivered a short speech and thanked them for their bravery before shuffling back into the bunker. It was to be Hitler’s last appearance in public.

Hitler and Eva

Adolf Hitler und Eva Braun auf dem BerghofOn April 20, Hitler celebrated (of sorts) his 56th birthday. A week later, just past midnight on April 29 in a ten-minute ceremony, Hitler married his long-term partner, Eva Braun (pictured). Twenty-three years his junior, the German people knew nothing of her. Her presence, although not a secret amongst the Nazi hierarchy, was not something Hitler wished publicized lest it should diminish the adoration of Germany’s women. Goebbels and Martin Bormann stood as witnesses as a hastily-found registrar nervously asked the couple whether they were of pure Aryan descent and free of hereditary diseases.

That night, following the subdued and rather surreal marital celebrations, Hitler dictated his last political testament and private will to his secretary, where, in the former, he drew-up the make up of the government following his death. The admiral, Karl Donitz, was named as his successor, not as ‘Fuhrer’ but as president, and Goebbels as Chancellor.

Death of Hitler

On April 29 Hitler made preparations for his death. 200 litres of benzene were delivered into the bunker. Hitler insisted that his body be burnt, not wanting his corpse to finish up in Soviet hands like an “exhibit in a cabinet of curiosities”. He also ordered the testing of the newly-arrived batch of cyanide capsules. The chosen victim was Hitler’s much loved Alsatian dog, Blondi.

On April 30, with the Soviets only 300 metres away, Goebbels tried one last time to convince the Fuhrer to leave Berlin but Hitler had already made it plain a week earlier, bellowing at his generals, “If you gentlemen think I’m going to leave Berlin you are very much mistaken. I’d rather blow my brains out”.

Near four o’clock, after a round of farewells, Hitler and his wife of forty hours retired to his study. Hitler wore upon his tunic, his Iron Cross (First Class) and his Wounded Badge of the First World War. His entourage waited nervously outside. A shot was heard. Hitler had shot himself through the right temple. Braun was also dead. She had swallowed the cyanide. The pistol Hitler had used was the same one that his niece, Geli Raubal, had used when she committed suicide almost 14 years before.

The bodies, covered in blankets, were carried out into the Chancellery garden. There, with artillery exploding around them and neighbouring buildings ablaze, Hitler’s wishes were honoured – the benzene was poured on the corpses and set alight. With the bodies blazing, the entourage gave one final Hitler salute before scampering back into the bunker.

The official announcement, the following day, stated that “Hitler had fallen at his command post fighting to his last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”.

He had come to power as German Chancellor, aged 43, in January 1933. But with the death of Hitler, the Third Reich, which was meant to last a thousand years, had come to an end after just twelve.

Women on the TrainRupert Colley.

Rupert Colley’s novella, set during World War Two and Paris in 1968, The Woman on the Train, is now available.

Join the mailing list for digests of history articles or new releases by Rupert Colley and get a free ebook copy of ‘My Brother the Enemy’:
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Yakov Stalin – a brief biography

Born 18 March 1907, Yakov Stalin (or Dzhugashvili) was the son of Joseph Stalin and Stalin’s first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze. Stalin certainly didn’t harbour particularly warm feelings for his son. Deprived of his father’s affections and upset by a failed romance, Yakov, or Yasha as Stalin called him, once tried to shoot himself. As he lay bleeding, his father scathingly remarked, ‘He can’t even shoot straight’.

Yakov StalinYakov Stalin joined the Red Army at the outbreak of war in the East in June 1941, serving as a lieutenant in the artillery. On the first day of the war, his father told him to ‘Go and fight’.

Peace loving and gentle

His half-sister, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda, claimed in her book, Twenty Letters to a Friend, that Yakov never ‘took any advantage [as a soldier]; never made even the slightest attempt to avoid danger… Since my father, moreover, hadn’t any use for him and everybody knew it, no one in the higher echelons of the army gave him special treatment.’ Yakov, according to Svetlana, was ‘peace-loving, gentle and extremely quiet.’ But he wasn’t fond of his half brother Vasily (Svetlana’s brother) and disliked his ‘penchant for profanity’, and once turned on Vasily with his fists ‘like a lion’.

Nazi Officers Interrogating Yakov StalinOn 16 July, within a month of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Yakov was captured and taken prisoner (pictured). Stalin considered all prisoners as traitors to the motherland and those that surrendered he demonised as ‘malicious deserters’. ‘There are no prisoners of war,’ he once said, ‘only traitors to their homeland’.

Certainly Yakov, by all accounts, felt that he had failed his father. Under interrogation, he admitted that he had tried to shoot himself. His father probably would have preferred it if he had.

Stick your bayonets in the earth

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Eva Braun – a brief biography

Born 6 February 1912, Eva Braun first met her future husband, Adolf Hitler, while working as an assistant and model to Hitler’s official photographer, Heinrich Hoffman. It was 1929 and she was 17, Hitler 40.

Adolf Hitler und Eva Braun auf dem BerghofAt the time Hitler had taken upon himself the responsibility of looking after his 21-year-old niece, Geli Raubal. The exact relationship between uncle and niece has never been properly ascertained except that Hitler was overly-possessive and jealous of the company she kept. On 18 September 1931, Raubal committed suicide by shooting herself with Hitler’s pistol.

Hitler’s relationship with Eva Braun began soon after Raubal’s death and possibly before. Raubal’s jealousy of Braun has been mooted as a possible cause of her suicide.

The Invisible Woman

Germany, as a nation, never knew of Braun’s existence as Hitler went to great lengths to keep her hidden from view. He was, as he often remarked, primarily wedded to the German people and wanted to maintain his popularity amongst German women, whose adoration for Hitler sometimes contained a sexual dimension.

Thus the relationship proved difficult for Braun who was devoted to the Fuhrer. Twice she tried to commit suicide, once by shooting herself, the second time by poison. Neither occasion could be regarded as a serious attempt at ending her life but a desperate cry for attention. Concerned, Hitler amply provided for her so that materially at least Braun was very comfortable. But still she remained marginalised. She spent much of her time with Hitler in his mountain retreat, the Berchtesgaden, but was only reluctantly accepted by the wives of other senior Nazis. When visitors and dignities arrived Braun had to make herself scarce.

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Jan Palach – a brief biography

On 16 January 1969, a 20-year-old Czechoslovakian student, Jan Palach, staged a one-man protest on Prague’s Wenceslas Square by dousing himself in petrol then setting himself on fire. Three days later, on 19 January, he died of his injuries. Palach’s protest was against Czechoslovakia’s authoritarian rule, re-imposed after the brief but significant period of liberalization, the Prague Spring, of the previous year.

Prague Spring

Leonid BrezhnevThe Prague Spring had been led by Czechoslovakia’s new communist party chairman, Alexander Dubcek, appointed in January 1968. Although claiming to be loyal to his Soviet masters in Moscow, Dubcek ushered in a period of political and cultural freedom unheard of in the previous twenty years of Czechoslovakian communist rule. The Soviet leadership, under Leonid Brezhnev (pictured), became increasingly concerned with what they considered Dubcek’s treachery and Czechoslovakia’s counterrevolution and demanded he reversed the reforms.

While outwardly agreeing and promising to compromise, Dubcek did nothing to halt the growing movement of liberalisation. Dubcek had gone too far, and so Brezhnev decided to act. On 21 August 1968, Soviet troops appeared in Czechoslovakia and on the streets of Prague to quash the ‘Prague Spring’ and to reassert stricter communist rule. Dubcek was initially arrested, restored briefly to power, albeit heavily monitored, before being replaced by Gustav Husak, a hardline alternative, loyal to Brezhnev and the communist cause. The Prague Spring was over.

The country had had a taste of freedom and now, during the bleak days of communist rule, the loss of freedom was a bitter pill to swallow. It was in this atmosphere of hopelessness and demoralisation that Jan Palach made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Hermann Goring – brief biography

Born in Bavaria, 12 January 1893, to a well-to-do Prussian family, Hermann Goring fancied himself as a cut above the rest, a cultured man, fond of fine-living, the arts and women. Indeed, as a young fighter pilot during the First World War, Goring cut a dashing figure and in June 1918, won the Pour le Mérite, otherwise known as the Blue Max, Prussia’s highest award.

Hermann GoringAt the time of his birth, Goring’s parents were stationed in Haiti, his father working for the German consul there. His mother returned to Germany to give birth, then promptly returned to Haiti, leaving baby Hermann with a friend, not to see her child again for three years.

After the First World War, Goring worked as a commercial pilot in Denmark and Sweden, where he met his future wife, the Swedish baroness Carin von Kantzow. They married in Munich on 3 February 1923. Serving as a Prussian deputy in the German Reichstag, he met the young Adolf Hitler and soon afterwards, in 1922, joined the fledging Nazi Party.


A year later, on 8 November 1923, Goring was shot in the leg and badly injured during the Munich Putsch, Hitler’s failed attempt to seize power by force. From there, together with his wife, Goring escaped to Austria. In Innsbruck, his wound was operated on but such was the pain he was given morphine, thereby starting an addiction which would last until his final days. At one point, during his forced sojourn in Austria, and later Italy, where he met Italy’s fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, Goring’s addiction had become so severe he had to be incarcerated in a mental hospital, occasionally having to be restrained by means of a straitjacket. In 1927, after four years away, Goring returned to Germany.


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