Albert Günther Göring
Albert Günther Göring
the good brother
Friedenau 1895 – Munich 1966
Albert Göring was a German businessman who managed to save many Jews and dissidents during the Nazi regime. His older brother Hermann Göring was Reichsmarshall of Nazi Germany and was sentenced to death during the Nuremberg Trial, including for crimes against humanity.
Albert Göring was a son of Franziska Tiefenbrunn and the German lawyer and civil servant Ernst Heinrich Göring. Although he and his older brother Hermann got along well, they had different personalities: Hermann showed more bravado than his brother, while Albert was more morose. He had such similar features to his godfather, knight Hermann Epenstein, that Epenstein was rumoured to be his biological father.
Albert grew up in the castles of Von Epenstein, who acted as a surrogate father for the five Göring children, since Heinrich was often absent due to his work. Albert Göring inherited his love for the “good life” from his godfather and worked, without much success, as a filmmaker in Vienna.
The Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933. His brother Hermann had been a member of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party since 1922 and would become one of the most important figures within the Nazi regime. Albert himself had absolutely nothing to do with Adolf Hitler’s party and its ideology. He was a devout Roman Catholic and anti-Semitism was alien to him. In the years before the Anschluss, he regularly publicly spoke out against Hitler.
Scrubbing the street
When the Germans annexed Austria in 1938, he could have gotten into serious trouble, but his last name or direct intervention by his brother was enough to get him released if he were arrested. Göring took great advantage of this. He once saw a group of Jews who were forced by the SS to scrub the streets. Albert took off his coat, got on his hands and knees too, and joined them. The responsible SS officer then ended this public humiliation.
Albert Göring helped many to leave the country. He for instance used his influence to get his former employer, the Jewish film producer Oskar Pilzer, and his family out of the country after Pilzer was arrested. When the famous composer Franz Lehár was threatened by the authorities, bacause his wife was Jewish, Göring arranged an Aryan status for her. Out of gratitude, Lehár later dedicated a composition to him.
the Skoda factory
Göring later moved to Pilsen where he became export manager at the Škoda factory. He encouraged sabotage activities by the staff which for instance resulted in a Rochester resident finding a “bomb” from the Škoda factory after a bombing that was filled with sand, instead of explosives.
At least once he sent a truck to a concentration camp under the guise of needing workers for his factory. A large number of prisoners were handed over to him and subsequently released by him in the woods.
Albert Göring repeatedly pleaded with his brother for the release or better treatment of individual Jews and dissidents. He often accepted the requests, probably to show Albert how powerful he was, but it may also have been a good reason for Hermann to limit the power of his competitors Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Himmler.
cousin Werner and cousin Henchz
Albert was not the only Göring to take on the Nazis. His cousin Werner had emigrated to the United States before the war and flew over Germany in a B-17 during 48 missions (his co-pilot had secret orders to shoot him if he tried to land in Germany). His cousin Henchz lived in Poland and was executed for refusing to abandon his Jewish neighbours when they were murdered by an SS commando.
behind bars after WWII
Albert Göring was arrested and interrogated in Nuremberg after the liberation. He spent two years behind bars solely because of his last name. He was only “released” after testimonies were given about his actions.
For his own safety, he was transferred to Argentina, where he lived for several years. Bitter years followed with periods of unemployment, during which he was financially assisted by people whose lives he had saved.
He later lived in Munich, where he worked as translator and engineerat a construction company. The man who spent his childhood in castles spent his last years in a small apartment. Many years after his death, he was completely forgotten. His name is not mentioned in the Yad Vashem memorial center. His name and actions were only remembered later, with the increasing attention for Oskar Schindler, who had carried out similar deeds as Göring.
source: wikipedia / the guardian.com
Vriesema, Ingmar (2011). Albert Göring. Uit: Het beroemde broer & zus boek. Rap, Amsterdam. p.55-59. ISBN 978-94-004-0291-1.