Hermann Goering, future head of the Nazi war economy, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe and chosen successor to Adolf Hitler, was a morphine addict and refugee from German justice. His chances of recovery depended on his Swedish wife, Karin. Her wealthy family had agreed to pay for his treatment at a private clinic. After attacking a nurse he was put in a straitjacket and deposited in a lunatic asylum. There was no guarantee he would see the outside world again. However, with Karin at his side, he quit the morphine and regained his health.
This was significant, not only for the Nazi movement but also for his brother Albert.
Two years Hermann's junior, Albert loathed Hitler from day one. Had Hermann not achieved immense power, Albert's feelings about the Nazis would have had little consequence. As it was, he saved hundreds, perhaps thousands of people across Europe from persecution, spending nearly a decade working against his brother's regime, rescuing humble shopkeepers and heads of state, running escape routes, hauling prisoners out of concentration camps, influencing policy and assisting the Resistance.
But none of this would have been possible without Hermann. During preparations for the Nuremberg trials, Albert informed his sceptical Allied interrogators that, 'Hermann Goering often saved his life and never tried to curtail his Samaritan activities, only cautioning him to have some consideration for his position.
They had located a base there in response to rumours that German troops might attempt to regroup in that mountainous region and launch a rearguard action. Large numbers of soldiers were fleeing in that direction seeking safety, clogging roads already jammed with civilian refugees.
Among their number was Hermann Goering, who had set off towards inevitable capture in the style of a warlord embarking on a triumphal procession through his homeland. Surrounded by his close family and attendants, sporting his array of medals, trailing a conspicuous amount of luggage, he passed through the throngs of defeated and dispossessed, their morale momentarily lifted by the sight of the Reichsmarschall in all his brazen glory, seemingly unaffected by the disasters that had befallen him.
The young American officer could not believe his luck. He had been fruitlessly scouring the region only to run into Hermann, full of bonhomie and delighted to be arrested. When Albert turned himself in a few hours earlier he was seriously ill. Suffering from inflammation and swelling of the liver, compounded by heart problems, he had dragged himself off his sick bed in order to fulfil what he considered to be his duty. As the brother of one of the most influential men in the Third Reich he believed it essential he set the record straight at the earliest opportunity.
Both brothers regarded the Americans as potential saviours. Neither felt guilty of any crimes and expected fair treatment. They were equally mistaken, failing to grasp the victors' determination to set a precedent for future conflicts. In Albert's case the miscalculation was understandable given that he had resisted the Nazis in any way he could.
For Hermann it was symptomatic of the degree of delusion and denial he was capable of. Their geographical proximity when arrested was an example of the strange synchronicity that existed between them. Despite having had no contact for months, no information about each other's whereabouts, or of their fate, both sought refuge in the familiar surroundings of their youth.
When Hermann Goering entered the world on 12 January , his family had been in the service of the Prussian state for over years. His earliest ancestor on record was an economic administrator for Frederick the Great. His father, Heinrich Goering, worked in the consular service. As a young man Heinrich had fought in the wars against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the French which had made possible the unification of a disparate federation of states and principalities into a single Germany under the dominance of Prussia and its mercurial chancellor, Bismarck.
Its territorial integrity secure, the new Germany looked to expansion, eyeing jealously the global empires of its main rivals. The options available for realising Germany's imperial ambitions were already disappearing fast as its established competitors made their own headlong dash to wrest control of the remaining bits of the map from their indigenous populations.
Africa was the focus of much of this attention, having only recently been opened up to the European. The fear that Germany might miss out altogether was not shared by Bismarck, who was always suspicious of the actual value of colonies, having declared them to be 'good for nothing but supply stations'.
But, ever the opportunist, in he seized a broad strip of West Africa, encompassing an area that today includes Namibia and Cameroon, on the flimsy pretext that Germany's main trading outlet at Angra Pequena needed some extra protection. He was accompanied by his second wife, Fanny. His first wife had died not long before he had received the appointment, having borne him five children. Fanny, a mere nineteen years old, had captivated Heinrich with her startling blue eyes. As Resident Minister, Heinrich was expected to create conditions under which Germans could prosper.
First an accommodation had to be reached with the two dominant tribes in the region, the Herero and the Nam.
Heinrich had no military support to speak of and therefore relied on their goodwill. They also controlled the cattle trade, which dominated economic activity in the province. Heinrich set about drawing up conditions that would respect their autonomy. In exchange for the right to trade freely without harassment and control over foreign policy, Heinrich agreed to honour the sanctity of their laws, customs and property.
These treaties helped secure peace for the rest of Heinrich's stay — not that this was entirely down to his efforts. The tribes were preoccupied with a long-running war between them, while the actual number of Germans in the colony remained tiny. In any case, much of the territory under Heinrich's management was nothing but desert. In effect he had very little to administer.
Then his young bride became pregnant.
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Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering became the leader of the Nazis' economic war machine and supreme commander of the Luftwaffe.
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His brother Albert, seven years Hermann's junior, loathed Hitler, however, and saved hundreds of people across Europe from Nazi persecution. Despite the profound gulf between their beliefs, each believed sincerely that the other was only doing what he considered to be right. After reading History at Cambridge, James Wyllie became a screen and television writer. His recent achievements include screenplays for The Bill and the award-winning The Tribe. James lives in London and this is his first book.
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The Warlord and the Renegade
We use Royal Mail for shipping. This would be a good book for additional research in the field. Nov 06, Johanna rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , biography. I enjoyed this read very much.
James Wyllie paints a whole different picture of the Goering brothers. Hermann might have been delusional but after reading this book I can't help seeing him as a man with great character Memorable quotes: 13 May, - interrogation centre, Augsberg "The brothers were allowed to walk a few paces together. Memorable quotes: 13 May, - interrogation centre, Augsberg "The brothers were allowed to walk a few paces together Hermann said: "I am very sorry that it is you who has to suffer so much because of me.
You will be free soon. A friend put me on to this book because over the years I've contemplated the fact that I may be distantly related to the infamous Hermann.
An interesting historical account of two brothers that were polar opposites. I was more fascinated and interested in the accounts of Albert, the anti-Nazi brother, and amazed by the countless numbers of people he helped to survive the war. Jul 29, Nick rated it liked it. More of a biography of Hermann, leaving Albert still something of enigma. I have the german edition: Albert Goering.
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About James Wyllie. James Wyllie. Books by James Wyllie. Trivia About The Warlord and t No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from The Warlord and t The fear of death surpasses all other feelings and terrible compulsion alone drives the soldier forward.