Hermann William Göring

World War I fighter pilot; Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe; President of the Reichstag; Creator of the Gestapo; and designated successor to Hitler. Hermann Göring was a veteran World War I pilot and served as the commander of Richtofen's squadron (the Red Baron) from July 1918 until the end of the war. After the war he served as a test pilot and attended Munich university. In 1922, he met Adolf Hitler, joined the Nazi party and became commander of the SA (Storm Troopers or Brownshirts). During the 1930's Göring played a major role in the Nazi rise to power. He was elected to the Reichstag in 1928 and became President of the Reichstag in 1932. After Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, he appointed Göring Minister of the Interior, Prussian prime minister and air commissioner. In 1935 he began to secretly create and expand the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) after his appointed as Reichsminister for Air. During the opening phases of World War II he achieved much success especially in the Battles of Poland, Norway, and France. After the fall of France in 1940, his command was met with many setbacks including: the failure to stop the British evacuation at Dunkirk; the defeat of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain (where the Luftwaffe suffered heavy and irreplaceable casualties); and the failure to relieve the beleaguered German army in Stalingrad. Göring was the chosen successor to Hitler until 1945 when Hitler named Admiral Donitz the successor. Göring was captured after the war and tried at the Nuremberg Trials and sentenced to hang. However, he committed suicide in 1946 before he could be hanged.

Birth Location: 
Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany
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Death Location: 
Nurnberg, Germany
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