Hermann Göring quotes

Hermann Göring photo
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Hermann Göring

Birthdate: 12. January 1893
Date of death: 15. October 1946
Other names: Hermann Wilhelm Göring

Hermann Wilhelm Göring was a German political and military leader as well as one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi Party , which ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945. A veteran World War I fighter pilot ace, he was a recipient of the Pour le Mérite . He was the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1 , the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richthofen.

An early member of the Nazi Party, Göring was among those wounded in Adolf Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. While receiving treatment for his injuries, he developed an addiction to morphine which persisted until the last year of his life. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Göring was named as Minister Without Portfolio in the new government. One of his first acts as a cabinet minister was to oversee the creation of the Gestapo, which he ceded to Heinrich Himmler in 1934. Following the establishment of the Nazi state, Göring amassed power and political capital to become the second most powerful man in Germany. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe , a position he held until the final days of the regime. Upon being named Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan in 1936, Göring was entrusted with the task of mobilizing all sectors of the economy for war, an assignment which brought numerous government agencies under his control and helped him become one of the wealthiest men in the country. In September 1939 Hitler designated him as his successor and deputy in all his offices. After the Fall of France in 1940, he was bestowed the specially created rank of Reichsmarschall, which gave him seniority over all officers in Germany's armed forces.

By 1941, Göring was at the peak of his power and influence. As the Second World War progressed, Göring's standing with Hitler and with the German public declined after the Luftwaffe proved incapable of preventing the Allied bombing of Germany's cities and resupplying surrounded Axis forces in Stalingrad. Around that time, Göring increasingly withdrew from military and political affairs to devote his attention to collecting property and artwork, much of which was stolen from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Informed on 22 April 1945 that Hitler intended to commit suicide, Göring sent a telegram to Hitler requesting permission to assume control of the Reich. Considering his request an act of treason, Hitler removed Göring from all his positions, expelled him from the party, and ordered his arrest.

After the war, Göring was convicted of conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials in 1946. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but committed suicide by ingesting cyanide hours before the sentence was to be carried out. Wikipedia

Photo: Unknown author / Public domain

„Hitler decided that. I thought it was stupid because I believed that first we had to defeat England.“

—  Hermann Göring

To Leon Goldensohn, about attacking the Soviets (15 March 1946)
The Nuremberg Interviews (2004)

„We will go down in history either as the world's greatest statesmen or its worst villains.“

—  Hermann Göring

Statement (1937); quoted in Great Powers and Outlaw States : Unequal Sovereigns in the International Legal Order (2004) by Gerry J. Simpson, p. 291

„The Russians are primitive folk. Besides, Bolshevism is something that stifles individualism and which is against my inner nature. Bolshevism is worse than National Socialism — in fact, it can't be compared to it. Bolshevism is against private property, and I am all in favor of private property. Bolshevism is barbaric and crude, and I am fully convinced that that atrocities committed by the Nazis, which incidentally I knew nothing about, were not nearly as great or as cruel as those committed by the Communists. I hate the Communists bitterly because I hate the system. The delusion that all men are equal is ridiculous. I feel that I am superior to most Russians, not only because I am a German but because my cultural and family background are superior. How ironic it is that crude Russian peasants who wear the uniforms of generals now sit in judgment on me. No matter how educated a Russian might be, he is still a barbaric Asiatic. Secondly, the Russian generals and the Russian government planned a war against Germany because we represented a threat to them ideologically. In the German state, I was the chief opponent of Communism. I admit freely and proudly that it was I who created the first concentration camps in order to put Communists in them. Did I ever tell you that funny story about how I sent to Spain a ship containing mainly bricks and stones, under which I put a single layer of ammunition which had been ordered by the Red government in Spain? The purpose of that ship was to supply the waning Red government with munitions. That was a good practical joke and I am proud of it because I wanted with all my heart to see Russian Communism in Spain defeated finally.“

—  Hermann Göring

To Leon Goldensohn (28 May 1946)
The Nuremberg Interviews (2004)

„The Jew must clearly understand one thing at once, he must get out!“

—  Hermann Göring

Speech in Vienna after the Austrian Anschluss (1938); when asked at the Nuremberg trials whether he meant what he said in this speech he replied "Yes, approximately." As reported from testimony in the Imperial War Museum, Folio 645, Box 156, , (20 October 1945), pp. 5-6

„The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!“

—  Hermann Göring

Statement at a luncheon on 20 April 1942, as recounted by General Franz Halder, about the Reichstag Fire, which the Nazis had blamed on "Communist instigators" in securing many of their dictatorial powers. In a way that might indicate Göring was simply joking, Halder testified: "At a luncheon on the birthday of Hitler in 1942 the conversation turned to the topic of the Reichstag building and its artistic value. I heard with my own ears when Göring interrupted the conversation and shouted: 'The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!' With that he slapped his thigh with the flat of his hand." Göring later testified: "I had nothing to do with it. I deny this absolutely. I can tell you in all honesty, that the Reichstag fire proved very inconvenient to us. After the fire I had to use the Kroll Opera House as the new Reichstag and the opera seemed to me much more important than the Reichstag. I must repeat that no pretext was needed for taking measures against the Communists. I already had a number of perfectly good reasons in the forms of murders, etc."

„I especially denounce the terrible mass murders, which I cannot understand … I never ordered any killing or tortures where I had the power to prevent such actions!“

—  Hermann Göring

Göring's closing statement to the Nuremberg tribunal (31 August 1946); as quoted in Witness to Nuremberg (2006) by Richard Sonnenfeldt, p. 70

„No. It was the last hours and he (Hitler) was under pressure. If I could have seen him personally it would have been different.“

—  Hermann Göring

To Leon Goldensohn, after being asked if he felt any resentment toward Hitler (15 March 1946)
The Nuremberg Interviews (2004)

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„If I didn't have a sense of humor, how could I stand this trial now?“

—  Hermann Göring

To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
The Nuremberg Interviews (2004)

„I will decide who is a Jew!“

—  Hermann Göring

Göring is stated to have said this in Non-Germans Under the Third Reich: The Nazi Judicial and Administrative System in Germany (2003) by Diemut Majer, p. 60, and in other works, but he might have merely been repeating or paraphrasing the statement, Wer a Jud is, bestimm ich (Only I will decide who is a Jew) which in Strangers at Home and Abroad: Recollections of Austrian Jews Who Escaped Hitler (2000) by Adi Wimmer, p. 6, is said to have originated with Vienna mayor Karl Lueger in response to the observation that despite his anti-semitic speeches he still dined with Jews.
Misattributed

„Excellency, please sign. I hate to say it, but my job is not the easiest one. Prague, your capital- I should be terribly sorry if I were compelled to destroy this beautiful city. But I would have to do it, to make the English and French understand that my air force can do all it claims to do. Because they still don't want to believe this is so, and I should like an opportunity of giving them proof.“

—  Hermann Göring

Said by Goering to the President of Czechoslovakia Emile Hácha on March 15, 1939, when Hácha, tired and under heavy pressure from Hitler to sign a document effectively handing his country over to Germany, nonetheless tried to resist signing. Hácha eventually gave up, and the combined pressure that Hitler and Goering had put on him caused Hácha to have a heart attack at 4:00 that morning. As quoted in On Borrowed Time: How World War II Began (1969) by Leonard Mosley, p. 167.

„The people were merely to acknowledge the authority of the Führer, or, let us say, to declare themselves in agreement with the Führer. If they gave the Führer their confidence then it was their concern to exercise the other functions. Thus, not the individual persons were to be selected according to the will of the people, but solely the leadership itself.“

—  Hermann Göring

Statement (18 March 1946) Cross Examination of Hermann Goering "Eighty-Fourth Day, Monday, 3/18/1946, Part 16" http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/nuremberg/Goering1.html in Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal Vol. IX. Proceedings: 3/8/1946-3/23/1946 (1947)

„Why has this silly engine suddenly turned up, which is so idiotically welded together? They told me then, there would be two engines connected behind each other, and suddenly there appears this misbegotten monster of welded-together engines one cannot get at!“

—  Hermann Göring

Comment by Goering to a report submitted to him by Oberst Edgar Petersen, the Kommandeur der Erprobungsstellen (commander of German military aircraft test facilties in the Third Reich) on August 13 1942, regarding the usage and deficient installation design for the trouble-prone, complex Daimler-Benz DB 606 "power system" powerplants for the He 177A, Nazi Germany's only operational heavy bomber, which was suffering from an unending series of engine fires.
The Nuremberg Interviews (2004)
Source: [Heinkel He 177-277-274, Manfred, Griehl, Joachim, Dressel, Airlife Publishing, Shrewsbury, UK, 1998, 52, October 28, 2012]

„It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito.“

—  Hermann Göring

This statement was attributed to Goering in at least one book on World War II, but it was removed from the English Wikipedia page on him on grounds that it was not actually verified that Goering had ever said it.
Disputed
Context: In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now! It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that? There is nothing the British do not have. They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops. After the war is over I'm going to buy a British radio set – then at least I'll own something that has always worked.

„Ah, the Jews, the Jews, they'll be the death of me yet!“

—  Hermann Göring

Exclamation made by Göring in November 1938, soon after Kristallnacht. He returned from a day of dealing with the aftermath of the vandalism and looting to find his wife Emmy asking him to help Jewish friends of hers yet again, and the following day, received a note from Hitler, indicating this assistance must stop. As quoted in The Reich Marshal: A Biography of Hermann Goering (1974) by Leonard Mosley, p. 229.
Context: Now you see. You are even turning the Fuehrer against me. Ah, the Jews, the Jews, they'll be the death of me yet!

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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