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Brother Of Infamous Nazi Could Be Honored For Saving Jews

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Goering and Hitler, 1938.

Goering and Hitler, 1938.

Goering and Hitler, 1938.

Mention the name of Hermann Goering and a shudder will run down the spine of anyone familiar with the Nazi period during the 1930’s and 1940’s. He was Commander-in-Chief of the Nazi Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia and the designated successor to Adolf Hitler should Hitler ever become incapacitated. In short, the second powerful man in the Third Reich.

But, there is another story to the name Goering.

Albert Goering, the younger brother of the infamous Nazi, is now among the candidates up for receiving the Righteous Among the Nations award. Albert was a German businessman who died in 1966, and according to several reports, he saved hundreds of Jews during World War II by petitioning to have them released or securing exit permits from concentration camps.

A file is currently being prepared for his candidacy at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and research center in Jerusalem. Others to have been given the honor include Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who is believed to have saved more than 1,200 Jews during the Second World War by employing them in his factories.

According to William Hastings Burke’s book published in 2009, Thirty Four, Albert was a defiant anti-Nazi who smuggled Jews across the borders, funneled aid to refugees across Europe and did everything in his power to undermine his brother’s regime. Yad Vashem is examining evidence including testimony from US interrogators, Gestapo reports and statements from people he rescued. On one occasion he is said to have asked for the release of a doctor called Dachau, but confusion resulted in two men with the same surname being set free. One report even went as far as nothing that Albert loathed Nazi conventions, refusing to use the “Heil Hitler” greeting said in his company.

In spite of the brothers’ discordant political views, they remained close throughout their lives. It is well documented that the younger Goering used the family name as a way to shield him from having to face the Gestapo for his libel actions, and likely that this passed in silence due to the older Goering’s high status.

After the war ended, Albert spent two years in prison, where he was put on trial in Prague for his wartime role. He was eventually acquitted due to helpful testimony from factory workers.

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