Herman Goering – The Life of a Nazi Official
Herman Goering was one of the highest ranking Nazis in Hitler's regime. He was at one point identified as Hitler's next in line. Goering attended military school as a child. He began his career as a German fighter pilot in World War I. He was wounded in the war and spent several months on convalescent leave. However, he was ultimately able to return to service and was awarded the Ordre Pour le Merite. He became one of the best-known German pilots by the end of the war. After the war, he did brief jobs as a stunt pilot and commercial pilot.
In 1922, he joined the Nazi party after hearing Hitler speak and began a very swift upward climb. As soon as he had sworn his allegiance to Hitler, he was made the commander of the SA. He marched in the Beer Hall Putsch with Hitler in an attempt to overthrow the government. Goering was seriously injured in this encounter and fled the country to recover. It is during this time that Goering began what would become a lifetime addiction to morphine. He was admitted to an asylum in Sweden to battle the addition in 1925 and claimed that he beat it.
In 1928, Goering obtained one of 11 Nazi seats in the parliament. He became Hitler's political representative in Berlin in 1930 and president of the Reichstag in 1932. When Hitler took power in 1933, Goering was close on his heels. He was given the post of Minister without Portfolio, was made acting commissar for the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, and was appointed Commander in Chief of the German Air Force. Throughout 1933, Goering made many significant changes. He appointed the SA and SS as auxiliary police personnel and formed the Gestapo, or Secret State Police. Goering held a great deal of power within the Nazi party.
In 1934, Goering was declared Hitler's successor. In 1936 he became the Commissar for Raw Materials and Foreign Currency and Commissioner for the Four-Year Plan. In 1938, Hitler appointed Goering to Field Marshall General. In 1939, Hitler named him the Chairman of the Reich Defense Council. By 1940, he had become Reich Marshall of the Greater German Reich. Goering's fall was as swift as his climb. In 1941, he was blamed for damage to German forces from the British. In 1945, Goering asks Hitler for authorization to become his successor. Hitler names him a traitor and strips him of all offices. Goering was sentenced to death in the Nuremberg trials, but committed suicide before the sentence was carried out.