Hermann Göring

From Kaiserreich

Hermann Wilhelm Göring (born in January, 12 1893 in Rosenheim, Germany) is a German fighter pilot, politician and colonial adminstrator. Known as a war hero of the Flying Circus during the Weltkrieg, he is the second and current Statthalter of the Freistaat Mittelafrika since 1934.

Contents

Biography

Family background and childhood

Göring was born at the sanatorium Marienbad in Rosenheim, Bavaria. His father was Heinrich Ernst Göring, the first Governor-General of the German protectorate of South West Africa, former cavalry officer and member of the German consular service. Göring had among his patrilineal ancestors Eberle/Eberlin, a Swiss-German family of high bourgeoisie. His mother was Franziska "Fanny" Tiefenbrunn came from a Bavarian peasant family. The marriage of a gentleman to a woman from lower class occurred only because Heinrich Ernst Göring was a widower. Göring was one of five children; his brothers were famous businessman Albert Göring and Karl Ernst Göring, and his sisters were Olga Therese Sophia and Paula Elisabeth Rosa Göring, the last of whom were from his father's first marriage.

Göring later claimed his given name was chosen to honour the Arminius who defeated the legions of Rome at Teutoburg Forest. However the name was possibly to honour his godfather, born Hermann Epenstein. Epenstein, whose father was an army surgeon in Berlin, became a wealthy physician and businessman and a major if not paternal influence on Göring's childhood. Much of Hermann's very early childhood, including a lengthy separation from his parents when his father took diplomatic posts in Africa and in Haiti (climates ruled too brutal for a young European child), was spent with governesses and with distant relatives. However, upon Heinrich Göring's retirement ca. 1898 his large family, supported solely on Heinrich's civil service pension, became for financially practical reasons the houseguests of their longtime friend and Göring's probable namesake, a man whose minor title (acquired through service and donation to the Crown) made him now known as Hermann, Ritter von Epenstein.

Ritter von Epenstein purchased two largely dilapidated castles, Burg Veldenstein in Bavaria and Schloss Mauterndorf near Salzburg, Austria, whose very expensive restorations were ongoing by the time of Hermann Göring's birth. Both castles were to be residences to the Göring family, their official "caretakers" until 1913. Both castles were also ultimately to be his property. Even if some rumours reported that Epenstein was maybe his brother Albert's true father, the young Hermann Göring enjoyed a close relationship with his godfather.

Relations between the Göring family and von Epenstein became far more formal during Göring's adolescence. By the time of Heinrich Göring's death, the family no longer lived in a residence supplied by or seemed to have much contact at all with von Epenstein (though the family's comfortable circumstances indicate the Ritter may have continued to support them financially). Late in his life, Ritter von Epenstein wed a singer, Lily, who was half his age, bequeathing her his estate in his will, but requesting that she in turn bequeath the castles at Mauterndorf and Veldenstein to his godson Hermann upon her own death.

Weltkrieg

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Göring in the cockpit of his Albatros D.III

Göring was sent to boarding school at Ansbach, Franconia and then attended the cadet institutes at Karlsruhe and the military college at Berlin Lichterfelde. Göring was commissioned in the Prussian army on June 22, 1912 in the Prinz Wilhelm Regiment (112th Infantry), headquartered at Mülhausen as part of the 29th Division of the Imperial German Army.

During the first year of the Weltkrieg, Göring served with an infantry regiment in the Vosges region. He was hospitalised with Rheumatism resulting from the damp of trench warfare. While he was recovering, his friend Bruno Loerzer convinced him to transfer to the Luftstreitkräfte. Göring's application to transfer was immediately turned down. But later that year Göring flew as Loerzer's observer in Feldflieger Ableilung (FFA) 25 - Göring had arranged his own transfer. He was detected and sentenced to three weeks' confinement to barracks. The sentence was never carried out: by the time it was imposed Göring's association with Loerzer had been regularised. They were assigned as a team to the 25th Field Air Detachment of the Kronprinz's Fifth Army. They flew reconnaissance and bombing missions for which the Kronprinz Wilhelm invested both Göring and Loerzer with the Iron Cross, first class.

On completing his pilot's training course he was posted back to Feldflieger Ableilung (FFA) 2 in October 1915. Göring had already claimed two air victories as an Observer (one unconfirmed). He gained another flying a Fokker EIII single-seater scout in March 1916. In October 1916 he was posted to Jagdstaffel 5, but was wounded in action in November. In February 1917 he joined Jagdstaffel 26. He now scored steadily until in May 1917 he got his first command, Jasta 27. Serving with Jastas 5, 26 and 27, he claimed 21 air victories. Besides the Iron Cross, he was awarded the Zaehring Lion with swords, the Karl Friedrich Order and the House Order of Hohenzollern with swords, third class, and finally in May 1918 (despite not having the required 25 air victories) the coveted Pour le Mérite. On 7 July 1918, after the death of Wilhelm Reinhard, the successor of Manfred von Richthofen, he was made commander of the Jagdgeschwader 1. Göring finished the war with more than thirty confirmed kills.

Entry in Pan-Germanism

Even if he despised by most of his former fellows from the Flying Circus, Göring was among the many war heroes of the German Air Force: as such, he was made one of the first Generalmajors of the newly established Luftstreitkräfte in 1925. Remaining in the German Air Force after the Weltkrieg, he occasionnaly sold his services as a private pilot for some businessmen, such as Swedish explorer Eric Count von Rosen, who make him meet his sister-in-law and future Göring's first wife, Karin Fock, who was then married to Baron Niels Gustav von Kantzow. Göring later married her. Both ardent nationalists, the Göring couple eagerly accepted the settlement proposals of German people in the United Baltic Duchy in 1926. For the government, Göring was still viewed as a war hero, and the fact that he would gave the example by participating to the Drang Nach Osten could be a major propaganda boost.

However, then settled in Riga, Göring took contact with the most virulent Pan-Germanist and nationalist circles, who were already virulent in the UBD. He soon begun to advocate anti-Semitism, superiority of the German people and agressive policies towards the Estonian and Latvian native populations. Along with other war veterans, he became engaged in local politics and even assaults against remote Native places, such as attacks against isolated farms. The scandal blew out in 1929, then Göring was wounded during a gunfight near a Latvian village in western United Baltic Duchy. The local government vehemently protested to Berlin: Göring was fired from the German Air Service, his ennoblement process that had been enabled by the Kaiser Wilhelm II was cancelled, and he was recalled to Germany.

However, Göring came back not as a broken hero but as a hero of the German valors, struggling to make them respected. He continued his rise in nationalist politics, appearing with Grossdeutsche Volkspartei's chairman Ernst Röhm or even congratulating Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia for his support to the Pan-Germanist cause. In the 1931 general elections, Göring presented in Bavaria as an independant candidate, supported by Bavarian serparatists and local Pan-Germanists, and was elected to the Reichstag as Representative for Bavaria. At the Reichstag, Göring made curious speeches, advocating for expelling all German Jews to Madagascar or a preventive attack against Commune of France. Göring's popularity both as a flamboyant politician and a war hero came to be troubling for the German government.

Mandate as Statthalter

Resignations of Wilhelm Sölf and Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, respectively Vice-Statthalter and Statthalter of the newly established Freistaat Mittelafrika, permitted to the German government to find a way to put Göring far from Germany's concerns. Advocating that, due to his father's brilliant career in colonial duty, Göring would be the best man as Governor of Mittelafrika, Kaiser Wilhelm II and then Reichskanzler Oskar von Hutier named Göring Statthalter of the Free State of Central Africa on February, 28 1934, a choice that was ratified by the Reichstag. Göring accepted with joy the offer, resigned as a Reichstag deputy, chose the respected ethnologist Erich Schultz-Ewerth as his Vice-Governor and arrived at Daressalaam to take office.

In less than two years in office, Göring, even if he knew that he was nominated there only to put the disturbing character he was far from continental Germany, took his mandate with seriousness. He relaunched oil and gold search in the Katanga, ended the constant guerilla warfare with the Native tribes by naming Prince Alexander Duala Manga Bell as Secretary for Security Issues, and took responsability in the build of the railway throughout Abyssinia.

Suspicion of personal rule wills

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Göring, eccentric landlord or future tyrant?

The Freistaat Mittelafrika, established in order to give to the huge German Empire's African territories a particular status allowing investors and settles to start a new life in the depopulated areas of Central Africa, gives to its Staathalters almost absolute power over their subjects. The only obligation that Göring has is a monthly tribute to Berlin, and that's all: this semi-autonomous region is the first in Africa by its size, and sucks a large part of Germany's economy and manpower for a few return.

Göring quickly understood that and he began to rule as some sort of eccentric warlord, beginning the build of a Bavarian-style castle in Togoland or organizing private safaris in the savannah, for him or prestigious visitors. These acts amused most of German political class, but it's only the visible part of the iceberg. Many police reports affirmed that under Göring's rule, most of Mittelafrika's budget was lost into corruption or drug and arms trafficking. Even if some loyalist officers such as Ernst Jünger try to act as caretakers, Göring by his absolute rule, who was determinant for repressing the constant Native insurrections, has managed to attract around him a court of adventurers and avid supporters, such as Theodore von Hippel or Joachim von Ribbentrop. Most of the colonial soldiers in Mittelafrika are bored persons, who miss their time during the Weltkrieg and eagerly expect for some action in future wars. They see Göring as a providential man, supporting him then he revived the claims over Mozambique and Angola, much to Portugal's disapproval.

As a colonial administrator, Göring has proven he had some skills on it, and found a post that was enough to fulfill his megalomaniac expectations. But the question of his future decisions lies for the German government: will he contribute to the expansion of the German Empire by his desperado behaviour? Will he unilaterally declare Mittelafrika's independance and acts as some sort of half-god in his African kingdom? Will he stay loyal to Germany if a new Weltkrieg broke out and turns to the disfavour of the Motherland? Only the strange Statthalter could even answer such questions.

Family life

After having divorced from her husband, Karin von Kantzow née Fock, who was already mother of a little Thomas, married Göring on January, 3 1923 in Stockholm. Baron von Kantzow provided a financial settlement to the couple, enabling them to buy a hunting lodge in the Bavarian Alps. They still don't have any children.

Göring's cabinet 1934-...

Statthalter: Hermann Göring

Vice-Statthalter: Erich Schultz-Ewerth

Secretary for Relations with Germany: Joachim von Ribbentrop

Secretary for Economic Exploitation: August Stauch

Secretary for Security Issues: Alexander Duala Manga Bell

Head of the local branch of the Abwehr: Theodore von Hippel

Chief of General Staff of the Colonial Army: Ernst Jünger

Commander-in-Chief of the Colonial Ground Forces: Hermann Detzner

Commander-in-Chief of the Colonial Navy: Max von Loof

Commander-in-Chief of the Colonial Air Force: Paul Graetz

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