Hermann Göring

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Hermann Wilhelm Göring (or Goering;[2] German pronunciation: [ˈɡœʁɪŋ]  ( listen); 12 January 1893– 15 October 1946)[1] was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of the First World War as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite ("The Blue Max"). He was the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1, the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richthofen, "The Red Baron".

In 1935 Göring was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe (or German Air Force), a position he was to hold until the final days of the Second World War. By mid-1940, Göring was at the peak of his power and influence. Hitler had promoted him to the rank of Reichsmarschall, making Göring senior to all other Wehrmacht commanders, and in 1941 Hitler designated him as his successor and deputy in all his offices. By 1942, with the German war effort stumbling on both fronts, Göring's standing with Hitler was very greatly reduced. Göring largely withdrew from the military and political scene to enjoy the pleasures of life as a wealthy and powerful man. After the Second World War, Göring was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but committed suicide by cyanide ingestion the night before he was due to be hanged.

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