Albert Göring was a German-Austrian engineer, Nazi opponent, humanitarian and the younger brother of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring.
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'A friend is someone who will risk his fortune, his safety, even his life when you need him.'
Albert Günther Göring (AKA Albert Goering) was born in Friedenau, Germany, on the 9th of March 1895. He was the fifth child of Heinrich Ernst Göring (1839 – 1913) and Franziska Göring, née Tiefenbrunn (1859 – 1923). His mother, Fanny, as she was affectionately known, came from a respected farming family split between Tyrol (Austria) and Southern Bavaria (Germany). His father came from northwest Germany and a long line of Prussian statesmen and bureaucrats.
Before Albert’s birth, Heinrich himself served as the Reichskommissar (Imperial Commissioner) of German South-West Africa and the German Consul General to Haiti.
💡Albert’s parents were actually married in England: St James’ Church, London, on the 28th of May 1885, to be precise.
Albert was the youngest of a large family. He had five half-siblings through his father’s earlier marriage to Ida Remd and four full* brothers and sisters, including Karl Ernst (b. 3 August 1885), Olga Sofie Therese (b. 16 January 1889), Paula Rosa Elisabeth (b. 13 May 1890) and of course, the future Reichsmarschall and Nazi war criminal, Hermann Wilhelm Göring (b. 12 January 1893).
Source: Elizabeth Goering | Date: 1895
Albert Göring – the other brother
Source: Elizabeth Goering | Date: ca. 1908
Upon Albert Göring’s birth, Dr Hermann von Epenstein, a wealthy doctor and family friend, became the godfather and benefactor to all of the Göring children. At the same time, the family moved from the Berlin area to reside in Epenstein’s Franconian castle, Burg Veldenstein. In the summers, the family lived in Burg Mauterndorf, a castle newly acquired by Epenstein in the Tauern mountains of Austria.
💡There is a strong case that Albert’s birth was the result of an affair between his mother Fanny and Epenstein. That would make Albert only a half-brother to Hermann and possibly a quarter Jewish. Epenstein’s father was a Catholic convert from Judaism.
The Göring brothers enjoyed the same privileged childhood yet in very different ways. While Hermann climbed mountains and played soldiers, Albert was said to be a cautious child, preferring the indoors and the arts. As Hermann once summed up his relationship with Albert: “He was always the antithesis of myself. He was not politically or militarily interested; I was. He was quiet, reclusive; I like crowds and company.”1
These differences transferred into their schooling. Hermann was a troubled student. He was shifted through various boarding and military schools. Whereas Albert was considered studious and well-behaved. He was sent to the local Volksschule (elementary school) in Velden, a Progymnasium (junior high school) in Hersbruck and a Munich Realgymnasium in preparation for university. Just after he had completed his final exams, World War I broke out.
Albert Göring in a nutshell
On the 2nd of August 1914, Albert Göring signed up to the 6th Bavarian Reserve Division as a communications engineer. While Hermann would soar to the heights of a famed fighter ace, Albert fought in the trenches on the Western Front. His war started with injury at the First Battle of Ypres on the 14th of November 1914 and ended with a bullet wound to the abdomen in July 1918.
By the time he was discharged in Munich on the 15th of August 1918, the Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant) had become the Communications Unit Leader of the 103rd Bavarian Division and by his own admission, the winner of the Iron Cross – 1st and 2nd class.
The following autumn, Albert enrolled at what is now called the Technical University of Munich to study mechanical engineering. He graduated in 1923 and took a graduate position at IG Farben followed by a role at Professor Junkers Kaloriferwerk in 1925.
Albert attended the same Munich university as Heinrich Himmler, although in different faculties.
Meanwhile, Albert had found love twice. As a student, he married the twenty-one-year-old Marie von Ammon on the 16th of March 1921. Two years later, he married the thirty-six-year-old Erna von Miltner on the 10th of September 1923.
In 1927, Albert and Erna moved to Vienna, where he based himself as the Junkers’ representative to Austria, Hungary and southern Czechoslovakia. Two years after Hermann and the Nazi Party seized power in Germany, Albert applied for Austrian citizenship on the 23rd of March 1935.
Oberleutnant Albert Göring
Source: Elizabeth Goering | Date: 1914-1918
Albert "Show Business" Göring
Source: Elizabeth Goering | Date: ca. 1937
The first time Albert Göring helped a victim of the Nazi regime was due to a request from his brother, Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring. Towards the end of 1937, Hermann called Albert in Vienna to see if he could help the film star, Henny Porten. Her career and livelihood had come under threat in Germany when she refused to divorce her Jewish husband.
At the time, Albert was working in Vienna as the technical director of Austria’s largest film company, Tobis-Sascha Filmindustrie AG. Albert gave Henny a lifeline by arranging a contract for her at Tobis-Sascha.
During and after the chaos of the Anschluss in March 1938, Albert intervened on the behalf of not only his Jewish colleagues in the film industry. According to eyewitness accounts, he protected and facilitated the escape of a broad spectrum of people, everyone from his boss at Tobis-Sascha, Oskar Pilzer, Austrian Chancellor Dr Kurt von Schuschnigg and Archduke Joseph Ferdinand to scientists, doctors and strangers in the street.
Years later, under interrogation in Nuremberg, Albert described a situation where he protected an old Jewish lady in Vienna, who had been harassed and forced to wear the sign ‘I’m a Jewish sow” by a group of SA stormtroopers:
“I went in at once and liberated her, and while I did so, got into trouble with two SA men; and I hit them, and was arrested immediately.” 2 Albert Göring
Göring’s List - The Vienna Circle
Less than two months after the total German annexation of Czecholosovakia, Albert Göring agreed to join the Škoda Works on the 4th of May 1939 as an export director. It was a strategic move initiated by Bruno Seletzky, a former business associate of Albert’s in Vienna. The industrial conglomerate had just been swallowed up by Hermann’s growing industrial empire, Reichswerke Hermann Göring.
Knowing Albert’s position towards the Nazi regime, it was hoped that Albert would provide a buffer between the Czech management and their German counterparts.
As soon as he had arrived at Škoda HQ in Pilsen, it became clear that Seletzky’s plan would pay dividends. As Škoda’s chairman Vilém Hromádko later testified: “In my company, as well as in the company of other Czech directors, he always openly spoke out against Hitler.”3
According to the testimony of other Škoda directors, Albert intervened on the behalf of a number of his Škoda colleagues, such as Jan Moravek, František Zrno, Alfons Pler, Josef Schwarz, Jaroslav Vanek and František Dolensky and more.
There is also evidence that Albert aided the Czech Resistance by supplying information to agents, namely Dr Josef Charvát and Karel Staller. Staller later testified that he had received intelligence from Albert, warning of the 1940 invasion of the Low Countries and France:
“Göring told me about the preparations for the invasion around three weeks before its start, and within four days Bucharest already had the exact data.”4 Karel Staller
Export Director Albert Göring
Source: Elizabeth Goering | Date: ca. 1943
Albert and Mila Göring
Source: Elizabeth Goering | Date: 1942
Going by the Gestapo reports at the time, Albert Göring’s actions were monitored and recorded by the local Gestapo in Prague. Even his relationship with the former Czech beauty queen, Mila Klazarova, did not go unnoticed.
Despite the threat, Albert and Mila married in Salzburg on the 23rd of June 1942. Notably absent from the wedding was big brother Hermann.
By the summer of 1944, Albert had become a marked man. Stuck in Bucharest amidst the Red Army’s advance into Romania, Albert learnt that his travel privileges had been frozen and SS Obergruppenführer Karl Hermann Frank had issued a request for Albert’s arrest.
He managed to evade capture and eventually made it to his brother in Berlin via Prague, only to learn that more charges had been filed by the Gestapo. After an enquiry, Albert was exonerated of all charges on the 13th of October 1944.
That marked the end of Albert’s war against the Nazi regime. He was soon reunited with Mila and his baby daughter, Elizabeth Göring, in Bad Ischl, Austria.
Göring’s List - The Resistance
The day after Victory in Europe was declared, Albert Göring reported to the US Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) base in Salzburg on the 9th of May 1945. He was then formally arrested on the 13th of May 1945 and transferred to the Seventh Army Interrogation Center (SAIC) in Augsburg, Germany, where his brother Hermann was also interned. It would be the last time the Göring brothers would see each other.
Albert was interrogated on numerous occasions, including by the American prosecution in Nuremberg. His claims were not well received. As the interpreter, Richard W. Sonnenfeldt, later noted: “He was highly nervous. He would tell an amazing story that I found hard to believe at the time because he was just not a convincing witness.”5
To reinforce his defence, Albert submitted a detailed list of the thirty-four most prominent beneficiaries of his deeds, including contact details. There is no evidence that the prosecution team called up a single witness from the list to verify his claims.
Albert was then shifted from one US internment camp to the next until his release was recommended on the 31st of July 1946 by Major Victor Parker in Darmstadt.
It was too late. He had already been marked for extradition to the Czechs for interrogation. Less than a month after his brother had committed suicide in Nuremberg, Albert’s case was heard at the 14th Extraordinary People’s Court in Prague.
With his former Czech colleagues coming to his defence, Albert was found not guilty and his release was ordered on 14th March 1947. The next month, he was reunited with his family in Scharnitz, Austria.
Reason for arrest: Brother of Hermann Goering
Source: Elizabeth Goering | Date: 1937
Not even a cross to mark the life of Albert Göring
Source: Supplied | Date: 2007
Life after the war was hard for Albert Göring and his family. He couldn’t shake the scar that his brother had brought to the Göring name. Refusing to change his name, he was unable to find work and reportedly, fell into depression. Things went from bad to worse.
From October 1947 to early 1948, he was treated for jaundice in an Innsbruck hospital. At the same time, the Americans made multiple attempts to apprehend and bring him in for questioning in Wiesbaden. That same year, his marriage to Mila ended. She would later emigrate to Peru with their daughter, Elizabeth Göring, in 1951.
Lastly, on the 11th of December 1948, he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly in Innsbruck.
Apart from a trip to Argentina for a year between 1952-1953, Albert spent the remainder of his years in Freilassing and then Munich with his former housekeeper, Brunhilde Seiwaldstätter, née Leinvedter. He worked briefly for a construction company in Munich, but for the most part, the pair lived off his pension and some translation work.
He married Brunhilde just before he died of pancreatic cancer in Neuenbürg on the 20th of December 1966.
💡Albert Günther Göring is buried in Munich’s Waldfriedhof cemetery, in an unmarked grave. The headstone was removed in 2008 due to the fact the lease to the family plot was not renewed.
'In this world nothing becomes lost; it just passes from one to another.'
ALBERT GÖRING’S FAVOURITE QUOTE FROM ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER
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The Key to Göring's Last Secret
Delivering the kind of must-read story that turns history on its head, Thirty Four gives us a new WWII hero: Albert Göring. Alongside Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg stands the Göring history forgot.
- Goldensohn, L. (2004) The Nuremberg Interviews. Ed. R. Gellately, 19th ed., (New York: Alfred A. Knopf), p. 104.
- Testimony of ALBERT GOERING, taken at Nuremberg, Germany, 25th September 1945, 1045-1240, by Ensign Jackson (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1270, roll 5); Interrogation Records Prepared for War Crimes Proceedings at Nuernberg, 1945-1947; The International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuernberg, RG 238; NACP.
- Vilem Hromádko testimony to the Extraordinary People’s Court in Prague XIV, 6th November 1947. Ls V 242/47, Czech National Archives in Prague.
- Karel Staller letter to Extraordinary People’s Court in Prague XIV, 6th December, 1947. Ls V 242/47, Czech National Archives in Prague.
- Interview with Richard Sonnenfeldt, The Real Albert Goering, 3BM TV, 1998.