Hermann Goering: Things You Didn't Know About One Of History's Biggest Monsters

By Jacob Shelton
Hitler with Göring on balcony of the Chancellery, Berlin, March 16, 1938. (Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2004-1202-504/CC-BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons)

As a leader of the Nazi Party, Hermann Goering was one of history's biggest monsters. Aside from serving as commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, he was in charge of Germany's economy throughout World War II, and along with the plundering of Jewish architecture and property, it made him one of the wealthiest—and most abhorrent—men in Germany.

Goering Idolized His Jewish Godfather

Born on January 12, 1893, in Rosenheim, Bavaria, Goering spent his early life on the brink of poverty as the fourth of five children born to a lifelong military man who served as the consul general in Haiti. As esteemed as that sounds, the family struggled until Hermann Epenstein, Goering's godfather, stepped in to provide the family with two homes, one in Berlin and the other near Nuremberg. Goering didn't let Epstein's Jewish heritage stop him from idealizing his godfather. After all, Epstein had long cast aside the Jewish faith in favor of Catholicism, and his success (especially in comparison to Goering's "weak-willed" father) made up for it in Goering's eyes.