I Helped Goering Cheat Hangman

Fascinating stories about ‘33-’45 still crop up even today. This time, it’s from a « former Nuremberg trial guard who says he helped Goering escape hangman »

‘A former guard at the Nuremberg trials has come forward to say he believes he provided the poison that Nazi Hermann Goering used to commit suicide hours before his scheduled execution for war crimes, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Herbert Lee Stivers, now 78, was a 19-year-old Army private when he took notes and a capsule hidden inside a fountain pen to Goering at the request of two men who said the notorious Nazi general was “a very sick man” who needed medicine, the newspaper said. Stivers said he is now convinced the “medicine” was the cyanide that killed Goering on Oct. 15, 1946, the night before he was to be executed. The commander of the German air force had been convicted at the Nuremberg trials the previous month. “I felt very bad after his suicide. I had a funny feeling; I didn’t think there was any way he could have hidden it on his body,” Stivers said.’

Interesting story.

‘Stivers had agreed to pass on the items after being introduced to the men, who called themselves Erich and Mathias. ”(Erich) said it was medication, and that if it worked and Goering felt better, they’d send him some more,” Stivers said. “I wasn’t thinking of suicide when I took it to Goering. He was never in a bad frame of mind.”’
It’s certainly true that Hermann was never in a bad frame of mind. He dominated the trial with his insolence and his personality and his sheer bulk. That he cheated the Allies’ hangman was his last laugh.

The book, Hitler’s Lieutenants, has a thoroughly fascinating portrait of Goering, as well as the others of the inner circle. It’s an absorbing read and valuable addition to the library.