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Hermann Göring

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A rare, personal signed photograph of Göring

holding his infant daughter, Edda, before her christening

Hermann Wilhelm Göring, 1893–1946.  Nazi Reichmarschall; Luftwaffe commander-in-chief; Prime Minister of Prussia, 1933–1945.  4⅞" x 6¾" black-and white photograph signed Hermann Göring, circa 1938.

This is a rare and poignant personal photograph—to our knowledge, not previously published—of a doting Göring holding his infant daughter.  Although many other photographs of Göring with Edda exist, we have been unable to find another copy of this one, much less another one signed by Göring. 

This photograph was likely taken before Eddaʼs christening on July 8, 1938, when she was just more than a month old.  Edda, who was born June 2, 1938, is the daughter of Göring and his second wife, Emmy Sonnemann (1893–1973), a German actress whom Göring married in 1935.  Göring undoubtedly gave this photo as a gift. 

This shows a side of Göring that is rarely seen.  He is remembered most as Adolf Hitlerʼs second in command during virtually all of the Third Reich, 1933–1945, the man who commanded the German Luftwaffeʼs bombardment of England, the man who transmitted Hitlerʼs orders to devise "the desired final solution of the Jewish question" that turned out to be brutal mass extermination, the man who was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at Nuremberg after World War II but escaped the hangmanʼs noose by ingesting potassium cyanide at the eleventh hour before his scheduled execution.

Edda had a loving relationship with Göring, whose affection for her is apparent in this photograph.  One source quotes her as saying, "I loved him very much, and it was obvious how much he loved me.  My only memories of him are such loving ones, I cannot see him any other way.”

This is an original photograph by Göring's valet, Robert Kropp, whose blind-embossed stamp “Robert" appears in the lower right corner.  Kropp served as Göring's valet from 1933 until Göring was imprisoned for treason in Mauterndorf Castle by the Germans themselves in 1945.  Göring gave Kropp license to take private photographs of him and his family, often with others such as German Führer Adolf Hitler and other German and foreign military and civilian officials, and publish them under his own name.  Among Kropp's works are Hermann Göring At Public Events and Other Activities for the respective periods of JanuaryFebruary, MarchApril, and AprilMay 1939 and JanuaryMay, JuneAugust, and SeptemberNovember 1940 and Hermann Göring's Activities for the respective periods of June 112 and June 13August 1939, AugustDecember 1941, and JanuaryMay 1942.  Although many of Kroppʼs photographs thus were published, this photograph apparently never was. 

A decorated World War I pilot, Göring was one of Nazi Germanyʼs most important officials.  From roughly 1933 to 1945, he held several offices simultaneously:  He was the German Reichsminister of Aviation; the acting governor of Prussia as well as its Prime Minister; the German Reichsminister of Forestry; and President of the Reichstag, Germanyʼs national legislative body.  He also served almost two months in 1937–1938 as the Reichsminister of Economics.  In 1941, he became Hitlerʼs Deputy Führer, the vice chancellor of Germany, a post that he held until Hitler deposed him in the closing days of the Third Reich.  He was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at Nuremberg after World War II and committed suicide to avoid the execution by hanging to which the Nuremberg tribunal sentenced him and ten others.

Göring has signed this photograph in blue pencil, as he often did.  The signature is across the sleeve of his white shirt, thus in a light area of the photograph.  The photo has some small nicks in the surface, well removed from the main image and the signature.  It is in fine condition and would be an excellent addition to any Göring, Third Reich, or World War II collection.

We reject Nazism and all that it represented.  We nevertheless offer this photograph because the German Third Reich, although despised, and Göringʼs role in it had an undeniable effect on the course of the 20th Century and gave rise to both World War II and the Cold War that followed.



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