Hermann Göring is one of the most infamous military leaders of Nazi Germany. Following a trial and conviction for war crimes, he swallowed cyanide pills instead of awaiting his scheduled public hanging. As a result of his deeds, the Göring name will forever be tainted, and all those bearing his surname were shunned from society.
However, Hermann’s brother, Albert Göring, was unlike his brother in every way. Instead of joining the military, Albert pursued a career as a filmmaker, which was cut short when the Nazi party took over in 1933. From the get-go, Albert was opposed to Nazism and the brutality of the ideology.
In fact, one of the more impressive stories about Albert’s anti-Nazi efforts was by joining a group of Jewish women who were tasked with scrubbing the street. When an SS officer came to check his identification, he learned who Albert was by his surname and immediately asked the group of women to stop what they were doing out of fear of publicly humiliating the brother of a high-ranking officer.
Albert’s anti-Nazi efforts weren’t just limited to minor screw-you gestures in Germany. He escaped Germany and became an export director Škoda Works, an arms manufacturer from Czechoslovakia. There, he was involved with a group of Czech guerillas and encouraged acts of sabotage against any Nazi influence in the country. Albert would also forge his brother’s signature on official documents to release Jewish families from custody on more than one occasion.
Acting as a director for Škoda Works, he would send empty trucks to concentration camps and request for laborers. When the trucks would reach a barren piece of land, they’d open the truck doors and allow the passengers to escape to freedom.
Following the end of the war, Albert was brought in during the Nuremberg Tribunal for questioning. His last name carried a bit of weight, and those presiding automatically assumed that Albert would have been loyal to his brother and the Nazi party. However, countless people came up to defend Albert, and he was cleared of all charges. He was also arrested by Czech law enforcers but subsequently released after his heroic actions became public.
After his release from Czechoslovakia, he promptly returned to Germany where he would see not only his country in ruins but also his family name. He was shunned for having the same name as the country’s former Minister President of Prussia. Albert received a government pension and found work as a translator. His final act of kindness was marrying his housekeeper, knowing that the government pension would be transferred to his wife.
In 1966, Albert died nearly completely penniless. His heroic deeds would not become public knowledge until 30 years after his death.