Heinrich Ernst Göring

Heinrich Ernst Göring (31 October 1839 – 7 December 1913) was a German jurist and diplomat who served as colonial governor of German South West Africa. He was the father of five children including Hermann Göring, the Nazi leader and commander of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force).

Heinrich Ernst Göring
Reichskommissar for
German South West Africa
In office
May 1885 – August 1890
Preceded byGustav Nachtigal
Succeeded byLouis Nels
German Resident Minister for Haiti and the Dominican Republic
In office
Preceded byEduard Grisebach
Succeeded byHeinrich von Luxburg (*1855)
Personal details
Born(1839-10-31)31 October 1839
Emmerich, Kingdom of Prussia
Died7 December 1913(1913-12-07) (aged 74)
Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
SpouseFranziska Tiefenbrunn
Children5, including Hermann and Albert
RelativesEdda Göring (granddaughter)

Early life edit

Göring was born in Emmerich am Rhein. He was the son of Wilhelm Göring (1791–1874), and his wife, Caroline Maria de Nerée (1815–1886).[2]

Career edit

After a career as a provincial judge, the Dutch-speaking Göring was appointed as the first Imperial Commissioner of German South West Africa in 1885. (German commercial interests had forced the Imperial Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, into creating a state-financed colonial administration to support his country's fledgling Protectorate of South West Africa.[3])

Göring started by signing a "protection treaty" with the leading Herero chief, Maharero.[4] The treaty of protection was not worth the paper on which it was written, as Göring was in no position to offer assistance. Repeated armed attacks by Witbooi's Nama clan proved the point. The treaty was repudiated a few years later by Maharero, who also expelled Göring from Hereroland. The Germans' behaviour had become too much, and, worst of all, Göring had (perhaps unwittingly) extended his house on top of a Herero ancestral graveyard. An alleged discovery of gold c. 1887 was a hoax: the purported gold deposits were nothing apart from the remains of gold pieces fired at a rock face. The identity of the hoaxer remains a mystery, but suspicion falls on Göring making a last-ditch desperate attempt to bring investment to the protectorate and thus to save his failing mission.[5]

Göring left South West Africa in August 1890 without having been able to settle the constant friction between the Herero and the Oorlam people.[6] The expected vast gold deposits started a gold rush of German settlers and investors, whose behaviour further alienated the Herero. This eventually led to the Herero and Namaqua genocide (1904–1908). Herero skulls were eventually used by the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, which pursued a policy of eugenics.[1]

From 1892 to 1895, Göring resided in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, as the German resident minister for Haiti and the Dominican Republic.[7]

Personal life edit

Göring married, secondly, to Franziska Tiefenbrunn: the marriage produced five recorded children:[8]

  • Karl-Ernst Göring (1885––1932), a jurist.[2]
  • Olga Therese Sophie Göring (1889–1970)[2]
  • Paula Elisabeth Rosa Göring (1890–1960)[2]
  • Hermann Göring (1893–1946), German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party.
  • Albert Göring (1895–1966), businessman.[2]

Göring died in Munich on 7 December 1913.[2]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Bringmann, Tobias C. (2001). Handbuch der Diplomatie 1815–1963: Auswärtige Missionschefs in Deutschland und deutsche Missionschefs im Ausland von Metternich bis Adenauer, p. 137, at Google Books (in German). Munich: K. G. Saur. ISBN 3-598-11431-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Slawson, Larry (12 June 2019). Hermann Goering: A Brief History. PublishDrive. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  3. ^ Olusoga, David; Erichsen, Casper W. (5 August 2010). "The Iron Chancellor and the Guano King". The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism (reprint ed.). London: Faber & Faber. pp. 42–43. ISBN 9780571269488. Retrieved 5 October 2023. To keep the British out of Germany's newly won colony, the Chancellor quickly conjured into existence a German company ready to take over Lüderitz's remaining assets. [...] The German South-West Africa Colonial Company was a fragile concern from its inception. [...] Short of capital and bereft of ideas, the company turned to the state for help. In order to keep hold of German South-West Africa and prevent the encroachment of British interests, Bismarck was forced to create the entity he had always sought to avoid: a state-financed colonial administration. With deep reluctance he appointed an Imperial Commissioner.
  4. ^ Olusoga & Erichsen 2011, p. 53.
  5. ^ Olusoga & Erichsen 2011, p. 52
  6. ^ Bruwer, J. P. van S. (1966). South West Africa: The Disputed Land. Cape Town: Nasionale Boekhandel Beperk. p. 72.
  7. ^ Reed, Douglas (11 September 1939). "Goring: A Human Barrel of Energy Gets the Reich's Heaviest Work Done". Life. Time Inc: 54. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  8. ^ Axelrod, Alan (5 June 2018). The 30 Most Influential People of World War II: A Ranking. Permuted Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-1-68261-611-6. Retrieved 25 January 2024.

Bibliography edit

  • Gewald, Jan-Bart (1999), Herero Heroes: A Socio-political History of the Herero of Namibia 1890-1923, Oxford: James Currey, ISBN 0-85255-749-3
  • Olusoga, David; Erichsen, Casper W (2011) [2010], The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-23142-3
  • Wellington, John H. (1967), South West Africa and Its Human Issues, London: Oxford University Press

External links edit

  Media related to Heinrich Ernst Göring at Wikimedia Commons