Mount Pleasant News

Mount Pleasant, IA

22 May 1945




Miles Writes of Talking With Hermann Goering

By Frank Miles
(Iowa Daily Press Correspondent)

Augsburg, Germany (IDPA) --Hermann Goering, captured nazi air marshal, told me he thought there was an agreement between Germany and the western powers of the United Nations through which the forcing of civilians to labor in conquered countries was justified. He said that moreover after Germany invaded Russia more than a million Russians with their families voluntarily accepted work in factories, field, homes and other places in Germany.

I talked with him at a press conference, two days after he surrendered to Brig. Gen. Robert I. Stack, assistant commander of the 36th "Texas" division of the seventh army.

Clad in a well tailored and pressed German air forces blue-gray uniform minus his many medals, the short, fat, over-fed, blond, pink-cheeked, balding Hitler chieftain from a chair in a residence garden answered volleys of questions adroitly. He faced a battery of cameras calmly.

Blinks Hard

A U.S. major served as interpreter but Goering's manner and his reply to some queries without waiting for the officer's help showed he was familiar with the English language. Once he half started and blinked hard when a scribe wanted to know if he realized he was considered a war criminal and might be dealt with severely. The major ruled the question out. A woman photographer disturbed him by placing her machine close to his head but he was not discourteous.

Goering tried to put the blame for Nazi sins on Hitler, Borman and others. It was noteworthy that he obviously sought to shield Himmler, the top gestapo gangster, whom he described as one who merely carried out orders.

Blames Hitler

Borman, the nazi party Secretary, he asserted, wielded much influence over the fuehrer because they were almost together constantly. Goering declared Hitler was wholly to blame for conditions in the concentration camps, that he appointed all camp officials and wouldn't discuss them with other high ranking nazis.

Goering admitted he ordered the bombing of Coventry, explaining it was a large center for the production of war supplies. The Canterbury bombings, he added, was ordered by higher authority than his for revenge for R.A.F. destruction of a Germany university city.

The German air command learned quickly of American strategic bombing plans when they were laid in 1933 about the time the nazi party came into power but was surprised that our fighter bombers were able to fly from bases in England and return Goering said.

Tried to Keep America Out

Hitler, from his viewpoint, tried every way to keep American out of the war and long had the idea our experiences after the last one would prevent our entering another foreign conflict, Goering said. He insisted he advised Hitler vigorously against incurring our wrath citing 1917-8 and that when Hitler decided to attack Russia he opposed it by arguing the fuehrer in "Mein Kampf" declared it foolish to try to fight on two fronts.

The Russian armies were strongest of the allies because of their size, the Americans had the best equipment, Goering thought.

Goering was certain Hitler was dead but believed it was suicide several days earlier than the death was reported and the the body had been hidden to keep the Russians from getting it.

Hitler Convinced

Hitler on April 22 was convinced for the first time the war was lost, according to Goering who related that he wanted to take over to negotiate for peace: that made Hitler so mad he raved Goering had signed his death warrant. Goering said Hitler relented saying if he would relinquish his awards he would be forgiven but before that he was arrested by SS troopers and later rescued by Luftwaffe comrades.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor surprised everyone in Germany, Goering tried to lead the scibes to believe.

The strength of the wherewolves in Germany will depend on how much hunger and distress follows the war, Goering thought. He said he was no prophet of the future, that he wished for a lasting peace but he didn't know whether Germany would fight again.

Goering concluded by voicing the hope Americans could be helped and expressed is gratitude to the Germans, who had remained loyal to the nazi cause through six years of disastrous war.

A smart but reprehensible character, correspondents agreed. Many of us would much more enjoy seeing him hanged than talking to him.

Source: Mount Pleasant News, May 22, 1945

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