Hermann Wilhelm Göring (also spelled Goering) ( listen) (12 January 1893 – 15 October 1946) was a German politician, military leader and a leading member of the Nazi Party. Among many offices, he was Hitler's designated successor and commander of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force). With twenty-two confirmed kills as a fighter pilot, he was a veteran of the First World War and recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite ("The Blue Max"). He was the last commander of "The Red Baron" Manfred von Richthofen's famous Jagdgeschwader 1 air squadron.
Following the end of the Second World War, Göring was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but committed suicide by cyanide ingestion the night before he was due to be hanged.
Göring was born on 12 January, 1893 at the sanatorium Marienbad in Rosenheim, Bavaria. His father Heinrich Ernst Göring (31 October, 1839 – 7 December, 1913) had been the first Governor-General of the German protectorate of South West Africa (modern day Namibia) as well as being a former cavalry officer and member of the German consular service. Göring had among his paternal ancestors Eberle/Eberlin, a Swiss-German family of high bourgeoisie.