Hitler, W. Goering, W. Keitel, and H. Himmler

Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering, Wilhelm Keitel, and Heinrich Himmler. April 20, 1941.

Five years later all the four would be dead, three suicides, and a hanging. This is probably the last peaceful moment they had, two months later the invade of the Soviet Union would begin.

You can almost see the distaste that Himmler had towards Goring here. Goering was the head of the Luftwaffe and in the beginning Hitler’s right-hand man.

But after the Luftwaffe didn’t do good in the Battle of Britain, Goering fell out of favor with Hitler and was slowly pushed out by Himmler, who replaced him as number two.

Goering was also a very corrupt man, he used his status to collect bribes, he collected property that was seized from Jews, while Himmler was the real evil driving the Nazis. He orchestrated the Holocaust and was the head of the SS and Gestapo.

Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide. Braun bit into a cyanide capsule and Hitler shot himself.

Wilhelm Keitel was tried at the Allied court at Nuremberg, sentenced to death, and hanged as a war criminal. He was the third highest-ranking German officer to be tried at Nuremberg.

Heinrich Himmler was captured by the British Army. He was taken to the headquarters of the Second British Army in Lüneburg, where a doctor conducted a medical exam on Himmler. The doctor attempted to examine the inside of Himmler’s mouth, but the prisoner was reluctant to open it and jerked his head away. Himmler then bit into a hidden cyanide pill and collapsed onto the floor. He was dead within fifteen minutes.

Hermann Goering was sentenced to death by hanging by the Nuremberg trial. Goering made an appeal asking to be shot as a soldier instead of hanged as a common criminal, but the court refused. Defying the sentence imposed by his captors, he committed suicide with a potassium cyanide capsule the night before he was to be hanged.

(Photo credit: Bundesarchiv).