Saturday, 28 May 2011

Goering Commits Suicide

The Star dated 16th October 1946

Days when so little of interest happened that newspapers were forced to feature headlines such as ‘Boy Plays Sax With Ear” were known as ‘Slow News Days’. October 16th 1946 was definitely not a Slow News Day – Hermann Goering commits suicide, 10 Nazi War criminals hang and the hanging of convicted murderer Neville Heath.

Goering had been Hitler’s number 2 and head of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) during WWII, but, after Hitler’s suicide, he surrendered to The US Army. He was found guilty at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trial and sentenced to death by hanging. On the morning of his execution he was found dead of potassium cyanide poisoning. The third member of the Nazi triumvirate, Heinrich Himmler had committed suicide by the same method in May 1945.

Neville Heath had a chequered history of petty crimes including fraud and posing as military officers for personal gain before he turned to murder. His sadism tainted his relationships with women and it was this proclivity that led to the deaths for which he was tried, convicted and sentence to hang.  On the Wikipedia site it claims that he was hung by Albert Pierrepoint, but, according to the film starring Timothy Spall, Pierrepoint was very busy hanging Nazi war criminals on the same day???

To take your mind off all this morbidity you could turn to the radio or, if you were one of the few hundred people who owned a set and lived near London, the television. The Home Service if you preferred symphony music and World Affairs or the Light programme if Wilfred Pickles was more your cup of tea. Personally I would have listened to the two half hour murder mysteries at 9pm on the Light. Maybe I’m morbid by nature.

Or even spend the evening at the flicks. 1 shilling and 9 pence (8,75p) would buy you 2 films, a cartoon, a newsreel and about three hours breathing an atmosphere that was 90% cigarette smoke. Before the invention of Multi-screen cinemas most districts had one or more of the three major cinema chains, Odeon, ABC and Gaumont, to choose from, each showing a different pair of films.

1 comment:

  1. Dear M. Hill,
    I work as a photo editor on a series of history books about WWII. There's an image on this blog, which we would like to use in one of our books. Can you send me an email at hbv(at) and I will send you the details of our request.
    Kind regards,
    J. Nielsen