Hermann Wilhelm Göring was a German politician, military leader and convicted war criminal. He was one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi Party, which ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945.
A veteran World War I fighter pilot ace, Göring was a recipient of the Pour le Mérite. He was the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1, the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richthofen. An early member of the Nazi Party, Göring was among those wounded in Adolf Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. While receiving treatment for his injuries, he developed an addiction to morphine which persisted until the last year of his life. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Göring was named as minister without portfolio in the new government. One of his first acts as a cabinet minister was to oversee the creation of the Gestapo, which he ceded to Heinrich Himmler in 1934.
Following the establishment of the Nazi state, Göring amassed power and political capital to become the second most powerful man in Germany. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, a position he held until the final days of the regime.