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German History in Documents and Images
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Hermann Göring at his Desk (June 1939)
The portrait on Hermann Göring’s desk shows his second wife, actress Emmy Sonnemann, and their daughter Edda (born 1938). Now a father, the power-obsessed Göring, an unscrupulous careerist, began to fashion himself as a sentimental family man. Unlike Goebbels and Himmler, Göring was popular, and after Edda’s birth he saw to it that hundreds of thousands of postcards showing him with his newborn were printed up for public distribution. Hitler himself was godfather to the child, whose baptism and birthdays saw the receipt of countless "gifts" – valuable but not always voluntary – from individuals and institutions hoping to acquire Göring's protection. Since Hitler was not married, Emmy Göring, whose appearance perfectly corresponded to the "Nordic-Germanic" ideal prized by the Nazis, shared the role of "first lady" of the Reich with Magda Goebbels.