Goering relative 'plans to convert to Judaism'
10 May 2006, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - A relative of Nazi Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering is considering converting to Judaism, according to an article published on the Spiegel Online website Wednesday.
10 May 2006
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - A relative of Nazi Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering is considering converting to Judaism, according to an article published on the Spiegel Online website Wednesday.
Matthias Goering, a 49-year-old physiotherapist working near the Swiss city of Zurich, already wears a skull-cap, sticks to Jewish rules for preparing and eating food, observes the Jewish Sabbath and is learning Hebrew, the English-language website of Germany's leading news magazine reported.
Matthias Goering, whose great-great-uncle was Hermann's great- uncle, has been to Israel and is also considering moving there, the report said.
Referring to his family's past and the Nazi Holocaust led in part by Hermann, Matthias Goering was quoted as saying: "I don't feel any guilt, myself ... There is a spiritual guilt in our family, guilt in the German nation and it is our responsibility to declare it openly. I think God is taking this opportunity to use my name to change something in the hearts of others."
Matthias Goering said he grew up surrounded by hatred for the Jews as his affluent family lost all their wealth after the Second World War. "Our parents would always say to us, 'You can't have that, because all our money's gone to the Jews,'" he was quoted as saying. "They became a symbol of everything we couldn't have."
He said he and his siblings were also "bullied mercilessly" at school because of their Nazi history.
In 2000, when he became suicidal after losing his physiotherapy practice and his wife and son leaving him, Matthias Goering said he received two signs from God that led him to Judaism: one was an almost immediate job offer after praying for help and the other was God telling him in a dream, "I want you to guard the gates of Jerusalem."
The Spiegel Online quoted a Cambridge scientist as saying guilt could play a part in Matthias Goering's conversion, but also a desire of an outsider to belong to a "winning group" like the Jews in Israel.
Subject: German news