Short Info

DiedJune 8, 1973, Munich, Germany
SpouseHermann Göring, Karl Köstlin
FactDaughter, Edda Göring, with Hermann.

Emmy Göring (née Sonnemann; 9 July 1893 – 24 October 1973) was a German actress and the second wife of Hermann Göring.

Early Life

Emmy Sonnemann was born on 9 July 1893 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to a family of actors. Her father was Emil Sonnemann, a well-known character actor, and her mother was Augusta Wilhelmine “Gussie” Sonnemann (née Schulz), a stage actress. She had two older sisters, Frieda and Berta.

Sonnemann began her acting career at a young age, appearing in her father’s theatre company. She made her stage debut in 1900, at the age of seven, in the play Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung (The Taming of the Shrew). She later appeared in such films as Der letzte Mann (The Last Laugh, 1924), directed by F. W. Murnau, and M (1931), directed by Fritz Lang.


Sonnemann’s film career came to an end after she married Hermann Göring in 1935. Göring, a high-ranking member of the Nazi Party, did not want his wife to continue working in the film industry.

During World War II, Sonnemann worked as a Red Cross nurse. In 1945, she was arrested by the Allies and spent six months in prison. She was released in 1946 and returned to Germany.

In 1947, Sonnemann divorced Göring. She later married German businessman Kurt Freiherr von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow. The couple had three children: Bettina (born 1948), Frederica (born 1949), and Alexander (born 1950).

Sonnemann died on 24 October 1973, at the age of 80.

Physical Characteristics

Sonnemann was 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall and had blue eyes and blonde hair.

General Info

Full NameEmmy Göring
DiedJune 8, 1973, Munich, Germany


SpouseHermann Göring, Karl Köstlin
ChildrenEdda Göring


MoviesWilliam Tell

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1Although in the 30s Emmy Sonnemann was able to take part in few movies.
2When she got married with Hermann Göring in 1935 she retired from her acting career.
3Emmy was given an unsolicited membership to Nazi Party during Christmas 1938.
4When the war went lost the illusory world of the Görings collapsed. Hermann Göring was arrested and sentenced to death in 1946. He abdicated from the death warrant by suicide.
5Some years after her release from jail, Emmy Göring was able to secure a small flat in a new building in the rebuilt city of Munich and remained there for the rest of her life.
6The actress Emmy Sonnemann was born into a wealthy family.
7Her husband celebrated their daughter's birth by ordering 500 planes to fly over Berlin (he stated he would have flown 1,000 planes as a salute for a son).
8She published her biography "An der Seite meines Mannes" in 1967.
9Her and Göring's daughter Edda Göring was born on 2 June 1938. Edda was reported as being named after Countess Edda Ciano, eldest child of Benito Mussolini. Time reported: "Herr and Frau Göring became her fast friends." However, in her autobiography, Emmy said her daughter was named after one of her friends.
10Hermann Göring named his country house Carinhall after his first wife, while referring to his hunting lodge at Rominten (now Krasnolesye) - the Reichsjägerhof - as "Emmyhall".
11Emmy Göring is caricatured as the character "Lotte Lindenthal" in Klaus Mann's novel Mephisto: Roman einer Karriere (1936).
12Emmy Sonnemann was arrested too and they convicted her of one year in a labor camp. Furthermore she was not allowed to work as an actress for several years.
13Emmy Sonnemann met the Prussian premier Hermann Göring. They got along well and Göring supported her stage career and provided an engagement for her at the Staatstheater Berlin.
14By the time of her husband's death at Nuremberg, she and her daughter had been reduced to living in a two-room cottage with no running water or electricity; and she, whose gowns had once required multiple closets, now owned only two dresses.
15Hermann Göring rose as Reichsmarschall to one of the most powerful political figures of the National Socialists and his family lived in privileged comfort. Emmy Sonnemann became together with Magda Goebbels a First Lady so to speak.
16When the young Emmy became interested in acting she got acting lessons by Leopold Jessner in Hamburg. After her education she could start her stage career in 1910. She soon got numerous theater engagements, among others in her hometown Hamburg, Munich and Vienna.
17In her final years, she suffered from sciatica.
18She appeared regularly on German stages. In 1916 she got married with the actor Karl Köstlin but the marriage was divorced ten years later.
19Emmy Göring served as Hitler's hostess at many state functions prior to the Second World War. This and her claim to be the "First Lady of the Third Reich" created much animosity between herself and Hitler's mistress, Eva Braun, whom she snubbed and openly despised. Hitler consequently issued angry instructions to Hermann Göring demanding that Emmy treat Eva with more respect; one of the outcomes of Emmy's condescending attitude toward Eva was that she was no longer invited to Hitler's Bavarian retreat, the Berghof. As for Eva Braun, she allegedly never forgave Emmy for having assumed the role of "First Lady of the Reich".
20As Adolf Hitler had not been married until shortly before his death, she was the official First Lady of Nazi Germany.
21Daughter, Edda Göring, with Hermann.
22Was an actress at the National Theatre in Weimar before she met Göring.
23In 1948, a German denazification court convicted her of being a Nazi and sentenced her to one year in jail. When she was released, 30% of her property was confiscated and she was banned from the stage for five years.
24Adolf Hitler was the best man at her wedding to Hermann Göring. The ceremony took place in the Berlin Cathedral and was one of the Third Reich's biggest propaganda events (10 April 1935).



Oberwachtmeister Schwenke1935Rena, seine Frau (as Emmy Sonnemann)
The Legend of William Tell1934Hedwig Tell (as Emmy Sonnemann)
They'll Never Surrender1934/IIHedwig Tell (as Emmy Sonnemann)
Goethe lebt...!1932as Emmy Sonnemann

Archive Footage

Chronicle of the Third Reich2012TV Series documentaryHerself
Göring - Eine Karriere2006TV Series documentaryHerself
Die Chronik des Nürnberger Prozesses2003TV Movie documentaryHerself - Wife of Göring
Hitler und der Wagner-Clan: Götterdämmerung in Bayreuth2002TV Movie documentaryHerself
Television Under the Swastika1999TV Movie documentaryHerself - at Karinhall with Mussolini, Ciano (uncredited)
The 1930's: Music, Memories & Milestones1988Video documentaryHerself - Leaves Church After Wedding to Hermann
Memorandum1967DocumentaryHerself - at Daughter's Baptism (uncredited)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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