A most regrettable moment: Göring, departed, and in a Grand Style, too.

It is popularly recorded that when Hermann Göring was found dead in his prison cell, he had one eye open and the other closed, as if to wink back at us in his departing moment. Perhaps, since few others dying in this same manner do similarly. And what great leader of a great nation, having done far less to nothing wrong, would allow his illicit captors to hang him like a common criminal, when as manly as possible an 'escape' could be made? Göring went out in a grand style, ever to be remembered.

This much also is alleged to be true:

“How I helped Goering escape the hangman” (2005)

THE mystery of how Hitler's deputy Hermann Goering committed suicide hours before he was due to hang may finally have been solved.

A former Nuremberg guard says he supplied the Nazi war criminal with the cyanide pill he took to kill himself.

The claim by 78-year-old Herbert Lee Stivers has the 'ring of truth', historians said yesterday. For 60 years, how Goering managed to poison himself and cheat the gallows despite 24-hour surveillance has baffled experts.

One theory was that the general who commanded Hitler's air force had the poison throughout his 11-month war crimes trial in Nuremberg -- hidden under a gold dental crown or concealed in his navel or back passage.

Others have always believed the poison was sneaked to him shortly before his planned execution.

The list of possible culprits included a U.S. officer Goering bribed with a watch, the German doctor who regularly checked on him, an SS officer who gave it to him in a bar of soap and even Goering's wife, Emmy, who passed it in a kiss on their last meeting. None of them did it, according to former U.S. soldier Stivers, who broke his silence on Monday February 7th, 2005, in an interview in the Los Angeles Times.

The retired sheet-metal worker from Hesperia, 80 miles from Los Angeles, said: 'I gave it to him.'

He said he had kept the secret because he feared being charged. Now, at the urging of his daughter - and having being assured that any charges were timebarred - he had decided to go public.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the claim, but military records do show Mr Stivers was a guard at the Nuremberg trials, said the newspaper.

Professor Cornelius Shnauber, a director of the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies at the University of Southern California, said the Stivers story was 'more believable than the poison being in the dental crown'.

The professor said he believes someone smuggled in the poison. 'It could have been this soldier,' he said.

Mr Stivers told the Times he agreed to take 'medicine' to chat with Goering to impress a local girl he had met on the street.

He was a member of the trial's honour guard who escorted the 22 Nazi defendants in and out of the courtroom. The guards were free to chat with the prisoners.

Mr Stivers said that one day he was approached by a pretty, dark-haired girl called Mona.

When he told her he was a guard and got to see all the prisoners every day, she said: 'You don't look like a guard.' He said: 'I can prove it.'

He showed her an autograph he had from another defendant. He gave her that autograph, and the next day Goering's. She then took Mr Stivers to meet two friends at a house. The friends, who called themselves Erich and Mathias, told Mr Stivers that Goering was 'a very sick man' and wasn't getting the right medicine.

Mr Stivers said he twice took notes hidden in a fountain pen to Goering. The third time, Erich put a capsule in the pen.

'He said it was medication, and that if it worked and Goering felt better, they'd send him some more,' Mr Stivers said.

After delivering the 'medicine' to Goering, Mr Stivers said, he returned the pen to Mona.

He told the Times he never saw her again. 'I guess she used me.'

Mr Stivers said he didn't think Goering was contemplating suicide when he took in the pen.

'He was never in a bad frame of mind. He didn't seem suicidal. I would have never knowingly taken something in that I thought was going to be used to help someone cheat the gallows.'

Two weeks later - on October 15, 1946 - Goering killed himself. He left a note claiming he'd had the cyanide all along.

Mr Stivers and the other guards were grilled by Army investigators but asked only if they saw anything suspicious.

(Source: http://www.leninimports.com/hermann_goering_death.html, of all places! July 7th, 2010).