16 Bross, Gespräche mit Göring; Schwerin von Krosigk, Es geschah in Deutschland, suggests that Goring only lost his courage when he was designated Hitler's successor and Number Two; the fear that Hitler could annul this appointment robbed him of all power of opposition. This is, however, contradicted by other reports which agree that at a time when the questions of successorship and Number Two were far from decided, Goring was already very dependent on Hitler. Perhaps it is a matter of Goring being less worried for his second-rank position than trembling for fear of losing power as such and all that it meant in terms of personal privileges 'But one word from the Fuhrer and you are out' — he feared this word and this sentence.
In this connection Rudolf Diets, in Lucifer ante portas, makes the illuminating observation:
'Those who saw Goring in the dreadful days after the big shocks with which Hitler brought him down to earth at well calculated intervals and made him recognize that he was nothing without Hitler, were appalled at how little remained of the magnificent and powerful man. There was nothing left of him when Hitler without warning took away from him the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, the basis of his power, when Hitler ostentatiously stayed away from his Opera Ball, shunned the sumptuous opening of the Prussian Council of State, when he scornfully declined Goring's gift of a hunting lodge in the Schorfheide or deprived him even of the Four-Year Plan. The liquidation of the Prussian ministries through a decree by Hitler in January 1934 literally laid him low. He took to his bed.''
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