Carin Göring identified

2012-12-20

The putative remains of Carin Göring, wife of the former Nazi leader Herman Göring, were discovered in 1991 at a location close to where she was buried. In a recent publication Marie Allen and her co-workers present evidence that support the identification of Carin Göring.

Carin Göring was married to the famous Nazi leader Herman Göring. When she died in 1931 she was buried in Stockholm but three years later Herman Göring had the remains transferred to his residence Karinhall close to Berlin. At the end of the war Karinhall was destroyed and thereafter the history of the remains is uncertain. In 1951 parts of a skeleton were discovered that were assumed to belong to Carin Göring. They were cremated and buried in Sweden. Forty years later, in 1991, treasure hunters found a coffin with remains that could also be those of Carin Göring’s. They were brought to Sweden and the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine for identification.

Marie Allen and her co-workers, together with Anna Kjellström at the Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory, Stockholm University, have examined the skeletal remains to determine whether they come from Carin Göring. Analyses of the in total 26 bones showed that they came from an adult woman. DNA analyses also confirmed that they were from a woman.

The researchers then performed two types of genetic analyses. A comparison of mitochondrial DNA between the remains and Carin Göring’s son at showed identical DNA sequences, indicating a relationship mother-son.

– The variant of mitochondrial DNA that we identified in the bones is relatively common and is present in approximately ten percent of all Europeans. We therefore continued the analyses by studying DNA from the cell nucleus, says Marie Allen.

Analysis of nuclear DNA is difficult when the DNA is degraded, which often is the case in bones that have been buried. Still the researchers managed to analyse enough DNA variants to determine a likely relationship between mother and son.

– Our anthropological examinations of the bones and the genetic analyses provide further evidence that in combination with historical data support the identification of Carin Göring, says Maria Allen.

Carin Göring has now been re-buried.
 

The results have been published online in PLOS One.


More information:
Article in PLOS One
Marie Allen’s research