Joseph Goebbels: photo, biography, quotes

Paul Joseph Goebbels - Minister of Propaganda of the German Third Reich, as well as the dictator of his cultural life for twelve years. A skilled speaker and agitator, he is responsible for representing the Nazi regime in an attractive light for the Germans. After the suicide of Hitler, Goebbels became the German Chancellor for a day, and then he and his wife Magda poisoned six of their children and killed themselves.

Early biography

Josef Goebbels was born on 10.29.1897 in a Catholic family of workers from Reidt in the Rhineland. He had 2 brothers and 3 sisters. In order to refute the rumors about his Jewish origins, Joseph Goebbels in 1932 published a brochure describing his family tree. He was educated at a Roman Catholic school and continued to study history and literature at the University of Heidelberg under the guidance of Professor Friedrich Gündolf, a Jewish literary critic and famous Goethe specialist and close friend of the poet Stefan George.

In the early 1920s, Goebbels worked as a bank and stock exchange clerk. During this period, he read a lot and formed his political views. He was greatly influenced by the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler and Houston Chamberlain, a British-born German writer who was one of the founders of "scientific" anti-Semitism.

Winter 1919–20 he spent in Munich, where he witnessed a nationalist reaction to the attempt of the communist revolution in Bavaria. His political idol was the German monarchist Anton von Arco auf Valley, who committed the assassination of the socialist Kurt Eisner, the prime minister of Bavaria.

The wedding of Joseph and Magda Goebbels

Joining the NSDAP

In his youth, Joseph Goebbels was declared unfit for military service because of a crippled leg - the result of polio. The feeling of physical inferiority tormented him the rest of his life, supported by reactions to his small height, black hair and intellectual background. Bitterly aware of his monstrosity and fearing that he would be considered a “bourgeois intellectual”, Joseph Goebbels (the photo is given later in the article) compensated for the lack of physical merits of a strong, healthy, bright Scandinavian type with ideological directness and radicalism after joining the NSDAP in 1922.

The dislike of the intellect of the “little doctor”, his disdain for the human race in general, and in particular for the Jews, and his complete cynicism were manifestations of his inferiority complex and intellectual self-hatred, his all-consuming thirst to destroy everything sacred and ignite in his listeners the same feelings of anger, despair and hate.

Initially, the hyperactive imagination found a way out in poetry, drama and a bohemian lifestyle, but in addition to the only book by Joseph Goebbels - his expressionist novel Michael: German Destiny in Diary Papers (1926) - nothing came of these first literary efforts. It was in the Nazi party that Goebbels’s sharp, clear intellect, his oratorical abilities and talent for theatrical effects, his boundless unprincipledness and ideological radicalism flourished in the service of the insatiable will to power.

Goebbels family

Cooperation with the left nazis

In 1925, he was appointed head of the NSDAP in the Ruhr district and collaborated with Gregor Strasser, the leader of the socially revolutionary North German wing of the party. Goebbels founded and edited the Nationalsozialistischen Briefe ("National Socialist Letters") and other editions of the Strassers brothers,sharing their proletarian anti-capitalist world view and the call for a radical reassessment of all values. His national-Bolshevik tendencies found expression in the assessment of Soviet Russia (which he considered a nationalist and socialist state) as "Germany’s natural ally against the devilish temptations and corruption of the West."

Propagandist in Berlin

Goebbels, who co-authored the draft program presented by the Nazi left at the 1926 Hanover Conference, called for the exclusion of the “petty-bourgeois Adolf Hitler” from the National Socialist Party. But in the same year his insightful political instinct and lack of principle appeared - he went over to the Führer, which was rewarded by his appointment in November 1926 as head of the NSDAP district in Berlin-Brandenburg.

Leading a small conflict organization, Goebbels quickly undermined the influence of the Strasser brothers in the north of Germany and their monopoly in the party press, founding in 1927 and editing his own weekly newspaper Der Angriff (Attack). He designed posters, published his own propaganda,organized impressive parades, attracted his bodyguards to participate in fights in pubs, street battles and shooting as a means of further political agitation.

By 1927, Marat Red Berlin, a nightmare and goblin of history, fully using its deep, powerful voice, rhetorical fervor and shameless appeal to primitive instincts, became the most dangerous demagogue of the capital. A tireless tenacious agitator with the gift of paralyzing opponents with a cunning combination of poison, slander and insinuations, he knew how to arouse fear among the unemployed masses when the Great Depression struck Germany, with cold computation, playing on the German national psychology.

The propaganda of Joseph Goebbels turned the Berlin student Horst Wessel into a Nazi martyr — he put forward slogans, myths, images, and convincing aphorisms that quickly spread the ideas of National Socialism.

Propaganda minister

The main promoter of the NSDAP

Hitler was deeply impressed with Goebbels’s success in turning the small Berlin section of the party into a powerful organization in Northern Germany and in 1929, instead of Gregor Strasser, appointed him the head of the NSDAP propaganda.Looking back many years later (June 24, 1942), the Führer remarked that the Nazi ideologue was gifted with two things, without which he could not cope with the situation in Berlin: verbal ability and intelligence. Dr. Goebbels, who did not invent anything new in terms of political organization, conquered Berlin in the truest sense of the word.

Hitler was really grateful to his main propagandist, who was the true creator and organizer of the myth of the Führer, his image of the Messiah-Redeemer, who feeds the theatrical element of the Nazi leader, at the same time encouraging the German masses to subordinate to someone else’s will through manipulation and skillful control of the scene. Cynic, devoid of these inner convictions, Goebbels found his mission in selling Hitler to the German public, projecting himself as his most faithful squire and organizing the pseudo-religious cult of the Fuhrer as the savior of Germany from Jews, speculators and Marxists.

As a member of the Reichstag since 1928, he no less cynically expressed his contempt for the Republic when he said that the appearance of the Nazis in parliament should provide them with a weapon of democracy.They became deputies, using the ideology of Weimar, in order to destroy it.

Speech by Joseph Goebbels

Propaganda minister

Joseph Goebbels’s deep-rooted contempt for humanity, his desire to sow confusion, hatred and intoxication, his passion for power and mastery of mass persuasion methods were fully involved in the election campaigns of 1932, when he played a decisive role in putting Hitler in the center of the political scene . The Nazi ideologue proved his organizational genius by conducting the impressive Nazi-German aviation tours of the NSDAP leader and using radio and cinema for the first time in the election campaign. Torchlight processions, brass bands, mass choirs and similar technologies attracted the attention of many voters, especially young people. 03/13/1933 for this he was rewarded with the post of Minister of the Reich of public education and propaganda, which gave him full control over the media - radio, press, publishing houses, cinema and other arts.

Paul Joseph Goebbels very quickly achieved the Nazi "coordination" of cultural life. He skillfully combined propaganda, bribes and terror, “cleansing” art in the name of the ideal,introduced state control of editors and journalists, removed Jews and political opponents from influential posts. 05/10/1933 Goebbels made a ritual burning of books in Berlin. In the course of it, works of Jews, Marxists and other “subversive” authors were publicly destroyed in huge bonfires.

Joseph Gebels


Goebbels became a tireless persecutor of the Jews, demonizing the stereotype of the "international Jewish financier" in London and Washington, united with the "Bolshevik Jews" in Moscow as the main enemy of the Third Reich. On the victory day of the party in 1933, Goebbels spoke out against “Jewish penetration into the professions” (jurisprudence, medicine, property, theater, etc.), arguing that Germany’s foreign Jewish boycott provoked Nazi “countermeasures”.

His hatred of the Jews, as well as of the privileged and intelligent, stemmed from a deep-rooted sense of inferiority and the internalization of the values ​​of the crowd. At the same time, he was also an unprincipled and prudent man who based his actions on the need to create a common enemy in order to feed popular indignation and mobilize the masses.

From Crystal Night to the “Final Solution”

For 5 years, Goebbels died down his ardor, when the Nazi regime sought to consolidate and win international recognition. His time has come after the Crystal Night - the pogrom of November 9-10, 1938, which he organized after the provocative lighting of the flame in front of the party leaders gathered in the Old Town Hall of Munich for the annual celebration of the Beer Putsch. Later, Joseph Goebbels became one of the main secret developers of the “Final Solution”, personally supervised the deportation of Jews from Berlin in 1942, and proposed the unconditional extermination of Jews and Roma.

Sunday Eintopf

Proximity with Hitler

Goebbels said that for the war "the Jews would pay for the extermination of their race in Europe and, possibly, beyond its borders," but cautiously avoided discussing the actual treatment of them with their propaganda, without mentioning the death camps. Goebbels' anti-Semitism was one of the factors that brought him closer to Hitler, who respected his political judgments, as well as his administrative and campaigning skills. Goebbels’s wife Magda and their six children were welcome guests at the Fuhrer’s Alpine residence in Berchtesgaden.

In 1937relations with Hitler deteriorated as a result of the enthusiasm of the Czech actress Lida Baarova. The Fuhrer was conservative in personal relations and ordered Goebbels to break the extramarital affair, which led him to attempt suicide. Despite the fact that he had to part with Baarova, he continued to cheat on his wife.

In 1938, when Magda attempted to divorce her husband because of his endless love relationship with beautiful actresses, Hitler intervened to correct the situation.

World War II

During the Second World War, the relationship between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels became closer, especially as the military situation deteriorated, and the Minister of Propaganda called on the German people to make more and more efforts. After the Allies began to insist on unconditional surrender, he presented this to his audience as her lack of choice but to win or perish. In the famous speech of 02/18/1943 in the Berlin Sports Palace, Goebbels created an incredibly emotional atmosphere and received the consent of his listeners to mobilize for a total war.

Deftly playing on the German fear of the "Asian hordes",using his all-pervading control over the press, films and radio to support morale, he invented the invention of the mythical "secret weapon" and the impregnable fortress in the mountains where the last frontier would be, and never lost morale.

Thanks to quick thinking and decisive actions, 07/20/1944, Goebbels with the help of detachments of the loyal troops managed to isolate the conspirators in the Ministry of War, which extended the agony of the Nazi regime for some time. Shortly thereafter, he achieved his goal of leading the internal front, when in July 1944 he was appointed ombudsman for total military mobilization.

Goebbels awards a 16-year-old Hitler Youth Iron Cross

Total mobilization

Having the broadest powers to displace the civilian population and redistribute the labor force in the armed forces, Goebbels imposed a program of austerity and insisted on ever-increasing self-sacrifice of the population. But since the collapse of Germany was near, it was too late to do anything. It only brought even more confusion. When the war came to an end, Goebbels became the most loyal follower of the Fuhrer, spending the last days with his family in his bunker under the office.Dismissing his Companions, he said: “When we go, the whole earth is trembling!” In this quote by Joseph Goebbels there is a conviction that the Nazis finally burned all the bridges and were more and more fascinated by the prospect of the final apocalypse.

Defeat and death

After Hitler's suicide, the Nazi ideologue ignored his political testament, according to which he was appointed Reich Chancellor, and decided to follow the example of the Fuhrer. Josef Goebbels put her six children to sleep with the help of a doctor who injected morphine into them, and their mother crushed the ampoules with cyanide in their mouths. The Chancellor himself and his wife Magda, on his orders, were shot by an SS adjutant on 05/01/1945. A characteristic pathos is distinguished by the following quote by Joseph Goebbels. Shortly before his death, he declared: "We will remain in history as the greatest statesmen of all time or as the greatest criminals."

Then the bodies of Goebbels and his wives were burned, but only partially burned, so they were easily identified. The corpses were secretly buried along with the remains of Hitler, not far from Rathenov in Brandenburg. In 1970, they were exhumed and cremated, and the ash was thrown into the Elbe.

The ideologue of Nazism from 1923 to April 1945 kept a diary. It is preserved in the form of notebooks, typewritten pages and on photographic plates. On their basis were published 4-volume and 29-volume editions. The final part of the records, published in the book “Goebbels Joseph. The 1945 Diaries. Last records, in Russia is prohibited.

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