Joseph Goebbels
Nazi politician and Propaganda Minister
Joseph Goebbels
Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism. He had a hand in the Kristallnacht attack on the German Jews, which many historians consider to be the beginning of the Final Solution, leading to the Holocaust. Goebbels earned a Ph.D.
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EXCERPT; Excerpt — Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War — By Hal Vaughan
NYTimes - over 5 years
PROLOGUE Despite her age she sparkles; she is the only volcano in the Auvergne that is not extinct . . . the most brilliant, the most impetuous, the most brilliantly insufferable woman that ever was. Gabrielle Chanel had barely been laid to rest in her designer sepulcher at Lausanne, Switzerland, when the city of Paris announced that France’s
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After 66 Years of Silence, Joseph Goebbels's Secretary Speaks Out - Opposing Views
Google News - over 5 years
Joseph Goebbels was Hitler's propaganda chief. It was his job to promote the Nazi regime, lie to the German public about the war effort when things turned bad, and to spread hate about Jews. He was very good at his job. Brunhilde Pomsel was his ... -
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Wash. Post twists Beck prepareness message into Irene, earthquake are "blessing" - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
A quote often (mis)attributed to German National Socialist propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels is “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.” Not willing to be outdone by Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck recently weighed in on God's
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Coco Chanel's collaboration with the Nazis - Providence Journal
Google News - over 5 years
For years, “fashionable Paris” had gossiped that Chanel had a German lover called Spatz living with her at the Hotel Ritz where Nazi leaders like Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels also lived in luxury. Now Hal Vaughan's “Sleeping with the Enemy”
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'Voice Of The Masses – People Will Decide' - New Era
Google News - over 5 years
His subordinate, Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda (1933-1945) later came to reinforce that: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as
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One Man Against Tyranny - Smithsonian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Adolf Hitler and his party—a group of senior Nazis that included Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels and Reinhard Heydrich—had spent more than an hour in her Munich bierkeller. Hitler had delivered a trademark speech, and, while they listened,
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'Do You Want Total War?' German Politician in Trouble for Using Phrase - ABC News
Google News - over 5 years
The term was used by Joseph Goebbels in a famous 1943 speech. A veteran German politician has got himself into hot water by repeating a phrase attributed to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels -- "Do you want total war?
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Let truth spring forth - Ha'aretz
Google News - over 5 years
As Nazi chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels infamously said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it ... the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest
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Gandhi vs Hitler - Washington Bangla Radio
Google News - over 5 years
Gandhi actually wrote to Hitler to try to put some sense into him and avoid World War 2 (which largely bypassed India), and later, when Hitler fell with just Eva Braun and Joseph Goebbels remaining with him, Gandhi wrote him again
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Gandhi To Hitler to release on 29 July - Indiantelevision.com
Google News - over 5 years
It spells out the leader's insecurities, his charisma, his paranoia and depicts his relationship with his close associates including that with his trusted aide, Joseph Goebbels, in the last few days of his life in his underground bunker
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America Still Awaits New Era of Civility After Arizona Shooting - Fox News
Google News - over 5 years
Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., compared Republican attacks on the health care overhaul to Nazi propaganda advanced by Joseph Goebbels. "They don't like the truth so they summarily dismiss it," Cohen said to a mostly empty chamber on the House floor
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LETTER: Goebbels' heirs - The Northwest Florida Daily News
Google News - over 5 years
I know it only as the rightful heir of Joseph Goebbels' finely tuned Nazi media machine. By whatever tag one knows these media outlets, their unhinged, visceral, misogynistic hatred of conservative women is truly a thing to behold
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Delta Blues Hit the Jews - Patheos
Google News - over 5 years
Delta Airlines may have proved Joseph Goebbels wrong, but if he were here, he wouldn't object. Its cowardly choice of market share over morality would have been fine with him. "Repeat a lie often enough,
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Nazi propaganda chief's waterfront estate up for sale - Reuters
Google News - over 5 years
The former Berlin waterfront estate of Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels is going under the hammer. The bidding for the 1.5 acre (6440 sq m) island property in the capital's leafy west opened this week and will last two months,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Joseph Goebbels
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  • 1945
    On the evening of 1 May 1945, Goebbels arranged for an SS dentist, Helmut Kunz, to inject his six children with morphine so that when they were unconscious, an ampule of cyanide could be then crushed in each of their mouths.
    More Details Hide Details According to Kunz's later testimony, he gave the children morphine injections but it was Magda Goebbels and SS-Obersturmbannführer Ludwig Stumpfegger, Hitler's personal doctor, who administered the cyanide. At around 20:30, Goebbels and Magda left the bunker and walked up to the garden of the Chancellery, where they committed suicide. There are several different accounts of this event. According to one account, Goebbels shot Magda and then himself. Another account was that they each bit on a cyanide ampule and were given a coup de grâce immediately afterwards. Goebbels' SS adjutant Günther Schwägermann testified in 1948 that they walked ahead of him up the stairs and out into the Chancellery garden. He waited in the stairwell and heard the shots sound. Schwägermann then walked up the remaining stairs and, once outside, saw their lifeless bodies. Following Goebbels' prior order, Schwägermann had an SS soldier fire several shots into his body, which did not move.
    In the last months of the war, Goebbels' speeches and articles took on an increasingly apocalyptic tone. By the beginning of 1945, with the Soviets on the Oder River and the Western Allies preparing to cross the Rhine, he could no longer disguise the fact that defeat was inevitable.
    More Details Hide Details Berlin had little in the way of fortifications or artillery (or even Volkssturm units, 'civilian soldiers'), as almost everything had been sent to the front. Goebbels noted in his diary on 21 January that millions of Germans were fleeing westward. He tentatively discussed with Hitler the issue of making peace overtures to the western allies, but Hitler again refused. Privately, Goebbels was conflicted at pushing the case with Hitler since he did not want to lose the confidence of his Führer. When other Nazi leaders urged Hitler to leave Berlin and establish a new centre of resistance in the National Redoubt in Bavaria, Goebbels opposed this, arguing for a last heroic stand in Berlin. His family (except for Magda's son Harald, who had served in the Luftwaffe and been captured by the Allies) moved into their house in Berlin to await the end. He and Magda may have discussed suicide and the fate of their young children in a long meeting on the night of 27 January. He knew how the outside world would view the criminal acts committed by the regime, and had no desire to subject himself to the "debacle" of a trial. He burned his private papers on the night of 18 April.
  • 1944
    While Goebbels' propaganda in this period indicated that a huge retaliation was in the offing, the V-1 flying bombs, launched on British targets beginning in mid-June 1944, had little effect, with only around 20 per cent reaching their intended targets.
    More Details Hide Details To boost morale, Goebbels continued to publish propaganda to the effect that further improvements to these weapons would have a decisive impact on the outcome of the war. Meanwhile, in the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944, the Allies successfully gained a foothold in France. Throughout July, Goebbels and Speer continued to press Hitler to bring the economy to a total war footing. The 20 July plot, where Hitler was almost killed by a bomb at his field headquarters in East Prussia, played into the hands of those who had been pushing for change: Bormann, Goebbels, Himmler, and Speer. Over the objections of Göring, Goebbels was appointed on 23 July as Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War, charged with maximising the manpower for the Wehrmacht and the armaments industry at the expense of sectors of the economy not critical to the war effort. Through these efforts, he was able to free up an additional half a million men for military service. However, as many of these new recruits came from the armaments industry, the move put him in conflict with armaments minister Speer. Untrained workers from elsewhere were not readily absorbed into the armaments industry, and likewise the new Wehrmacht recruits waited in barracks for their turn to be trained.
  • 1943
    His next speech, the Sportpalast speech of 18 February 1943, was a passionate demand for his audience to commit to total war, which he presented as the only way to stop the Bolshevik onslaught and save the German people from destruction.
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    After receiving an enthusiastic response to his speech of 30 January 1943 on the topic, Goebbels believed he had the support of the German people in his call for total war.
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    By early 1943, the war produced a labour crisis for the regime.
    More Details Hide Details Hitler created a three-man committee with representatives of the State, the army, and the Party in an attempt to centralise control of the war economy. The committee members were Hans Lammers (head of the Reich Chancellery), Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces High Command; OKW), and Martin Bormann, who controlled the Party. The committee was intended to independently propose measures regardless of the wishes of various ministries, with Hitler reserving most final decisions to himself. The committee, soon known as the Dreierausschuß (Committee of Three), met eleven times between January and August 1943. However, they ran up against resistance from Hitler's cabinet ministers, who headed deeply entrenched spheres of influence and were excluded from the committee. Seeing it as a threat to their power, Goebbels, Göring, and Speer worked together to bring it down. The result was that nothing changed, and the Committee of Three declined into irrelevance by September 1943.
    On 15 January 1943, Hitler appointed Goebbels as head of the newly created Air Raid Damage committee, which meant Goebbels was nominally in charge of nationwide civil air defenses and shelters as well as the assessment and repair of damaged buildings.
    More Details Hide Details In actuality, the defence of areas other than Berlin remained in the hands of the local Gauleiters, and his main tasks were limited to providing immediate aid to the affected civilians and using propaganda to improve their morale.
  • 1942
    At the same time, Goebbels implemented changes to have more "entertaining material" in radio and film produced for the public, decreeing in late 1942 that 20 per cent of the films should be propaganda and 80 per cent light entertainment.
    More Details Hide Details As Gauleiter of Berlin, Goebbels dealt with increasingly serious shortages of necessities such as food and clothing, as well as the need to ration beer and tobacco, which were important for morale. Hitler suggested watering the beer and degrading the quality of the cigarettes so that more could be produced, but Goebbels refused, saying the cigarettes were already of such low quality that it was impossible to make them any worse. Through his propaganda campaigns, he worked hard to maintain an appropriate level of morale among the public about the military situation, neither too optimistic nor too grim. The series of military setbacks the Germans suffered in this period – the thousand-bomber raid on Cologne (May 1942), the Allied victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein (November 1942), and especially the catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad (February 1943) – were difficult matters to present to the German public, who were increasingly weary of the war and sceptical that it could be won.
  • 1940
    The discovery around this time of a mass grave of Polish officers that had been killed by the Red Army in the 1940 Katyn massacre was made use of by Goebbels in his propaganda in an attempt to drive a wedge between the Soviets and the other western allies.
    More Details Hide Details After the Allied invasion of Sicily (July 1943) and the strategic Soviet victory in the Battle of Kursk (July–August 1943), Goebbels began to recognize that the war could no longer be won. Following the Allied invasion of Italy and the fall of Mussolini in September, he raised with Hitler the possibility of a separate peace, either with the Soviets or with Britain. Hitler rejected both of these proposals. As Germany's military and economic situation grew steadily worse, on 25 August 1943 Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler took over the post of interior minister, replacing Wilhelm Frick. (H. R. Knickerbocker had written in 1941 that Goebbels and Himmler were "rivals in unpopularity", and that Goebbels "would be lucky to remain alive twenty-four hours after Hitler's protective hand was removed".) Intensive air raids on Berlin and other cities took the lives of thousands of people. Göring's Luftwaffe attempted to retaliate with air raids on London in early 1944, but they no longer had sufficient aircraft to make much of an impact.
    From May 1940 he wrote frequent editorials that were published in Das Reich which were later read aloud over the radio.
    More Details Hide Details He found films to be his most effective propaganda medium, after radio. At his insistence, initially half the films made in wartime Germany were propaganda films (particularly on antisemitism) and war propaganda films (recounting both historical wars and current exploits of the Wehrmacht). Goebbels became preoccupied with morale and the efforts of the people on the home front. He believed that the more the people at home were involved in the war effort, the better their morale would be. For example, he initiated a programme for the collection of winter clothing and ski equipment for troops on the eastern front.
  • 1939
    After the Invasion of Poland in 1939, Goebbels used his propaganda ministry and the Reich chambers to control access to information domestically.
    More Details Hide Details To his chagrin, his rival Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, continually challenged Goebbels' jurisdiction over the dissemination of international propaganda. Hitler declined to make a firm ruling on the subject, so the two men remained rivals for the remainder of the Nazi era. Goebbels did not participate in the military decision making process, nor was he made privy to diplomatic negotiations until after the fact. The Propaganda Ministry took over the broadcasting facilities of conquered countries immediately after surrender, and began broadcasting prepared material using the existing announcers as a way to gain the trust of the citizens. Most aspects of the media, both domestically and in the conquered countries, were controlled by Goebbels and his department. The German Home Service, the Armed Forces Programme, and the German European Service were all rigorously controlled in everything from the information they were permitted to disseminate to the music they were allowed to play. Party rallies, speeches, and demonstrations continued; speeches were broadcast on the radio and short propaganda films were exhibited using 1,500 mobile film vans. Hitler made fewer public appearances and broadcasts as the war progressed, so Goebbels increasingly became the voice of the Nazi regime for the German people.
  • 1938
    In November 1938, the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath was killed in Paris by a young Jewish man.
    More Details Hide Details In response, Goebbels arranged for inflammatory antisemitic material to be released by the press, and the result was the start of a pogrom. Jews were attacked and synagogues destroyed all over Germany. The situation was further inflamed by a speech Goebbels gave at a party meeting on the night of 8 November, where he obliquely called for party members to incite further violence against Jews while making it appear to be a spontaneous series of acts by the German people. At least a hundred Jews were killed, several hundred synagogues were damaged or destroyed, and thousands of Jewish shops were vandalized in an event called Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass). Around 30,000 Jewish men were sent to concentration camps. The destruction stopped after a conference held on 12 November, where Göring pointed out that the destruction of Jewish property was in effect the destruction of German property, since the intention was that it would all eventually be confiscated. Goebbels continued his intensive antisemitic propaganda campaign that culminated in Hitler's 30 January 1939 Reichstag speech, which Goebbels helped to write:
    After the western powers acceded to Hitler's demands concerning Czechoslovakia in 1938, Goebbels soon redirected his propaganda machine against Poland.
    More Details Hide Details From May onwards, he orchestrated a campaign against Poland, fabricating stories about atrocities against ethnic Germans in Danzig and other cities. Even so, he was unable to persuade the majority of Germans to welcome the prospect of war. He privately held doubts about the wisdom of risking a protracted war against Britain and France by attacking Poland.
    In the lead-up to the Sudetenland crisis in 1938, Goebbels took the initiative time and again to use propaganda to whip up sympathy for the Sudeten Germans while campaigning against the Czech government.
    More Details Hide Details Still, Goebbels was well aware there was a growing "war panic" in Germany and so by July had the press conduct propaganda efforts at a lower level of intensity.
    It was around this time that he met and started having an affair with the actress Lída Baarová, whom he continued to see until 1938.
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    Goebbels had five siblings: Konrad (1893–1947), Hans (1895–1949), Maria (1896–1896), Elisabeth (1901–1915), and Maria (1910–1949), who married the German filmmaker Max W. Kimmich in 1938.
    More Details Hide Details In 1932, Goebbels published a pamphlet of his family tree to refute the rumors that his grandmother was of Jewish ancestry. During childhood, Goebbels suffered from ill health which included a long bout of inflammation of the lungs. He had a deformed right foot which turned inwards, due to a congenital deformity. It was thicker and shorter than his left foot. He underwent a failed operation to correct it just prior to starting grammar school. Goebbels wore a metal brace and special shoe because of his shortened leg, and walked with a limp. He was rejected for military service in World War I due to his deformity.
  • 1937
    Hitler often vacillated on whether or not the Kirchenkampf (church struggle) should be a priority, but his frequent inflammatory comments on the issue were enough to convince Goebbels to intensify his work on the issue in the first half of 1937.
    More Details Hide Details In response to the persecution, Pope Pius XI had the "Mit brennender Sorge" ("With Burning Concern") Encyclical smuggled into Germany for Passion Sunday 1937 and read from every pulpit. It denounced the systematic hostility of the regime toward the church. In response, Goebbels renewed the regime's crackdown and propaganda against Catholics. His speech of 28 May in Berlin in front of 20,000 party members, which was also broadcast on the radio, attacked the Catholic church as morally corrupt. As a result of the propaganda campaign, enrolment in denominational schools dropped sharply, and by 1939 all such schools were disbanded or converted to public facilities. Harassment and threats of imprisonment led the clergy to be much more cautious in their criticism of the regime. Partly out of foreign policy concerns, Hitler ordered a scaling back the church struggle by the end of July 1937.
    A major project in 1937 was the Degenerate Art Exhibition, organised by Goebbels, which ran in Munich from July to November.
    More Details Hide Details The exhibition proved wildly popular, attracting over two million visitors. A degenerate music exhibition took place the following year. Meanwhile, Goebbels was disappointed by the lack of quality in the National Socialist artwork, films, and literature. In 1933, Hitler signed the Reichskonkordat (Reich Concordat), a treaty with the Vatican that required the regime to honour the independence of Catholic institutions and prohibited clergy from involvement in politics. However, the regime continued to target the Christian churches and to try to weaken their influence. Throughout 1935 and 1936, hundreds of clergy, nuns, and lay leaders were arrested, often on trumped up charges of currency smuggling or sexual offences. Goebbels widely publicised the trials in his propaganda campaigns, showing the cases in the worst possible light. Restrictions were placed on public meetings, and Catholic publications faced censorship. Catholic schools were required to reduce religious instruction and crucifixes were removed from state buildings.
  • 1936
    In 1936, Goebbels met the Czech actress Lída Baarová and by the winter of 1937 began an intense affair with her.
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    Goebbels was involved in planning the staging of the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Berlin.
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  • 1935
    At the 1935 Nazi party congress rally at Nuremberg, Goebbels declared that "Bolshevism is the declaration of war by Jewish-led international subhumans against culture itself."
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  • 1934
    Adulation of Hitler was the focus of the 1934 Nuremberg Rally, where his moves were carefully choreographed.
    More Details Hide Details The rally was the subject of the film Triumph of the Will, one of several Nazi propaganda films directed by Leni Riefenstahl. It won the Gold Medal at the 1935 Venice Film Festival.
    Goebbels was particularly interested in controlling radio, which was then still a fairly new mass medium. Sometimes under protest from individual states (particularly Prussia, headed by Göring), Goebbels gained control of radio stations nationwide, and placed them under the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft (German National Broadcasting Corporation) in July 1934.
    More Details Hide Details Manufacturers were urged by Goebbels to produce inexpensive home receivers, called Volksempfänger (people's receiver), and by 1938 nearly ten million sets had been sold. Loudspeakers were placed in public areas, factories, and schools, so that important party broadcasts would be heard live by nearly all Germans. On 2 September 1939 (the day after the start of the war), Goebbels and the Council of Ministers proclaimed it illegal to listen to foreign radio stations. Disseminating news from foreign broadcasts could result in the death penalty. Albert Speer, Hitler's architect and later Minister for Armaments and War Production, later said the regime "made the complete use of all technical means for domination of its own country. Through technical devices like the radio and loudspeaker, 80 million people were deprived of independent thought." A major focus of Nazi propaganda was Hitler himself, who was glorified as a heroic and infallible leader and became the focus of a cult of personality. Much of this was spontaneous, but some was stage-managed as part of Goebbels' propaganda work.
    At the end of June 1934, top officials of the SA and opponents of the regime, including Gregor Strasser, were arrested and killed in a purge later called the Night of Long Knives.
    More Details Hide Details Goebbels was present at the arrest of SA leader Ernst Röhm in Munich. On 2 August 1934, President von Hindenburg died. In a radio broadcast, Goebbels announced that the offices of president and chancellor had been combined, and Hitler had been formally named as Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor). The propaganda ministry was organized into seven departments: administration and legal; mass rallies, public health, youth, and race; radio; national and foreign press; films and film censorship; art, music, and theatre; and protection against counter-propaganda, both foreign and domestic. Goebbels style of leadership was tempestuous and unpredictable. He would suddenly change direction and shift his support between senior associates; he was a difficult boss and liked to berate his staff in public. Goebbels was successful at his job, however; Life wrote in 1938 that "personally he likes nobody, is liked by nobody, and runs the most efficient Nazi department."
  • 1933
    Magda too had affairs, including a relationship with Kurt Ludecke in 1933 and Karl Hanke in 1938.
    More Details Hide Details The Goebbels family included Harald Quandt (Magda's son from her first marriage; born 1921), plus Helga (1932), Hilde (1934), Helmuth (1935), Holde (1937), Hedda (1938), and Heide (1940). Harald was the only member of the family to survive the war.
    Goebbels hoped to increase popular support of the party from the 37 per cent achieved at the last free election held in Germany on 25 March 1933 to 100 per cent support.
    More Details Hide Details An unstated goal was to present to other nations the impression that the NSDAP had the full and enthusiastic backing of the entire population. One of Goebbels' first productions was staging the Day of Potsdam, a ceremonial passing of power from Hindenburg to Hitler, held in Potsdam on 21 March. He composed the text of Hitler's decree authorizing the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses, held on 1 April. Later that month, Goebbels travelled back to Rheydt, where he was given a triumphal reception. The townsfolk lined the main street, which had been renamed in his honour. On the following day, Goebbels was declared a local hero. Goebbels converted the 1 May holiday from a celebration of workers' rights (observed as such especially by the communists) into a day celebrating the NSDAP. In place of the usual ad hoc labour celebrations, he organized a huge party rally held at Tempelhof Field in Berlin. The following day, all trade union offices in the country were forcibly disbanded by the SA and SS, and the Nazi-run German Labour Front was created to take their place. "We are the masters of Germany", he commented in his diary entry of 3 May. Less than two weeks later, he gave a speech at the Nazi book burning in Berlin on 10 May.
  • 1932
    For two further elections held in 1932, Goebbels organized massive campaigns that included rallies, parades, speeches, and Hitler travelling around the country by airplane with the slogan "the Führer over Germany".
    More Details Hide Details Goebbels also undertook numerous speaking tours during these election campaigns. Goebbels had some of their speeches published on gramophone records and as pamphlets. He was also involved in the production of a small collection of silent films that could be shown at party meetings, though they did not yet have enough equipment to widely use this medium. Many of Goebbels' campaign posters used violent imagery such as a giant half-clad male destroying political opponents or other perceived enemies such as "International High Finance". His propaganda characterized the opposition as "November criminals", "Jewish wire-pullers", or a communist threat. Support for the party continued to grow, but neither of these elections led to a majority government. In an effort to stabilize the country and improve economic conditions, Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Reich chancellor on 30 January 1933. To celebrate Hitler's appointment as chancellor, Goebbels organized a torchlit parade in Berlin on the night of 30 January of an estimated 60,000 men, many in the uniforms of the SA and SS. The spectacle was covered by a live state radio broadcast, with commentary by longtime party member and future Minister of Aviation Hermann Göring. Goebbels was disappointed to not be given a post in Hitler's new cabinet. Bernhard Rust was appointed as Minister of Culture, the post Goebbels was expecting to receive. Like other NSDAP officials, Goebbels had to deal with Hitler's leadership style of giving contradictory orders to his subordinates, while placing them into positions where their duties and responsibilities overlapped.
  • 1931
    Goebbels and Quandt married on 19 December 1931.
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  • 1930
    In late April 1930, Hitler publicly and firmly announced his opposition to Gregor Strasser and appointed Goebbels to replace him as Reich leader of NSDAP propaganda.
    More Details Hide Details One of Goebbels' first acts was to ban the evening edition of the Nationaler Sozialist. Goebbels was also given control of other Nazi papers across the country, including the party's national newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter (People's Observer). He still had to wait until 3 July for Otto Strasser and his supporters to announce they were leaving the NSDAP. Upon receiving the news, Goebbels was relieved the "crisis" with the Strassers was finally over and glad that Otto Strasser had lost all power.
    In late 1930 Goebbels met Magda Quandt, a divorcée who had joined the party a few months earlier.
    More Details Hide Details She worked as a volunteer in the party offices in Berlin, helping Goebbels organize his private papers. Her flat on the Reichkanzlerplatz soon became a favourite meeting place for Hitler and other NSDAP officials.
    Goebbels took charge of the NSDAP's national campaign for Reichstag elections called for 14 September 1930.
    More Details Hide Details Campaigning was undertaken on a huge scale, with thousands of meetings and speeches held all over the country. Hitler's speeches focused on blaming the country's economic woes on the Weimar Republic, particularly its adherence to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which called for war reparations that had proven devastating to the German economy. He proposed a new German society based on race and national unity. The resulting success took even Hitler and Goebbels by surprise: the party received 6.5 million votes nationwide and took 107 seats in the Reichstag, making it the second largest party in the country.
    The rapid deterioration of the economy led to the resignation on 27 March 1930 of the coalition government that had been elected in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details A new cabinet was formed, and Paul von Hindenburg used his power as president to govern via emergency decrees. He appointed Heinrich Brüning as chancellor.
  • 1927
    Goebbels' tactic of using provocation to bring attention to the NSDAP, along with violence at the public party meetings and demonstrations, led the Berlin police to ban the NSDAP from the city on 5 May 1927.
    More Details Hide Details Violent incidents continued, including young Nazis randomly attacking Jews in the streets. Goebbels was subjected to a public speaking ban until the end of October. During this period, he founded the newspaper Der Angriff (The Attack) as a propaganda vehicle for the Berlin area. It was a modern-style newspaper which took an aggressive tone. To Goebbels' disappointment, circulation was initially small, only 2,000. Material in the paper was highly anti-communist and antisemitic. Among the paper's favourite targets was the Jewish Deputy Chief of the Berlin Police Bernhard Weiß. Goebbels gave him the derogatory nickname "Isidore" and subjected him to a relentless campaign of Jew-baiting in the hope of provoking a crackdown he could then exploit. Goebbels continued to try to break into the literary world, with a revised version of his book Michael finally being published, and the unsuccessful production of two of his plays (Der Wanderer and Die Saat (The Seed)). The latter was his final attempt at playwriting. During this period in Berlin he had relationships with many women, including his old flame Anka Stalherm, who was now married and had a small child. He was quick to fall in love, but easily tired of a relationship and moved on to someone new. He worried too about how a committed personal relationship might interfere with his career.
  • 1926
    Goebbels was first offered the position of party Gauleiter for the Berlin section in August 1926.
    More Details Hide Details He travelled to Berlin in mid-September and by the middle of October accepted the position. Thus Hitler's plan to divide and dissolve the northwestern Gauleiters group that Goebbels had served in under Strasser was successful. Hitler gave Goebbels great authority over the area, allowing him to determine the course for organisation and leadership for the Gau. Goebbels was given control over the local Sturmabteilung (SA) and Schutzstaffel (SS) and answered only to Hitler. The party membership numbered about 1,000 when Goebbels arrived, and he reduced it to a core of 600 of the most active and promising members. To raise money, he instituted membership fees and began charging admission to party meetings. Aware of the value of publicity (both positive and negative), he deliberately provoked beer-hall battles and street brawls, including violent attacks on the Communist Party of Germany. Goebbels adapted recent developments in commercial advertising to the political sphere, including the use of catchy slogans and subliminal cues. His new ideas for poster design included using large type, red ink, and cryptic headers that encouraged the reader to examine the fine print to determine the meaning.
    At Hitler's invitation, Goebbels spoke at party meetings in Munich and at the annual Party Congress, held in Weimar in 1926.
    More Details Hide Details For the following year's event, Goebbels was involved in the planning for the first time. He and Hitler arranged for the rally to be filmed. Receiving praise for doing well at these events led Goebbels to shape his political ideas to match Hitler's, and to admire and idolize him even more.
  • 1924
    In late 1924, Goebbels offered his services to Karl Kaufmann, who was Gauleiter (NSDAP district leader) for the Rhine-Ruhr District.
    More Details Hide Details Kaufmann put him in touch with Gregor Strasser, a leading Nazi organizer in northern Germany, who hired him to work on their weekly newspaper and to do secretarial work for the regional party offices. He was also put to work as party speaker and representative for Rhineland-Westphalia. Members of Strasser's northern branch of the NSDAP, including Goebbels, had a more socialist outlook than the rival Hitler group in Munich. Strasser disagreed with Hitler on many parts of the party platform, and in November 1926 began working on a revision. Hitler viewed Strasser's actions as a threat to his authority, and summoned 60 Gauleiters and party leaders, including Goebbels, to a special conference in Bamberg, in Streicher's Gau of Franconia, where he gave a two-hour speech repudiating Strasser's new political programme. Hitler was opposed to the socialist leanings of the northern wing, stating it would mean "political bolshevization of Germany". Further, there would be "no princes, only Germans", and a legal system with no " Jewish system of exploitation... for plundering of our people". The future would be secured by acquiring land, not through expropriation of the estates of the former nobility, but through colonization of territories to the east. Goebbels was horrified by Hitler's characterisation of socialism as "a Jewish creation", and his assertion that private property would not be expropriated by a Nazi government. "I no longer fully believe in Hitler.
    In February 1924, Hitler's trial for treason began in the wake of his failed attempt to seize power in the Beer Hall Putsch of November 8–9, 1923.
    More Details Hide Details The trial attracted widespread press coverage and gave Hitler a platform for propaganda. Hitler was sentenced to five years prison, but was released on 20 December 1924, after serving just over a year. Goebbels was drawn to the NSDAP mostly because of Hitler's charisma and commitment to his beliefs. He joined the NSDAP around this time, becoming member number 8762.
    Goebbels first took an interest in Adolf Hitler and Nazism in 1924.
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  • 1923
    Diary entries of mid-December 1923 forward show Goebbels was moving towards the völkisch nationalist movement.
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    According to biographer Peter Longerich, Goebbels' diary entries from late 1923 to early 1924 reflected the writings of a man who was isolated, preoccupied by "religious-philosophical" issues, and lacked a sense of direction.
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    He was dismissed from the bank in August 1923 and returned to Rheydt.
    More Details Hide Details During this period, he read avidly and was influenced by the works of Oswald Spengler, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the British-born German writer whose book The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (1899) was one of the standard works of the extreme right in Germany. He also began to study the "social question", and read the works of Marx and Engels.
    He continued for several years to try to become a published author. His diaries, which he began in 1923 and continued for the rest of his life, provided an outlet for his desire to write.
    More Details Hide Details The lack of income from his literary works (he wrote two plays in 1923, neither of which sold) forced him to take jobs as a caller on the stock exchange and as a bank clerk in Cologne, a job which he detested.
  • 1922
    In the summer of 1922, he met and began a love affair with Else Janke, a schoolteacher.
    More Details Hide Details After she revealed to him that she was half-Jewish, Goebbels stated the "enchantment was ruined". Nevertheless, he continued to see her on and off until 1927.
  • 1921
    After submitting the thesis and passing his oral examination, Goebbels earned his PhD in 1921.
    More Details Hide Details Goebbels then returned home and worked as a private tutor. He also found work as a journalist and was published in the local newspaper. His writing during that time reflected his growing antisemitism and dislike for modern culture.
    In 1921 he wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Michael, a three-part work of which only Parts I and III have survived.
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  • 1920
    By 1920, the relationship with Anka was over.
    More Details Hide Details The break-up filled Goebbels with thoughts of suicide. At the University of Heidelberg, Goebbels wrote his doctoral thesis on Wilhelm von Schütz, a minor 19th century romantic dramatist. He had hoped to write his thesis under the supervision of Friedrich Gundolf, who at that time was a well known literary historian. It did not seem to bother Goebbels that Gundolf was Jewish. However, Gundolf was no longer performing teaching duties, so he directed Goebbels to associate professor Max Freiherr von Waldberg. Waldberg was also Jewish. It was Waldberg who recommended Goebbels write his thesis on Wilhelm von Schütz.
  • 1917
    Goebbels was educated at a Christian Gymnasium, where he completed his Abitur (university entrance examination) in 1917.
    More Details Hide Details He was the top student of his class and was given the traditional honor to speak at the awards ceremony. His parents initially hoped that he would become a Catholic priest, and Goebbels seriously considered it. He studied literature and history at the universities of Bonn, Würzburg, Freiburg, and Munich, aided by a scholarship from the Albertus Magnus Society. By this time Goebbels had begun to distance himself from the church. Historians, including Richard J. Evans and Roger Manvell, speculate that Goebbels' lifelong pursuit of women may have been in compensation for his physical disabilities. At Freiburg, he met and fell in love with Anka Stalherm, who was three years his senior. She went on to Würzburg to continue school, as did Goebbels.
  • 1897
    Paul Joseph Goebbels was born on 29 October 1897 in Rheydt, an industrial town south of Mönchengladbach near Düsseldorf.
    More Details Hide Details Both of his parents were Catholics and from humble beginnings. His father Fritz was a factory clerk; his mother Katharina (née Odenhausen) was ethnically Dutch.
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