Joseph Goebbels

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Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels Short Bio

Paul Joseph Goebbels [a] (Rheydt, October 29, 1897-Berlin, May 1, 1945) was a German politician who served as minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda of the Third Reich between 1933 and 1945. One of Adolf Hitler’s closest collaborators, Goebbels was known for his mastery of oratory, deep anti-Semitism – which was evident in his public statements – and support for discrimination more progressive racial -which among other things, would end up leading to the extermination of the Jews during the so-called Holocaust-.

He obtained his doctorate in research at the University of Heidelberg in 1921, but his dream was to be a writer, something he expressed many times in his personal diary, joining the National Socialist Workers Party (NSDAP) in 1924 and he worked for Gregor Strasser in the northern chapter [11] He was named Gauleiter (district chief) of Berlin in 1926, [12] where he became interested in propaganda as a tool to promote the party and its program. [13] In 1933, after the Nazis were consolidated in power, his Ministry of Propaganda quickly seized the supervision of the media, arts and information in the country. [14] He was attracted by the media. of relatively new communications, such as radio and cinema, for propaganda purposes. [15] Dissemination topics included anti-Semitism, [16] clashes with Christian churches [17] and-after the start of World War II forming German morale. [18]

In 1943 he pressured Hitler to introduce measures aimed at a “total war”, such as the closure of “non-essential” businesses for the war effort, the recruitment of women in the labor force and men in previously exempt occupations. in the Wehrmacht. [19] On July 23, 1944, Hitler named him “plenipotentiary of the Reich for total war” (Reichsbevollmächtigter für den totalen Kriegseinsatz), for which Goebbels undertook measures, mostly unsuccessful, to increase the number of people available for the Wehrmacht and the production of armaments. [20] He delivered an eloquent speech about total warfare at the Sports Palace in Berlin, just as the initial successes of the Third Reich during the Second World War gave way to successive defeats that led to the fall of the regime. [21]

As the war was coming to an end and Germany was facing defeat, he moved along with his wife Magda and their children to Berlin. On April 22, 1945, they moved to the underground Vorbunker, part of the Führer’s air-raid shelter. [22] Hitler committed suicide on April 30 and, according to his will, Goebbels succeeded him as Chancellor of the Reich (Reichskanzler). 23] The next day, faced with the imminent German defeat, he committed suicide with his wife [24] after poisoning their six children. [25]

His political opponents considered him a feared demagogue and mass agitator. [26] [27] This reputation began after the re-foundation of the NSDAP, when Goebbels organized riots and street fighting against the Communists in Berlin. [ 28] The use of vivid speeches and violent public demonstrations managed to increase the number of followers of the party. [26] [29] Its impact on cultural life was considerable, since with his ministry he built or destroyed the artistic career of many Germans. [30] People who had personal contact with him claimed that he had an unpleasant and irresolute character, although he was obsessed with receiving the respect of his colleagues. [31] The historian Peter Longerich, author of Goebbels. Biographie (2010), questions his intimate friendship with Hitler and assures that he is an overvalued figure -because his importance within the Nazi regime was lower because they did not take him into account in some of the great decisions- and that he was not the “Great propagandist” he appeared. [32] According to Longerich, Goebbels suffered from “a narcissistic personality disorder that made him addictively seek recognition and praise,” which would explain his “almost absolute devotion to Hitler, his obsession with his own image and the fact that he spent a considerable part of time engaged in long battles against his competitors in Hitler’s environment. “[32] Goebbels was one of the main instigators of anti-Semitic acts [33] [34] and one of the few Nazi leaders to publicly mention the Jewish genocide. [35]

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