Joseph Goebbels

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Paul Josef Goebbels (1897-1945), member of the German National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) and propaganda minister during the era of the Third Reich. He was a slightly built man with a crippled left leg. Goebbels had earned a PhD and was a frustrated writer when he joined the Nazi Party in the 1920's during the time of the French occupation of the Ruhr. He became an ardent admirer of Hitler and took national office when the Nazis seized power in January 1933. He was known for his oratory skills and for spreading Nazi propaganda to the masses. He molded German newspapers, movies, art and culture into areas which followed and reflected Nazi doctrine. He was a noted anti-Semite.[1]

A proponent of the concept of total war, Goebbels used his position as propaganda minister to exhort the German people to greater effort and efficiencies. During the latter stages of the war he was able to use the intrigues of the Nazi Party to bring himself closer to Hitler.[2]

As the war drew to an end Goebbels spent his last days with Hitler in Berlin. After Hitler's suicide Goebbels decided that there would be no redemption for himself or his family. On May 1 1945 he and his wife, Magda had their six children poisoned. Goebbels then shot himself and his wife took poison. An SS officer then "gave them the coup de grace".[3]


  1. Hamilton, Charles. Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich (1984).
  2. Snyder, Louis. Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (1994) [1976].
  3. Hamilton, Charles. Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich (1984).

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