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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 29 October 1897Rheydt [now Mönchengladbach], Germany
Date of Death 1 May 1945Berlin, Germany  (assisted suicide by gunshot)
Birth NameJoseph Paul Goebbels
Nicknames The Malicious Dwarf
The Nazi Megaphone
Bumsbeen
Nachgedunkelter Schrumpfgermane
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Josef Goebbels, the man who almost single-handedly developed the field of propaganda into an art form, would, for a day, be the leader of World War II Germany. Goebbels was born in the German Rhineland to strict Catholic parents. He was short, standing at just under 5' 6", of small stature and skinny, and had a sharp, prominent nose and an oily, sallow complexion. He was rejected by the German army in World War I on the basis of being a cripple, specifically, he had a club foot for which he wore a brace, contracted after a bout of osteomyelitis. After Germany was defeated, Goebbels joined the National Socialist Workers Party, more infamously known as the Nazi party, which opposed the democratic Weimar Republic that had been set up to govern Germany. Because of his impressive oratorical skills and uncanny ability to slant arguments to his view, Goebbels was considered an ideal leader in the Nazi party. It was there that he met Hitler in 1925. Though they both shared a hatred of Jews, Goebbels, a dedicated socialist, initially tried to expel the relatively capitalistic Hitler, whom he saw as simply an opportunist. He would change his tune, however, when Hitler rose in rank to become Nazi leader. Hitler rewarded Goebbels with a post as Nazi district leader of Berlin, where he would wage year-round political campaigns that eventually drained the organization of virtually all of its funds. He met and married divorcée Magda Quandt around this time. Though their membership grew, the Nazis didn't manage to attract a sizable enough number of voters - especially in Berlin - to attain any kind of legitimate political power, due to both the rebounding German economy and a distrust of the gang of street thugs within the Nazi party called the Sturm Abteilung (SA). However, after the US stock market crashed in 1929, the European economies took a tremendous hit, and the resulting worldwide economic depression hit Germany especially hard. The dire economic straits of many Germans were tailor-made for a demagogue like Hitler, and, slowly, he began to take power; first as Chancellor in 1933, then as Führer in 1934. Goebbels was named minister of entertainment and propaganda, a position that gave him have sole discretion as to what books, magazines, films, radios, newspapers, etc., could print, say or show. Knowing the media power where the influencing of people was concerned, he searched for a director to place as the head of UFA, Germany's leading film studio. In a famous meeting, he offered the position to respected German director Fritz Lang, who tried to excuse himself by saying that he had Jewish grandparents, to which Goebbels curtly replied, "We will decide who is Jewish!" Lang promptly fled the country and Goebbels settled on a rising female director, Leni Riefenstahl, as the "official" Nazi filmmaker. She directed two documentaries on the party's Nuremburg rallies of 1932 and 1933. The first was disowned by Riefenstahl because of the little time she had to prepare and the fact that it was never shown publicly because the film featured Ernst Röhm, leader of the SA, who along with many SA leaders, was murdered by the Nazi high command when they moved against the SA, just after the film was completed. Their second attempt, on which Goebbels assisted Riefenstahl extensively, is perhaps the most famous propaganda film ever made: Triumph of the Will (1935). It took almost a year to prepare from the miles upon miles of footage shot. It was a success worldwide, but was not particularly popular in Germany at the time. Goebbels then commissioned Riefenstahl to shoot the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which the Nazi leadership assumed would be dominated by German athletes. The Germans did win the total medal counts, but African-American sprinter Jesse Owens shattered the myth of Aryan dominance by winning gold medals in four different events - more than any other competitor - and was idolized by the German crowds.

After World War II broke out, Goebbels was responsible for creating a massive propaganda body of work by the German government, much of which still remains recorded. He was known to use almost anything for propaganda purposes, such as posters from French and German movies with Jewish stars as examples of the "typical Jew." Even when Germany was crumbling in 1945 and the Allies demanded unconditional surrender, Goebbels used that as a motivational tool to demonstrate that every German needed to fight or face destruction.

As Allied forces began to advance toward Germany, a paranoid and rapidly deteriorating Hitler had many of his assistants executed or imprisoned, but Goebbels was given the title of "Defender of Berlin." Hitler committed suicide by gunshot on April 30, leaving Goebbels as the next in command to take over the faltering government, which, by then, controlled only a small part of Berlin. As both Soviet forces on one side and American and British forces on the other closed in on the capital, Goebbels was well aware of the fate he would meet if he were captured alive. On May 1, 1945, he reluctantly endorsed the plan his wife had conjured, which she had communicated to Albert Speer, and permitted her to drug their six children with morphine and proceed to poison them to death through the administration of a cyanide capsule. Later that day, after requesting a moment of privacy with his wife from the onlooking SS soldiers, he shot her in head, as they had also planned, and then took his own life within seconds. Soviet troops, whom Goebbels had always boasted would never get to Berlin, found him and his wife partially burnt and unburied outside the Fuhrerbunker. He was survived only by a stepson from Magda's first marriage.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous Researcher

Spouse (1)

Magda Goebbels (12 December 1931 - 1 May 1945) (their deaths) (6 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Virulent Anti-semitism
Impassioned Speeches
The Goebbels Technique: 'Argumentum Ad Nauseam"
His ability to slant arguments in order to derive the outcome that would best suit him, or his cause.

Trivia (16)

Reich Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment in Nazi Germany.
Joseph and Magda Goebbels and their children moved into the Vorbunker, connected to the lower Führerbunker under the Reich Chancellery garden, in the waning days of the War with the intent of dying; Goebbels refused Adolf Hitler's order for them to leave. Magda told Traudl Junge that she and Goebbels had made the decision to kill their children as well so that they would not have to live with the shame of their father's role in the Nazi regime. She had told her former sister-in-law: "We have demanded monstrous things from the German people, treated other nations with pitiless cruelty. For this the victors will exact their full revenge", and wrote to her son by her first marriage that death was "the only possible honorable end". As a dentist gave each child a morphine injection, Magda and Hitler's personal doctor poisoned them with cyanide. Two hours later, she and Goebbels were shot on his orders. Their bodies were discovered by the Soviet Army on May 2, 1945.
Brilliant speaker; regarded as second only to Adolf Hitler himself
Doctor of philosophy; received his PhD in 1921 at the age of 24
Admired the Russian people
Because of some pro-communist statements, he was considered a member of the Nazi party's "left" wing
Held the position of Reich Chancellor for less than 24 hours, before his assisted suicide
Stepson: Harald Quandt; (b. November 1921 to Gunther & Magda Quandt (later Magda Goebbels)) perished in a plane crash in 1967 in southern France. Quandt's girlfriend was aboard the plane and also perished. The Quandt family today owns 50% of the BMW automobile company.
Children with Magda Goebbels: Helga (b. 1 September 1932), Hilde (b. 15 April 1934), Helmut (b. 2 October 1935), Holde (19 February 1937), Hedda (b. 5 May 1938), & Heidi (b. 29 October 1940). All died on 1 May 1945, having been poisoned by their parents.
Before joining the Nazi party, he worked as a writer on a newspaper.
He held so much influence in the Propaganda Ministry, that a special microphone with an on-air switch was installed in his office, allowing him to interrupt all German broadcasts whenever he considered it important.
Was the only member of the Nazi hierarchy to hold a degree (a PhD in Literature and History from the University of Heidelberg).
Although he later commanded the Nazi press, his initial applications to seven different newspapers for a reporter's position were all rejected.
Although his family was well-to-do, Goebbels ran away from home and lived in a slum.
His favorite film was reportedly Gone with the Wind (1939).
Goebbels and his wife were unfaithful to each other throughout their marriage. Hitler demanded that Joseph end his affair with Lída Baarová. Meanwhile, Magda had affairs with fellow Nazis Kurt Ludecke, and Karl Hanke.

Personal Quotes (8)

Jokes cease to be funny when they deal with the holiest aspects of the nation.
Man is and remains an animal. Here a beast of prey, there a housepet, but always an animal.
Gentlemen, a hundred years from now, a wonderful colour film will be shown about these terrible days we are going through. Stand firm today, so that the audience does not whistle you down when you appear on the screen in a hundred years' time.
Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.
Just like a potato beetle destroys potatoes, the Jew destroys nations and peoples. There is only one solution: to deal radically with the danger.
The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.
Nothing makes one harder and more determined than struggle. Nothing give more courage than to face resistance.
[to students at the famous book burnings of May 10, 1933] The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end. The future German man will not just be a man of books, but a man of character. It is to this end that we want to educate you. As a young person, to already have the courage to face the pitiless glare, to overcome the fear of death, and regain respect for death - this is the task of this young generation. And thus you do well in this midnight hour to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past. This is a strong, great and symbolic deed - a deed which should document the following for the world to know - Here the intellectual foundation of the November [Democratic] Republic is sinking to the ground, but from this wreckage the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise.

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