Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi Party
Hitler, Magda, three of six Goebbels children, and Goebbels. 1938. http://tinyurl.com/pxgwgxg
Learning more about Nazi Germany society and propaganda got me stuck on Joseph Goebbels. The man was quite powerful, to say the least. I even stretched to say that he was as powerful if not more powerful than the Fuhrer himself. I say this because of the characteristics of Goebbels and his positions of power which “…he held both party and state positions and thus additional levers of power,” (Spielvogel, 152) much like the Fuhrer. Joseph Goebbels was a “senior Nazi official,” (History.com Staff, last paragraph) who stood by Hitler’s side until the very end. From what I read in a couple brief biographies of Joseph Goebbels, the man worked his way up to Hitler’s right hand from his intellect and, what I would call, pure infatuation with the Fuhrer. Starting with his infatuation, Goebbels and his wife, Magda had close relationships with “the man who had dominated their lives to such an extent that he had been the third person in their marriage.” (Walters, third paragraph) The couple even killed their six children then committed suicide because they did not wish to live in a Germany that was not run by Hitler. (Walters) This close relationship Goebbels and his wife held with Hitler shows a large amount of power that Goebbels had because his job was to idolize Hitler…and he did in a sizable way. A random fact that kept Goebbels close to Hitler was Goebbels’ club foot. As I regarded in my last blog, Hitler enjoyed surrounding himself with people of “lesser” characteristics. Goebbels’ intellect made him charming and sharp. His propaganda accounts for his sharpness while his “womanizer” (Walters) characteristic accounts for his charm. The man was not attractive, something reeled all the ladies in. Specifically looking at Goebbels in this blog post is to compare him to the contradictory ideals of the Nazi party. One thing that strikes me is that Goebbels was very smart and intellectual, things that the Nazi party regarded as degenerate. That is something Professor Ganyard does point out though, not much of the Nazi party’s ideals make any logical sense, but Hitler surrounded himself with smart people. Digging a little deeper into Goebbels’ life was intriguing and definitely helps to understand the peculiar ideals of the political party.
- Jackson J. Spielvogel, Hitler and Nazi Germany, A History. (New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. 2005) 152.
- History.com Staff, Joseph Goebbels. http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/joseph-goebbels (October 15, 2015)
- Guy Walters, The Nazi Casanova: A landmark biography that reveals the unknown Goebbels- a grotesque lothario obsessed by the fear Hitler was sleeping with his wife and whose propaganda ‘genius’ was a myth. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3083992/The-Nazi-Casanova-landmark-biography-reveals-unknown-Goebbels-grotesque-lothario-obsessed-fear-Hotler-sleeping-wife-propaganda-genius-myth.html (October 15, 2015)
Hoffman, Heinrich. Obersalzberg, the family Goebbels visit Adolf Hitler. 1938. German Federal Archives. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-1987-0724-502,_Obersalzberg,_Besuch_Familie_Goebbels_bei_Hitler.jpg