Joseph Goebbels publishes his screed of hate

Joseph Goebbels publishes his screed of hate

On November 16, 1941, Joseph Goebbels publishes in the German magazine Das Reich that “The Jews wanted the war, and now they have it”—referring to the Nazi propaganda scheme to shift the blame for the world war onto European Jews, thereby giving the Nazis a rationalization for the so-called Final Solution.

Just two days earlier, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, having read more than a dozen decoded messages from German police which betrayed the atrocities to which European Jews were being subjected, had written in a letter to the Jewish Chronicle that “The Jew bore the brunt of the Nazis’ first onslaught upon the citadels of freedom and human dignity… He has not allowed it to break his spirit: he has never lost the will to resist.” And active Jewish resistance was increasing, especially in the USSR, where Jews were joining partisans in fighting the German incursions into Russian territory.

But it was proving too little too late, as Goebbels, Himmler, and the rest of Hitler’s henchmen carried out the “elimination of the Jews,” using propaganda and anti-Bolshevik rhetoric to infuse SS soldiers with enthusiasm for their work. As Goebbels wrote in Das Reich: “[T]he prophecy which the Fuhrer made…that should international finance Jewry succeed in plunging the nations into a world war once again, the result would not be the Bolshevization of the world…but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe. We are in the midst of that process…Compassion or regret are entirely out of place here.”

READ MOR: 10 Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals

Joseph Goebbels publishes his screed of hate - HISTORY

The source : &ldquoDie Urheber des Unglücks der Welt,&rdquo Das Reich, 21 January 1945, pp. 1, 3.

The Creators of the World’s Misfortunes

One could not understand this war if one did not always keep in mind the fact that International Jewry stands behind all the unnatural forces that our united enemies use to attempt to deceive the world and keep humanity in the dark. It is, so to speak, the mortar that holds the enemy coalition firmly together, despite its differences of class, ideology, and interests. Capitalism and Bolshevism have the same Jewish roots, two branches of the same tree that in the end bear the same fruit. International Jewry uses both in its own way to suppress the nations and keep them in its service. How deep its influence on public opinion is in all the enemy countries and many neutral nations is plain to see that it may never be mentioned in newspapers, speeches, and radio broadcasts. There is a law in the Soviet Union that punishes anti-Semitism — or in plain English, public education about the Jewish Question — by death. The expert in these matters is in no way surprised that a leading spokesman for the Kremlin said over the New Year that the Soviet Union would not rest until this law was valid throughout the world. In other words, the enemy clearly says that its goal in this war is to put the total domination of Jewry over the nations of the earth under legal protection, and to threaten even a discussion of this shameful attempt with the death penalty.

It is little different in the plutocratic nations. There the struggle against the impudent usurpation of the Jewish race is not punished by the executioner, but rather by death through economic and social boycott and by intellectual terror. This has the same effect in the end. Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt were made by Jewry. They enjoy its full support and reward it with their full protection. They present themselves in their speeches as upright men of civil courage, yet one never hears even a word against the Jews, even though there is growing hatred among their people as a result of this war, a hatred that is fully justified. Jewry is a taboo theme in the enemy countries. It stands outside every legal boundary and thus becomes the tyrant of its host peoples. While enemy soldiers fight, bleed, and die at the front, the Jews make money from their sacrifice on the stock exchanges and black markets. If a brave man dares to step forward and accuse the Jews of their crimes, he will be mocked and spat on by their press, chased from his job or otherwise impoverished, and be brought into public contempt. Even that is apparently not enough for the Jews. They want to bring Soviet conditions to the whole world, giving Jewry absolute power and freedom from prosecution. He who objects or even debates the matter gets a bullet in the back of his head or an axe through his neck. There is no worse tyranny than this. This is the epitome of the public and secret disgrace that Jewry inflicts on the nations that deserve freedom.

That is all long behind us. Yet it still threatens us in the distance. We have, it is true, entirely broken the power of the Jews in the Reich, but they have not given up. They did not rest until they had mobilized the whole world against us. Since they could no longer conquer Germany from within, they want to try it from without. Every Russian, English, and American soldier is a mercenary of this world conspiracy of a parasitic race. Given the current state of the war, who could still believe that they are fighting and dying at the front for the national interests of their countries! The nations want a decent peace, but the Jews are against it. They know that the end of the war would mean the dawning humanity’s knowledge of the unhealthy role that International Jewry played in preparing for and carrying out this war. They fear being unmasked, which has in fact become unavoidable and must inevitably come, just as the day follows the night. That explains their raging bursts of hatred against us, which are only the result of their fear and their feelings of inferiority. They are too eager, and that makes them suspicious. International Jewry will not succeed in turning this war to its advantage. Things are already too far along. The hour will come in which all the peoples of the earth will awake, and the Jews will be the victims. Here, too, things can only go so far.

It is an old, often-used method of International Jewry to discredit education and knowledge about its corrupting nature and drives, thereby depending on the weaknesses of those people who easily confuse cause with effect. The Jews are also masters at manipulating public opinion, which they dominate through their network of news agencies and press concerns that reaches throughout the world. The pitiful illusion of a free press is one of the methods they use to stupefy the publics of enemy lands. If the enemy press is as free as it pretends to be, let it take an open position, for or against, on the Jewish Question. It will not do that because it cannot and may not do so. The Jews love to mock and criticize everything except themselves, although everyone knows that they are most in need of public criticism. This is where the so-called freedom of the press in enemy countries ends. Newspapers, parliaments, statesmen, and church leaders must be silent here. Crimes and vices, filth and corruption are covered by the blanket of love. The Jews have total control of public opinion in enemy countries, and he who has that is also master of all of public life. Only the nations that have to accept such a condition are to be pitied. The Jews mislead them into believing that the German nation is backward. Our alleged backwardness is actually proof of our progress. We have recognized the Jews as a national and international danger, and from this knowledge have drawn compelling conclusions. This German knowledge will become the knowledge of the world at the end of this war. We think it our primary duty to do everything in our power to make that happen.

Humanity would sink into eternal darkness, it would fall into a dull and primitive state, were the Jews to win this war. They are the incarnation of that destructive force that in these terrible years has guided the enemy war leadership in a fight against all that we see as noble, beautiful, and worth keeping. For that reason alone the Jews hate us. They despise our culture and learning, which they perceive as towering over their nomadic worldview. They fear our economic and social standards, which leave no room for their parasitic drives. They are the enemy of our domestic order, which has excluded their anarchistic tendencies. Germany is the first nation in the world that is entirely free of the Jews. That is the prime cause of its political and economic balance. Since their expulsion from the German national body has made it impossible for them to shake this balance from within, they lead the nations they have deceived in battle against us from without. It is fine with them, in fact it is part of their plan, that Europe in the process will lose a large part of its cultural values. The Jews had no part in their creation. They do not understand them. A deep racial instinct tells them that since these heights of human creative activity are forever beyond their reach, they must attack them today with hatred. The day is not distant when the nations of Europe, yes, even those of the whole world, will shout: The Jews are guilty for all our misfortunes! They must be called to account, and soon and thoroughly!

International Jewry is ready with its alibi. Just as during the great reckoning in Germany, they will attempt to look innocent and say that one needs a scapegoat, and they are it. But that will no longer help them, just as it did not help them during the National Socialist revolution, The proof of their historical guilt, in details large and small, is so plain that it can no longer be denied even with the most clever lies and hypocrisy.

Who is it that drives the Russians, the English, and the Americans into battle and sacrifices huge numbers of human lives in a hopeless struggle against the German people? The Jews! Their newspapers and radio broadcasts spread the songs of war while the nations they have deceived are led to the slaughter. Who is it that invents new plans of hatred and destruction against us every day, making this war into a dreadful case of self-mutilation and self-destruction of European life and its economy, education and culture? The Jews! Who devised the unnatural marriage between England and the USA on one side and Bolshevism on the other, building it up and jealously ensuring its continuance? Who covers the most perverse political situations with cynical hypocrisy from a trembling fear that a new way could lead the nations to realize the true causes of this terrible human catastrophe? The Jews, only the Jews! They are named Morgenthau and Lehmann and stand behind Roosevelt as a so-called brain trust. They are named Mechett and Sasoon and serve as Churchill’s moneybags and order givers. They are named Kaganovitsch and Ehrenburg and are Stalin’s pacesetters and intellectual spokesmen. Wherever you look, you see Jews. They march as political commissars behind the Red army and organize murder and terror in the areas conquered by the Soviets. They sit behind the lines in Paris and Brussels, Rome and Athens, and fashion their reins from the skin of the unhappy nations that have fallen under their power.

That is the truth. It can no longer be denied, particularly since in their drunken joy of power and victory the Jews have forgotten their ordinarily so carefully maintained reserve and now stand in the spotlight of public opinion. They no longer bother, apparently believing that it is no longer necessary, that their hour has come. And this is their mistake, which they always make when think themselves near their great goal of anonymous world domination. Throughout the history of the nations, whenever this tragic situation developed, a good providence saw to it that the Jews themselves became the gravediggers of their own hopes. They did not destroy the healthy peoples, but rather the sting of their parasitic effects brought the realization of the looming danger to the forefront and led to the greatest sacrifices to overcome it. At a certain point, they become that power that always wants evil but creates good. It will be that way this time, too.

The fact that the German nation was the first on earth to recognize this danger and expel it from its organism is proof of its healthy instincts. It therefore became the leader of a world struggle whose results will determine the fate and the future of International Jewry. We view with complete calm the wild Old Testament tirades of hatred and revenge of Jews throughout the world against us. They are only proof that we are on the right path. They cannot unsettle us. We gaze on them with sovereign contempt and remember that these outbursts of hate and revenge were everyday events for us in Germany until that fateful day for International Jewry, 30 January 1933, when the world revolution against the Jews that threatened them not only Germany, but all the other nations, began.

It will not cease before it has reached its goal. The truth cannot be stopped by lies or force. It will get through. The Jews will meet their Cannae at the end of this war. Not Europe, but rather they will lose. They may laugh at this prophecy today, but they have laughed so often in the past, and almost as often they stopped laughing sooner or later. Not only do we know precisely what we want, we also know precisely what we do not want. The deceived nations of the Earth may still lack the knowledge they need, but we will bring it to them. How will the Jews stop that in the long run? They believe their power rests on sure foundations, but it stands on feet of clay. One hard blow and it will collapse, burying the creators of the misfortunes of the world in its ruins.

[Page copyright © 2001 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]


They're also planning a gradual approach to renovation, unfolding over the span of 10 years.

Meanwhile, the current owners – the Berlin government – are spending an estimated €230,000 (£200,000) a year on maintaining the property.

Ultimately, the renovated estate would house approximately 250 people, with some of the living space set aside for the disadvantaged.

In a 1936 diary entry, Joseph Goebbels called Bogensee 'an idyll of solitude' where you could be 'completely left to your own devices'. Pictured: The mansion during its time as an East German college

The transformation is expected to be expensive, however – the Bogensee mansion alone comprises 70 rooms as well as a private cinema

Goebbels' mansion itself would host a museum, detailing the history of the site and the two totalitarian ideologies that shaped its past.

Arnim's daughter, Fanny, 16, explained: 'I think that far-right people would be deterred from using it as a pilgrimage because of our principals, our beliefs and the way we try to treat people equally.'

They also believe that preserving the buildings is better than demolishing them, however dark their history.

The complex also includes numerous Stalinist buildings from the Cold War era

It fell into disuse in the 1990s, after spending the Cold War as an East German college for indoctrinating young people into communism

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Mr Beutel said: 'The difficulty of this place is this historical weight, and that's a problem.

'I think we have to give this place a new use.

'It could be a symbolic way to show how to live with this history.'

In a 1936 diary entry, Joseph Goebbels called Bogensee 'an idyll of solitude' where you could be 'completely left to your own devices'.

However, he would eventually move his family into the mansion, having been ordered by Hitler to break off his affair with Lída Baarová.

He and his wife, Magda, ultimately killed themselves and their six children in Berlin on May 1, 1945, after Nazi Germany's defeat in the Second World War became certain.

The family had fled Bogensee for the German capital on April 22.

The Nazi Casanova Joseph Goebbels and his two-year affair with Czech actress Lída Baarová

Joseph Goebbels was one of the most important and influential people in Nazi Germany.

Adolf Hitler put him in charge of the Nazi party's propaganda machine in 1929 and he played a key role in implementing the dictator's agenda when he came to power in 1933.

His job involved presenting a favourable image of Hitler to the public, by stage-managing his appearances at rallies and flying him all over the Reich.

His other roles were to control the media and to whip up anti-Semitism.

He masterminded the burning of 'un-German' books, as well as the hounding Jewish editors and artists into bankruptcy.

Joseph Goebbels was one of the most important and influential people in Nazi Germany

His sharp tongue earned him the nickname among some as the 'Poison Dwarf'.

He also censored the news and supported Nazi propaganda films.

As WWII turned in favour of the Allies, he increased his propaganda in order to convince the German people of the idea of 'total war' and mobilisation.

When Nazi Germany's defeat became certain in 1945, Goebbels and his wife Magda killed themselves and their six biological children with cyanide capsules the day after Hitler himself committed suicide.

Goebbels became infatuated with the actress Czech actress Lída Baarová and their two-year dalliance pushed Goebbels' marriage close to collapse

Goebbels is also well-known for having a voracious sexual appetite.

Although he had six children with his wife Magda, who he married in 1931, the propaganda chief had countless affairs.

He became infatuated with the actress Czech actress Lída Baarová and their two-year dalliance pushed Goebbels' marriage close to collapse.

Baarová was married to German actor Gustav Frohlich. The pair co-starred in the 1935 film Barcarole. It made Baarova a household name in Germany.

Born in Prague, the daughter of a civil servant, Baarová became a star of the Czechoslovak cinema at 21 after her first film, The Career of Pavel Camrda (1931).

In 1934, the German company UFA signed her up, and the role as Giacinta in Barcarole followed.

Her final German film was Der Spieler (The Gambler) in 1937.

When Goebbels's wife found out about his affair with Baarová, she told Hitler and the dictator refused him permission to divorce his wife and ordered him never to see the actress again.

Baarová then fled to her native Prague, giving up her burgeoning career in Germany.

From 1942, she made films in Italy but returned to Prague when the country's leader Mussolini was deposed.

Baarová later left Czechoslovakia with her new husband, theatre agent Jan Kopecky, to Argentina and then Spain.

She divorced in 1956 and moved to Austria. She continued to act in stage productions but was unpopular for her past association with the Nazis.

Defending herself before her death in 2000, she said 'I was not a Nazi, but like other women I was afraid to say no to such men.'

Joseph Goebbels publishes his screed of hate - HISTORY

In September 1933, LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to document a League of Nations conference, where Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels was present. There, Eisenstaedt–a German-born Jew–captured one of the most intimate, chilling portraits of any high-ranking Nazi.

Eisenstaedt had already snapped a few “personable” shots before Goebbels learned he was Jewish. This photograph reveals the sudden shift in Goebbels’ demeanor.

Years later, in Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt: A Self-Portrait, the then-87-year-old photographer spoke on this day in detail:

“I found him sitting alone at a folding table on the lawn of the hotel. I photographed him from a distance without him being aware of it. As documentary reportage, the picture may have some value: it suggests his aloofness. Later I found him at the same table surrounded by aides and bodyguards. Goebbels seemed so small, while his bodyguards were huge.

I walked up close and photographed Goebbels. It was horrible. He looked up at me with an expression full of hate. The result, however, was a much stronger photograph. There is no substitute for close personal contact and involvement with a subject, no matter how unpleasant it may be… He looked at me with hateful eyes and waited for me to wither. But I didn’t wither. If I have a camera in my hand, I don’t know fear.”

The Nazi Party

In the fall of 1924, Goebbels became district administrator of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP National Socialist German Workers&apos Party, or the Nazi Party), and two years later, Adolf Hitler made him district leader in Berlin. In 1927, Goebbels founded Der Angriff ("The Attack"), a weekly national Socialist newspaper, and the following year, Hitler appointed him to the post of national director of propaganda for the Nazis.

Once installed, Goebbels began creating the Führer myth around Hitler, punctuating it with huge rallies geared toward converting the German people to Nazism. His day-to-day activities also included designing posters, publishing propaganda pieces, using his bodyguards to incite street battles and generally increasing political agitation.

His control of the propaganda machine stretched over all media of the time—newspapers, radio, films, theater, literature, music and the arts𠅊nd he became a figure to be feared, especially by Jews, who were now in the crosshairs of the Nazi Party.

In 1932, at Hitler&aposs command, Goebbels organized a boycott of Jewish businesses. The following year, he led the burning of books deemed "not German enough," which chiefly targeted Jews once again. "The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is at an end," Goebbels declared. During World War II, Goebbels&aposs skill with propaganda was on full display: He turned battlefield losses into victories and raised morale with each speaking engagement.


Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. But how did this club-footed son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler’s malevolent minister of propaganda, most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?

In this definitive one-volume biography, renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record – and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels’s own diary entries – to answer that question. Longerich paints a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the virulently racist National Socialist movement – and whose lifelong search for a charismatic father figure inexorably led him to Hitler.

This comprehensive biography documents Goebbels’ ascent through the ranks of the Nazi Party, where he became a member of the Führer’s inner circle and launched a brutal campaign of anti-Semitic propaganda. Goebbels delivers fresh and important insight into how the Nazi message of hate was conceived, nurtured, and disseminated, and shreds the myth of Goebbels’ own genius for propaganda. It also reveals a man dogged by insecurities and – though endowed with near-dictatorial control of the media – beset by bureaucratic infighting. And, as never before, Longerich exposes Goebbels’s twisted personal life – his mawkish sentimentality, manipulative nature, and voracious sexual appetite.

This complete portrait of the man behind Hitler’s message is sure to become a standard for historians and students of the Holocaust for decades to come.


There are no witnesses to the precise moment when Goebbels and his wife lifted their suicide pills to their lips. But we can be sure that their hands were trembling as they did so. Perhaps they offered each a ‘Heil Hitler’ as a final act of love.

The couple crunched down on the glass vials simultaneously. The hydrogen cyanide was released into their mouths and, within seconds, they would have been struck by a seizure, swiftly followed by cardiac arrest.

Shortly after their deaths, their bodies were found by Hitler’s former adjutant and one of his comrades. As instructed, two rounds were shot into Goebbels to ensure that he was dead, and then the bodies were doused in petrol and ignited.

Within a few weeks, the couple had started a passionate affair that would culminate in their marriage

Now, thanks to a new landmark biography, we can see another side of Goebbels — one that not only reveals how he was obsessed with Hitler to the point of madness, but also delves into his personal life

Unlike that of Hitler, Goebbels’ body was not completely incinerated. When it was discovered by Russian troops, they were grimly amused to see that one of his charred arms was extended with its hand clenched, like that of a boxer. Even in death, the pugnacious little Nazi was still fighting for his Fuhrer.

Today, seven decades after the war, we commonly regard this club-footed little man as a master of the dark arts of media manipulation and propaganda a man who was spectacularly adroit at twisting public perception and who managed insidiously to inculcate Hitler’s creed in the German people.

Now, thanks to a new landmark biography, we can see another side of Goebbels — one that not only reveals how he was obsessed with Hitler to the point of madness, but also examines for the first time the details of his perverse personal life and his unlikely role as a Nazi Casanova.

The biography by highly respected historian Professor Peter Longerich, which draws on the propaganda chief’s extensive private diaries, shows how Goebbels and Magda became part of an extraordinary menage a trois with their beloved Fuhrer, albeit one in which there was probably no consummation on Hitler’s part.

The book makes clear that Goebbels’ slavish devotion to his Nazi leader was one-sided. Though Hitler was passionate about Magda, he was never overly enthusiastic about her husband.

And it shows how it was this bizarre triangular relationship that would ultimately lead Goebbels and Magda to follow Hitler to their sordid doom in the heart of Berlin

Born in 1897 into a respectable but poor Catholic family in the Rhineland, Goebbels would forever walk with a limp because of a club foot. But he would make up for this disability with ambition, intellect and charm. He also had a voracious sexual appetite, which would be revealed in his early memoirs.

Adolf Hitler with his propoganda chief Dr.Joseph Goebbels, holidaying on the Baltic Sea resort Heiligendamm

Like many womanisers, Goebbels began honing his seductive technique when he was young. At around the age of 13, he found himself strongly attracted towards older women.

‘Eros awakes,’ Goebbels recorded after encountering his friend’s stepmother. ‘[I was] well-informed in a crude way even as a boy.’

By the time he left school in his late teens, he had acquired a girlfriend called Lene Krage. ‘Shut in the Kaiserpark at night,’ Goebbels wrote of an evening spent with her. ‘I kiss her breast for the first time. For the first time, she becomes the loving woman.’

But in a pattern that would be replicated for the rest of his 47-year life, the young Goebbels soon found that the attentions of one woman were not enough. By the time he had started his second term at Bonn University, he was carrying on with at least two other young women, which led, in the words of Professor Longerich, to ‘general erotic confusion’.

‘Liesel loves me,’ Goebbels wrote in his diary. ‘I love Agnes. She is playing with me.’

He would use the lodgings of a fellow student called Hassan to enjoy the company of these women.

‘Agnes in Bonn,’ Goebbels confided. ‘A night with her in Hassan’s room. I kiss her breast. For the first time she is really good to me.’

There would shortly be a repeat performance, but with Liesel.

‘A night with her in Hassan’s room … She is really good to me. A good deed that gives me a kind of satisfaction.’

Josef Goebbels with his children. He and wife Magda were to murder them before taking his own life at the end of the Second World War before taking their own lives

After abandoning his studies in Bonn, Goebbels transferred to the university at Freiburg, where he was to meet one of the three great loves of his life, Anka Stahlherm. He fell head over heels for her, but there was one problem: she was already going out with a friend of his.

Goebbels nevertheless wooed Anka. ‘Blissful days,’ Goebbels purred. ‘Nothing but love. Perhaps the happiest time of my life.’

So why were women attracted to this physically unimpressive little man?

The answer lies simply in Goebbels’ immense personality. He was not only bright and charming, he was above all, persistent. Goebbels was desperate for female company, and there was a neediness about him which was not always sexual. For example, he would approvingly refer to many of his girlfriends as ‘motherly’ in his diaries.

As Professor Longerich convincingly argues, Goebbels was a pathological narcissist, who desperately craved the approval of others, and could only see the world in relation to himself. He may have been happy to cheat, but as with many love rats, if anybody cheated on him he would become enraged.

When Goebbels found that Anka had been seeing her former boyfriend, vicious and jealous rows ensued, which resulted in Goebbels borrowing a revolver from a friend. He went so far as to draw up a will, in which he stated that he was ‘glad to depart from my life, which for me has been nothing but hell’.

Somehow, despite his womanising, Goebbels managed to gain a doctorate and, in 1923, at the age of 25, he found a job in a bank.

His brief role in the financial world seemed only to confirm a violent antipathy that had been brewing in him for many years: a hatred of Jews. ‘Loathing for the bank and my job,’ he wrote. ‘The Jews. I am thinking about the money problem.’

Goebbels’ anti-Semitism did not, however, stop him from indulging in romantic relationships with Jews — relationships that the Nazi Party would ban just over a decade later.

At this point, he started a long affair with Else Janke, despite being troubled by her ‘Jewish blood’, which he was to refer to as a ‘curse’, and which in his jaundiced eyes, he considered the root of many of her faults.

But his real vocation in life soon became the Nazi Party. From the moment he first read Hitler’s political tract, Mein Kampf, in 1925, he became obsessed with the Nazi leader.

‘Who is this man? Half-plebian, half-God! Is this really Christ or John the Baptist?’ he said.

Magda Goebbels wife of Nazi Joseph Goebbels lived the last decade and a half of her life among the Third Reich's leadership


Days earlier the Allies had declared war on Germany yet the photographs show Hitler and Goebbels laughing and posing with the air crews.

The visit was a closely guarded secret and no exact records exist of Hitler's movements in the early days of the war.

Luftwaffe crews wearing just shorts posing next to a bomb under the wing of their huge plane

Goebbels appears to be looking for something in his pockets as he chats to a commander

Hitler's big gamble: How Nazis' Poland invasion saw a quick surrender - but spurred Allies to declare war

The German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, came after it signed a neutrality pact with the Soviet Union.

It meant Poland ended up being bombarded from all sides by two vastly more powerful hostile powers – with Russian troops invading the country on September 17.

But Hitler's decision was risky because his army was not at full strength and he was unsure how Britain and France would react.

The throw of the dice backfired with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain - a man who Hitler thought week - formally guaranteeing Poland's borders in the face of aggression

The defence treaty between Britain and Poland also added weight to signals that it would react offensively to more German aggression

When the Nazis invaded, the Polish government immediately requested military assistance from Britain and France and two days later the two countries declared war on Germany

While they were unable to stop Hitler in Poland it galvanised the Allies against him, which would result in his eventual defeat in 1945

The grainy black-and-white snaps show Hitler and Goebbels in full uniform chatting to air force commanders while inspecting the planes.

Other photographs reveal Luftwaffe crews wearing just shorts posing next to a fearsome man-sized bomb under the wing of a huge plane.

The 9cm x 6cm photographs were uncovered inside a battered leather bound pocket-sized photo album with annotations on the back.

Fourteen other images show bomb damage, aircraft (Bf 109, Heinkel 111, Fiesler Storch, Ju52), Luftwaffe ground crew and a shot of Hitler's FW200 Condor 'Grenzmark'.

The owner of the album is now putting the pictures up for auction and they are tipped to sell for hundreds of pounds.

Military antiques expert Adrian Stevenson, on Hansons Auctioneers, said: 'This is a unique, private album of unseen photos of Hitler and Goebbels and I expect interest to be strong.

'Yellow Airfield is a code name for what would have been a temporary airstrip, possibly in Poland but we cannot be sure.

'Interestingly, if you research Hitler's movements around September 14, 1939, it is not clear where he was, which makes these photos even more historically significant.

'The owner is a private collector from the East Midlands who is now liquidating his collection.

'He purchased the album at auction.

'The previous seller may not have fully appreciated the historical significance of the contents of this little pocket album.

'There is a deep fascination with all aspects of wartime history and items relating to Hitler attract intense bidding from collectors all over the world.

'These grainy, black and white images capture the Nazi leaders at a pivotal point in history - just a few days after the start of the deadliest conflict in human history, the Second World War.

Propaganda ministry chief Joseph Goebbels poses in uniform in front of a Luftwaffe plane

'It lasted until 1945, involved more than 30 countries and led to 70 to 85 million fatalities

'On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland.

'The UK and France declared war on September 3 after Hitler ignored an ultimatum to withdraw forces from Poland.

The pilot and crew stand leaning near the front propeller of their Luftwaffe aircraft in one shot

The collection of pictures, kept in a leather-bound photo album, are now up for auction

'Despite the dramatic world events, Hitler and Goebbels appear in good spirits on the photos.'


On April 8, 1933, the Main Office for Press and Propaganda of the German Student Union (DSt) proclaimed a nationwide "Action against the Un-German Spirit", which was to climax in a literary purge or "cleansing" ("Säuberung") by fire. According to historian Karl Dietrich Bracher:

[T]he exclusion of "Left", democratic, and Jewish literature took precedence over everything else. The black-lists . ranged from Bebel, Bernstein, Preuss, and Rathenau through Einstein, Freud, Brecht, Brod, Döblin, Kaiser, the Mann brothers, Zweig, Plievier, Ossietzky, Remarque, Schnitzler, and Tucholsky, to Barlach, Bergengruen, Broch, Hoffmannsthal, Kästner, Kasack, Kesten, Kraus, Lasker-Schüler, Unruh, Werfel, Zuckmayer, and Hesse. The catalogue went back far enough to include literature from Heine and Marx to Kafka. [3]

Local chapters were to supply the press with releases and commissioned articles, sponsor well-known Nazi figures to speak at public gatherings, and negotiate for radio broadcast time. The DSt had contacted an official from the Propaganda Ministry to request support for their campaign, including having Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels be the main speaker at the event in Berlin. Because Goebbels had studied under several Jewish professors, and had, in the past, praised them despite his avowed anti-Semitism, he was afraid that speaking at the book burning would cause these past remarks to be dug up by his enemies. As a result, he did not formally accept the invitation to speak – despite his having been listed in the advance publicity – until the last moment. [4]

On the same day the Student Union published the "Twelve Theses", a title chosen to be evocative of two events in German history: Martin Luther's burning of a papal bull when he posted his ninety-five theses in 1520, and the burning of a handful of items, including 11 books, at the 1817 Wartburg Festival on the 300th anniversary of Luther's burning of the bull.

This was, however, a false comparison, as the "book burnings" at those historic events were not acts of censorship, nor destructive of other people's property, but purely symbolic protests, destroying only one individual document of each title, for a grand total of 12 individual documents, without any attempt to suppress their content, whereas the Student Union burned tens of thousands of volumes, all they could find from a list comprising around 4000 titles. [5]

The "Twelve Theses" called for a "pure" national language and culture. Placards publicized the theses, which attacked "Jewish intellectualism", asserted the need to "purify" German language and literature, and demanded that universities be centres of German nationalism. The students described the action as a “response to a worldwide Jewish smear campaign against Germany and an affirmation of traditional German values.”

On 6 May 1933, the German Student Union made an organised attack on Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute of Sex Research. Its library and archives of around 20,000 books and journals were publicly hauled out.

On 10 May 1933, the students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of "un-German" books in the square at the State Opera, Berlin, thereby presaging an era of uncompromising state censorship. In many other university towns, nationalist students marched in torch lit parades against the "un-German" spirit. The scripted rituals of this night called for high Nazi officials, professors, rectors, and student leaders to address the participants and spectators. At the meeting places, students threw the pillaged, banned books into the bonfires with a great joyous ceremony that included live music, singing, "fire oaths," and incantations. In Berlin, some 40,000 people heard Joseph Goebbels deliver a fiery address: "No to decadence and moral corruption!" Goebbels enjoined the crowd. "Yes to decency and morality in family and state! I consign to the flames the writings of Heinrich Mann, Ernst Glaeser, [6] Erich Kästner."

The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end. The breakthrough of the German revolution has again cleared the way on the German path. 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 to 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 Republic is sinking to the ground, but from this wreckage the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise.

In his speech – which was broadcast on the radio – Goebbels' referred to the authors whose books were being burned as "Intellectual filth" and "Jewish asphalt literati". [4]

Not all book burnings took place on 10 May as the German Student Union had planned. Some were postponed a few days because of rain. Others, based on local chapter preference, took place on 21 June, the summer solstice, a traditional date of celebration. Nonetheless, in 34 university towns across Germany the "Action against the Un-German Spirit" was a success, enlisting widespread newspaper coverage. And in some places, notably Berlin, radio broadcasts brought the speeches, songs, and ceremonial incantations "live" to countless German listeners.

All of the following types of literature, as described by the Nazis, were to be banned:

  • The works of traitors, emigrants and authors from foreign countries who believe they can attack and denigrate the new Germany (H. G. Wells, Romain Rolland)
  • The literature of Marxism, Communism and Bolshevism literature
  • Literature with liberal, democratic tendencies and attitudes, and writings supporting the Weimar Republic (Walther Rathenau, [6]Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann[6] )
  • All historical writings whose purpose is to denigrate the origin, the spirit and the culture of the German Volk, or to dissolve the racial and structural order of the Volk, or that denies the force and importance of leading historical figures in favor of egalitarianism and the masses, and which seeks to drag them through the mud (Emil Ludwig)
  • Books that advocate "art" which is decadent, bloodless, or purely constructivist (George Grosz, Otto Dix, Bauhaus, Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Writings on sexuality and sexual education which serve the egocentric pleasure of the individual and thus, completely destroy the principles of race and Volk (Magnus Hirschfeld[6] )
  • The decadent, destructive and Volk-damaging writings of "Asphalt and Civilization" literati: (Oskar Maria Graf, Heinrich Mann, Stefan Zweig, Jakob Wassermann, Franz Blei)
  • Literature by Jewish authors, regardless of the field
  • Popular entertainment literature that depicts life and life's goals in a superficial, unrealistic and sickly sweet manner, based on a bourgeois or upper class view of life
  • Patriotic kitsch in literature. and explicit literature
  • All books degrading German purity.

Many German students were complicit in the Nazi book burning campaign. They were known as Deutsche Studentenschaft, and when they ran out of books in their own libraries they turned to independent bookstores. Libraries were also asked to stock their shelves with material that stood up to Hitler's standards, and destroy anything that did not. [7]

The Nazis also seized many books from Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. They did intend to keep and display a few rare and ancient books in a museum on Judaism after the Final Solution was successfully completed. [8]

Among the other German-speaking authors whose books student leaders burned that night were:

The burning of the books represents a culmination of the persecution of those authors whose oral or written opinions were opposed to Nazi ideology. Many artists, writers and scientists were banned from working and publication. Their works could no longer be found in libraries or in the curricula of schools or universities. Some of them were driven to exile (such as Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Magnus Hirschfeld, Walter Mehring, and Arnold Zweig) others were deprived of their citizenship (for example, Ernst Toller and Kurt Tucholsky) or forced into a self-imposed exile from society (e.g. Erich Kästner). For other writers the Nazi persecutions ended in death. Some of them died in concentration camps, due to the consequences of the conditions of imprisonment, or were executed (like Carl von Ossietzky, Erich Mühsam, Gertrud Kolmar, Jakob van Hoddis, Paul Kornfeld, Arno Nadel, Georg Hermann, Theodor Wolff, Adam Kuckhoff, Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, and Rudolf Hilferding). Exiled authors despaired and committed suicide, for example: Walter Hasenclever, Ernst Weiss, Carl Einstein, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Toller, and Stefan Zweig.

Helen Keller published an "Open Letter to German Students", in which she wrote: "You may burn my books and the books of the best minds in Europe, but the ideas those books contain have passed through millions of channels and will go on." [10]

German Freedom Library Edit

On May 10, 1934, one year after the book burnings, the German Freedom Library founded by Alfred Kantorowicz was opened to assemble copies of the books that had been destroyed. [11] Because of the shift in political power and the blatant control and censorship demonstrated by the Nazi party, 1933 saw a “mass exodus of German writers, artists, and intellectuals…”. [12] Some went to America, some to England, and some to France. On May 10, 1934, one year to the day after the mass book burning, those writers in exile in France came together and established the Library of the Burned Books where all the works that had been banned, burned, censored, and destroyed were collected. [11]

Alfred Kantorowicz, the author of the 1944 article Library of the Burned Books, was one of the key leaders instrumental in creating this library. In his article, he explains first-hand how the library came to be, and how it was finally destroyed. The library not only housed those books banned by the Nazis, the more important mission was to be the “center of intellectual anti-Nazi activities”. [11] In addition, it had extensive archives “on the history of Nazism and the anti-Nazi fight in all its forms”. [11] At the start of the war, the Nazis were virtually in control in France so the French government closed down the library and anyone associated was imprisoned or sent to concentration camps. Once the Nazis occupied Paris, the library and archives were turned over and that was the end of the Library.

In Kantorowicz’s words, “…the real significance of the Library was not confined to its material existence. When we inaugurated it, we wanted to make that day of shame a day of glory for literature and for freedom of thought which no tyrant could kill by fire. And furthermore, by this symbolic action, we wanted to awaken Europe to the dangers which threatened its spiritual as well as its material existence.” [11]

American Library of Nazi Banned Books Edit

A similar library, modeled after one in Paris, was opened at the Brooklyn Jewish Center in Brooklyn, New York on November 15, 1934. There were speeches given by Rev. Dr. Israel H. Levinthal, Rabbi of the Jewish Center, and the library chairman Rabbi Louis Hammer. An inaugural dinner dedicated to Albert Einstein and Heinz Liepmann was held on December 22, 1934. [13]

The library had as its aim to "gather as many books as can be secured by authors whose books were burned by the Nazi Government at the notable bonfire on May 10, 1933. Also included were general titles relating to "general Jewish interest, in English, Hebrew and Yiddish." Among the authors whose books were available upon the library's opening were Albert Einstein, Maxim Gorki, Helen Keller, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, and many others. [13] Unlike the Paris library, the American library did not have any collection of books relating to Nazi ideology, or events or individuals in Nazi Germany. [14]

The library was a strong advocate for the cause of Zionism, the movement for a Jewish homeland. To the minds of those in charge of the library, the Nazi book burnings represented "proof of [the] urgency" of Zionist affairs. [14] Rabbi Stephen Wise, who spoke at the inaugural dinner, had led a protest at Madison Square Garden on the day of the book burning, and was an advocate of the Zionist movement. Thomas Mann, whose books were part of the library's collection, is quoted as saying that "what happened in Germany convinced me more and more of the value of Zionism for the Jew" [14]

The American Library of Nazi Banned Books remained in place until the Brooklyn Jewish Center closed in the 1970's. Its collection was then donated to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. [14]

In 1946, the Allied occupation authorities drew up a list of over 30,000 titles, ranging from school books to poetry and including works by such authors as von Clausewitz. Millions of copies of these books were confiscated and destroyed. The representative of the Military Directorate admitted that the order in principle was no different from the Nazi book burnings. [15]

Artworks were under the same censorship as other media

all collections of works of art related or dedicated to the perpetuation of German militarism or Nazism will be closed permanently and taken into custody.

Joseph Goebbels

Master propagandist of the Nazi regime and dictator of its cultural life for twelve years, Joseph Goebbels was born into a strict Catholic, working-class family from Rheydt, in the Rhineland, on October 29, 1897. He was educated at a Roman Catholic school and went on to study history and literature at the University of Heidelberg under Professor Friedrich Gundolf, a Jewish literary historian renowned as a Goethe scholar and a close disciple of the poet Stefan George.

Goebbels had been rejected for military service during World War I because of a crippled foot - the result of contracting polio as a child &ndash and a sense of physical inadequacy tormented him for the rest of his life, reinforced by resentment of the reactions aroused by his diminutive frame, black hair and intellectual background. Bitterly conscious of his deformity and fearful of being regarded as a &ldquobourgeois intellectual,&rdquo Goebbels overcompensated for his lack of the physical virtues of the strong, healthy, blond, Nordic type by his ideological rectitude and radicalism once he joined the NSDAP in 1922.

The hostility to the intellect of the &ldquolittle doctor,&rdquo his contempt for the human race in general and the Jews in particular, and his complete cynicism were an expression of his own intellectual self-hatred and inferiority complexes, his overwhelming need to destroy everything sacred and ignite the same feelings of rage, despair, and hatred in his listeners.

At first, Goebbels&rsquos hyperactive imagination found an outlet in poetry, drama, and a bohemian lifestyle, but apart from his expressionist novel, Michael: ein Deutsches Schicksal in Tagebuchblattern (1926), nothing came of these first literary efforts. It was in the Nazi Party that Goebbels&rsquos sharp, clear-sighted intelligence, his oratorical gifts and flair for theatrical effects, his uninhibited opportunism and ideological radicalism blossomed in the service of an insatiable will-to-power.

In 1925, he was made business manager of the NSDAP in the Ruhr district and at the end of the year was already the principal collaborator of Gregor Strasser, leader of the social-revolutionary North German wing of the Party. Goebbels founded and edited the Nationalsozialistischen Briefe (NS Letters) and other publications of the Strasser brothers, sharing their proletarian anti-capitalist outlook and call for a radical revaluation of all values. His National Bolshevik tendencies found expression in his evaluation of Soviet Russia (which he regarded as both nationalist and socialist) as &ldquoGermany&rsquos natural ally against the devilish temptations and corruption of the West.&rdquo

It was at this time that Goebbels, who had co-authored the draft program submitted by the Nazi Left at the Hanover Conference of 1926, called for the expulsion of &ldquopetty-bourgeois Adolf Hitler from the National Socialist Party.&rdquo Goebbels&rsquos shrewd political instinct and his opportunism were demonstrated by his switch to Hitler&rsquos side in 1926, which was rewarded by his appointment in November of the same year as Nazi district leader for Berlin-Brandenburg.

Placed at the head of a small, conflict-ridden organization, Goebbels rapidly succeeded in taking control and undermining the supremacy of the Strasser brothers in northern Germany and their monopoly of the Party press, founding in 1927 and editing his own weekly newspaper, Der Angriff (The Attack). He designed posters, published his own propaganda, staged impressive parades, organized his bodyguards to participate in street battles, beer-hall brawls and shooting affrays to further his political agitation.

By 1927, the &ldquoMarat of Red Berlin, a nightmare and goblin of history&rdquo had already become the most feared demagogue of the capital city, exploiting to the full his deep, powerful voice, rhetorical fervor and unscrupulous appeal to primitive instincts. A tireless, tenacious agitator with the gift of paralyzing opponents by a guileful combination of venom, slander and insinuation, Goebbels knew how to mobilize the fears of the unemployed masses as the Great Depression hit Germany, playing on the national psyche with &ldquoice-cold calculation.&rdquo

With the skill of a master propagandist he transformed the Berlin student and pimp, Horst Wessel, into a Nazi martyr, and provided the slogans, the myths and images, the telling aphorisms which rapidly spread the message of National Socialism.

Hitler was deeply impressed by Goebbels&rsquos success in turning the small Berlin section of the Party into a powerful organization in North Germany and in 1929 appointed him Reich Propaganda Leader of the NSDAP. Looking back many years later (June 24, 1942), Hitler observed: &ldquoDr. Goebbels was gifted with the two things without which the situation in Berlin could not have been mastered: verbal facility and intellect. . .. For Dr. Goebbels, who had not found much in the way of a political organization when he started, had won Berlin in the truest sense of the word.&rdquo

Hitler had indeed cause to be grateful to his Propaganda Leader, who was the true creator and organizer of the Fuhrer myth, of the image of the Messiah-redeemer, feeding the theatrical element in the Nazi leader while at the same time inducing the self-surrender of the German masses through skillful stage management and manipulation. A cynic, devoid of genuine inner convictions, Goebbels found his mission in selling Hitler to the German public, in projecting himself as his most faithful shield-bearer and orchestrating a pseudo-religious cult of the Fuhrer as the savior of Germany from Jews, profiteers and Marxists.

As a Reichstag deputy from 1928, he no less cynically gave open voice to his contempt for the Republic, declaring: &ldquoWe are entering the Reichstag, in order that we may arm ourselves with the weapons of democracy from its arsenal. We shall become Reichstag deputies in order that the Weimar ideology should itself help us to destroy it.&rdquo

Goebbels&rsquos deeply rooted contempt for humanity, his urge to sow confusion, hatred and intoxication, his lust for power and his mastery of the techniques of mass persuasion were given full vent in the election campaigns of 1932, when he played a crucial role in bringing Hitler to the center of the political stage. He was rewarded on March 13, 1933, with the position of Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, which gave him total control of the communications media - i.e. radio, press, publishing, cinema, and the other arts.

He achieved the Nazi &lsquoco-ordination&rsquo of cultural life very quickly, astutely combining propaganda, bribery and terrorism, &ldquocleansing&rdquo the arts in the name of the volkisch ideal, subjecting editors and journalists to State control, eliminating all Jews and political opponents from positions of influence. On May 10, 1933, he staged the great ritual &ldquoburning of the books&ldquo in Berlin, where the works of Jewish, Marxist and other &ldquosubversive&rdquo authors were publicly burned in huge bonfires.

He became a relentless Jew-baiter, demonizing the stereotyped figure of the &ldquoInternational Jewish Financier&rdquo in London and Washington allied with the &ldquoJew-Bolsheviks&rdquo in Moscow, as the chief enemy of the Third Reich. At the Party Day of Victory in 1933, Goebbels attacked the &ldquoJewish penetration of the professions&rdquo (law, medicine, property, theatre, etc.), claiming that the foreign Jewish boycott of Germany had provoked Nazi &ldquocounter-measures.&rdquo

Goebbels&rsquos hatred of the Jews, like his hatred of the privileged and clever, stemmed from a deep-rooted sense of inferiority and internalization of mob values at the same time it was also opportunist and tactical, based on the need to create a common enemy, to feed popular resentment and to mobilize the masses.

For five years Goebbels chafed at the leash as the Nazi regime sought to consolidate itself and win international recognition. His opportunity came with the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9-10, 1938, which he orchestrated after kindling the flame with a rabble-rousing speech to Party leaders assembled in the Munich Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) for the annual celebration of the Beer-Hall putsch. Later, Goebbels was one of the chief secret abettors of the &ldquoFinal Solution,&rdquo personally supervising the deportation of Jews from Berlin in 1942 and proposing that Jews along with gypsies should be regarded as &ldquounconditionally exterminable.&rdquo

He combined verbal warnings that, as a result of the war, &ldquothe Jews will pay with extermination of their race in Europe and perhaps beyond&rdquo with careful avoidance in his propaganda material of discussing the actual treatment of the Jews, i.e., any mention of the extermination camps. Goebbels&rsquos anti-Semitism was one factor which brought him closer to Hitler, who respected his political judgement as well as his administrative and propagandist skills.

Goebbels was a womanizer before and after his marriage in 1931 to Magda Quandt, a fervent admirer of Hitler. According to Roger Moorhouse, she became, &ldquoin effect, the &lsquofirst lady&rsquo of the Third Reich, adding a dash of feminine glamor to an otherwise all-male environment.&rdquo his wife and their six children were welcome guests at the Fuhrer&rsquos Alpine retreat of Berchtesgaden. In 1938, when Magda tried to divorce him because of his endless love affairs with beautiful actresses, it was Hitler who intervened to straighten out the situation.

During World War II relations between Hitler and Goebbels became more intimate, especially as the war situation deteriorated and the Minister of Propaganda encouraged the German people to ever greater efforts. After the Allies insisted on unconditional surrender, Goebbels turned this to advantage, convincing his audience that there was no choice except victory or destruction. In a famous speech on February 18, 1943, in the Berlin Sportpalast, Goebbels created an atmosphere of wild emotion, winning the agreement of his listeners to mobilization for total war. Playing adroitly on German fears of the &ldquoAsiatic hordes,&rdquo using his all-pervasive control of press, film and radio to maintain morale, inventing mythical &ldquosecret weapons&rdquo and impregnable fortresses in the mountains where the last stand would be made, Goebbels never lost his nerve or his fighting spirit.

It was his quick thinking and decisive action on the afternoon of July 20, 1944, when he isolated the conspirators in the War Ministry with the help of detachments of loyal troops, which saved the Nazi regime. Shortly afterwards he achieved his ambition to be warlord on the domestic front, following his appointment in July 1944 as General Plenipotentiary for Total War.

Given the widest powers to move and direct the civilian population and even to redistribute manpower within the armed forces, Goebbels imposed an austerity program and pressed for ever greater civilian sacrifice. But with Germany already close to collapse, it was too late to accomplish anything beyond further dislocations and confusion. As the war neared its end, Goebbels, the supreme opportunist, emerged as the Fuhrer&rsquos most loyal follower, spending his last days together with his family, in the Führerbunker under the Chancellery. Convinced that the Nazis had finally burnt all their bridges and increasingly fascinated by the prospect of a final apocalypse, Goebbels&rsquos last words on dismissing his associates were: &ldquoWhen we depart, let the earth tremble!&rdquo

Following the Fuhrer&rsquos suicide, Goebbels disregarded Hitler&rsquos political testament, which had appointed him as Reich Chancellor, and decided to follow suit. He had his six children poisoned with a lethal injection by an SS doctor and then himself and his wife Magda shot by an SS orderly on May 1, 1945. With characteristic pathos and egomania, he declared not long before his death: &ldquoWe shall go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time, or as the greatest criminals.&rdquo

Goebbels : A Biography

In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler's most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. But how did this clubfooted son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler's most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?

In this ground-breaking biography, Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record--and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels's own diary entries--to provide the answer to that question. Longerich, the first historian to make use of the Goebbels diaries in a biographical work, engages and challenges the self-serving portrait the propaganda chief left behind. Spanning thirty years, the diaries paint a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the virulently racist National Socialist movement. Delving into the mind of his subject, Longerich reveals how Goebbels's lifelong search for a charismatic father figure inexorably led him to Hitler, to whom he ascribed almost godlike powers.

This comprehensive biography documents Goebbels's ascent through the ranks of the Nazi Party, where he became a member of the Führer's inner circle and launched a brutal campaign of anti-Semitic propaganda. Though endowed with near-dictatorial control of the media--film, radio, press, and the fine arts--Longerich's Goebbels is a man dogged by insecurities and beset by bureaucratic infighting. He feuds with his bitter rivals Hermann Göring and Alfred Rosenberg, unsuccessfully advocates for a more radical line of "total war," and is thwarted in his attempt to pursue a separate peace with the Allies during the waning days of World War II. This book also reveals, as never before, Goebbels's twisted personal life--his mawkish sentimentality, manipulative nature, and voracious sexual appetite.

A harrowing look at the life of one of history's greatest monsters, Goebbels delivers fresh insight into how the Nazi message of hate was conceived, nurtured, and disseminated. This complete portrait of the man behind that message is sure to become a standard for historians and students of the Holocaust for decades to come.

Praise for Goebbels

"Peter Longerich . . . has delved into rarely accessed material from his subject's diaries, which span thirty years, to paint a remarkable portrait of the man who became one of Hitler's most trusted lieutenants."--The Daily Telegraph

Praise for Heinrich Himmler

"There have been several studies of this enigmatic man, but Peter Longerich's massive biography, grounded in exhaustive study of the primary sources, is now the standard work and must stand alongside Ian Kershaw's Hitler, Ulrich Herbert's Best and Robert Gerwarth's Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich as one of the landmark Nazi biographies. As the author of a celebrated study of the Holocaust, Longerich is better able than his predecessors to situate Himmler within the vast machinery of genocide. And he brings to his task a gift for capturing those mannerisms that are the intimate markers of personality."--London Review of Books

"[An] excellent and comprehensive biography."--The New York Review of Books