Joseph Goebbels (October 29, 1997-May 1, 1945)
Bio… Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, German Politician, Reich Minister of Propaganda, orator, and anti-Semitist. Grew up in a strict Catholic, working class home in from Rheydt, in the Rhineland. Gained a PhD from Heilderberg University, wrote his thesis on 18th Century Romantic Drama. Was rejected for service in WWI due to crippled foot (he had polio as a child). He feared being seen as nothing more than a “bourgeois intellectual” and so made up for his not being Aryan by joining the Nazi party in the early 20s. He quickly climbed ranks in the party. He was appointed to regional leader of Berlin in 1926,Propaganda leader in 1929 and then Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda in 1933.
During WWII… Goebbels' relations with Hitler during the war grew stronger and more intimate and his influence over party policies grew. As well as being Minister of Propaganda, in 1942, Hitler assigned him the task of overseeing assistance to people ravaged in Allied air attacks. In the summer of 1944, Hitler named him Reich Plenipotentiary for the Total War Mobilization and in 1945, named him his successor.
Key Decisions… He orchestrated the Kristallnacht or “Night of Broken Glass” in November of 1938, a ransacking of Jewish homes, shops and synagogues. He also played a major role in the facilitation and organization of the 1933 book burning. He was dedicated to telling the German people the truth. He believed in creditable and intelligent propaganda.
The Effects… Goebbles brought the Nazi party to life with his flair for the creative and dramatic. He gave hope to the German people even during the worst parts of the war. "We shall go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time, or as the greatest criminals."
http://www.paralumun.com/warjosephgoebbels.htm http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goebmain.htm http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v15/v15n1p18_Weber.html