Paul Joseph Goebbels, born, 29-10-1897 in Rheydt, Germany. His family were Catholics; his father was a factory clerk, his mother originally a farmhand. Goebbels had four siblings: Hans (1893–1947), Konrad (1895–1949), Elisabeth (1901–1915) and Maria (1910–1949). Josef was educated at a Christian Gymnasium, where he completed his Abitur, university entrance examination, in 1916. (see Did you know). A good student he won a Catholic scholarship and eventually achieved a grade from Heidelberg University. Albert Speer (see Speer) is buried in Heidelberg. Goebbels was under five feet tall with a bad limp caused by a bone operation as a child and in 1914 was rejected by the German Army. Congenital birth defects was a disqualification for high office and so he told people his limp was the result of a wound suffered while fighting in the First World War. It was later claimed that he spent the next two days crying hysterically in his room. He remained malicious till the end, and laughers he paid back later, when powerfull. Congenital birth defects was a disqualification for high office and so he told people his limp was the result of a wound suffered while fighting in the First World War. His two most influential teachers, Friedrich Gundolf
and his doctoral supervisor at Heidelberg, Max Freiherr von Waldberg, were Jews. His intelligence and political astuteness were generally acknowledged even by his enemies Goebbels spent the next ten years writing novels, plays and poems. When he failed to find a publisher for his work he developed the theory that this was because the publishing companies were owned by Jews. He was also rejected as a reporter by the newspaper Berliner Tageblatt.
Goebbels joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in 1926. Goebbels described one of their first meetings with Adolf Hitler (see Adolf Hitler
) (did you know
) in his diary: “Shakes my hand. Like an old friend.
And those big blue eyes. Like stars. He is glad to see me. I am in heaven. That man has everything to be king.” Hitler admired Goebbels’ abilities as a writer and smooth speaker. They shared an interest in propaganda and together they planned how the NSDAP would win the support of the German people. He edited Der Angriff (The Attack)
and used the daily newspaper to promote the idea of German nationalism.In 1928 Goebbels, Hermann Goering (see Herman Goering
) (did you know
) (see Goering Peter
) and (see Goering-Sonnemann
) and ten other members of the Nazi Party were elected to the Reichstag. Soon afterwards Goebbels became the party’s Propaganda Leader, his right hand and successor, after Hitler death, was Werner Naumann (see Naumann
). When Adolf Hitler became chancellor in January, 1933, he appointed Goebbels as Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, his secretary was Brunhilde Pomsel, she is 100 yaers old now
As several disputes arose between Ernst Hanfstaengl and Germany’s Propaganda Minister, Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl (see Hanfstaengl
) was removed from Hitler’s staff in 1933. Goebbels was not only the propaganda minister in Hitler’s regime, but also had a decisive voice in German movie production. Lida Baarová an actres (see Baarova
met Goebbels in 1936, while working for Ufa films. Gradually, they became closer and started a relationship that lasted over two years. Their love affair caused serious complications between Goebbels and his wife Magda. Mrs Goebbels eventually decided to ask Hitler for permission to divorce Goebbels. The Führer intervened on 16-08-1938. Baarová was told by Count Helldorff, (see von Helldorff
) the Police President of Berlin, that she had to quit her relation with Goebbels and leave Germany, on Hitler’s direct order.
Helldorff, involved in the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler, was condemned by jurist, Roland Freisler (see Freisler
) at the Volksgericht and later put to death at Plötzensee Prison, age 47, on 15-08-1944. So enraged was Hitler at his participation in the plot that Hitler ordered that he be forced to watch all others hanged before him and then hanged last. The 20 July treaten at the Bendlerblock in Berlin was saved by Major Otto Ernst Remer (see Remer
commander of the Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland
who refused to arrest Joseph Goebbels after talking to Hitler in the Wolfschanze by phone. Lida Baarova fled to Prague in 1. During World War II Goebbels played with his malicious nature an important role in building up hatred for the allies. He had little confidence in the abilities of other ministers in the government and made attempts to have Joachim von Ribbentrop (see Ribbentrop
), with his influential wife Annelies Ribbentrop-Henkell (see Annelies Henkell
), dismissed from office. When the Red Army made advances into Nazi Germany, Hitler invited Goebbels and his family to move into his Führerbunker,
where his mistress Eva Braun (see Eva Braun
) had arrived too. On 30-04-1945 Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide and were burned by SS Obersturmbannführer, Erich Kempka (see Kempka
) his driver and buried in the garden of the Reich Chancellery. General Voss (see Voss
) and Martin Bormann (see Bormann
) asked Goebbels to join leaving groups out of the Führerbunker with SS Brigadeführer, Wilhelm Mohnke (see Mohnke
), but he replied: ‘The captain must not leave his sinking ship. I have thought about it all and decided to stay here. I have nowhere to go because with little children I will not be able to make it’.”
Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger. Dentist Helmut Kuntz.
The Goebbels family. In background center is Goebbels’ stepson Harald Quandt.
At 08,00 pm on the evening of 1 May, Goebbels arranged for an SS dentist, Helmut Kunz, he died age 66, in 1976, in Freudestadt, to kill his six children by injecting them with morphine and then, when they were unconscious, crushing an ampule of cyanide in each of their mouths. According to Kunz’s testimony, he gave the children morphine injections but it was Magda Goebbels (see Magda Goebbels
) and SSD Obersturmführer, Ludwig Stumpfegger,(see Stumpfegger
) Hitler’s personal doctor, he died age 34, on 02-05-1945, leaving the Führerbunker and who then administered the cyanide.
Death and burial ground.
Shortly after the killing, Goebbels and his wife went up to the garden of the Chancellery, where they killed themselves. The details of their suicides are uncertain. After the war, Rear-Admiral, Michael Musmanno (see Musmanno
), a U.S. naval officer and judge, published an account apparently based on eye-witness testimony: “At about 8:15 pm, Goebbels arose from the table, put on his hat, coat and gloves and, taking his wife’s arm, went upstairs to the garden.” They were followed by Goebbels’s adjutant, SS-Hauptsturmführer Günther Schwägermann. Schwägermann was captured by the Americans, escaped in 1947 and disappeared. “While Schwägermann was preparing the petrol, he heard a shot. Goebbels had shot himself and his wife took poison. Schwägermann ordered one of the soldiers to shoot Goebbels again because he was unable to do it himself.” One SS officer later said they each took cyanide and were shot by an SS trooper. An early report said they were machine-gunned to death at their own request. According to another account, Goebbels
shot his wife and then himself. The corpses were burnt but not completely, as everybody went his own way. When the Russians captured the Chancellery, they discovered the graves in the garden and the remains of the bodies,
in two wooden ammunition boxes, were taken to the Russian headquarters in Plötzensee for autopsies by Professor Nikolai Krayevski. Vice Admiral, Hans Erich Voss, (see Voss
) Voss died age 72, on 18-11-1972, in Berchtesgaden, had already indentified Hitler and Eva Braun and the Goebbels couple and General der Infanterie,Hans Krebs (see Krebs
) who was also laying in the garden after his suicide. The bodies, also the Goebbels children, were then buried near the SMERSH headquarters at hospital ground in Buch, near Berlin and later moved to a forest near Rathenow, not far from Stendal, to where the SMERSH unit had been transferred. As the Smersh headquarters were moved to Magdeburg, the corpses of Hitler and Eva Braun were buried behind the headquarters in the Westendstrass No 32. The corpses of Josef Goebbels and Magda Goebbels (see Harald Quandt
) and (Günther Quandt
), their children and General Krebs on No 36, witnessed by Major Vasily Orlovsky. The burials were carried out by Colonel Gorbushin the deputy chief of SMERSH in the Third Stock Army. When SMERSH or rather its post-war successor, the NKVD/KGB, vacated the properties in Westendstrasse 32 and 36. On 04-04-1970, a Soviet KGB team with detailed burial charts secretly exhumed five wooden boxes. The remains from the boxes were thoroughly burned and crushed, after which the ashes were thrown into the nearby river Ehle, from the Schweinebrücke, Pig Bridge,
which would bear some irony, Magdeburgerstrasse, West of Biederitz, on 05-04-1970.
Picture of Westendstrasse: Copyright After the Battle magazine.
Schweinebrücke, “Pig Bridge”, over the river Ehle, near Biederitz, Magdeburg.