Dietrich, Jacob Otto, born on 31-08-1897 in Essen, Nordrhein Westfalen, the son of a merchant. In 1914 he went to the gymnasium in Essen and in 1917 he did military training in Ghent, Belgium. He served his time as a soldier in World War I, where he was awarded the Iron Cross . After the war he went to the universities of Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Freiburg, from which he graduated with a doctorate in political science. in 1921. Dietrich worked for newspapers in Essen and Munich. He became a member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) NSDAP-nr.: 126727 on 01-04-1929 and advanced quickly. On 01-08-1931 he was appointed Press Chief of the NSDAP
and the following year joined the SS , as a member with the number 101.349, on 24-12-1932. His job as Press Chief overlapped with Goebbels’s‘ Ministry for Propaganda, and thus many anecdotes exist of their feuds. They were infamous for their disagreements, and both often felt obliged to “repair” the mistakes of the other. Dietrich retained the confidence of the Fuhrer throughout the regime, and remained a strong Nazi supporter until his death. In June 1934 Dietrich was actually with Hitler during the Knight of the long Knives in Bad Wiessee. The reports in the newspapers the following day, were full of how Hitler had been shocked and devastated by the lewd behavior of those murdered on the night, the media reffrered with some frequency to the “moral degeneracy” of the victims. The Night of the Long Knives between 30 June and 2 July 1934 saw the killing of approximately 82 SA men, including almost its entire leadership, effectively ending the power of the SA. In 1938 Dietrich was appointed to Press Chief of the Reich and State Secretary to the Propaganda Ministry. His main task was to present in a suitable manner Nazi foreign policy to the German people He also used his position to push the idea that the party and service to it was a person’s primary purpose: The individual has neither the right nor the duty to exist. By 1941 he had risen to the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer. Dietrich was together with Max Amann
the real leader for the party of the NSDAP, the most important competitor Joseph Goebbels’ in the area of the press politics. Also the goal pursued Dietrich’s appointment in the RMVP of forcing it into a position in which it was bound at Joseph Goebbel’s (did you know) and (see Magda Goebbels) instruction authority.
When World War II broke out Dietrich gave out daily instructions as to how the war was to be presented in the newspapers. The media was only allowed to present military victories and everything had to have a positive gloss to it. When Rudolf Hess fled to Scotland, Dietrich spun the story that he was shot down over Scotland while on a mission over enemy territory. Goebbels reacted with fury as he knew that it was a story that could not be sustained. He ordered Dietrich to spin another story, which became the ‘Hess has temporarily lost his mind’ approach. Otto Dietrich was never noted for the accuracy of his reporting. Operation Barbarossa was undoubtedly successful for the Wehrmacht but faltered as it reached Moscow – the key city that Hitler wanted to take. Regardless of the facts as they stood at the time, Dietrich reported that “Soviet Russia is finished. The British dream of a two-front war is dead.” In January 1943, when Friedrich Paulus‘s troops were on the verge of surrender at Stalingrad, Dietrich had a nervous breakdown and reporting duties went elsewhere. Dietrich was with Hitler at Rastenburg when the July Bomb Plot took place. Dietrich on the picture on the right in the destroyed room. It was Dietrich who phoned Goebbels in Berlin with the news that Hitler had survived the explosion. Until end of war experienced but brought this three-fight for power in the press no final clarifying, only always-lasting competitions and strengthens also plot plays in the RMVP, before Goebbels of its old adversary could nevertheless still get rid of in the spring 1945, after Dietrich was fallen with Hitler in disgrace after an argument. Dietrich, who was not in Adolf Hitler’s (did you know) “inner circle,” often did not truly know of Hitler’s whereabouts. In 1949, he was tried at the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, with war criminal SS Obergruppenführer, Führer SS Hauptamt, Gottlob Berger and Joachim von Ribbentrop‘s, his adjutant, Gustav Adolf Steengracht von Moyland, where he was convicted of crimes against humanity and being a member of a criminal organization, namely the SS. On 11-04-1949, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. While in prison he wrote “The Hitler that I Knew. Memoirs of the Third Reich’s Press Chief”.
Death and burial ground of Dietrich, Jacob Otto.
Dietrich retained the confidence of the Fuhrer throughout the regime, and remained a strong Nazi supporter until his death. He was released in 1950. At the age of 55, Otto Dietrich died, on 22-11-1952 in Düsseldorf.
He is buried on the Nordfriedhof of Düsseldorf, Field 71-Grave 27090, alas his gravestone is removed in 2006. Close by are the graves of different “famous” WW II personalities, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 271th Volkgrenadier Division, Martin Bieber, Generalmajor der Flieger,Kommandeur 7th Flak Division, Alfred Erhard, the former commander of concentration camp Westerbork, in the Netherlands, SS Obersturmführer, Albert Gemmeker, Anne Frank and her family, father, mother and sister Margo, were integrated in this camp, before leaving to Bergen Belsen, where they died. Father Otto Frank survived, he died old age 91, on 19-08-1980,
remarried in Bazel, Switzerland.
Further buried here, Hitler’s favourite architects Hermann Giesler and his brother Gauleiter Paul Giesler and Arno Breker, Generalleutnant der Artillerie, Kommandeur der 526th Infanterie Division, Fritz Kühne, diplomat in Paris, diplomat, Ernst vom Rath, killed in Paris by the Jewish boy Grynspan, General der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur 1st Panzer Division, Walther Nehring, and SS Oberrgruppenführer, Höhere SS und Polizei Führer Nord, Fritz Weitzel.