Key Personality: Josef Goebbels

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Josef Goebbels
Goebbels is a Key Personality for:
Germany in the Inter-War Years

  • Josef Goebbels was educated in history, literature and phisilophy at various German universities. He was rejected from the German army in World War I because of his crippled foot. He joined the Nazi Party in 1922. He admired Adolf Hitler, the leader of that party. He was appointed district leader of the Nazi Party in Berlin. Later, Hitler made him Propaganda Leader of the Party in 1929.
  • Goebbels has already run his own newspaper, Der Angriff (The Attack) to spread Nazi ideas and beliefs. As propaganda leader, he organised the Nazis' election campaigns in the early 1930s and helped bring them to power.
  • In power, Hitler made Goebbels the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Goebbels had become very experienced in propaganda techniques, he studied a variety of sources including American advertising methods. As Minister, he brought German radio, cinema, theatre, sports and the press all under Nazi control. He also directed propaganda against the Jews.
  • During the Second World War, Goebbels attempted to use propaganda to boost German morale. As the Russians closed in on Berlin, Goebbels retreated with Hitler to the Fuhrer's bunker, along with his wife and children. They all committed suicide after Hitler had done the same.

In short...

  • Background:
    • educated in history, literature and philosohy.
    • rejected from the German army.
    • joined the Nazi Party and became an admirer of Hitler. Propaganda Leader of the party in 1929.
  • Minister for Propaganda:
    • Der Angriff, Election campaigns.
    • Radio, cinema, theatre, sports, the press all under Nazi control.
    • Anti-Semitic propaganda.
  • World War II:
    • Propaganda to boost morale.
    • Retreated to bunker with Hitler and family, committed suicide.
The Goebbels family, with Hitler.