What is Joseph Goebbels famous for?

Joseph Goebbels 1897-1945

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Nazi politician

  • October 29th: Joseph Goebbels is born as the son of the accountant Friedrich Goebbels and his wife Maria (née Oldenhausen) in Rheydt (Rhineland). After an illness in early childhood, he keeps a crippled foot for life. He grew up with five siblings in extremely cramped financial circumstances.

  • Reported as a volunteer at the beginning of the First World War. However, Goebbels was rejected as unfit for military service due to his walking disability.

  • Studied German, Classical Philology and History in several German cities. The course is partially financed by a Catholic support program.

  • Doctorate in German studies at Heidelberg University. Goebbels writes his dissertation under the supervision of the Jewish professor Freiherr von Waldberg and studies with the likewise Jewish literary scholar Professor Friedrich Gundolf, whom he admires.
    Throughout his life he was addressed by his title and signed as a paraphe with "Dr. G.".

  • Goebbels tries in vain to get a job as a journalist or dramaturge. It is also rejected by numerous renowned Jewish publishing houses.

  • August 21: After initial contacts with National Socialist circles at the party congress in Weimar, Goebbels founds a local group of the National Socialist Freedom Movement for Greater Germany, a cover organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), which was banned since the Hitler putsch.
    October 1 to January 20, 1925: Editor of the weekly newspaper "Völkische Freiheit". In the articles he wrote, Goebbels mainly attacks prominent Jewish publishers.

  • March: Member of the board of the Gaus Rheinland-Nord of the NSDAP.
    In numerous speeches Goebbels polemics against Gustav Stresemann's foreign policy.
    September: He becomes chief executive officer and editor of the "National Socialist Letters", which criticizes Adolf Hitler's centralized party leadership as the organ of the anti-capitalist wing of the NSDAP around Gregor Strasser and Otto Strasser.

  • February 14: At a Führer conference in Bamberg, Goebbels subordinates himself unconditionally to Hitler and turns against the Strasser brothers.
    October 28: Hitler appoints Goebbels as Gauleiter of Berlin-Brandenburg. In so-called red Berlin, the NSDAP has only 500 members so far.
    Goebbels ends the five-year liaison with the Rheydt teacher Else Janke, daughter of a Jewish mother and a Christian father.

  • July 4th: The first issue of the Nazi propaganda newspaper "Der Attack", founded by Goebbels, appears. In the paper, which initially appeared twice a week, Goebbels agitated primarily against the Jewish Berlin Vice-Police President Bernhard Weiß (1880-1951).

  • Member of the Reichstag. Goebbels distinguishes himself through demagogic, cynical and anti-Semitic slander of influential Jews and left-wing politicians.

  • February 23: The 23-year-old SA leader and pastor's son Horst Wessel dies in Berlin as a result of a gunshot wound. Goebbels stylized him as a "martyr for the Third Reich".

  • December 19: Marriage to Magda Quandt (née Behrend) in Severin, Mecklenburg, witnesses are Franz Ritter von Epp and Hitler.
    The marriage, in which Magda Goebbels should limit herself to looking after the household and bringing up their six children, is propagated as an exemplary marriage. Magda made the Goebbels' apartment a popular meeting place for the party leaders.

  • July: On the occasion of the upcoming Reichstag elections, Goebbels organizes Hitler's flights to Germany, which take the "Führer" to over 50 cities in the Reich within a month.
    Goebbels takes over the "Reich Association of German Broadcasting Participants for Culture, Profession and Ethnicity", which was founded in August 1930 by the German National People's Party (DNVP) and the "Stahlhelm" and since March 1932 exclusively under National Socialist control. Its so-called operating cells are to take over the most important functions of broadcasting operations in the broadcasting houses in the event of a National Socialist takeover.
    At Goebbels order, the National Socialists take part in the strike of the workers of the Berlin Transport Company (BVG), which the Communist Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition (RGO) has called for.

  • March 13: After the National Socialists take over power, Goebbels becomes head of the newly established "Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda", making him the youngest minister in the cabinet.
    As a result of the "synchronization", Goebbels has almost unlimited control over all areas of cultural life and the media. He concentrates on film and radio as instruments of influencing the masses and promotes the production of the inexpensive "Volksempfänger", which the vernacular calls "Goebbels-Schnauze".
    1st-4th April: Goebbels organizes the boycott against Jewish businesses.
    April 23: He visits his hometown Rheydt, which makes him an honorary citizen in a ceremony.
    May 10: In Berlin, Goebbels gives the "fire speech" at the book burning initiated by the National Socialist German Student Union.
    December: He supports the development of the popular cultural program of the leisure organization "Kraft durch Freude" (KdF) founded by Robert Ley.

  • After moving to a representative service villa on the Wannsee in Berlin, Goebbels acquired a white yacht and the associated boat license.
    June 30th: In the presence of Goebbels, Hitler arrests the SA chief of staff Ernst Röhm and his supporters in Bad Wiessee and orders them to be murdered. Goebbels then notifies Hermann Göring, who orders the killing of the political opponents in the rest of the Reich.
    Goebbels justified the shooting of the SA leaders in a wide-ranging press and radio campaign.

  • He decrees the exclusion from the Reich Chamber of Culture, one of whose parents or grandparents is classified as Jewish. In doing so, he goes beyond the exclusion provisions of the so-called Nuremberg Laws.

  • Goebbels organized the confiscation of so-called degenerate art in museums and had some of the works of art shown in an exhibition of the same name.
    He forces Alfred Hugenberg to sell Universum-Film AG (Ufa), thereby bringing one of the largest film companies into state ownership.

  • August: His wife is planning a divorce because Goebbels is having an affair with the Czech actress Lida Baarova. However, the separation fails because of Hitler's veto.
    November 9th: In a speech to the party leadership in Munich, Goebbels signaled that anti-Semitic demonstrations should neither be prepared nor carried out, but that nothing should be done about "spontaneous riots" either. Goebbels' speech is the starting signal for the violence against the Jewish population during the pogrom night.

  • After the beginning of the Second World War, Goebbels intensified the Nazi propaganda with the "special reports" on the radio and with the weekly newsreel programs, which were extended to hours.

  • May 26th: The first edition of the weekly newspaper "Das Reich", founded by Goebbels, appears. As Reich Propaganda Minister, he wrote numerous leading articles, which were aimed primarily at the educated classes at home and abroad.

  • February 18: Goebbels calls for a "total war" in his speech at the Berlin Sports Palace. The audience, mostly appointed by the party, accompanied the radio broadcast speech with frenetic cheers.

  • April 22nd: He and his family go to the Führer Headquarters in Berlin to be at Hitler's side.
    April 29th: Goebbels is the best man at the wedding of Hitler and Eva Braun in the Berlin Führer headquarters.
    After Göring's arrest, Hitler determined Goebbels as his successor in the Reich Chancellery in his will.
    May 1: At the instigation of Magda Goebbels, SS doctor Helmut Kunz anesthetizes her six children. In all likelihood, she then has them killed by administering hydrogen cyanide. After the murder of their children, Joseph Goebbels and his wife commit suicide at the Fuehrer's headquarters in Berlin.
    Goebbels has kept a regular diary since 1923, which is published posthumously in several volumes.

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