Katy childhood, certain events in his life lead

Katy Wilwayco

Ms. Biggs

9th Honors Literature/1st period

30 January 2018

Joseph Goebbels: The Professional
Puppet Master

            “A lie told
once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth”
(Goebbels). Joseph Goebbels was a regular family man who, like most men in
Germany, had a wife Magda, and six children. On the contrary, Goebbels was
known mostly for his role as the Minister of Propaganda of the Nazi Party. In
his position, Goebbels controlled all media and entertainment that was
advertised in Germany during WWII.  He
displayed a powerful and authoritative figure to the world, which lead him to
become the influential man known in history today. Joseph Goebbels is an
influential figure of WWII due to his forceful influence of propaganda, which
impacted WWII by increasing the Nazi Party’s support for their actions and
beliefs.

            Joseph
Goebbels began his life as an ordinary child born into a typical family from
Rheydt, Germany. He was born on October 29, 1897 to Friedrich Goebbels and
Katharina Maria Odenhausen. Goebbels attended Catholic school growing up and later
on attended college at Heidelberg University. Although Goebbels may appear to
have a normal childhood, there was one flaw in that image. At a young age,
Goebbels suffered from polio, which caused his right leg to be slightly shorter
than his other leg. This deformity later caused many problems and insecurities
for Goebbels throughout his life. For example, an article written by Helmut
Heiber states, “He was exempted from military services during World War I
because of his clubfoot (presumably a result of having contracted polio as a
child)…This defect played a disastrous role in his life by engendering in
Goebbels a strong desire to be compensated for his misfortune” (Heiber). This
quote exercises the idea that Goebbels became psychologically affected by his
deformity, which can later be lead to explain his belief system. His hatred of
his imperfection caused him to have a strong hatred towards those who were not
perfect in his eyes. After realizing these true beliefs about himself and
others, Joseph Goebbels concentrated his studies on German Philology. In 1922,
he graduated with a degree in the subject, which helped him gain a true
understanding of the knowledge needed for his future job. Heiber also writes, “After graduating from Heidelberg
University in 1922 with a doctorate in German philology, Goebbels pursued
literary, dramatic, and journalistic efforts, writing an expressionist novel in
diary form in the 1920s” (Heiber). This quote proves that Goebbels’ background
in German Philology helped jumpstart his career in German propaganda and
entertainment. His understanding of the German people through history lead him
to become a successful manipulator of the German population. Even though Joseph
Goebbels lived a fairly ordinary childhood, certain events in his life lead him
to set a platform for his later beliefs and influences in the world.

Joseph
Goebbels worked for the Nazi Party from the beginning of its influence on the
world to the final moments of its defeat. After reaching success at the Nazi
Magazine in Germany, Goebbels was recognized by Hitler, who elected him to
become the district leader of Berlin. Goebbels was remarkably successful in
spreading the beliefs of Nazism, which resulted in Adolf Hitler later promoting
Goebbels to Minister of Propaganda. While he toiled as minister, Joseph
Goebbels’ secretary, Brunhilde Pomsel, worked with him while his deranged
actions were being executed. A review by Kate Connolly, written about Pomsel’s
documentary over her experience during WWII recalls, “Only occasionally did she
get a glimpse of the man who turned lying into an art in pursuit of the Nazi’s
murderous goals” (Connolly). According to Pomsel, Goebbels was often completely
immersed in his work. The quote provides an insight into his characteristics as
a boss by exhibiting how he very seldom socialized with employees and kept most
things confidential. However, Goebbels seemed to portray a different persona
while in the public’s eye. For example, the review also states, “No actor could
have been any better at the transformation from a civilized, serious person
into a ranting, rowdy man… In the office he had a kind of noble elegance, and
then to see him there like that raging midget- you just can’t imagine a greater
contrast” (Connolly). The quote suggests that Joseph Goebbels had an exclusive
insight on how to persuade the German people. He transformed into the powerful image
the Nazi’s expected him to portray, which allowed him to capture his audience’s
attention. This enabled him to prosper in his job and become one of the most
successful influencers in history.

Most
of the German population’s beliefs were originally thought up and created by
Joseph Goebbels. During his life, Goebbels wrote a series of diaries that
explained all of his thoughts, actions, and plans. Goebbels worked closely with
Adolf Hitler, allowing him to become one of the few people to know the truth of
the Nazi regime during the war. As a result, the two authoritative figures
often shared the same beliefs. “The Goebbels Diaries” states, “The Jews have deserved the
catastrophe that has now overtaken them. Their destruction will go hand in hand
with the destruction of our enemies” (Goebbels 86). This excerpt provides an
example of Goebbels’ beliefs, more specifically, his strong belief in Anti-Semitism.
Goebbels, along with Hitler, believed that the Jews were the root of all of the
corruption in the world and the only way to obtain victory in the war was to
eliminate all those who were not of the master race. Goebbels infused this
belief all throughout his propaganda in Germany, hoping to persuade others into
believing the same. However, in his journal, there were many secrets that he
kept from the public. Joseph Goebbels foreshadowed the outcome of the war early
on, but continued to push Germany civilians till the end. For instance, Joseph
Goebbels writes, “How distant and alien indeed this beautiful world appears.
Inwardly, I have already taken leave of it” (Goebbels).  This quote examines how Joseph Goebbels knew
the war wouldn’t turn out the way Germany hoped and understood his time in
power would soon come to an end. Despite his intuition, he continued to follow
Hitler and execute his plans. Goebbels’ strong beliefs of Anti-Semitism and
Nazi supremacy were spread through propaganda, which impacted people all
throughout the world.

Joseph Goebbels was arguably one of
the best puppet masters of all time due to his constant use of censorship,
which tricked the minds of millions of Germans. His influences through
propaganda caused many effects on the entire world. His most influential action
was the persuasion of the German people to elect Hitler as Chancellor of
Germany. The article written by  Helmut
Heiber states, “Goebbels began to create the Führer myth around the person of
Hitler and to institute the ritual of party celebrations and demonstrates that
playing a decisive role in converting the masses to Nazism” (Heiber). This
quote reveals that Goebbels often portrayed a false example of an enjoyable and
care-free life the Germans could possess if they elected Hitler as Chancellor.
His propaganda influenced millions of Germans to vote for Hitler, therefore
changing the world forever. In addition, Goebbels controlled all of the
entertainment and media in Germany, making all employees of the industry report
to him. Through this power, Goebbels enforced censorship among the German
people, by misleading them into believing and supporting the Nazis. In the
review about Pomsel’s experience during WWII, the author states, “She remained
in a bubble, unaware of the destruction being melted out by the Nazi regime on
its enemies, despite the fact she was at the physical heart of the regime,”
(Connolly). The quote depicts Brunhilde Pomsel’s experience on how skillfully
Goebbels censored Germans. Pomsels subsequently says that she was unaware the
holocaust was occurring until she arrived home and was reminded of her many
Jewish friends leaving one by one. Joseph Goebbels changed the outcome of
history by influencing the views German citizens had on the Nazi Party through
the use of propaganda.

Joseph Goebbels and his family died
a tragic death following the collapse of the Nazi Party. On April 30, 1945,
Adolf Hitler committed suicide and in his final moments, pronounced Joseph
Goebbels the next Chancellor of Germany. The next day, May 1, 1945, Joseph
Goebbels killed his family and then committed suicide. The article, “Court
Papers Shed Light on Killing of Goebbels Children,” explains, “The children
were knocked out with morphine by an SS doctor and then had cyanide capsules
crushed between their teeth. Afterwards, Goebbels shot his wife and then
himself” (Hall). This quote describes the death of the Goebbels family and
indirectly suggests Goebbels’ fear of facing war crimes. The death of Goebbels
additionally portrays Nazis who ran away from their problems and left others to
fight for themselves. Furthermore, the event provides an insight on how much
people were influenced by Nazism. For example, Hall writes, “They also show how
a mother became so corrupted by Nazism that she would allow this to happen to
innocent children”(Hall).  This quote displays
the absolute firm belief of  Nazi
supporters, who would be influenced kill their children because of the actions
and decisions they made. The quote also provides an example of how important
the Fuhrer was to the Nazi supporters; the death of him causing many to go astray.
Thus, the death of Joseph Goebbels and his family showed how much of an impact
Nazism had on those who were severely impacted by it.        

Joseph Goebbels influenced hundreds
of thousands of people, through the use of propaganda, into believing that the
Nazi Party was the superior political group. This caused many to naively
support them without knowing what was truly going on in the war.  Hence, the Minister of propaganda lead the Germans
to believe and preform anything that he portrayed in his propaganda. Due to his
influence, Goebbels’ actions impacted World War II by raising support for the
Nazi party in Germany, which helped to elevate the party to a sustainable level
of dominance over the world. Therefore, Joseph Goebbels played a major role in
World War II and history by influencing many minds and changing the field of
propaganda for many generations to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Connolly, Kate. “Joseph Goebbels’ 105-Year-Old Secretary:
‘No One Believes Me Now, but I

Knew Nothing’.” The Guardian, 15 August 2016.

Godbey, Holly. “10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Joseph
Goebbels, Nazi Propagandist.” War

History
Online, 13
July 2017,

www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/10-facts-didnt-know-joseph-goebbels-nazi-propagandist.html. 16 Jan. 2018.

Goebbels, Joseph. “The Goebbels Diaries 1942- 1943.” The Goebbels Diaries 1942- 1943,

Edited by Louis P. Lochner, 6 Dec.
2016.

 Hall, Allan. “Court
Papers Shed Light on Killing of Goebbels Children.” The Telegraph, 8 Oct.

2008.

Heiber, Helmut. “Joseph Goebbels.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1

Dec. 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Joseph-Goebbels. 16 Jan. 2018.

“Joseph Goebbels.” Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli
Cooperative Enterprise,

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/joseph-goebbels. 19 Jan. 2018.