Goebbels (1897-1945), Joseph

26 February, 2009
Bovy Daniel

As Minister of Information and Propaganda, Goebbels played an important role among the other Nazis gray eminences. He became member of the Nazi Party in 1924. He founded the monthly magazine Der Angriff, which reached an important circulation. It continuously spread hate speech against Jews. Goebbels was elected to the Reichstag in 1928 and used his mandate to undermine democracy. His mission consisted in transforming all political Nazi bad tricks into positive actions. Skilled manipulator, Goebbels kept the anti-Jewish policy on fire with speeches full of hatred. This served at the same time Nazi propaganda and street agitation led by the SA. On May 13, 1933, he was active in the organization of the Berlin book burning. During the Cristal Night, he agitated Nazi leaders with a speech pronounced at the town hall of Munich for the celebration of the 1923 Beer Hall putsch. As his ministerial department was also controlling the film industry and culture, Goebbels privileged the broadcasting of anti-Jewish films like “The Jew Süss” (1940). After 1942, Goebbels tried to convince the German population that they should keep strength against the Allied armies. In his speech pronounced on February 18, 1943, he called the Germans to “total war”. Speer’s comments about Goebbels (issued in 1979) relate that he was behind one of the most terrible aspects of the Nazi regime: the anti-Jewish measures. True political incendiary, Goebbels could not accept Hitler’s suicide: on May 1, 1945, he killed himself with his wife and six children.


Richard, L., 2008, Goebbels. Portrait d’un manipulateur. Bruxelles: André Versaille.

Ries, C., 1956, Goebbels. : Fayard.

Cite this item

Bovy Daniel, Goebbels (1897-1945), Joseph , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 26 February, 2009, accessed 17/02/2021, http://bo-k2s.sciences-po.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/en/document/goebbels-1897-1945-joseph, ISSN 1961-9898
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