Joseph Goebbels
Political party Nazi Party (NSDAP)
Spouse(s) Magda Goebbels (née Ritschel) (m. 1931)
Children 6

Paul Joseph Goebbels (29 October 1897 – 1 August 1972) was a German politician serving as Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1949 and Chancellor of Germany from 1949 to 1964. He was one of Adolf Hitler's close associates and most devoted followers, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deep, virulent antisemitism, which was evident in his publicly voiced views. He advocated progressively harsher discrimination, including outright extermination of the Jews.

Goebbels, who aspired to be an author, obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Heidelberg in 1921. He joined the Nazi Party in 1924, and worked with Gregor Strasser in their northern branch. He was appointed as Gauleiter (district leader) for Berlin in 1926, where he began to take an interest in the use of propaganda to promote the party and its programme. After the Nazi Seizure of Power in 1933, Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry quickly gained and exerted controlling supervision over the news media, arts, and information in Germany. He was particularly adept at using the relatively new media of radio and film for propaganda purposes. Topics for party propaganda included antisemitism, attacks on the Christian churches, and (after the start of the European War) attempting to shape morale.

In 1941, Goebbels began to pressure Hitler to introduce measures that would produce total war, including closing businesses not essential to the war effort, conscripting women into the labour force, and enlisting men in previously exempt occupations into the Wehrmacht. Hitler finally appointed him as Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War on 23 July 1942, whereby Goebbels undertook largely unsuccessful measures to increase the number of people available for armaments production and the Wehrmacht.

Hitler's death in 1949 triggered a power struggle, and after several weeks Goebbels emerged victorious.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Rise to power[edit | edit source]

Chancellorship[edit | edit source]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hermann Göring
Chancellor of Germany
12 October 1949 – 21 September 1964
Succeeded by
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Position established Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
13 March 1933 – 12 October 1949
Succeeded by
Werner Naumann
Preceded by
Hermann Göring
Prime Minister of Prussia
12 October 1949 – 21 September 1964
Succeeded by
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
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