Hitler's Third Reich and World War Two in the News

Death of Joseph Goebbels

End of the Third Reich and the Nazi Leaders

What happened to the leading figures of the Third Reich? How and when their stories come to an end? And what kind of an end it was?


Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels

Propaganda Minister in Nazi Germany.
After Hitler's death Joseph served as Chancellor for one day.

Date of death: 1945-05-01, age 47.
Cause of death: Suicide - A potassium cyanide capsule.

Joseph and Magda had all six of their children put to sleep with morphine, then poisoned them with cyanide. His wife Magda Goebbels committed suicide with him.

Goebbels pioneered the use of broadcasting in mass propaganda, promoting the distribution of cheap single frequency radio receivers to germans - meaning millions of people heard only the broadcasts of the Reich's propaganda ministry, nothing from outside Germany.

1943-02-18 the tide of the war was turning against Third Reich (the battle of Stalingrad). Goebbels delivered his Total war speech at the Berlin Sportpalast. He concluded that "Two thousand years of Western history are in danger (because of Bolshevism)," and blamed Germany's failures on the Jews. -- "I ask you: Do you want total war? If necessary, do you want a war more total and radical than anything that we can even imagine today?"

After Hitler's suicide Goebbels dictated an addition to Hitler's political testament: "The Führer has given orders for me, in case of a breakdown of defense of the Capital of the Reich, to leave Berlin and to participate as a leading member in a government appointed by him. For the first time in my life, I must categorically refuse to obey a command of the Führer. In any other case, I would feel myself (...) a dishonorable renegade and vile scoundrel for my entire further life, who would lose the esteem of himself along with the esteem of his people, both of which would have to form the requirement for further duty of my person in designing the future of the German Nation and the German Reich."

"If the day should ever come when the nazis must go, if some day we are compelled to leave the scene of history, we will slam the door so hard that the universe will shake and mankind will stand back in stupification."
- Joseph Goebbels

"Our magnificent idea is finished - and with it everything beautiful, admirable, noble and good that I have known in my life. The world that will come after the Führer and National Socialism is not worth living in, and for that reason I have brought the children here as well."
- Magda Goebbels in her last letter (to her son Harald) from the Führerbunker three days before she killed herself

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