Joseph Goebbels quotes

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Joseph Goebbels

Birthdate: 29. October 1897
Date of death: 1. May 1945
Other names: Paul Joseph Goebbels

Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. He was one of Adolf Hitler's closest and most devoted associates, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deeply virulent antisemitism, which was evident in his publicly voiced views. He advocated progressively harsher discrimination, including the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust.

Goebbels, who aspired to be an author, obtained a Doctor of Philology 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 Gauleiter 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 Nazis' seizure of power in 1933, Goebbels's Propaganda Ministry quickly gained and exerted control 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 attempting to shape morale.

In 1943, 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 1944, whereby Goebbels undertook largely unsuccessful measures to increase the number of people available for armaments manufacture and the Wehrmacht.

As the war drew to a close and Nazi Germany faced defeat, Magda Goebbels and the Goebbels children joined him in Berlin. They moved into the underground Vorbunker, part of Hitler's underground bunker complex, on 22 April 1945. Hitler committed suicide on 30 April. In accordance with Hitler's will, Goebbels succeeded him as Chancellor of Germany; he served one day in this post. The following day, Goebbels and his wife committed suicide, after poisoning their six children with cyanide.

Works

Sportpalast speech
Joseph Goebbels

„Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Perhaps a reframing of "The cleverest trick used in propaganda against Germany during the war was to accuse Germany of what our enemies themselves were doing," which Goebbels said at a 1934 Nurenberg rally. stackexchange.com https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/37824/did-joseph-goebbels-say-accuse-the-other-side-of-that-which-you-are-guilty.
Misattributed

„The night is my best friend. It calms the storm in my soul and it lets the guiding stars rise.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Die Nacht ist meine beste Freundin. Sie glättet den Sturm in der Seele und lässt die weisenden Sterne aufgehen.
Michael: a German fate in diary notes (1926)

„The nation and the government in Germany are one thing. The will of the people is the will of the government and vice versa. The modern structure of the German State is a higher form of democracy [ennobled democracy] in which, by virtue of the people’s mandate, the government is exercised authoritatively while there is no possibility for parliamentary interference to obliterate and render ineffective the execution of the nation’s will.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

“On National-Socialist Germany And Her Contribution Towards Peace.” Speech to the representatives of the international press at Geneva on September 28. 1933. German League of Nations Union News Service, PRO, FO 371/16728. Included within Völkerbund: Journal for International Politics, Ausgaben 1-103, 1933, p.16
1930s

„The worker in a capitalist state—and that is his deepest misfortune—is no longer a living human being, a creator, a maker. He has become a machine. A number, a cog in the machine without sense or understanding. He is alienated from what he produces.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Written by Joseph Goebbels and Mjölnir, Die verfluchten Hakenkreuzler. Etwas zum Nachdenken (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher, 1932).Translated as “Those Damned Nazis: Why a Workers Party?

“Those Damn Nazis: Why Are We a Workers’ Party?” https://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/haken32.htm written by Joseph Goebbels and Mjölnir, Die verfluchten Hakenkreuzler. Etwas zum Nachdenken, Nazi propaganda pamphlet (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher, 1932)
1930s

„Mozart didn't need a scheme for his music. He played and sang with the heavenly lightness of a child.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Mozart brauchte kein Programm für seine Musik. Er musizierte und sang mit der göttlichen Leichtigkeit eines Kindes.
Michael: a German fate in diary notes (1926)

„In the newspapers there is insulting and stirring up hatred. Those irresponsible daubers!
The people are on the streets -- rampaging and protesting. The magnates are sitting at the green table and calmly finish their game.
Old Europe is dying.
Well, it's a crazy world! Thrift, Horatio!
As if by a mysterious power one feels compelled to go out onto the streets. The thoughts wander outside to the stage which is portraying a drama of world history -- not an edifying one, but still a drama. It gives the earnest observer a lot to think about.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

In den Zeitungen wird gehetzt und geschimpft. Diese verantwortungslosen Schmieranten!
Das Volk ist auf der Straße, randaliert und demonstriert. Die Herren sitzen am grünen Tisch und spielen seelenruhig ihre Partie zu Ende.
Die alte Europa geht in die Binsen.
Ja, es ist eine tolle Welt! Wirtschaft, Horatio!
Man wird wie von einer geheimnisvollen Macht auf die Straße gezogen. Die Gedanken sind draußen, wo sich ein Stück Weltgeschichte abspielt -- kein erhebendes zwar, aber ein Stück. Der ernsthafte Zuschauer hat viel dabei nachzudenken.
Michael: a German fate in diary notes (1926)

„We are not a charitable institution but a Party of revolutionary socialists.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

“Einbeitsfront,” Der Angriff editorial, May 27, 1929. David Schoenbaum, Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939, W.W. Norton & Company (1997) p. 25
1920s

„Every age that has historical status is governed by aristocracies.
Aristocracy with the meaning - the best are ruling.
Peoples do never govern themselves. That lunacy was concocted by liberalism. Behind its "people's sovereignty" the slyest cheaters are hiding, who don't want to be recognized.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Jedes Zeitalter wird, wenn es historischen Rang hat, von Aristokratien gestaltet.
Aristokratie = die Besten herrschen.
Niemals regieren Völker sich selbst. Diesen Wahnsinn hat der Liberalismus erfunden. Hinter seiner Volkssouveränität verstecken sich nur die gerissensten Schelme, die nicht erkannt sein wollen.
Michael: a German fate in diary notes (1926)

„The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, London and Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University (2004) p. 13. Quote from March, 1933.
1930s

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„Goethe as an old man: he was so very punctual. At that time he also wrote many things that were very punctual. The rounded thing is boring. Turn it as you may, it remains round and pretty.
I love the edges, the sharp lines, and fractures.
I show to him a picture of Dostoevsky. How ruptured, furrowed, tormented!
He looks like Michelangelo; the face of an endurer and a prophet.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Der alte Goethe: er war so pünktlich. Er schrieb damals auch vieles, was sehr pünktlich war. Das Runde ist langweilig. Dreh es wie du willst, es bleibt rund und schön.
Ich liebe Ecken, Kanten und Risse.
Ich lege ihm ein Bild von Dostojewski vor. Wie zerrissen, wie zerfurcht und zerhauen!
So sieht auch Michelangelo aus; ein Dulder- und Prophetengesicht.
Michael: a German fate in diary notes (1926)

„The political bourgeoisie is about to leave the stage of history. In its place advance the oppressed producers of the head and hand, the forces of Labor (Arbeitertum), to being their historical mission.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

“Warum sind wir Sozialisten,” Der Angriff editorial, July 16, 1928, reprinted in Der Angriff, Munich 1935, p. 223. David Schoenbaum, Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939, W.W. Norton & Company (1997) p. 25
As quoted in "Erkenntnis und Propaganda," Signale der neuen Zeit. 25 ausgewählte Reden von Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1934), pp. 28-52
The Pharus Hall was a meeting hall the Nazis often used in Berlin.
1920s

„How beautiful life is! Music and dancing! The violins are sobbing. The first stopper of a bottle of champagne bangs. And now there's a mad singing and shouting. Everybody joins in and sings and shouts! Embracing, friendship, eternal friendship! How beautiful the women are! Dressed in black and red. But you are the prettiest, Hertha! … Hey, you grumblers, go to hell! Music and dancing. The violins are sobbing. Women dressed in black and red. But you are the prettiest, Hertha!“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Wie schön ist das Leben! Musik und Tanz! Die Geigen schluchzen. Der erste Sektpfropfen knallt. Und nun ein tolles Singen und Schreien. Man singt und schreit mit. Umarmung, Freundschaft, ewige Freundschaft! Welch' schöne Frauen! In schwarz und rot! Und doch bist Du die Schönste, Hertha Holk! … Heda, ihr Miesmacher, der Teufel soll euch holen! Musik und Tanz. Die Geigen schluchzen. Frauen in schwarz und rot. Und doch bist Du die Schönste, Hertha Holk!
Michael: a German fate in diary notes (1926)

„Give your goods to the poor: Christ.
Property is theft - as long as it's not mine: Marx.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

Verteile Dein Gut an die Armen: Christus.
Eigentum ist Diebstahl – solange es nicht mir gehört: Marx.
Michael: a German fate in diary notes (1926)

„The fact that the causes and effective potentialities of Bolshevism were already existent in a latent form in democracy explains why Bolshevism flourishes only on democratic soil, and is indeed generally the inevitable consequence of a radical and excessively democratic conception of the State. Bolshevism allegedly makes a classless society its aim. The equality of whatever bears a human form, which democracy applied only to political and social life, is set up as a ruling principle for economic life also. In this respect there are supposed to be no differences left. But this equality of all individuals in respect of economic goods can, in the Marxist-Bolshevist view, result only from a brutal and pitiless class struggle. … It is only logical that in connexion with this, Bolshevism should proclaim the equality of nations and races. … The opposition between the democratic and the Bolshevist mentality and conception of the State are in the last resort merely theoretical, and here we have the answer to the mysterious riddle which overshadows Europe and the explanation both of the opposition in the lives of nations to-day and of the things which they have in common. It enables us to see at once why democracy and Bolshevism, which in the eyes of the world are irrevocably opposed to one another, meet again and again on common ground in their joint hatred of and attacks on authoritarian nationalist concepts of State and State systems. For the authoritarian nationalist conception of the State represents something essentially new. In it the French Revolution is superseded.“

—  Joseph Goebbels

On National-Socialism, Bolshevism & Democracy (September 10, 1938) http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/joseph-goebbels-on-national-socialism-bolshevism-and-democracy
1930s

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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