The Early Goebbels Diaries: The Journal of Joseph Goebbels from 1925-1926

The Early Goebbels Diaries: The Journal of Joseph Goebbels from 1925-1926

The Early Goebbels Diaries: The Journal of Joseph Goebbels from 1925-1926

The Early Goebbels Diaries: The Journal of Joseph Goebbels from 1925-1926

Excerpt

Goebbels has always seemed to me to be the most interesting of the men around Hitler. The more one learns about most of them--Himmler, Ribbentrop, Hess, Bormann--the more insignificant and unimpressive they appear. But for Hitler, the sun around whom they circled like so many moons, they would never have emerged from their original obscurity. Goering, it is true, in the Kampfzeit and the earlier years of the Third Reich, displayed an energy and power of decision which gave him an independent position as the second man in the Nazi hierarchy and Hitler's designated successor. But long before the end of the war Goering had succumbed to the self-indulgence of success, a discredited figure who kept out of the way at Karinhall and let events take their course. Only his blustering defence at Nuremberg momentarily recalled the power he had once been in Germany.

Goebbels' career, however, follows a different pattern and displays different qualities.

At the conclusion of these early diaries, Goebbels is seen trying to make up his mind whether to accept Hitler's invitation to take over the Nazi party organization in Berlin. It was a tough proposition: and the letters printed at the end of the volume show something of the petty intrigue and quarrelling which Goebbels found when he decided to go to Berlin. The party had barely a thousand members in the capital, no funds, and a heritage of personal feuds. It took Goebbels some years to master his troubles, but Hitler never chose a better man for any job. By 1932 he had built the Nazi party in Berlin up to the point where it could challenge the communists in their stronghold, break up their meetings and fight it out in the streets on equal terms. Goebbels made Berlin the focus of the campaign of propaganda plus terrorism with which the Nazis captured power, and he did this despite the fact that he was an undersized, puny figure with a club foot who had been turned down for military service in the war.

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