Skip to main content
Select Source:

Goebbels, Joseph

Joseph Goebbels (Paul Joseph Goebbels) (poul yō´zĕf göb´əls), 1897–1945, German National Socialist propagandist. He was kept out of the service in World War I by a clubfoot. After graduating from the Univ. of Heidelberg (Ph.D., 1921), be began a journalistic career and wrote some unsuccessful novels. He joined the National Socialist, or Nazi, party and worked with Gregor Strasser, who controlled the party in N Germany. As the split between Hitler and Strasser developed, he switched his loyalty to Hitler and was appointed (1926) district party leader in Berlin, where he founded a new organ for party propaganda, Der Angriff [Attack]. By exploiting mob emotions and by employing all modern methods of propaganda he helped Hitler into power. In 1928, Goebbels was elected to the Reichstag, and when Hitler seized power in 1933 he made Goebbels propaganda minister. This position gave him complete control over radio, press, cinema, and theater; later he also regimented all German culture. Goebbels placed his undeniable intelligence and his brilliant insight into mass psychology entirely at the service of his party. His most virulent propaganda was against the Jews. As a hypnotic orator he was second only to Hitler, and in his staging of mass meetings and parades he was unsurpassed. Utterly cynical, he seems to have believed only in the self-justification of power. He remained loyal to Hitler until the end; in Apr., 1945, he killed his family and himself while Berlin was falling to Soviet troops.

See The Early Goebbels Diaries 1925–1926, ed. by H. Heiber (1963); The Goebbels Diaries, 1942–43, ed. and tr. by L. P. Lochner (1948, repr. 1970); The Secret Conferences of Dr. Goebbels: The Nazi Propaganda War, 1939–43, ed. by W. A. Boelcke (tr. 1970); biographies by R. Manvell and H. Fraenkel (1960), H. Heiber (tr. 1972), and R. G. Reuth (tr. 1993); studies by E. K. Bramsted (1965), R. Lemmons (1994), and F. Moeller (tr. 2000); L. Hachmeister, dir., The Goebbels Experiment (documentary film, 2005).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Goebbels, Joseph." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Goebbels, Joseph." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/goebbels-joseph

"Goebbels, Joseph." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/goebbels-joseph

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Goebbels, (Paul) Joseph

Goebbels, (Paul) Joseph (1897–1945) German Nazi leader. He joined the Nazi Party in 1924, and in 1926 founded the newspaper Der Angriff. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, he became minister of propaganda. He took total control of the media, which he exploited to support Nazi aims. He committed suicide with his entire family in April 1945.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Goebbels, (Paul) Joseph." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Goebbels, (Paul) Joseph." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/goebbels-paul-joseph

"Goebbels, (Paul) Joseph." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/goebbels-paul-joseph

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.