Goebbels, Magda (d. 1945)

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Goebbels, Magda (d. 1945)

German wife of Joseph Goebbels. Born Johanna Maria Magdalena Quandt; committed suicide on May 1, 1945; married Joseph Goebbels (1897–1945), Reichsminister of propaganda and gauleiter of Berlin, in December 1931; children: Hedda, Heide, Helga, Helmuth, Hilde, Holde.

Magda Goebbels was the wife of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi gauleiter ("district leader") of Berlin-Brandenberg whose skills as an orator earned him the office of Reichsminister of Propaganda after Hitler's ascension to power in 1933. In this position, Joseph enjoyed enormous powers of censorship that touched nearly every segment of life in the Third Reich. His propaganda ministry had a particularly heavy hand when it came to the movie industry, for he had a fondness for beautiful movie stars, especially Lida Baarova . Although Joseph Goebbels was part of Hitler's inner circle, the details of his extramarital affairs sometimes leaked to the public,

erupting into scandals that embarrassed both Hitler and the Nazi party.

Because of this, Magda chose to live apart from her husband and had forbidden him access to their country house in Schwanenwerder. When she learned of the affair with Baarova in 1938, she asked Hitler if she could seek a divorce. Immediately, Hitler summoned Joseph and elicited a promise from him: no divorce and no Baarova for at least one year. Lida Baarova left Berlin, effectively boycotted, and Magda and Joseph reconciled.

Magda, her children, and Joseph stayed with Hitler (and Eva Braun ) in his underground bunker, until Hitler and Braun took their own lives on April 29, 1945. As Russian troops fought toward the Reich Chancellory, Magda, under Joseph's orders, helped an SS doctor poison her six children, of whom the eldest was 12. She then committed suicide with Joseph on May 1, 1945.

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