Magda Goebbels

Johanna Maria Magdalena "Magda" Goebbels (née Ritschel; 11 November 1901 – 1 May 1945) was the wife of Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. A prominent member of the Nazi Party, she was a close ally, companion and political supporter of Adolf Hitler. Some historians refer to her as the unofficial "First Lady" of Nazi Germany, while others give that title to Emmy Göring.[1][2]

As Berlin was being overrun by the Red Army at the end of World War II in Europe, she and her husband fatally poisoned their six children before they committed suicide. Harald Quandt, her son from a previous marriage, survived her.

Magda Goebbels
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R22014, Magda Goebbels
Goebbels in 1933
Personal details
Born
Johanna Maria Magdalena Ritschel

11 November 1901
Berlin, German Empire
Died1 May 1945 (aged 43)
Führerbunker, Berlin, Nazi Germany
Political partyNational Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)
Spouse(s)
Children7
ParentsAuguste Behrend
Oskar Ritschel
Alma materUrsuline Convent
ProfessionMother, propagandist, First Lady
AwardsGolden Party Badge Планка Золотой партийный знак НСДАП.svg
Cross of Honor of the German Mother

Early life

Magda was born in 1901 in Berlin, Germany to Auguste Behrend and engineer/Berlin developer Oskar Ritschel.[3] The couple were married later that year and divorced in 1905.[4][3] Some sources suggest that the marriage took place before her birth, but there is no particular evidence to support that claim.[5][6] When she was five, her mother sent her to stay with Ritschel in Cologne. Ritschel took her to Brussels, Belgium, where she was enrolled at the Ursuline Convent in Vilvoorde.[7] At the convent, she was remembered as "an active and intelligent little girl".[8]

Magda's mother married Jewish businessman and leather-goods magnate Richard Friedländer and moved with him to Brussels in 1908.[7][9] In 2016, it was reported that Friedländer may have been Magda's biological father. Friedländer's residency card, found in Berlin archives, stated that Magda was his biological daughter.[10]

From 1908 until the outbreak of World War I, the family remained in Brussels. At that time, all Germans were forced to leave Belgium as refugees, to avoid repercussions from the Belgians after the German invasion.[4] They moved to Berlin where she attended the high school Kolmorgen Lycée. Behrend divorced Friedländer in 1914, and in 1919, Magda was enrolled in the prestigious Holzhausen Ladies' College near Goslar.[4]

Marriage and son with Günther Quandt

In 1920, while returning to school on a train, she met Günther Quandt, a rich German industrialist twice her age.[11] It is claimed that although a physically unremarkable man, Quandt courted her at school by posing as a family friend and swept her off her feet with courtesy and grand gestures.[12] He demanded that she change her name back to Ritschel (having borne the name of her mother and stepfather, Friedländer, at her own request, for many years) while converting from Ritschel's nominal Catholicism to Protestantism.[13] She and Quandt were married on 4 January 1921, and her first child, Harald, was born on 1 November 1921.[14]

Magda soon grew frustrated in her marriage because Quandt spent little time with her. His main interest seemed to be the expansion of his business empire.[11] She was left to look after six children—Harald, Quandt's two sons from his prior marriage, and three children from a friend who had died—and run the household.[11]

In October 1927, the couple visited the United States to conduct business with the H. Lloyd Electric Storage Battery Company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Quandt reported that the trip was to last two months.[15]

In 1929, Quandt discovered that Magda was having an affair, so he separated from her. He went on to divorce Magda that same year, but was generous with the divorce settlement.[11] The affair Magda was having was with Zionist Chaim "Viktor" Arlosoroff. Both planned to emigrate to Palestine together. (Israel had not been founded yet.) [16]

Marriage and family with Joseph Goebbels

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R32860, Berlin, Trauung von Joseph und Magda Goebbels
Joseph and Magda's wedding day, with her son Harald Quandt in his Deutsches Jungvolk uniform. Adolf Hitler, their best man, can be seen in the background.

In 1930, Magda attended a meeting of the Nazi Party where she was impressed by one of the speakers, Joseph Goebbels, then the Gauleiter of Berlin. She joined the party on 1 September 1930, and did some volunteer work, although she has not been characterized as politically active. From the local branch, Magda moved to the party headquarters in Berlin and for a brief period became secretary to Hans Meinshausen, Goebbels' deputy, before being invited to take charge of Goebbels' own private papers.[17] She and Goebbels became romantically involved while on a short trip with friends to Weimar in February 1931.[11] A relationship began and by April they began making plans for their future together.[18] Goebbels wrote in his diary, "We have made a solemn vow to each other: When we have conquered the Reich, we will become man and wife. I am very happy."[18] Her flat on Theodor-Heuss-Platz (then named the Reichskanzlerplatz) soon became a favourite meeting place for Adolf Hitler and other NSDAP officials.[19]

By September, the relationship was experiencing problems. Goebbels was often jealous, and had some concern over the fact that Hitler had grown fond of Magda.[20] Magda decided to move up their wedding date,[18] and the couple were married on 19 December 1931, with Hitler as a witness.[21] Otto Wagener claims that Magda's marriage to Goebbels was somewhat arranged; since Hitler intended to remain unmarried, it was suggested that as the wife of a leading and highly visible Nazi official she might eventually act as "first lady of the Third Reich". Her social connections and upper class bearing may have influenced Goebbels' own enthusiasm.[22] Goebbels biographer Peter Longerich concurred with this "plausible" conclusion as Magda was a very ambitious woman.[2] Meissner contends that Hitler (though undoubtedly impressed by Magda) was an exceptionally close friend of the couple in the early days. Hitler enjoyed staying at the Goebbels' Berlin apartment, where he could relax,[23] and he grew very fond of the Goebbels' children.[2] Hitler would often arrive at their apartment late at night and, in later years, was as likely as Goebbels to sit with the baby Helga (born 1932) on his lap while they talked into the night.[24]

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1978-086-03, Joseph Goebbels mit Familie
The Goebbels family in 1942: (back row) Hildegard, Harald Quandt, Helga; (front row) Helmut, Hedwig, Magda, Heidrun, Joseph and Holdine. (In this well-known manipulated image, the visage of the uniformed Harald, who was actually away on military duties, was inserted and retouched.)

Magda had a close relationship with Hitler, and became a member of his small coterie of female friends.[19] She acted as an unofficial representative of the regime, receiving letters from all over Germany from women with questions about domestic matters or child custody issues.[1]

After 1933, the Goebbels became accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle which went with their high social position. Their Berlin home on Göringstrasse was remodeled by Albert Speer and they spent the spring and summers in Kladow.[25] In 1936, they bought a villa on Schwanenwerder island and later another at Bogensee near Wandlitz in Brandenburg.[26]

Joseph and Magda Goebbels had six children:[27]

  • Helga Susanne (1932)
  • Hildegard "Hilde" Traudel (1934)
  • Helmut Christian (1935)
  • Holdine "Holde" Kathrin (1937)
  • Hedwig "Hedda" Johanna (1938)
  • Heidrun "Heide" Elisabeth (1940)
Bogensee 25
Goebbels' villa on Bogensee,
2008 condition

Joseph Goebbels had many affairs during the marriage. In 1936, Goebbels met the Czech actress Lída Baarová and by the winter of 1937 began an intense affair with her.[28] Magda had a long conversation with Hitler about the situation on 15 August 1938.[29] Unwilling to put up with a scandal involving one of his top ministers, Hitler demanded that Goebbels break off the relationship.[30] Thereafter, Goebbels and Magda seemed to reach a truce until the end of September.[29] The couple had another falling out at that point, and once again Hitler became involved, insisting the couple stay together.[31] Hitler arranged for publicity photos to be taken of himself with the reconciled couple in October 1938.[32][a] Magda also had affairs, including a relationship with Kurt Ludecke in 1933[33] and Karl Hanke in 1938.[34]

War years

At the outbreak of war, Magda's son by her first marriage, Harald Quandt, became a Luftwaffe pilot and fought at the front, while, at home, she lived up to the image of a patriotic mother by training as a Red Cross nurse and working with the electronics company Telefunken, and travelled to work on a bus, like her colleagues.[5] She was also involved with entertaining the wives of the foreign heads of state, supporting the troops and comforting war widows.

Both Goebbels and Magda derived personal benefits and social status from their close association with Hitler, and the couple remained loyal to Hitler and publicly supported him. Privately, however, Magda expressed doubts, especially after the war began to go badly on the Eastern Front. On 9 November 1942, during a gathering with friends listening to a speech by Hitler, she switched off the radio exclaiming, "My God, what a lot of rubbish."[35] In 1944, she reportedly said of Hitler, "He no longer listens to voices of reason. Those who tell him what he wants to hear are the only ones he believes."[36]

There is no evidence that Magda attempted to intervene to save her Jewish stepfather from the Holocaust. Though his fate has not been established, it is widely assumed that he perished in the camps. However, Felix Franks, a German Jew who later became a British soldier, claimed that his grandparents got an exit visa from Germany, with the help of Magda Goebbels.

"My father and step-mother were left behind in Germany but, two days before the War started, they were asked to come to Gestapo Headquarters and given an exit visa. There is a story in the family which goes back to the First World War when my step-grandparents were asked to give shelter to a young woman who’d been displaced by the war in Belgium. Although she had a Jewish step-father, she eventually married Joseph Goebbels! My stepmother believes she may have acted as a sort of protecting hand and was involved with the exit visa. Certainly, the night before Kristallnacht, they got an anonymous phone call warning my father not to go home that evening but to go somewhere safe. My step-mother swore it was Magda Goebbels."[5][37]

Asked about her husband's antisemitism, she answered: "The Führer wants it thus, and Joseph must obey."[38]

Due to her weak heart and "delicate health", she would have extended periods of illness.[39] Towards the end of the war, she is known to have also suffered from severe depression and trigeminal neuralgia.[40] This condition affects a nerve in the face, and although usually harmless is considered to cause intense pain and can be notoriously hard to treat.[41] This often left her bedridden and led to bouts of hospitalization as late as August 1944.[42]

Suicide

In late April 1945, the Soviet Red Army entered Berlin, and the Goebbels family moved into the Vorbunker, connected to the lower Führerbunker under the Reich Chancellery garden.[43] Magda wrote a farewell letter to her son Harald, who was in a POW camp in North Africa:[44]

My beloved son! By now we have been in the Führerbunker for six days already—daddy, your six little siblings and I, for the sake of giving our national socialistic lives the only possible honourable end ... You shall know that I stayed here against daddy's will, and that even on last Sunday the Führer wanted to help me to get out. You know your mother—we have the same blood, for me there was no wavering. Our glorious idea is ruined and with it everything beautiful and marvelous that I have known in my life. The world that comes after the Führer and national socialism is not any longer worth living in and therefore I took the children with me, for they are too good for the life that would follow, and a merciful God will understand me when I will give them the salvation ... The children are wonderful ... there never is a word of complaint nor crying. The impacts are shaking the bunker. The elder kids cover the younger ones, their presence is a blessing and they are making the Führer smile once in a while. May God help that I have the strength to perform the last and hardest. We only have one goal left: loyalty to the Führer even in death. Harald, my dear son—I want to give you what I learned in life: be loyal! Loyal to yourself, loyal to the people and loyal to your country ... Be proud of us and try to keep us in dear memory ...

Goebbels added a postscript to Hitler's last will and testament of 29 April stating that he would disobey the order to leave Berlin, "[f]or reasons of humanity and personal loyalty". Further, he stated that Magda and their children supported his refusal to leave Berlin and his resolution to die in the bunker. He later qualified this by stating that the children would support the decision [to commit suicide] if they were old enough to speak for themselves.[45]

Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide on the afternoon of 30 April.[46] On the following day of 1 May 1945, Magda and Joseph Goebbels arranged for an SS dentist, Helmut Kunz, to inject his six children with morphine so that when they were unconscious, an ampule of cyanide could be then crushed in each of their mouths. Kunz later stated he gave the children morphine injections, but it was Magda and SS-Obersturmbannführer Ludwig Stumpfegger, Hitler's personal doctor, who administered the cyanide.[47] Author James P. O'Donnell concluded that although Stumpfegger was probably involved in drugging the children, Magda killed them herself. He surmised that witnesses blamed the deaths on Stumpfegger because he was a convenient target, having died the following day. Moreover, as O'Donnell recorded, Stumpfegger may have been too intoxicated at the time of the deaths to have played a reliable role.[48]

Magda appears to have contemplated and talked about killing her children a month in advance.[49] According to her friend and sister-in-law (from her first marriage) Ello Quandt, she told her that they were all going to take poison.

"We have demanded monstrous things from the German people, treated other nations with pitiless cruelty. For this the victors will exact their full revenge...we can't let them think we are cowards. Everybody else has the right to live. We haven't got this right—we have forfeited it. I make myself responsible. I belonged. I believed in Hitler and for long enough in Joseph Goebbels...Suppose I remain alive, I should immediately be arrested and interrogated about Joseph. If I tell the truth I must reveal what sort of man he was—must describe all that happened behind the scenes. Then any respectable person would turn from me in disgust. It would be equally impossible to do the opposite—that is to defend what he has done, to justify him to his enemies, to speak up for him out of true conviction...That would go against my conscience. So you see, Ello, it would be quite impossible for me to go on living. We will take the children with us, they are too good, too lovely for the world which lies ahead. In the days to come Joseph will be regarded as one of the greatest criminals that Germany has ever produced. His children would hear that said daily, people would torment them, despise and humiliate them. They would have to bear the burden of his sins and vengeance would be wreaked on them... It has all happened before. You know how I told you at the time quite frankly what the Führer said in the Café Anast in Munich when he saw the little Jewish boy, you remember? That he would like to squash him flat like a bug on the wall...I couldn't believe it and thought it was just provocative talk. But he really did it later. It was all so unspeakably gruesome..."[50][51]

She appears to have refused several offers, such as one by Albert Speer, to have the children smuggled out of Berlin and insisted that the family must stay at her husband's side. In the Führerbunker she confided to Hitler's secretary Traudl Junge, that "I would rather have my children die, than live in disgrace, jeered at. My children stand no chance in Germany after the war".[52]

The last survivor of Hitler's bunker, Rochus Misch, gave this account of the events to the BBC:[53]

"Straight after Hitler's death, Mrs. Goebbels came down to the bunker with her children," Mr Misch recalls. "She started preparing to kill them. She couldn't have done that above ground—there were other people there who would have stopped her. That's why she came downstairs—because no-one else was allowed in the bunker. She came down on purpose to kill them."

She helped the girls change into long white nightgowns. She then softly combed their hair. Misch tried to concentrate on his work but he knew what was going to happen.[54] Magda then went back up to the Vorbunker with the children. Shortly thereafter, Werner Naumann came down to the Führerbunker and told Misch that he had seen Hitler's personal physician, Dr Stumpfegger give the children something "sweetened" to drink.[55] About two hours later, Magda came back down to the Führerbunker, alone. She looked very pale, her eyes very red and her face was "frozen". She sat down at a table and began playing patience.[55] Goebbels then came over to her, but did not say a word at that time.[55]

After their children were dead, Magda and Joseph Goebbels walked up to the garden of the Chancellery, where they committed suicide.[56] There are several different accounts of this event. One account was that they each bit on a cyanide ampule near where Hitler had been buried, and were given a coup de grâce immediately afterwards.[57] Goebbels' SS adjutant Günther Schwägermann testified in 1948 that they walked ahead of him up the stairs and out into the Chancellery garden. He waited in the stairwell and heard the shots sound. Schwägermann then walked up the remaining stairs and, once outside, saw their lifeless bodies. Following Goebbels' prior order, Schwägermann had an SS soldier fire several shots into Goebbels' body, which did not move.[56][b] The bodies were then doused with petrol, but the remains were only partially burned and not buried.[57]

The charred corpses were found on the afternoon of 2 May 1945 by Soviet troops. The children were found in the Vorbunker dressed in their nightclothes, with ribbons tied in the girls' hair.[58] The remains of the Goebbels' family, Hitler, Eva Braun, General Hans Krebs, and Hitler's dogs were repeatedly buried and exhumed.[59] The last burial was at the SMERSH facility in Magdeburg on 21 February 1946. In 1970, KGB director Yuri Andropov authorised an operation to destroy the remains.[60] On 4 April 1970, a Soviet KGB team used detailed burial charts to exhume five wooden boxes at the Magdeburg facility. The remains from the boxes were burned, crushed, and scattered into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the nearby Elbe.[61]

Portrayal in media

Magda Goebbels has been portrayed by the following actresses in film and television productions.[62]

Notes

  1. ^ In 1939 at the premiere of the film The Journey to Tilsit, Magda ostentatiously left because the plot had an accidental resemblance to her situation and the affair between her husband and Baarová. (Romani 1994, p. 86)
  2. ^ Johannes Hentschel later told Misch a singular conflicting story that Goebbels killed himself in his room in the bunker, and Magda in the Vorbunker, in the early hours of 2 May.(Misch 2014, pp. 182, 183)

References

  1. ^ a b Thacker 2010, p. 179.
  2. ^ a b c Longerich 2015, pp. 159, 160.
  3. ^ a b Longerich 2015, p. 151.
  4. ^ a b c Magda Goebbels biography at Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
  5. ^ a b c Arditti, Michael, Magda Goebbels by Anja Klabunde Literary Review, 22 May 2002
  6. ^ Meissner 1980, p. 13.
  7. ^ a b Meissner 1980, p. 16.
  8. ^ de Launay, Jaques, Hitler en Flandres, 1975
  9. ^ Longerich 2015, pp. 151, 152.
  10. ^ Magda Goebbels' biological father may have been Jewish Jewish Chronicle. 21 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d e Longerich 2015, p. 152.
  12. ^ Meissner 1980, p. 29.
  13. ^ Meissner 1980, p. 31.
  14. ^ Thacker 2010, p. 149.
  15. ^ List or Manifest of Alien Passengers For the United States Immigration Officer At the Port of Arrival (Form 500 U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration Service), pp. 7–8, number on list 3 & 4, dated October 22 & 28, 1927.
  16. ^ http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/magda-goebbels-chaim-arlosoroff/
  17. ^ Meissner 1980, p. 82.
  18. ^ a b c Longerich 2015, p. 153.
  19. ^ a b Manvell & Fraenkel 2010, p. 94.
  20. ^ Longerich 2015, pp. 153, 157, 158.
  21. ^ Longerich 2015, p. 167.
  22. ^ Wagener, Otto, Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant
  23. ^ Longerich 2015, p. 160.
  24. ^ Meissner 1980, pp. 91, 97–99.
  25. ^ Longerich 2015, pp. 231, 290–291.
  26. ^ Longerich 2015, pp. 315, 316.
  27. ^ Manvell & Fraenkel 2010, p. 165.
  28. ^ Longerich 2015, pp. 317, 318.
  29. ^ a b Longerich 2015, p. 392.
  30. ^ Manvell & Fraenkel 2010, p. 170.
  31. ^ Longerich 2015, pp. 392–395.
  32. ^ Longerich 2015, pp. 391, 395.
  33. ^ Longerich 2015, p. 317.
  34. ^ Thacker 2010, p. 204.
  35. ^ Meissner 1980, p. 219.
  36. ^ Meissner 1980, p. 222.
  37. ^ Jewish Museum Berlin, major exhibition "Home and Exile, The Jewish Quarterly."
  38. ^ Meissner 1980, p. 127.
  39. ^ Longerich 2015, pp. 197, 361, 362, 706.
  40. ^ Klabunde, Anja, Magda Goebbels, p. 302
  41. ^ What is Trigeminal Neuralgia? TNA Website
  42. ^ Meissner 1980, pp. 141, 228, 234.
  43. ^ Thacker 2010, p. 298.
  44. ^ "Magda Goebbels". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  45. ^ Longerich 2015, p. 686.
  46. ^ Joachimsthaler 1999, pp. 160–182.
  47. ^ Beevor 2002, pp. 380, 381.
  48. ^ O'Donnell 2001.
  49. ^ Meissner 1980, p. 242.
  50. ^ Klabunde, Anja, Magda Goebbels
  51. ^ "Ello Quandt testimony"
  52. ^ Junge, Traudl, Until the Final Hour
  53. ^ "I was in Hitler's suicide bunker". BBC News. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  54. ^ Misch 2014, p. 176.
  55. ^ a b c Misch 2014, p. 177.
  56. ^ a b Joachimsthaler 1999, p. 52.
  57. ^ a b Beevor 2002, p. 381.
  58. ^ Beevor 2002, p. 398.
  59. ^ Vinogradov 2005, pp. 111, 333.
  60. ^ Vinogradov 2005, p. 333.
  61. ^ Vinogradov 2005, pp. 335, 336.
  62. ^ "Magda Goebbels (Character)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  63. ^ a b Mitchell, Charles P. (2002). The Hitler Filmography: Worldwide Feature Film and Television Miniseries Portrayals, 1940 through 2000. McFarland.
  64. ^ "Library DVDs" (PDF). UCL SCHOOL OF SLAVONIC AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES (SSEES). 12 September 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  65. ^ Josephdreams. "Frank Finlay". frankfinlay.net. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  66. ^ "Barbara Jefford | United Agents". United Agents. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  67. ^ O'connor, John J. (27 January 1981). "TV: 'BUNKER,' ON HITLER'S LAST DAYS". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  68. ^ "Inside the Third Reich". Elke Sommer: The Official Website. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  69. ^ a b Reimer, Robert (2012). Historical Dictionary of Holocaust Cinema. Scarecrow Press. p. 75.
  70. ^ "Back in the Bunker". The New Yorker. 14 February 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2017.

Bibliography

  • Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin: The Downfall 1945. London: Viking-Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-670-03041-5.
  • Der Spiegel No. 35/04 Hitlers Ende Spiegels (H. 35, 2004)
  • E. Ebermayer, Hans Roos: Gefährtin des Teufels – Leben und Tod der Magda Goebbels (Hamburg, 1952)
  • Goebbels, Joseph: Tagebücher 1945 – Die letzten Aufzeichnungen (Hamburg, 1977) ISBN 3-404-01368-9
  • Anja Klabunde: Magda Goebbels – Annäherung an ein Leben (Munich, 1999) ISBN 3-570-00114-8
  • Joachimsthaler, Anton (1999) [1995]. The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, the Evidence, the Truth. Trans. Helmut Bögler. London: Brockhampton Press. ISBN 978-1-86019-902-8.
  • Longerich, Peter (2015). Goebbels: A Biography. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1400067510.
  • Manvell, Roger; Fraenkel, Heinrich (2010) [1960]. Doctor Goebbels: His Life and Death. New York: Skyhorse. ISBN 978-1-61608-029-7.
  • Meissner, Hans-Otto (1978). Magda Goebbels – Ein Lebensbild (Munich)
  • Meissner, Hans-Otto (1980) [1978]. Magda Goebbels: The First Lady of the Third Reich. New York: The Dial Press. ISBN 978-0803762121.
  • Misch, Rochus (2014) [2008]. Hitler's Last Witness: The Memoirs of Hitler's Bodyguard. London: Frontline Books-Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-1848327498.
  • O'Donnell, James P. (2001) [1978]. The Bunker. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80958-3.
  • Romani, Cinzia (1994). Tainted Goddesses: Female Film Stars of the Third Reich. Spellmount Publishers Ltd. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-87337-637-9.
  • Schaake, Erich (2000). Hitlers Frauen (Munich)
  • Schneider, Wolfgang (2001). Frauen unterm Hakenkreuz (Hamburg)
  • Sigmund, Anna Maria (1998). Die Frauen der Nazis Volume 1, (Vienna) ISBN 3-8000-3699-1
  • Thacker, Toby (2010) [2009]. Joseph Goebbels: Life and Death. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-27866-0.
  • Vinogradov, V. K. (2005). Hitler's Death: Russia's Last Great Secret from the Files of the KGB. Chaucer Press. ISBN 978-1-904449-13-3.
  • Wistrich, Robert (1987). Wer war Wer im dritten Reich (Frankfurt am Main)
  • Dieter Wunderlich: Göring und Goebbels (Regensburg, 2002)

External links

Corinna Harfouch

Corinna Harfouch (born Corinna Meffert; 16 October 1954) is a German actress.

Erna Flegel

Erna Flegel (11 July 1911 – 16 February 2006) was a German nurse. In late April 1945 she worked at the emergency casualty station at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. She was captured in the Reich Chancellery by the Red Army on 2 May 1945.

Goebbels (surname)

Goebbels is a surname in the western areas of Germany. It is probably derived from the Low German word gobelet. Notable people with the surname include:

Heiner Goebbels (born 1952), German composer and music director

Joseph Goebbels (1897–1945), Propaganda Minister of Nazi Germany

Magda Goebbels (1901–1945), wife of Joseph Goebbels

Joseph and Magda Goebbels' 6 Children (murdered 1945)

Matthias Goebbels (1836–1912), German historicist painter and priest

Robert Goebbels (born 1944), Luxembourg socialist and vice president of the European Left

Goebbels children

The Goebbels children were the five daughters and one son born to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda Goebbels. The children, born between 1932 and 1940, were murdered by their parents in Berlin on 1 May 1945, the day both parents committed suicide.

Magda Goebbels had an older son, Harald Quandt, from a previous marriage to Günther Quandt. Then aged 23, he was not present when his younger half-siblings were killed.

Golden Party Badge

The Golden Party Badge (Goldenes Parteiabzeichen) was authorised by Adolf Hitler in a decree in October 1933. It was a special award be given to all Nazi Party members who had, as of 9 November 1933, registered numbers from 1 to 100,000 and unbroken Party membership. Other Golden Party Badges (with the initials 'A.H.' stamped on the reverse) were awarded at the discretion of Hitler to certain members of the party who merited special treatment. An identical badge was awarded each year on 30 January to persons who had shown outstanding service to the Nazi Party or State. Only 20,487 men and 1,795 women were actually approved for and awarded the badge (outside of the ones Hitler awarded at his discretion).The Golden Party Badge was the basic Nazi Party Badge with the addition of a gold wreath completely encircling the badge. The badge was awarded in two sizes: 30.5 mm for wearing on service uniforms and 24 mm for wearing on a suit jacket. In the event of the death of the recipient, the badge would be kept by the family. However, due to the numbered certificate, no one else was allowed to wear the badge. Adolf Hitler's own Golden Party Badge had the number '1'. He awarded it to Magda Goebbels in late April 1945 and proclaimed her as the "First Mother of the Reich". The '1' badge was stolen from a display in Russia in 2005. The guards thought that a cat had set off the alarms and this allowed the burglar to escape with the badge.In the 1930s, Rudolf Hess had explored the possibility of making the Golden Nazi Party Badge the first degree of a multi-degree award of the German Order. In Hess' proposal, the Golden Nazi Party Badge would have been the lowest degree, followed by a 2nd class medal, 1st class cross, and then a Knight's Cross neck order. Hess's degrees were never bestowed, but the German Order retained the Golden Nazi Party Badge as its centerpiece.

Günther Schwägermann

Günther Schwägermann (born 24 July 1915) served in the Nazi government of German dictator Adolf Hitler. From approximately late 1941, Schwägermann served as the adjutant for Dr. Joseph Goebbels. He reached the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain). Schwägermann survived World War II and was held in American captivity from 25 June 1945 until 24 April 1947.

Hans-Erich Voss

Hans-Erich Voss (or Voß, see ß) (30 October 1897 – 18 November 1969) was a German Vizeadmiral (vice admiral) and one of the final occupants of the Führerbunker during the battle of Berlin in 1945.

He was also among the last people to see both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels alive before they committed suicide.

Helmut Kunz

Helmut Kunz (26 September 1910 – 1976) was an SS dentist who, after the suicide of Adolf Hitler, was ordered to administer anesthetic to the six children of Joseph Goebbels before they were killed.

Johannes Hentschel

Johannes Hentschel (10 May 1908 – 27 April 1982) was a master electro-mechanic for German dictator Adolf Hitler's apartments in the Old Chancellery. He also served in the same capacity in Hitler's Führerbunker in 1945. He surrendered to Soviet Red Army soldiers on 2 May 1945.

Joseph Goebbels

Paul Joseph Goebbels (German: [ˈpaʊ̯l ˈjoːzɛf ˈɡœbl̩s] (listen); 29 October 1897 – 1 May 1945) was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. He was one of Adolf Hitler's close associates and most devoted followers, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deep, 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 Philosophy 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 as Gauleiter (district leader) 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 Nazi seizure of power in 1933, Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry quickly gained and exerted controlling supervision 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 (after the start of the Second World War) 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 production 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.

Karl Hanke

Karl August Hanke (24 August 1903 – 8 June 1945) was an official of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) during their rule over Germany and served as the last Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS). He served as governor (Gauleiter) of Lower Silesia from 1941 to 1945 and as the final Reichsführer-SS for a few days in 1945. He was shot and killed by Czech partisans on 8 June 1945.

List of spouses of German presidents and chancellors

This is a list of spouses of the President of Germany and Chancellor.

Moloch (film)

Moloch (Russian: Молох) is a 1999 Russian biographical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Yuri Arabov and Marina Koreneva. It portrays Adolf Hitler as a humanized figure, living life in an unassuming manner during an abrupt journey to the Bavarian Alps. The film stars actors Leonid Mozgovoy, Yelena Rufanova, Vladimir Bogdanov, and Leonid Sokol in principal roles. Moloch explores companionship, intimacy and dictatorship.A joint collective effort to commit to the film's production was made by a number of studios including; Arte, Fabrica, Fusion Product, Goskino and Lenfilm Studio. It was commercially distributed by Koch Lorber Films. Following its release, the film was entered into the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and won other awards selections, including those from the Russian Guild of Film Critics Awards. The film was generally met with mixed critical reviews before its initial screening in 1999.

Oliver Hilmes

Oliver Hilmes (born 1971 in Viersen, Germany) is a German author who has written several historical biographies. His study of Cosima Wagner, the daughter of the 19th century composer Franz Liszt and his biography of Alma Mahler a Viennese-born socialite, have been translated into English.

Richard Friedländer

Richard Friedländer (born February 15, 1881 in Berlin, † February 18, 1939 Buchenwald Concentration Camp ) was a German Jewish merchant, stepfather of Magda Goebbels, prisoner in the Buchenwald concentration camp and victim of the Holocaust.

The Bunker (1981 film)

The Bunker is a 1981 American made-for-television historical war film produced by Time-Life Productions based on the book The Bunker by James P. O'Donnell.The film, directed by George Schaefer and adapted for the screen by John Gay, is a dramatisation depicting the events surrounding Adolf Hitler's last weeks in and around his underground bunker in Berlin before and during the Battle of Berlin. The film stars Anthony Hopkins as Hitler, plus an all star cast including Richard Jordan, Susan Blakely, and Cliff Gorman.

The Bunker (book)

The Bunker (German: Die Katakombe), also published as The Berlin Bunker, is an account, written by American journalist James P. O'Donnell and German journalist Uwe Bahnsen, of the history of the Führerbunker in early 1945, as well as the last days of German dictator Adolf Hitler. Its English edition was first published in 1978. However, unlike other accounts, O'Donnell spent considerable time on other, less-famous residents of the bunker complex. Additionally, unlike the more academic works by historians, the book takes a journalistic approach. The book was later used as the basis for a 1981 CBS television film with the same name.

Vorbunker

The Vorbunker (upper bunker or forward bunker) was an underground concrete structure originally intended to be a temporary air-raid shelter for Adolf Hitler and his guards and servants. It was located behind the large reception hall that was added onto the old Reich Chancellery, in Berlin, Germany, in 1936. The bunker was officially called the "Reich Chancellery Air-Raid Shelter" until 1943, when the complex was expanded with the addition of the Führerbunker, located one level below. On 16 January 1945, Hitler moved into the Führerbunker. He was joined by his senior staff, including Martin Bormann. Later, Eva Braun and Joseph Goebbels moved into the Führerbunker while Magda Goebbels and their six children took residence in the upper Vorbunker. The Goebbels family lived in the Vorbunker until their deaths on 1 May 1945.

Women in Nazi Germany

Women in Nazi Germany were subject to doctrines of Nazism by the Nazi Party (NSDAP), promoting exclusion of women from political life of Germany along with its executive body as well as its executive committees. Although the Nazi party decreed that "women could be admitted to neither the Party executive nor to the Administrative Committee", this did not prevent numerous women from becoming party members. The Nazi doctrine elevated the role of German men, emphasizing their combat skills and the brotherhood among male compatriots.Women lived within a regime characterized by a policy of confining them to the roles of mother and spouse and excluding them from all positions of responsibility, notably in the political and academic spheres. The policies of Nazism contrasted starkly with the evolution of emancipation under the Weimar Republic, and is equally distinguishable from the patriarchal and conservative attitude under the German Empire. The regimentation of women at the heart of satellite organizations of the Nazi Party, as the Bund Deutscher Mädel or the NS-Frauenschaft, had the ultimate goal of encouraging the cohesion of the "people's community" Volksgemeinschaft.

First and foremost in the implied Nazi doctrine concerning women was the notion of motherhood and procreation for those of child-bearing ages. The Nazi model woman did not have a career, but was responsible for the education of her children and for housekeeping. Women only had a limited right to training revolving around domestic tasks, and were, over time, restricted from teaching in universities, from medical professions and from serving in political positions within the NSDAP. Many restrictions were lifted once wartime necessity dictated changes to policy later in the regime's existence. With the exception of Reichsführerin Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, no women were allowed to carry out official functions, however some exceptions stood out in the regime, either through their proximity to Adolf Hitler, such as Magda Goebbels, or by excelling in particular fields, such as filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl or aviator Hanna Reitsch.

Henceforth, while many women played an influential role at the heart of the Nazi system or filled official posts at the heart of the Nazi concentration camps, a few were engaged in the German resistance and paid with their lives, such as Libertas Schulze-Boysen or Sophie Scholl.

Final occupants of the Führerbunker by date of departure (1945)
20 April
21 April
22 April
23 April
24 April
28 April
29 April
30 April
1 May
2 May
Still present on 2 May
Committed suicide
Executed
Killed
Unknown

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