The Joseph Goebbels Diaries: What did he Write about Hitler?

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oseph Goebbels (1897-1945) was Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister and was arguably the most brilliant and intellectual man in Hitler’s inner circle. He kept a diary for most of his adult life and his early diaries contain some of the best-ever observations about Hitler before he became Chancellor in 1933.

Interspersed between his observations about Hitler are some unintentionally hilarious remarks about women (“each one of them inflames my very soul!”) and about the human race (“man is and remains a little animal. Wild beast or domesticated!”)

Goebbels was so articulate, so witty and so acerbic that his Diaries make fascinating reading. It was hard for him to maintain close human relationships because, as he wrote in 1926, “how horrible; no sooner do I spend three whole days with someone than I no longer like him and if it’s a whole week I loathe him like the plague.”

His entries about Hitler almost sound like a besotted woman writing about her lover. But this was Goebbels: effusive, passionate and obsessive.

The following extracts about Adolf Hitler are from The Early Goebbels Diaries – The Journal of Joseph Goebbels From 1925 – 1926, by Joseph Goebbels, edited by Helmut Heiber (1962).

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15 February 1926

To Bamberg. Hitler’s car tears past us and he gives me a handshake. Well, well.

Then to work. Hitler speaks for almost two hours. I am almost beaten. What kind of Hitler? A reactionary? Amazingly clumsy and uncertain. Russian question: altogether beside the point. Italy and Britain our natural allies. Horrible!! It is our job to smash Bolshevism. Bolshevism is a Jewish creation!

Yet Esser nods, Ley nods, Streicher nods. It hurts me in my very soul to see him in that company!

It was a horrible night! Probably one of my greatest disappointments. I can no longer believe in Hitler absolutely. That is so terrible, I have lost my inner support. I am only half myself and a grey dawn has appeared.

13 April 1926

Had a Wednesday departure for Munich, a long journey. In the evening we arrive in Munich. Hitler’s car is there to meet us. To the hotel. Munich is a delicious city.

Back to the hotel and Hitler has telephoned. Wants to welcome us. We telephone from the cafe and 15 minutes later he is there. Tall, healthy and full of life. I like him! He shames us with his kindness. He lends us his car for the afternoon.

At 8:00 we go to the Bürgerbräukeller. Hitler is there already. My heart beats to breaking point. Into the hall. A roaring welcome. Packed! Streicher opens. Then I speak for two and a half hours. I go all out. Roaring and tumult. Hitler embraces me at the end. He has tears in his eyes. I feel something like happy.

After the speech, we go through a pressing crowd to the car. Heil calls and we are off. Hitler by himself waits for me at the hotel. Then we dine together and he is host. And what a great host! Hitler is now with me all the time!

14 April 1926

I want unity. Hitler is great. This morning he gave us all a warm handshake. In the evening Hitler speaks for three hours. Brilliant! We are moving closer. I ask, he gives brilliant replies. I love him.

I am reassured when with him. Taken all round he is a man. With this sparkling mind he can be my leader. I bow to his greatness, to his political genus!

16 April 1926

Still in Munich. I met Hitler last night and he immediately asked me to dinner. A charming young woman was with him (note: this is probably Ada Klein, Hitler’s girlfriend at this time). We all three had a pleasant evening.  Then off in the train. Farewell Munich! I love you very much!

19th April 1926

Saturday! It pours! I have to say farewell once more to Munich. Real leave-taking weather. There is the car. Hitler has come to fetch me. He was wearing a motoring outfit. With us: Schreck, Hess. In Augsburg we have a breakdown.

Hitler is like a boy. Riotous, singing, laughing, whistling. Finally we arrive in Ulm. Lunch at a small pub. They recognize Hitler. Rejoicing! One of the patrons holds up Hitler’s photograph. Then to the hotel.

At the Wulle hall, I speak for two hours to many thousands and there is silence as in a church. At the end they all rage. Off! To another hall and Hitler is still speaking. Ecstatic. Thunderous acclamation. Then I speak for another hour. How difficult that is to follow him.

At mealtime Hitler sees me and embraces me. He gives me much praise. I believe he has taken me to his heart like no one else.

April 20, 1926

We celebrate Hitler’s birthday today. He is 37. Flowers surrounded by 37 candles. And he talks about November 9, 1923 (the date of the Munich Putsch). Adolf Hitler, I love you because you are both great and simple. A genius!

April 24, 1926

To Munich in pouring rain and I speak at the Bürgerbräukeller . Hermann Esser is missing, praise to God. Hitler then speaks for two hours. He’s not quite up to form. But he can’t find enough words of praise for me in front of the others. He drives me back and he cares for me.

7 June 1926

Say what you will: politics spoils a man’s character. Or rather: politics shows how basically rotten man’s character is.

14 June 1926

Hitler is coming tomorrow. I so look forward to his visit. I venerate and I love him.

16 June 1926

Hitler was here the last two days. Horrible wait on Monday, he didn’t arrive until 8:00 pm. He was received with jubilation. What a joy he is! Hitler is the same dear comrade.

You cannot help liking him as a man. And on top of that is his overriding mind. You always discover something new in that self-willed head. As a speaker he has developed a wonderful harmony of gesture, histrionics and spoken word. The born whipper-upper! Together with him you can conquer the world. Give him his head and he will shake the corrupt Republic to its foundations.

His best saying yesterday: “For our struggle God gave us His abundant blessing. His most beautiful gift was the hate of our enemies whom we hate with all our heart.”

17 June 1926

Yesterday with Hitler in Cologne. Cathedral, Rhine, an exhibition. He knows everything, he is a genius. In Essen he spoke to 2,000 Party members. And defined the essence of German nationalism. Such a fellow can turn the world inside out. This evening was a great event. The day will come when Hitler will lead us out of our misery!

21 June 1926

Hitler just left. And now my long period of rest is due to begin. Yesterday we had a long talk. Brilliant as always. On Saturday he and I went to an exhibition in Düsseldorf. I again saw something new in that fabulous man and his profound mind. Then he told stories all day, yesterday and the day before. He is witty, humorous and spirited. Fiery nature. We talked about Wagner. He loves Wagner. I am so tired… work, work!! And then to bed!

6 July 1926

Weimar! This is one of the most important stages on our road. I have lunch in the town square and suddenly Hitler crosses the square. Immediately I am being dragged along. Snapshots taken from all directions. To the Berliners, Hitler speaks. Good as always. Then we go to the Bavaria Hall with pressing crowds. Adolf addresses his Bavarians. A wonderful people.

Then on to another hall and I speak. I am received with jubilation . My satire, A Speaker is Coming, creates no end of amusement. Hitler doubles up with laughter. Then Hitler speaks on politics, the cause, and our organization. He is deep and mystical. Almost like the Gospels. Shuddering we pass with him along the edge of life’s abyss.

I thank Providence for giving us this man!

15 July 1926

As I write I am looking out of the window of a wonderful guesthouse in Berchtesgaden. Amazing!! I am full to bursting! But my foot troubles me badly. I am conscious of it all the time and that spoils my pleasure when I meet people.

Every woman rouses my blood. I run hither and thither like a hungry wolf. And yet I am shy like a child. Often I can hardly understand myself. I ought to get married and become a philistine! And then hang myself after a week!

18 July 1926

At midnight there was a knock on my door: Maurice (Hitler’s close friend and chauffeur). Jumped into my clothes. Der Chef (“the boss,” Hitler) has arrived! He has gone to bed but I can see him the next morning. Another knock on the door at 7:30 in the morning: Maurice again. The boss wants me to drive with him to the Königssee (shown below)  and I am ready in no time. The car is waiting: Hitler, Hess, Maurice, Hoffmann and a girl. We get aboard on this radiant Sunday morning.

On the drive, Hitler talks and romanticizes. He is so dear and so pure– like a child. Then the car turns a corner and we are at the Königssee, the most beautiful corner of Germany I have yet seen. This our Germany, our beautiful, beautiful Germany. Beautiful world, I want to embrace you! I am happy indeed!! Hoffmann (Hitler’s photographer) murders our poetic mood, but you can’t stay angry at him.

Then we drive back to Berchtesgaden while Hitler walks up to the Obersalzberg. Such is life: many blossoms, many thorns – and then a dark grave. I feel well and melancholy at the same time.

21 July 1926

Still in Berchtesgaden. I am still waiting for the Boss. Is he or is he not coming!? It’s pouring rain and I have given up all hope.

23 July 1926

Last night a knock on my door. Maurice. Hurray! The Boss has arrived! I spend the whole night with Maurice who tells me stories about the Putsch on November 9, 1923. He is decent and disciplined. Next morning he teaches me to drive and I can soon do it with Maurice as my instructor. I race nearly as far as Salzburg.

Maurice then takes me up to the Hochlenzer (a restaurant on the Obersalzberg, one of Hitler’s favorite hangouts). Everything is bathed in sunshine, you beautiful, beautiful mountains!

Then I hear a deep, resonant baritone voice: the boss, Hitler! We meet like friends. Then he begins to talk. There is always something new and compelling about him, illustrated with telling examples. Yes, you can serve under this man. The creator or the Third Reich! To be surrounded with him and with friends!! Bliss! (The view from the Hochlenzer):

24 July 1926

In the morning we go again to the Hochlenzer. The Boss talks about race questions. It is impossible to reproduce what he said. It must be experienced. He is a genius. He is the natural, creative instrument of a fate determined by God. I am deeply moved. He is like a child: kind, good, merciful. Like a cat: cunning, clever, agile. Like a lion: roaring and great and gigantic. A fellow, a man!

After supper we go on sitting in the garden and he goes on for a long time preaching about the new state we will create and how we are going to fight for it. It sounds like a prophecy. Up in the skies a white cloud takes on the shape of a swastika. This is something that cannot be ignored. A sign of fate!?

I am indeed happy. This life is worth living. The Boss said something tonight: “My head will not roll in the sand until I have completed my mission.” Those were his last words. That’s what he’s like!! Indeed! I cannot go to sleep for a long time.

25 July 1926

Sunday! Hitler and I amble a short distance down the path in Berchtesgaden, we sit on a bench and he tells me about his life. The Boss is a cunning dog! What he talked about cannot be written about yet. The afternoon we spend in his room and we talk. He spoils me like a child. He is a kind friend and master! Outside it is pouring and Hitler talks! He is such a master.

Then I go back down to Berchtesgaden, Farewell, Obersalzberg! These days have signposted my future. Hitler is a star that shines leading me from deep misery. I am his to the end. My last doubts have disappeared. Germany will live. Heil Hitler!

26 July 1926

We walk downhill. The Boss walks with me alone. And he talks to me like a father does to his son. About his war service at the front. And always he sketches his life with bold strokes. He is life’s master. In the evening I leave for Munich. Farewell from the Boss. Thank you, thank you!!

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Published in: on June 27, 2016 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  

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