- historical event:
- Goebbels was allegedly very intelligent. He finished his PhD studies at the famous Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany. It seems that Goebbels was very unhappy with his appearance, not only because of his deformed leg, but also because he was only 165 cm tall.
One of the most infamous Nazis and one of Hitler’s closest associates, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, was born on this day. He was born in western Germany, in the town of Rheydt near Mönchengladbach. At the time of his birth, this town was called München-Gladbach, which often confused foreigners, who believed it to be a suburb of Munich, the capital of Bavaria (called München in German). The two settlements are actually around 500 km apart! München-Gladbach was first renamed Mönchen Gladbach, and finally Mönchengladbach in 1960.
Goebbels was not from a wealthy family, and one of his legs was deformed since childhood, probably due to osteomyelitis. Therefore, one of his legs grew shorter than the other, and he walked with a limp despite wearing special shoes. It seems that Goebbels was very unhappy with his appearance, not only because of his deformed leg, but also because he was only 165 cm tall. In addition, his brown eyes and dark hair meant his appearance was a far cry from his own Aryan ideals.
However, Goebbels was allegedly very intelligent. He finished his PhD studies at the famous Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany. This thesis was on German romantic dramas from the 19th century. He particularly focused on the works of Wilhelm von Schütz, a rather obscure German romantic playwright.
Another interesting thing about Goebbels was that he was quite popular with the ladies. He allegedly had many affairs, and eventually married Magda Quandt, who was previously married to Günthera Quandt, one of the wealthiest people in Germany (the family is still a major shareholder at BMW). Goebbels and Magda had six children. Magda had them all poisoned in Hitler’s bunker near the end of the war, in order to prevent them from falling into Soviet captivity.
Goebbels became the Nazi propaganda minister (Reichsminister für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda) during Hitler’s reign. He almost immediately organized book burnings, which symbolically heralded the Nazis’ style of government and their notion of culture.