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The Goebbels Diaries : The Last Days Hardcover – 2 May 1978


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd; 1st Book Club Associates edition (2 May 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436179660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436179662
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.6 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A . J . Reynolds on 3 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is fascinating reading . Its first surprise is how lucid Goebbels remains throughout as the Third Reich disintegrates around him . We , of course , have the benefit of knowing how it will all end . Perhaps Goebbels does , but we are never sure . It remains unclear throughout whether he is suffering massive self-deception or if , allied to self -deception , he is subject to misinformation from the Allies or cronic misinformation from fawning subordinates eager only to tell him what he wishes to hear . The effects of the general 'fog of war' are equally hard to assess . A difficaulty for any reader with a lack of detailed knowledge of German geography is the mass of place names that occur . This makes it difficault to assess the tactical significance of the various military actions mentioned in many instances . Without this geographic knowledge I was never certain if minor skirmishes weren't being inflated into major holding actions and to what extent this constant reference to widely scattered actions was clutching at straws on Goebbels part . I didn't feel Hugh Trevor-Ropers commentary added anything of value to this book .
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Neutral VINE VOICE on 17 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joseph Goebbels was a man without substance, morality or human feeling for whom radical National Socialism was the be all and end all of life. He "was a man of postures, not ideas or beliefs". Everything he did was for show including the creation of the myth of the Fuhrer's infallibility which succeeded in keeping German soldiers loyal long after the war had been effectively lost.

Not that Goebbels's propagandist skills were ineffective. The massive public rallies and Hitler's speeches, were very effective but Goebbels was always able to distinguish truth from propaganda, combing "a politically calculated fanaticism with an intellectual detachment". His technique was simple - involving the repetition of crude but effective arguments. He was well aware the German people would never have voted for the Nazis had they known what the party intended to do once in power.

Following the outbreak of war Goebbels's position shrank in importance and he spent some time re-creating the image of Hitler as the reincarnation of Frederick the Great as a means of convincing himself that all was not lost. He gloried in being called a war criminal and spent a lot of time towards the end of the war blaming Churchill, Roosevelt and the Jews for the Allied refusal to abandon their demand for unconditional surrender.

He was an efficient administrator for whom activity was a psychological necessity created by his inner emptiness and lack of intellect. He was personally frugal in contrast to the corrupt opulence of Goering whom he despised and blamed for the ineffectiveness of the Luffwaffe. He thought of himself as the one person who could save Germany from what he regarded as the incompetence its generals.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By howard ramsden on 5 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, an absolute must read for any serious student of history specialising in The Third Reich. A unique look into the mind of Hitlers most influential assistant without whom The Nazi Party would never have had the political success it had
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By marcoscu TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When dealing with historical matters, as researcher, author or even as a general reader it is always best to go the original documents to try and get a genuine insight into events as they were perceived at the time. The is never more true when dealing with NAZI era where the history books are written by the victors and their descendants and filtered through the murky lens of Political Correctness. Of course it would be naive to suppose that the Goebbels Diaries as presented here will necessarily show the true voice of Hitler's Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, translated and edited are they are by people unlikely to give him the benefit of the doubt.

With all that said this is still a fascinating read. Goebbels was clearly not a particularly nice chap and he was never popular with the rest of Hitler's gang nor with the German people at the time. Reading his diaries here gives us a good idea why. For all that he was a brilliant organiser and administrator and as public speaker second only to Hitler himself. He was an embittered man, never really at ease with himself and as we see here keen never one to forget a hurt nor avoid the chance to pay it back.

Hitler realised early on the talents of Dr Goebbels (as he liked to be addressed) and although he was not one of Hitler's very earliest followers, having joined the party in 1924, he rose through the ranks quickly and when the time came followed Hitler when the 'socialist' wing of the party was unceremoniously dumped. As Public Enlightenment and Propaganda from 1933 he had a power over the media which politicians of today can only dream of.
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