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Magda Goebbels Paperback – 1 May 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075153448X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751534481
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 761,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Never less than gripping (Michael Burleigh, MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Klabunde has pieced together a chilling story that confirms the outsider's greatest fears about those within the Nazi Party elite (Rosemary Goring, GLASGOW HERALD)

An engaging and lucid account of a supposed anomaly: a cultivated woman at the heart of the Nazi regime (LITERARY REVIEW)

This thoroughly researched biography explores how a beautiful and intelligent woman turned into a fanatic. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Book Description

* Remarkable biography of the complex and tragic 'First Lady' of the Third Reich, Magda Goebbels

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ms Klabunde's book is, as far as I know, the only full length biography of Magda Goebbels currently available in English. As such, it is a required reading for those of us with an interest in key personalities of the Third Reich. Having seen David Irving's vast "Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich" (which Ms Klabunde doesn't include in her biography, surely mistakenly for it is very well researched in spite of some well-known biases which are fairly easy to factor out) I was aware of many of the basics. Magda was born an illegitimate child, although her rich father would figure more or less prominently in her life. Interestingly, her mother would marry a Jew who would care for young Magda as a father, only to disappear during the Third Reich, probably at Joseph Goebbel's behest). Magda herself was good-looking (although the pictures included in the book don't seem to do her justice, probably because most of them date from her final years, when she was reckoned to have aged disproportionately), very smart (she was a good pupil, good with languages and a competent pianist) and unusually open to new sensations. She had a romance with Victor Chaim Arlosoroff, an important Zionist figure who would be a key figure in the creation of what would become the state of Israel, and later married a rich industrialist (Guenther Quandt) with whom he had a son. She divorced Quandt because she was bored with the life of an haute-bourgeoise hausfrau and eventually fell in with the Nazis. She was struck by the remarkably rodent-like Joseph Goebbels (there's no accounting for sexual attraction, of course) and eventually married him and bore him 6 children, whose names all started with the letter "H".Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This is a meticulously-researched, fluid biography of a fascinating and interesting person.

The author strives to explain how and why the teenage girlfriend of a Zionist (and stepdaughter of a Jew) ended up committing suicide and infanticide in the Fuehrerbunker three decades later, having married a capitalist in between. The protagonist was certainly a woman of contradiction; fortunately, her best friend and confidante Ello Quandt was able and willing to share memories and anecdotes, many of which feature in this book, along with other reliable accounts from people such as Magda's mother, and Albert Speer.

At times, it's clear from slightly clumsy translation that the book was originally written in German, but for me, it didn't detract.

I would have liked to have seen more photographs of Magda before she became unwell and prematurely aged, given that so much was made of her appearance and its importance in attracting men to her.

I wanted to know more about the fate of the Quandts, especially Harald, after the war. As it happens, there is plenty of info on Wiki, but an extra page in this book would have been a worthwhile addition, just to tie everything up.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, this is a very poor translation but hardly the worst of the problems with this book. More problematic was the fabricated dialogue and the supposed thoughts, feelings.and motivations of the characters that the author created. When I read a history book, I want it to be based on real substance, not the author's fantasy. Too many times she imagines what Magda must have been feeling. But this is simply conjecture and poor history. But what really annoyed me about this book was the way that the Germans here, and by extension Magda herself, are treated as victims. The only bad guys here are the Nazi leadership. The Germans didn't vote for Hitler, a few of Hindenburg's close circle plotted to have him made Chancellor. (Even though ALL the Chancellors of the Weimar Republic were appointed by the President and Hitler was the head of the largest party in the Reichstag!) Time and again, the author implies that the Germans never wanted the Nazis, they were forced onto them through propaganda and violence. "The masses were duped...," she quotes, they were "victims of propagnda." But this is a huge distortion of the reality. Propaganda and violence can not really explain how individuals at nearly all levels of society took part in the horrors of the Third Reich. The myth that only "the Nazis" did it, has been proven false many times. And to extend this idea to Magda herself is ridiculous. Klabunde writes about Magda "If she had taken account of the destructive and barbaric powers underlying it, particularly where the persecution of the Jews was concerned, she could not have clung to her desire to be part of this fantastic realm.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This biography read like a novel. I read it in a couple of days. Its a bit of emotional roller coaster of the book. You start to feel sorry for her because of the terribly unhappy marriage she finds herself in but then when you realise that she is prepared not only to put up not only with Gobbles philandering but that she is prepared to turn a blind eye to the knowledge that she clearly has of the atrocities being carried out by the 'Party' (even against her own friends). To do this not because she agrees with the Nazi ideology, but rather because she loves the social status her marriage gives her and that rather than lose that status at the end of the war she was prepared not only for other people to 'disappear' but to go as far as to kill herself and her children. I almost thought it made her worse than Hitler. But even though by the end of the book I had completely lost patience with Magda, her story was still fascinating.
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