The Nazi everyman: Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels

The most striking aspect of the persona that Goebbels composes in the diaries is that it doesn’t try to conceal traits that any halfway decent morality would condemn. He is not ashamed of the abject servility that he shows in relation to Hitler; he glories in it. He registers no flicker of remorse regarding the targets of Nazi terror: he crows over their fate. What liberal civilisation – with all its flaws – regarded as vices, he displays as virtues. 

Goebbels: A Biography by Peter Longerich

Reviewed by John Gray

The thoroughly repellent figure that emerges from the diaries is not simply Goebbels as he was in fact. It is Goebbels as he wanted to be. He actively embraced barbarism as a way out from the chaos of his time, and in this he was at one with multitudes of educated Europeans. Viewing him as the victim of a personality disorder is a way of denying a more chilling fact that his life reveals – the perilous fragility of civilisation.

 Book review: How Did Josef Mengele Become the Evil Doctor of Auschwitz?

Hitler’s annihilation of the Romanis (the Gypsies of Europe)

Book review: The secret trauma that inspired W.G. Sebald

Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs review – high-impact reminder of our insatiable desire for destruction

Book review: The Tragic sense by Algis Valiunas

Dan Diner – Memory displaced: Re-reading Jean Améry’s “Torture”

Books reviewed: Pope Pius XII, Hitler’s pawn?

The knights of Bushido : a history of Japanese war crimes during World War II (1958, repub 2002)

The Manifesto of the Anti-Fascist Intellectuals: Written by Benedetto Croce (1925)

HIROSHIMA 75 years after. ‘To my last breath’: survivors fight for memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Robert Fisk: In the cases of two separate holocausts, Israel and Poland find it difficult to acknowledge the facts of history // ANDRÉ LIEBICH – Righteous indignation: On the Polish Holocaust law debate

Salvador Dalí’s surreal dalliance with Nazism

Julián Casanova – The Spanish Civil War, 80 years after

Book review: The Colour of Time – a pictorial history of global conflict

Memory displaced: Jean Améry’s “Torture”

Jaap Kloosterman: Secret Societies – a history

A great teacher passes: Eric Hobsbawm (1917- 2012), witness to an era

Sources for German archival materials

Link to the National Citizenship Law & Nuremberg Law for the Protection of German blood and German Honour  (Sept 1935)

The Romanies – roots of antigypsyism: to the Holocaust and after – Ian Hancock