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ALEXANDER KIMEL - HOLOCAUST UNDERSTANDING & PREVENTION

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GOEBBLES - THE MASTER LIER

by Alexander Kimel -Holocaust Survivor

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Hitler could not have achieved his aggressive designs and drag the world into an orgy of violence and destruction without molding a German consensus for his leadership through propaganda and terror. The terror was supplied in adequate dosages by Himmler, while Goebbels was orchestrating and directing the propaganda machine. The propaganda machine created the climate of enthusiasm for Hitler's achievements and a climate of indifference for his victims. With his propaganda, Goebbels made it possible for Hitler to assume a godlike position, and organize a government based on coercion and threats. Goebbels orchestrated the jubilation for the Fuhrers achievements, manipulated the German people to accept the persecution of the Jews, war readiness, and accept with stoicism the destruction brought by he war.

The process of extermination could proceed only by creating two contradictory conditions, first the constant flow of anti- Semitic propaganda, needed to neutralize the humane and cultural sentiments of the German population. The second requirement was the maintenance of complete silence as to the fate of the victims and the brutality of the extermination process. The silence was needed to deny the Allies an opportunity to unfavorable propaganda, and to avoid the warning of the victims. Both those conditions were effectively created by Goebbels propaganda machine.

Goebbels was born on October 29, 1897, as a crippled child with a club foot, an unusually bright child that grew up despised, ridiculed and jeered by his healthy peers. He was a withdrawn estranged child, hating and despising everybody, finding his solace in the world of books. Goebbels was intelligent bright, well read, but feeling rejected he developed a strong need to succeed, to gain acceptance, recognition and admiration, to raise above the masses. At one time Goebbels considered becoming a priest, but was rejected after the interviewing priest came to the conclusion that he doesn't believe in God. Goebbels volunteered to active service during the World War I and after being rejected he went up studying in Heidelberg, where he invented a lie that he was wounded in the battle of Verdun. The lie gained him acceptance and the much desired recognition, paving the way to the extensive use of lies in his propaganda work.

Goebbels openly admitted of being influenced by Jewish authors, he admired the poetry of Heinrich Heine, he was not an convinced anti-Semites and he did not believe in the necessity of persecuting the Jews. Nevertheless he initiated burning of their books and created and unleashed a powerful propaganda machine for the sake of his career. Goebbels had unlimited ambitions but no moral restrains. " Conscience" Goebbels said "is nothing more than a crutch for cowards". Goebbels was cynic who did not believe in Nazism, but espoused the creed.

Goebbels played a tremendous role in popularizing the Nazi ideas, before the Nazis came to power by playing he masses, ridiculing and attacking the opponents. He was a fantastic demagogue telling the masses what they wanted to hear, hammering his own ideas into their hearts and heads. Goebbels said:

"There is no need to argue with the masses, slogans are much more effective. Slogans are like strong drinks to people. The crowd doesn't react like men but like women, who rely on their feelings, rather on their intelligence, if any. Propaganda is a great, difficult and noble art, therefore it calls for a genius. The most successful propagandist in history were Christ, Mohammed and Buddha."

After the Nazi gained power in 1933, Goebbels had to curb his is attacks, his former enemies were out of power, and the arrogant Nazi leaders could not be criticized. Goebbels was a nihilist that loved to lash out at the dilettante rulers, and was frustrated by this imposed silence. The Jews were the only target available for his sharp tongue, and Goebbels enjoyed having a convenient target.

Goebbels did not believe in all the lies he spread so successfully.

"The longer and more prominently he was active in the Party, the more he held back his own personal views and convictions. He deliberately rejected any disturbing intrusion of his own judgement ruthlessly promoting the line Hitler laid down. His success as a propagandist was therefore all the more overwhelming in that he himself did not believe all that his eloquence and ingenuity hammered into the masses."

As the barbarous killing proceeded, it was Goebbels propaganda that had to neutralize it effect of the German people . Although most of the killing was done in secrecy on Polish territory, it was not done without the knowledge of a large chunk of the German people, the soldiers on the eastern front witnessed the killing, some even participated; the German residing in Poland were intimately familiar with the fate of the Jewish population, the killings were not done in a vacuum. The Germans were well prepared to accept those atrocities by the extensive propaganda machine, created and managed by German Propaganda minister Goebbels.

In his Diaries Goebbels wrote:

"The Fuhrer attaches great importance to a powerful anti-Semitic propaganda. He, too, regards success as depending upon constant repetition. He is immensely pleased with our sharpening up the anti-Semitic propaganda in the press and in the radio."

In November 1942, when the process of killing was in full swing Goebbels published and broadcasted a piece of propaganda, entitled "The Jews are Guilty". The Jews were cast in the role of scapegoat:

"The historical quilt of world Jewry on the outbreak and expansion of this war is so amply proved that is not necessary to loose another word over it. The Jews wanted this war and they have it now. But they must also keep in mind the prophecy of the Fuhrer of January 30, 1939-the outcome will not be the victory of Jewry, but the extermination of the Jewish race in Europe. We now see the fulfillment of this prophecy. Pity, to say nothing of sympathy, is entirely inappropriate. We must win this war against the Jews. Should we lose it, then the harmless-appearing Jewish good fellows would exact on our people, women and children, a revenge for which history gives no precedence."

Goebbels was very much aware of the barbarous acts committed by the Germans. In his diary he noted:

"Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the General Government are being evacuated eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only about 40 percent can be used for forced labor."

In one of his "famous" broadcast Goebbels declared:

1. The Jews are our destruction. They provoked and brought about this war. What they mean is to achieve by it is to destroy the German state and the nation. This plan must be frustrated.

2.There is no difference between Jew and Jew. Every Jew is a sworn enemy of the German people. This plan has be frustrated.

3. Every German soldier's death in this war is the Jew's responsibility. They have it on the on their conscience, hence they must pay for it.

4.The Jews are to blame for this war. The treatment we give them does them no wrong. They have more than deserved it.

As all Hitler's henchmen Goebbels was driven by a compulsive craving for power. " Overshadowing all other characteristics was his inordinate ambition. Obsessed with ambition, he became a glutton for work-not because he was overconscientious, but because he was driven in by almost psychopathic lust for power." Boundless energy was directed to satisfy his ambitions, craving for social recognition and astounding vanity.


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