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The Man Behind Hitler
Joseph Goebbels' Diary return to index

Propaganda Events, 1933-36

Quotes In 1933, the Nazis began consolidating their power. Joseph Goebbels orchestrated the spread of Nazi ideology through different types of propaganda, including posters and films, right up until the end of the Nazi regime in 1945.

During his years in power, Goebbels also created or promoted public events to benefit the Nazis. A May 1933 book burning was designed to purge "un-German thought." In March 1936 the Nazis made worldwide headlines when they seized the demilitarized Rhineland zone and signaled a new German aggression. In June of that year, German boxer Max Schmeling faced African American heavyweight Joe Louis -- and delivered a surprise defeat, delighting Goebbels. Likewise, Goebbels saw the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games as an opportunity to showcase the German "master race." However, African American track standout Jesse Owens took four gold medals, robbing the Nazis of their hoped-for propaganda.

May 11, 1933
Students carrying Nazi flags march around the bonfire of "un-German" books Worked until late at home. In the evening, I gave a speech outside the opera house, in front of the bonfire while the filthy, trashy books were being burned by the students. I was at the top of my form. Huge crowds. Superb summer weather began today.

June 20, 1936
Yesterday: Schwanenwerder. We were waiting for Max Schmeling's fight with Joe Louis. We were on tenterhooks the whole evening with Schmeling's wife. We told each other stories, laughed and cheered. ... In round twelve, Schmeling knocked out the Negro. Fantastic, a dramatic, thrilling fight. Schmeling fought for Germany and won. The white man prevailed over the black, and the white man was German. I didn't get to bed until five.

August 4, 1936
We Germans won a gold medal, the Americans three, of which two were Negroes. That is a disgrace. White people should be ashamed of themselves.

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