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The Goebbels diaries, 1942-1943 by Joseph…

The Goebbels diaries, 1942-1943

by Joseph Goebbels

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It's too long and very repetitive, but then again it's a guy's diary so you kind of know what you're getting into from the outset. Overall it's a fascinating perspective on a very familiar history; WWII as seen by the Nazi's most brilliant tactician.

There are several interesting aspects to this collection of Goebbels' entries. Most impressive is the fact that for essentially the entire book (1942 onward), the Nazis are losing quite resoundingly yet maintaining an absurd degree of optimism and faith in their victorious destiny. (So much for Hegel's historicism I suppose.) Out-bombed by the UK, outmanned by the USSR, and later abandoned by Italy, their inability (esp. Goebbels and Hitler's) to see the writing on the wall is truly incredible. Literally throughout the entire book Goebbels is bemoaning how their cities are getting destroyed through British air raids without any real capacity for reprisal. Toward the last few months cities like Hamburg, Frankfurt and Berlin are being bombed almost daily, and Goebbels is eagerly anticipating the moment when they can finally retaliate, four months in the future!

Another revelation for me was seeing the animosity between the USSR and the UK/US. Granted, everything is tainted with Goebbels' cynicism, but there was certainly a degree of truth to the disagreements between the Soviets and the Capitalists. I had also never realized how much more of a burden the Soviets had born on the Eastern Front. And it makes you wonder what might have happened had Goebbels succeeded in pitting both sides against each other to eventually make a truce with one side over the other (e.g. Allying with UK to ensure that the Soviets are kept out of Europe). Ultimately I think he underestimated how monstrous the Nazi acts appeared to the world at large, probably overestimating the international community's antipathy toward the Jews.

Reading this makes me very curious to read the final entries in his diaries. At what point did he lose hope?

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  blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
  icm | Oct 3, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Goebbelsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lochner, Louis P.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van Rij, C.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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