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« My Reality Show Is Better Than Your Reality Show | Main | Off the Bus »

October 22, 2005



Once again, an interesting post. I've always considered Joey G. the great-granddaddy of modern propagandists and cutting-edge tech hate-peddlers.

So your daughter is playing Captain Von Trapp? Interesting gender reversal, but I suppose the role could be Frau Kapitan as well...

Speaking of which, I always thought that character was probably an Engelbert Dollfuss supporter. Herr Dollfuss was a hardline Austrian Christian nationalist, but he had no illusions about the evil the pagan, Jew-killing National Socialists represented, and was martyred opposing them...

Joseph Goebbels absolutely influenced our modern propagandists. He perfected the "Big Lie" technique of propaganda:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

I'll let you all make your own allusions between that quotation and current policies.

Interesting speculation about Georg von Trapp. I guess it's possible that he was a Dollfuss supporter although I haven't found any research corroborating that and I have my doubts. I realize that the historical Captain von Trapp was NOT Christopher Plummer but Dollfuss was still a right-wing dictator and it seems that the von Trapps would not have gone for that. And while Dollfuss hated Hitler, he did have a fondness for Mussollini.

No, Leah is playing von Trapp as a man (her theatre troupe is very low on boys!) and loving it. Did you know that this year marks the FIRST time that a theatrical production of "The Sound of Music" is playing in Austria? And they've only shown the film once. It seems that they're very wary of anything that evokes their Nazi past since, unlike Georg von Trapp, most Austrians were only too happy when Germany annexed their country in 1938.

What a powerful and frightening post; frightening in that it once again reminds us that the Nazi's, i.e. Hitler and his gang of fanatics brought such pain and destruction down upon so many many many people; relatives of mine perished as I'm sure many peolpe who read this blog could testify to that, as well, so it's never far from the memory, especially when a film such as this jogs that memory.
I LOVE your writing Danny and that you are able to inject some levity where there is none amazes me..(well, I gues there is always something funny in all things tragic..).
As to the filmaker, Miss Leni, I have never understood how anyone could defend her, but, it just means her propaganda machine functioned very well where her reputation was concerned after the war. I'm glad you saw her for what she was...and boy did you ever hit that one on the head, but good! Thank you for gving us all a needed reminder to look to history, and to never forget. I wish I'd seen that documentary though I think it would have made me very angry...but now, I do want to see it, because of your cogent thoughtful words about it, and that whole terrible period of time.

Sorry to post again, but, on a lighter side...The Von Trapp Family came to my High School and gave a concert during the time I was in....maybe, 9th or 10th grade...You jogged that memory, too!

Break A Leg, Leah!

It always interests me that so many writers portray these children as blonde, and kiddie actors hired to play them onscreen generally are fair and towhaired.

Unlike their father, they all had pleasant features. But, as the many pictures show, the oldest four had dark hair and eyes, as did Dr. Goebbels, and the younger two had lighter brown hair that would have probably darkened if they'd lived to grow up.

What's interesting about these kids is that at least one of them, the only son, Helmut, was academically quite slow, which must have worked Goebbels's nerves.

I heard that Albert Speer and some of the other top Nazis offered to take the Goebbels family to safety, but Magda refused, saying, "I belong to my husband, and my children belong to me." She knew, by the end of the war, if not before, of the genocide going on, and thought that the children would be hated for being the children of Nazis, and she believed in reincarnation, so she thought she could give them a better life through killing them.
I think the Goebbels children, who were described as "charming" were as innocent as any other children who were murdered during this time...

Lida Baarova was spied by the Gestapo in Prague during the war. The love affair destroyed her entire life.

I have just discovered your website as I was looking on Google for info. re. the Goebbels. Not that I like the schmendrick or anything that he stood for, but I have just watched "The Bunker" and those of us who were born after all these things occurred would like to know more facts.
Thank you for such an interesting site.
Celia from Australia


I absolutely loved your blog, historically factual and so funny at the same time, how can you possibly be funny in an appropriate way about this subject without being disrespectful about the horror of the holocaust, and yet you managed to pull it off, just wonderful.

Interesting, and factual in most places. Goebbels in fact despised Miss Leni because Hitler allowed him no influence over her. Goebbels believed in subtle discreet propaganda such as Jud Suss, an entertaining film with a horrible message. Leni's films were far from subtle, showing Hitler as a god and Goebells could do nothing. He despised the woman but had to tolerate her because Hitler loved her films. Probably due to the fact that he was in just about every shot.

i am planning to do a music project and cal it høbba gøbbels
and wish to present pictures of the gobbels children on slide show to the music/(the meaning of this is of cause to remind and inform
the humanity of the sic energy of war and hate) do you know any
possible place to contact to get a rent or help with the pictures ?

Bless you. I read about Hitler and his buds without the slightest concern for the feelings of other people. Well, that's not totally true. I'm taking Star Trek to the airport.

Sounds like Fox News Channel.

she was hot as shit

That was fascinating. Good post.

This was interesting. The last survivor of the bunker gave an interview where it was clear Magda at least killed some of the children herself, also that she killed them in the bunker because people would have stopped her if she had done it upstairs. She then came out of the room crying, sat down and played cards until it was time for her to die. Frighteningly fanatic, she was more for her cause than her husband, although she realized Hitler was over the edge long before the end came.

Lida Baarova payed a lot: her father lost a leg due to inflammation, her mother died during interrogation(because of Lida's contacts with Germans) and her sister Zorka, talented actress, commited suicide. Zorka was attacked by several actors that she does not deserve to be an actress because of her sister and suffering with depressions, she ended her life. Lida died in salcburg, austria, lonely. Never it was proved that she hurted anybody, even she helped some people because of her contacts. Oftes is said that she payed a lot for her beauty and naivity.

I enjoyed your chatty informative review of Goebells life. Although I do not agree with the comparison of Karl Rove and Goebells as the same kind of person. I disagree with this analogy because I think Karl Rove has a very different heart than Goebells.
I also find it strange that no one mentions where Goebeels learned his Propaganda. From the USA. The Wilson Administration. Wilson was a bigot. And had the premier of the KKK movie in the White House. Interesting no one ever mentions the connections about that.

Good article! Actually, I have always been attracted to exploring how good and evil can exist in people simultaneously. Goebbels was one of those people who life dealt a crappy hand and was trying to validate himself by any means. It didn't matter if you thought of him with adoration (which he'd prefer) or loathing, as long as you thought of him. We're all still playing into his master plan (and I don't mean race)...

Many people will disagree with my psychological assessment but on the scale of 1 to 10, Goebbels rates a 5 for psychopathology. What! Why? Well, for all his hate spewing, Goebbels was quite tame. He knew how to talk a good game, but follow through wasn't his strong point. We hear how he instigated Kristalnacht, but really he never threw a punch. Even when wifey was poisoning his children he didn't participate and stayed away. If you really wanted crazy, there was Heydrich (who perfected the concentration camp system in Poland), Eichman (who dreamt up the final solution), Himmler, of course Hitler...Sometimes, I doubt Goebbels ever really cared for the Nazis as much as he used them as a springboard for his fame and notoriety which would have been denied him any other way had things turned out differently. When I hear his name, I think about Landau from Inglorious Basterds - he'd gladly cut a deal to sell everyone out for a house in Nantucket and a pardon.

Goebbels revealed his doubts about National Socialism quite frequently to Lida and even used to make fun of Hitler by pantomiming him. He never wanted to marry Magda - many people suspect it was "asked" of him because Hitler wanted to marry her but swore to stay unmarried to serve Germany. Since Goebbels was quite close to Hitler, this kept the two secret lovebirds in close proximity without scandal. Yeah, Goebbels sweated her for a short time, but he never talks about it as more than infatuation. Typical Scorpio man....

Magda seems to be the one who wore the pants. She was REALLY the Nazi's Nazi and Joey often hated to even be around her. About the kiddie murder thing...well, I'm out on that one. Yeah, it's totally F'ed what happened to them. Her rationale about not living in a world without Nazism is maybe partially true, but I'm thinking they had in mind what could possibly happen to them when the Ruskies got their hands on them (think rape, torture, horrible execution lingering for hours). Perhaps she died for an idea, I think he died to evade Russian retribution and accepted her decision to out the kids on those grounds.

Don't mistake me, I'm not a sympathizer or Goebbel's apologist. It's just that there's always a psychology as to why we do what we do and when it comes to humanity, the black and white answer doesn't always suffice when you consider all the shades of grey. What an awful time for Germany and it's people, this statement includes the Jews, who were also German citizens! It was so scary for everyone. God willing it's never repeated.

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