Goebbels, the Nazi lothario: Hitler's club-footed propaganda chief had scores of affairs, reveals historian
9th January 2011
He walked with a limp and was known to some as the ‘poison dwarf’.
But a book reveals that Nazi Germany’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels was an unlikely lothario, nicknamed ‘the ram’ by the many actresses and society ladies he seduced.
Written by Peter Longerich, a history professor at the University of London, it is the first work to address Goebbels as more than simply the propaganda genius of the Third Reich.
Manipulative and ruthless, he is also revealed as sexually obsessed and mawkishly sentimental.
Left enfeebled by polio, his weak frame and club foot mocked Nazi ideals of physical fitness, yet he was an Olympic-class seducer whose ‘pathological narcissism’ led him to record his conquests.
He detailed many on more than 30,000 sheets of paper that he left behind, some of them accessed for the first time by Professor Longerich, a German, for his 912-page book Joseph Goebbels: Biography.
The son of a factory worker, he first fell in lust at 16 – with the stepmother of one his school friends. Goebbels wrote in his journal in 1912: ‘Eros awoke. Sentimental period. Besides which love for mature women.’
Nothing happened that first time. Two years later he was embittered when the legions of the Kaiser marched off to war, knowing that his handicap would never allow him to join them.
Nonetheless, a girl called Lena Krage helped ease his torment. ‘The first kiss on Garden Street! …she experienced for the first time what it was like to be a loving woman.'
Then, studying in Bonn in 1917, he seduced sisters called Liesl and Agnes.
Anka Stalherm was next when Goebbels moved to Freiburg to study. ‘How deep and totally did I get to know her!’ he wrote.
He also formed a relationship back in his hometown of Rheydt with Else Janke, a teacher. This ended when she told him that her mother was Jewish. He said: ‘Her charms were destroyed for me.’
One of his conquests was Czech actress Lida Baarova, but his obsession with her angered Hitler because she was a racially 'inferior' Slav
As he climbed the ladder of Nazi politics, the tempo of his lust increased. Professor Longerich writes: ‘He had various affairs, often two or three on the go at the same time.’
Then came Magda Quandt, a divorcee who had originally married into the family that would found BMW. She became his soul mate during the Third Reich.
The first time they spent the night together after meeting at a Nazi rally in 1930 he wrote: ‘Magda Quandt came and stayed for a very long time. She bloomed in her bewitching-blonde sweetness. How you are my queen!’
He put the figure one next to her name, indicating they had made love for the first time. The figures soon hit double digits.
They married in 1931 but Goebbels’ elevation to propaganda chief gave him access to fresh conquests, including many starlets.
His obsession with Czech actress Lida Baarova angered Hitler because she was a racially ‘inferior’ Slav. Later Miss Baarova said: ‘He called Goebbels in and told him to drop me and return to his family. He never tried to contact me again.’
Magda, with whom he shared a fanatical devotion Hitler, tolerated his dalliances, believing he would never leave her.
When war broke out, the tempo of Goebbels’ sex life slowed.
In final days of the Reich in April 1945, it was Magda who decided their six children had to be drugged and murdered. Afterwards, Goebbels shot her and then himself.