Thursday, May 1, 2014

G is for Goebbels: Nazi Sex Scandals

by Tammy Petry
Blogging From A to Z April Challenge
"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."  
~Joseph Goebbels 

I tend to write about socially taboo topics that others find interesting but really don't want in their browser history. I can only image what people would think if I suddenly went missing and the authorities searched my laptop for clues.  I'm not kidding, there's a bizarre assortment of shit in my browser history, everything from Hitler +incest + sexual fetishes,  Goebbels + affair + three way,  Himmler, Goering, and Rommel, lethal untraceable poisons; The Luke Bryan "Don't Drop That Thun Thun Thun" video; a video of the Horst Wessel song.; the current price per gram of gold, cocaine, and weed; plus tons of cat videos.  Everything but the cat videos is research, but try explaining THAT to the boys in blue (whom I LOVE, btw). No, seriously, I do!

All smartass comments are entirely my own and are provided free of charge.
(Limited time offer.  Restrictions may apply.  Void in dry counties.)

International Disclaimer:  The information contained in this blog post, including words, photos, and videos, are strictly for educational and informational purposes only. I do not espouse, condone, or promote anything related to Hitler, Nazis, the Third Reich, National-Socialism, Fascism, or other related -isms.  If this content is illegal to view in your country - don't blame me! You're here now aren't you?

If you're wondering why the majority of my "30 Days of WWII" posts pertain to the Nazis,  it's because I love exploring the dark side of history.  I like to find out what makes monsters tick, who their lovers were, and discover the various types of backgrounds they emerged from.  For example, how does someone who has a loving family, who makes homemade ice cream and plays catch with their children, who appears "normal"  to the rest of the does that person leave home, go to work, and proceed to murder innocent men, women and children by the thousands every day?  How does that person sleep at night?  How does that person face him or her self in the mirror each day?  How do they eat when thousands are starving just yards away?

These are the creators of one of the darkest times in modern history.

Now, on to Goebbels. 

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called, "The Goebbels Experiment".  The entire narrative of the film is read from Dr. Joseph Goebbels' own extensive diary, which he kept from 1924 to 1945.  Rare and never before seen footage accompanies his entries which are beautifully read by Kenneth Branagh . Amazingly, this diary survived WWII and post-war plundering and destruction that took place in Berlin for many years afterward.  It's a provocative peek inside the tortured mind of the Third Reich's Minister of Propaganda.  (Can you believe that was his real job title?  Why not say, "Professional Bullshitter"?!) 

I consider myself to be an avid war historian, but I still learned many new things about Goebbels from watching this film.

The Goebbels Experiment
Narrated by Kenneth Branagh
The Man Behind Hitler
A Rare and Chilling Glimpse Into a Brilliant but Toxic Mind
Live Inside the Monster's Head
Joseph Goebbels WWII Third Reich Propaganda Minister for Hitler

What the Critics are Saying:

"Live inside the monster's head… visceral, powerful" - The New York Post

"A fascinating, veritable self-portrait, masterfully culled from a trove of archival materials"

- Los Angeles Times

"Weirdly enthralling." - Boston Globe

"Eloquent. Brilliantly edited." - LA Weekly

"A cautionary reminder that equal access to the machinery of ideas may be society's most critical goal." - The New York Times

"Informative and illuminating." - Christian Science Monitor

Here are the highlights I found to be most interesting:
  1. Goebbels had a physical deformity of his foot.  Surgery was performed during his youth (almost 100 years ago!) but it was botched.  This caused him to wear a cumbersome orthopedic foot/leg brace for the rest of his life.  They might as well have painted a big bullseye target on ole Joe because he was teased and ridiculed without mercy.  It also deemed him a less-than-worthy German soldier and was denied his place in the ranks during WWI.
  2. His oldest son was not his biological child.  His wife, Magda, was a divorcee who brought the boy into their marriage. (Unlucky him.  Don't feel too badly for him though, he turned out to become filthy rich in post-WWII Germany.) Being an ardent and loyal fascist, Magda popped out six more little Nazis for the glory of the Reich.
  3. Hitler was one of the witnesses for Joseph's marriage to Magda. (This was definitely a very bad omen.)
  4. Joseph Goebbels--ADULTERER!  He had a torrid, heartbreaking, earth-shattering love affair after he wed Magda. As you will read later on in the post, things got...interesting.  I won't ruin it for you, you'll just have to keep reading. Anyway, Magda finally got fed up.  She went running to Hitler to put an end to the whole mess. (Damn, I sure wouldn't want to get THAT phone call...just say'n.)The ideal Aryan was tall, blonde, blue-eyed, and in top physical shape.  Goebbels was none of these. (Neither was Hitler for that matter, but I digress. Is it just me, or do you get the impression that the Third Reich was composed mainly of men with some variation on the "Woe-Is-Me" complex?)
Rare color photo of Hitler and Goebbels enjoying a lighthearted moment of laughter.
Goebbels was a frequent guest at Hitler's mountain retreat, Berchtesgaten.
Here is the Goebbels wedding photo.  Note Adolph in the background.

Joeseph and Magda Goebbels wedding photo.  Note Adolph Hitler in the background.
He was a witness to their nuptials.
Joseph and Magda Goebbels with their children.
Here is the fantastically fascist Goebbels family. All of the children, except Harald, were poisoned by Magda Goebbels inside the Berlin Fuhrer Bunker. Harald is the one in the Luftwaffe uniform and is Magda's son from her first marriage. He survived the war, became a very wealthy industrialist - he was one of the richest men in post-war Germany. Something pertaining to BMW...?

Magda also (allegedly) had affairs (including one with Joseph's deputy Karl Hanke) and there is evidence that at some point they agreed to an open marriage.  (I am far from a prude.  If Joseph and Magda agreed to have an open marriage, so be it.  Whatever floats your boat.  Let your Freak Flag fly baby.  However, if either of them was under the impression they had a traditional marital arrangement going on, then shame, shame, shame on them both.)

Karl Hanke, Deputy to Joseph Goebbels and alleged lover of Magda Goebbels.
Definitely an improvement, IMHO.
I had NO idea Joseph Goebbels had an affair. The icing on this multi-tiered Cake of Adultery is this: Magda confided all the sordid details to none other than their good pal Adolph. She asked him to step in and put a stop to Joseph's wandering ... affections. Eventually, Hitler did just that. (Shit just got real in Deutschland!)

Mrs. Goebbels does not look pleased.
Congratulations, you've made it to the really good shit.

Here is a photo of The Mistress, Leda Baarova:

Lida Baarova, mistress of Joseph Goebbels.
Version One:

 By Peter Conradi, October 31, 2000

They met at a party in 1934, the year before her first German film "Barcarole" made her a household name in Germany. Lida Baarová certainly suited Goebbels, who became obsessed with her. "He told me he loved me time and again," she recalled 60 years later, "and I felt his eyes burning into my back every time we were in the same room together." The Fuhrer too, she vouchsafed, was given to staring mutely in her direction; indeed, when he visited her film studio he seemed to her to be mesmerized. Shortly afterwards he invited her to tea.

She arrived at the wheel of her BMW, which (as she remembered) Hitler seemed to consider too liberated. On this occasion, however, he found his tongue to the extent of telling her that she reminded him of Geri Raubel, whom he encouragingly explained, had committed suicide on his account. (That's an impressive pick-up line if I ever heard one!) Another time, Hitler told her that she should become a citizen of the Reich: "You could do well for yourself," he promised. But Lida Baarová remained immune to these blandishments, telling him that she preferred to remain a Czech. The tea invitations ceased.

Dr Goebbels's fires, however, burned ever fiercer. He only lived three doors down from the house on Lake Wannsee which Lida Baarová shared with Gustav Froehlich, her co-star in Barcarole. Though Lida Baarová always emphasised the innocence of her relations with Goebbels - "why would I be interested in a 36-year-old father of five when I was a 20-year-old beautiful woman with men falling at my feet?" - somehow Froehlich was never convinced.

Lake Wannsee, Berlin Germany
Hermann Goring placed a wiretap on Lida Baarová's telephone, and enjoyed spreading scandalous stories about her and Goebbels in the highest Nazi circles. Himmler also liked to tell how there were lines of women waiting to swear how Goebbels had coerced them: "I've turned the choicest statements over to the Fuhrer." Goebbels himself felt the necessity to tell his wife Magda about his infatuation. Magda complained to Emmy Goring that her husband was "the devil incarnate". But she did not stop there, inviting Lida Baarová round to accuse her to her face of having an affair with her husband. "Don't worry," Lida Baarová returned, "I'm not interested in him."

Heinrich Himmler and Adolph Hitler
Rare color photograph

Hermann Goering in all his glory.
Whatever you do, do NOT click on this image and view it full size!
(Hint: Eye Bleach Required)
Magda Goebbels was no more convinced than Gustav Froehlich had been, and in 1938 complained about her husband to the Fuhrer, who ordered Goebbels never to see Lida Baarová again. Goebbels's lust was strong, but his devotion to the Fuhrer still stronger. He sighed as a lover; he obeyed as a Propaganda Minister.

Meanwhile, the jealous Gustav Froehlich was rumoured to have struck Goebbels in the face, and challenged him to a duel. Hitler, furious at the scandal, banned Lida Baarová's films and expelled her from Berlin. Wisely, she escaped to Prague.

Version Two:
By Peter Conradi

"THEIRS was one of the most dramatic and dangerous love affairs of the Third Reich. A glamorous Czech actress who became Josef Goebbels's mistress and fled Germany after his wife denounced them to Hitler has described her turbulent relationship with the Nazi propaganda chief for the first time.

In her autobiography, The Sweet Bitterness of My Life, to be published posthumously in Germany next month, Lida Baarova writes of life in the Nazi upper echelons, where elegantly dressed ministers mingled with the film world elite.

The actress, who died alone in poverty in November aged 86, reveals that Goebbels's wife, Magda, proposed a ménage à trois to save her marriage but Hitler ordered an end to the two-year affair on the grounds that it could damage the Nazis' image as guardians of traditional family values.

It was Hitler who first fell for Baarova, (HOLY SHIT!) then 20, during a visit in 1934 to a film set in Berlin. Three days later she was summoned to tea at the chancellery. He said she reminded him of somebody both "beautiful and tragic" in his life. To her horror, she later realized this was Hitler's former lover and half-niece, Angela Raubal, who was found dead in her Munich flat in 1931, aged 23, after shooting herself in the heart with a pistol.

Adolph Hitler and Geli Raubal
Several more meetings followed, despite the protests of Gustav Fröhlich, a jealous actor with whom Baarova was living. But the Führer did not press himself on her.

She and Goebbels first met in 1936 during the Berlin Olympics in the city's opulent Schwanenwerder suburb, where Goebbels had rented a villa near Fröhlich's. Baarova was attracted immediately.

"His voice seemed to go straight into me," she said. "I felt a light tingling in my back, as if his words were trying to stroke my body." (Insert Awkward Sexual Reference Here.)

Here's Goebbels giving a few speeches.  This clip is just under 2:00 minutes.  I'd advise wearing earphones for this one.  He's rather enthusiastic (translation: fucking loud). This is probably NOT the thing to blast from your computer speakers, particularly if you reside in a culturally diverse urban area.  Those of you in the American South don't have to worry quite as much. 

(.... Not for ONE second do I tingle.  Anywhere. I (thankfully) feel nothing stroking my body.  And I'm DAMN SURE not wanting ANY part of ole Joe going in me - straight, sideways, or any other way.
However, I reluctantly admit that the man was made to talk.  He's in love with the sound of his own voice.  However vain that may be, I believe he earned his right to crow a little.  Passionate.  He's a very passionate speaker.)


There were other meetings on Goebbels's yacht Baldur, and he invited her to hear him speak at a Nazi congress. He promised to touch his face with a white handkerchief during the speech as a sign of his devotion. (Awww, isn't that just too sweet?)

Panicking, Baarova decided to leave town. But as her train waited at the station, a messenger arrived with roses and the minister's picture. "He was a master of the hunt, whom no-body and nothing could escape," she said. (Okay, this would be a great opportunity to insert crude humor but I shall refrain.)

For months Goebbels pursued her relentlessly, inviting her for trips in his chauffeur-driven limousine or visits to his log cabin on the shores of Lake Lanke outside Berlin.

Although their relationship was platonic for a long time, she tried to hide it from Fröhlich. When Goebbels rang he left messages as Herr Müller and hung up if the actor answered. One winter evening in the cabin, however, before a blazing fire he kissed her for the first time, saying: "I have never in my life been so in-flamed with love for a woman."

They met whenever he could get away from his wife. Baarova recalled his mood swings dramatically. Sometimes he amused her with Hitler impressions, at others he expressed doubts about Nazi ideology. (HOLY SHIT!)

Rumors of their relationship spread after Goebbels bailed out one of Baarova's films. Then Fröhlich arrived home to find them on the road to the villa. He berated Goebbels and left Baarova soon afterwards.

His impertinence did not go unpunished. Goebbels later took revenge by removing his exemption from military service and sending him to war. (HOLY SHIT! Note to self: PISSING OFF A HIGH-RANKING NAZI is a VERY bad idea.)

In the autumn of 1938, however, Goebbels had telephoned Baarova, saying he had confessed to his wife, and wanted the two women to meet. Magda Goebbels was distraught when they were introduced, and suggested sharing her husband. (HOLY SHIT!)

"I am the mother of his children, I am only interested in this house in which we live," she said. "What happens outside does not concern me. But you must promise me one thing: you must not have a child by him."

Goebbels appeared with gifts of jewelry for both women as if to cement the love triangle. But Magda told Hitler and Goebbels was summoned to the Führer. "My wife is a devil," he told Baarova.

Early the next morning he rang again, weeping. Hitler had refused his request for a divorce and forbidden him to see her. "I love you, Liduschka," he said. "I cannot live without you."

The propaganda machine swung into gear. Newspapers published pictures of the Goebbels family, and Goebbels rehabilitated himself with Hitler by orchestrating Kristallnacht, (NICE.) an orgy of violence in November 1938 when Jewish property across Germany was destroyed.

Baarova was called to a police station and told she was barred from appearing in films or plays and even from attending social functions. She was pursued by the Gestapo, who organised hecklers to shout "Whore", when she defiantly attended the premiere of her film, Der Spieler (The Player). 

Baarova returned to Prague, disobeying an order from Hitler's adjutant to remain in Germany. She was on a Nazi blacklist, however, and it became more difficult for her to work. In 1942 she moved to Italy and resumed her career.

She saw Goebbels one last time at the 1942 Venice film festival. He ignored her. "He must have recognized me, but he did not make a single movement," she said. "He was always the master of self-control."

In 1945 Baarova was arrested by the Americans and briefly imprisoned for collaboration. Goebbels and his wife stayed with Hitler in his bunker, taking their own lives and those of their six children on May 1 as the Russians swept into Berlin."
The Goebbels Clan