Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), member of the German National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) and propaganda minister during the era of the Third Reich. He was a slightly built man with a crippled left leg. Goebbels had earned a PhD and was a frustrated writer when he joined the Nazi Party in the 1920's during the time of the French occupation of the Ruhr. He became an ardent admirer of Hitler and took national office when the Nazis seized power in January 1933. He was known for his oratory skills and for spreading Nazi propaganda to the masses. He molded German newspapers, movies, art and culture into areas which followed and reflected Nazi doctrine. He was a noted anti-Semite.
A proponent of the concept of total war, Goebbels used his position as propaganda minister to exhort the German people to greater effort and efficiencies. During the latter stages of the war he was able to use the intrigues of the Nazi Party to bring himself closer to Hitler.
As the war drew to an end Goebbels spent his last days with Hitler in Berlin. After Hitler's suicide Goebbels decided that there would be no redemption for himself or his family. On May 1, 1945 he and his wife, Magda had their six children poisoned. Later in the Reich Chancellery garden, Goebbels shot himself and his wife took poison. Acting on Goebbels' prior order, an SS officer then "gave... the coup de grace". The bodies were then burned, but the buried. On the afternoon of the following day, Soviet Army soldiers found the heavily charred remains of the couple.