Joseph Goebbels’ contribution to the 20th Century was to fan the flames of hatred that directly resulted in tens of millions of deaths, including the 10 million systematically murdered during the Holocaust.
Goebbels (1897-1945) was the head of propaganda for Nazi Germany. As Adolf Hitler’s Reich Minister of Propaganda, he oversaw a vast infrastructure designed to indoctrinate the German people in the belief that the Aryan race was biologically superior to all others, and that Jews were the cause of the first world war, the Great Depression, and the inability of Germany to reclaim its greatness and rightful place among the nations of Europe. Goebbels had been a failed playwright and novelist whose gift for insinuation and deceit proved highly valuable to the then-fledgling political parties that would evolve into the National Socialist Party (Nazis). As an early associate of Hitler who earned the future dictator’s confidence and trust, Goebbels served Hitler diligently and loyally -- all in the cause of murdering as many Jewish people as could be captured, enslaving Slavic peoples who were thought to be inferior, and occupying much of Europe. His contribution to the 20th Century was his major role in the Holocaust and in the outbreak of World War II.