Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945
Next to Hitler, Joseph Goebbels was arguably the most insidious high-ranking member of the Nazi party, particularly since he was a master at public speaking and served as the minister of propaganda. His antisemitic beliefs ran deep, even prior to meeting Hitler, and he was a strong proponent of the Final Solution.
Yet Goebbels' diary entry recording the time he first met Hitler sounds like the gushing of an unstable teenage fanboy rather than an adult politician. In an entry written on November 6, 1925, Goebbels writes about having dinner with Hitler,
"He jumps up at once. Stands there before us. Squeezes my hand. Like an old friend. And those big blue eyes. Like stars. He is glad to see me. I am in heaven. This man has everything it takes to be a king. The born tribune of the people. A coming dictator."
Two week later, when Goebbels met Hitler after a rally, he raves,
"Great joy! He greets me like an old friend. He looks after me. How I love him!"
In a later entry remembering that day, Goebbels writes,
"Until then, you were my Führer. There you became my friend. A friend and master with whom I feel bonded to the very end in a shared idea."
It's amazing that a man obviously capable of such emotion toward another human being was able to orchestrate sending others to their deaths en masse, without even an ounce of compassion.
Read diary and journal entries of other historical figures, including George S. Patton, President Harry Truman and more, here.