October 29, 1897: Joseph Goebbels is born.
Hitler’s chief propagandist (“Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda”) was a bitter, diminutive figure described by Albert Speer as an “intellectual” who “looked down on the crude philistines” that made up much of the party, and by others as a “goblin”, as a “poison dwarf”, and “the little doctor”. Goebbels was, physically, the opposite of the Aryan ideal - he was short, frail, dark-haired, and he had, as a child, developed a deformity on his leg that caused him to walk with a limp. Despite his far-from-perfect appearance, Goebbels was also apparently a “serial seducer”.
Goebbels joined the NSDAP in 1924, while Adolf Hitler was still serving a prison sentence for leading the Beer Hall Putsch. In the end, he was also probably Hitler’s most loyal supporter; Goebbels wrote of his love for his Führer, whom he described as a “political genius”, and he replaced Hitler as Chancellor after the latter’s death. He held this position for only a day, before his entire family committed suicide.
In life, Goebbels and his ministry were in charge of maintaining the cultural identity of the Third Reich and implementing the policy known as Gleischaltung. This involved, among other things, purging the German art and music scenes of what was considered degenerate (typically modern art, jazz, and anything “Jewish” in nature). Goebbels and Hitler were also interested in using film as a means of propaganda; documentaries were filmed, of course, but cinema was media for the masses, and films like Jud Süß (a box-office hit created at the behest of Goebbels) were both popular with the public and effective anti-semitic propaganda.