Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels (October 29, 1897 - May 1, 1945) was Adolf Hitler's Propaganda Minister (see Propagandaministerium) in Nazi Germany. He was a prominent figure of the regime, known for his great rhetorical skills.

He was born to the accountant Friedrich Goebbels and his wife Maria (née Oldenhausen) in Rheydt in the Rhineland. Because of a walking disability he was rejected when he volunteered for military service at the beginning of World War I.

He played a large role in helping the Nazis achieve and retain power by creating propaganda to present the Nazi ideology to the German people in a favourable light.

During the final stages of the war, before his suicide, Hitler appointed Goebbels Chancellor of Germany in his will (with Karl Dönitz as Führer). His government was not recognised by the Allied powers. On May 1, 1945, Goebbels and his wife also killed themselves, as well as their six children.

Like Hitler's final moments, the details of the death of the Goebbels family remains unclear. While it is certain that they were all poisoned with cyanide, some contend that he shot himself and his wife afterwards, though when their bodies were found by the Soviets, they were apparently too charred to discern whether this was true.

Preceded by:
Adolf Hitler
Chancellors of Germany Succeeded by:
Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk