Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


BBC 4 treated us to extracts from the Goebbels diaries last night (splendidly read by Kenneth Branagh.) "Goering went out of his way to be kind to me. What a nice chap he is." This isn't so much the banality of evil as the Pooterishness of evil.

Venice is Goebbels' favourite city. He is shocked at the number of Jews in Berlin; they do so spoil the look of the place. He wanders out into the countryside during the siege of Berlin and finds it restful. Nothing that goes wrong is ever his fault. Hitler is above criticism.

Is this all there was to the man? Was he really so utterly without ideas, imagination, culture?

"Evil genius" is a contradiction in terms. The really wicked are never much more than crafty. Goebbels was a silly little man without the wherewithal to grasp the enormity of what he was doing.

A typical politician, in fact.
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