Joseph Goebbels' name

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brightspice
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Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by brightspice » 27 Apr 2021 08:55

Hi all

Hoping you can help with this one. I am trying to find out why Goebbels was called 'Joseph Goebbels' when his first name was actually Paul. I believe he went by 'Dr Paul J. Goebbels' in the early days, but then at some point (when?) he became known as Joseph.

Any insight?
Many thanks
Anna

Halfdan S.
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by Halfdan S. » 27 Apr 2021 10:28

It has to do with German naming convention - my mother is German and she answers the third of her given names, the last one. It shouldn't be too hard to find other examples.

Best
Halfdan S.

George L Gregory
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by George L Gregory » 27 Apr 2021 10:33

Halfdan S. wrote:
27 Apr 2021 10:28
It has to do with German naming convention - my mother is German and she answers the third of her given names, the last one. It shouldn't be too hard to find other examples.

Best
Halfdan S.
It's not exclusive to Germans for people to go by their middle names instead of their first names. It's not uncommon amongst politicians or other people in the public eye.

brightspice
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by brightspice » 27 Apr 2021 10:40

Many thanks for the replies. I also know people who prefer to go by their middle names, but had wondered if in Goebbels' case there had been a specific reason for it (such as an aversion to the name Paul). I had read somewhere the suggestion he was given the second name Joseph in honour of Dr. Josef Joseph - a close family friend - but it seems at school he was known as Paul (as far as I can tell), so the Joseph thing may have come about later just as a preference.

Thanks again for the quick replies - I'm extremely grateful for the help!
Anna

George L Gregory
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by George L Gregory » 27 Apr 2021 10:41

Although David Irving is not exactly the most reliable historian to use, the following is what he wrote in his biography Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich:
On October 4 his name appeared in the imprint for the first time, as ‘Dr Paul J Goebbels’—an odd clue that he disliked the taint of ‘Joseph’.
pages 59-60.
Under Dr Paul J Goebbels the weekly became readable and hard hitting. He was not happy with his writing style, but practice made perfect and his thoughts flowed fast and free. He installed a sub-office in his parental home. As his twenty-seventh birthday came and went his parents were astounded by the change.
page 61.

brightspice
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by brightspice » 27 Apr 2021 10:47

Yes, I'd read that too. So if he was writing under the name of 'Dr Paul' in 1924, something must have changed for him to later be 'Dr Joseph Goebbels' (even though this was condensed to 'Dr. G.') I've read nowhere else (still working my way through the diaries for clues...) to suggest, as Irving does, that he disliked Joseph.

CraigM
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by CraigM » 27 Apr 2021 10:51

Speaking of names, why is it Goebbels and not Göbbels? And why Göring and not Goering? :roll:

Halfdan S.
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by Halfdan S. » 27 Apr 2021 11:16

Joseph or Josef was a jewish name - SS-Gruppenführer Josef Stropp went as far as to change his name into Jürgen Stroop ...

Regards
Halfdan S.

George L Gregory
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by George L Gregory » 27 Apr 2021 12:43

Halfdan S. wrote:
27 Apr 2021 11:16
Joseph or Josef was a jewish name - SS-Gruppenführer Josef Stropp went as far as to change his name into Jürgen Stroop ...

Regards
Halfdan S.
Not everyone who is called Joseph, David, Paul, Peter or any other bibilical name is Jewish. :roll:

GregSingh
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by GregSingh » 27 Apr 2021 12:50

During a court case in Hannover in August 1930 he was "officially" referred to as Dr. Paul Goebbels.
So perhaps as already suggested, Joseph was his personal preference.

Anyway, his given name was not that important, because in German (and some other languages, especially back then) you would hardly use anyone's given name. It was a must to use title/degree followed by a surname, not only in writing but also in conversation.
Last edited by GregSingh on 28 Apr 2021 01:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Halfdan S.
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by Halfdan S. » 27 Apr 2021 13:29

Off course not, George, but as far as I remember, this was the reason Stroop is thought to have had.

One Example, Greg, is the interrogations of Keitel - at one point he is asked for the first name of Burgdorf and he answers, that he doesn't know. Keitel would have seen Burgdorf on a daily basis and still didn't know or bother to find out his first name. People would says Herr Doctor, Dr. Goebbels etc.

Regards
Halfdan S.

brightspice
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by brightspice » 27 Apr 2021 13:43

Good points about the tradition back then being to use surnames, making first names less significant (and thinking about it, even my grandmothers only ever referred to each other as Mrs. ... having known each other for years!)

Having said all this, "Dr. G." sounds weirdly modern.

George L Gregory
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by George L Gregory » 27 Apr 2021 16:51

I was quite shocked to learn that Adolf Eichmann's first name was Otto!

Also, Erwin Rommel's first name was Johannes.

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Helly Angel
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by Helly Angel » 27 Apr 2021 17:21

Halfdan S. wrote:
27 Apr 2021 11:16
Joseph or Josef was a jewish name - SS-Gruppenführer Josef Stropp went as far as to change his name into Jürgen Stroop ...

Regards
Halfdan S.
Yes my friend, but I think this change was in honor to his son who was a soldier KIA.. I´m almost sure of this.

George L Gregory
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Re: Joseph Goebbels' name

Post by George L Gregory » 27 Apr 2021 19:52

Halfdan S. wrote:
27 Apr 2021 11:16
Joseph or Josef was a jewish name - SS-Gruppenführer Josef Stropp went as far as to change his name into Jürgen Stroop ...

Regards
Halfdan S.
Er...
In May 1941, Stroop changed his forename from Josef to Jürgen for ideological reasons and in honor of his dead infant son.
What made you think it had anything to do with Joseph being a Hebrew name?

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