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Michael (ISBN 0941693007) was a semi-autobiographical novel authored by the German propagandist Dr. Joseph Goebbels and published in 1929. The novel is a combination of Goebbels' own thoughts and the life of his best friend Richard Flisges who had actually fought in the war, and later ended his college studies to work in a mine where he died in an accident. That is what happens to the novel's protagonist Michael who meets his "sacrificial death" on 30 January 1921.

PlotEdit

In a diary form the story follows the journey of Michael, a fictional character who represents a young Joseph Goebbels. At the beginning of the novel Michael has just returned home from service in The Great War. He finds a new democratic Germany which invoke feelings of both love and hate. Throughout the novel Michael wrestles with this mix of nationalist pride and anger towards the Weimar Germany and he explores his personal philosophy and belief system.

Political CommentaryEdit

The book emphases the socialist ideals held by Goebbels' early in his political career, ideals he later abandoned after meeting Adolf Hitler.

Religious CommentaryEdit

In the novel Goebbels gives praise to Christianity, and describes Jesus as one of the finest men to have ever lived. He also demonstrates his early socialist sympathies when he stated that Germans had to be "something like Christ Socialists" [1] The book also explores nature of God and the contemporary man: "modern man...is intrinsically a seeker of God, perhaps a Christ-man."[2]

Historical AnalysisEdit

Joseph Goebbels' biographer, the historian Joachim Fest (who was also Hitler's biographer), suggests that Michael sheds light on Goebbels' state of mind and self-image: "The very name of the hero, Michael, to whom he gave many autobiographical features, suggests the way his self-identification was pointing: a figure of light, radiant, tall, unconquerable," and above all "'To be a soldier! To stand sentinel! One ought always to be a soldier,' wrote Michael-Goebbels."[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Michael, Joseph Goebbels, Amok Press, 38-40
  2. Michael, Joseph Goebbels, Amok Press, 48-59
  3. Fest, The Face of the Third Reich, 88

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