The death of children is always heartbreaking. And there seems no end to the atrocious ways they reach their demise. The most poignant cases do not have so much to do with the manner of death, but the reason for its necessity. In the case of Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister, and Magda, their offspring—five daughters and a son—were the victims of fanatical ideology.
The children’s upbringing seemed pleasant enough with their own ponies and a little carriage in which to ride around. Joseph was photographed in public with some of his children on several occasions and set up a concealed camera to film them as a “healthy” contrast to the handicapped children in a propaganda film. In 1942, the children appeared 34 times in weekly newsreels, participating in pleasant everyday family activities. Goebbels was presented that October with a copy of those films. The children were moved around to put them out of harm’s way of advancing troops toward the end of the war. By April 22, 1945, the Goebbels moved their children into the Vorbunker, connected to the lower Führerbunker where Hitler and a few personnel were staying. Goebbels in an act of personal loyalty refused to flee Berlin and in a note stated that the children would have supported the decision to commit suicide if they had been old enough to speak for themselves! The plan was to have the children injected with morphine so they would be unconscious when the cyanide was administered. Magda was apparently contemplating the killing of her children a month beforehand. Her rationale was that she did not want them to grow up hearing that their father had been one of the century’s foremost criminals. The bodies were discovered by Soviet troops dressed in their nightclothes, with ribbons tied in the girls’ hair.
Graham Ovenden was inspired to write a poem commemorating this tragedy.
 A reader was kind enough to provide more details about this incident. There is apparently another blog that goes into this story in detail but I was not given the link. -Ron
The Goebbels children were the five daughters and one son born to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda Goebbels. The children, born between 1932 and 1940, were murdered by their parents in Berlin on May 1, 1945, the day both parents committed suicide.
Magda Goebbels had an elder son, Harald Quandt, from a previous marriage to Günther Quandt. Harald, then aged 23, was a prisoner of war when his younger half-siblings were killed. There are many theories of how they were killed; one is that Goebbels gave them something sweetened to drink. Currently, the most supported theory is that they were killed with a cyanide capsule.
Children’s names are Helga 12 , Hilde or Hildegard 11, Helmut 10, Hedda 8, Holde 7 and Heide 5.
In 1945 Helga was 12 years old when she was murdered by her parents. In her autopsy, bruises were found on her body mostly on her face which led to wide speculation that she had struggled against receiving a cyanide capsule, having crushed it between her teeth. There are many photos of Helga and a few were provided by the reader.