Magda was fed up. She wanted a divorce. But she did not ask her husband. Instead, she asked Adolph Hitler. Not only had Hitler arranged her first meeting with Joseph, but years later, he had set up Magda and her husband and their six adorable blond, blue-eyed children as the poster family for the Third Reich.
There was speculation that Hitler had chosen Magda as the bride of his Minister of Propaganda because he was in love with her himself. But Joseph Goebbels was no prize. Magda was never happy about his affairs, and this one was the final straw.
Hitler’s answer? No way. But he laid down the law for Joseph: shape up. And if Joseph didn’t, Hitler told Magda she could have her divorce at the end of one full year – if she still wanted it. Friends, knowing Magda hated her husband and laughed at Hitler behind his back, begged Magda to take her children and run. She should have listened!
Who was the woman? It was Czech beauty Lida Baarova, 13 years Magda’s junior. She owned a villa near Goebbels. An actress, she had turned down offers to go to Hollywood (which she later regretted). When the affair came to Hitler’s attention, he ordered Lida to leave Germany. She ended up in Italy, where she continued her movie career.
After the war, Lida was imprisoned by U.S. military on suspicion of collaborating with the Nazis. She was released after 18 months and resurrected her movie career, married well, and eventually died of Parkinson’s disease in 2000. Goebbels and Magda did not fare so well. After he and Magda killed their six little children on May 1, 1945 in Hitler’s bunker (the day after Hitler shot himself), they died by their own hand. Magda had told friends she was willing to kill her children because she did not want them to have to live their lives as the children of one of the worst monsters of history.