“I view developments with firm confidence…”

On February 12, 1942, Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary:

If I were an Englishman I would tremble for the fate of the Empire.

Taken out of context, it was a sensible call, although it didn’t take a genius to make. India, the British Empire’s principal possession, would declare independence in August 1947. By that moment, however, Goebbels would have been dead and buried for two years and a quarter, together with his wife and their six children. The last German Empire, aka the Third Reich, would only survive Goebbels for a week.

To add more context, Goebbels argued (to himself) that the British Empire’s collapse would clear the way to the Nazis’ ultimate triumph:

But as I am not an Englishman and as I am convinced that our victory can be attained only through the collapse of the British world empire, I view developments with firm confidence… Churchill gambled away the chance we gave England.

In other words, his superficially sensible forecast was part of yet another delusion. I would compare that to Russian propagandists prophesying the end of Europe should it refuse to buy Russian oil and gas. The going would get tough for the Europeans, no doubt, but a well-implemented embargo could be fatal for Russia.

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