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Dr. Otto Dietrich Third Reich's Press Chief

Honorary Obergruppenführer Otto Dietrich
Honorary Obergruppenführer Otto Dietrich

Dr. Otto Dietrich (August 31, 1897 in Essen - November 22, 1952 in Düsseldorf) was the Third Reich's Press Chief, and Hitler's confidant. He was born in August 1897, and died at the age of 55 in 1952, after serving time in Landsberg Prison following the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, where he was convicted of crimes against humanity and being a member of a criminal organization, namely the SS in the Ministries Trial and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment.

After his time as a soldier in World War I, he was awarded the Iron Cross (First Class). After this he went to the universities of Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Freiburg, from which he graduated with a doctorate in political science in 1921.

He strongly supported Nazi ideology, and became a member of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) almost immediately after its foundation in 1919. On 1st August 1931 he was appointed Press Chief of the NSDAP, and the following year joined the SS. By 1941 he had risen to the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer.

His job as Press Chief overlapped with Goebbels' Ministry for Propaganda, and thus many anecdotes exist of their feuds. They were infamous for their disagreements, and both often felt obliged to "repair" the mistakes of the other.

Dietrich retained the confidence of the Führer throughout the regime until Hitler fired him after an argument towards the end of the war. However, in the secrecy mandated by war, Dietrich, who was not in Hitler's "inner circle," often did not truly know of Hitler's whereabouts. In captivity he wrote a book ("The Hitler I Knew") sharply critical of Hitler personally and strongly denouncing the crimes committed in the name of Nazism.

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