The quote, "accuse the other side of that which you are guilty" is often attributed to Joseph Goebbels.

For example this meme and it also appears in me.me and memegenerator.net.

I have looked for it in the wikiquote entry about him. I have also checked this article about "Fraudulent Nazi Quotations". None of them mention it.

Did Goebbels say this?

  • It's not really a profound thing to say...
    – fredsbend
    Sep 17, 2017 at 0:44
  • Plus, context matters. One would seem to think it was attributing it as an excellent strategy for evil-doers, where, in the examples below, he's leveling it as an accusation against political enemies, framing his people as the victims of such actions. Dec 1, 2017 at 17:51
  • 2
    @PoloHoleSet the same has happened with Big lie: when the Nazis used the term, it was to complain about their opponents supposedly using that tactic. Dec 1, 2017 at 23:13
  • @fredsbend It is interesting for some though, as it seems to be a tactic used in UK political arguments.
    – nsandersen
    Dec 5, 2018 at 18:30
  • @nsandersen My thinking is that every school child exhibits this tactic on the playground. The common refrain is "No, you!"
    – fredsbend
    Dec 5, 2018 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


I was unable to find anything resembling this quote in either German or English.

The closest quote is one from the Nurenberg rally in 1934:

The cleverest trick used in propaganda against Germany during the war was to accuse Germany of what our enemies themselves were doing.

While this isn't proof that Goebbels didn't also say the quote in question, a complete lack of any sources at least indicates that someone may have loosely paraphrased him to get a more fitting quote.

The earliest date that the quote appeared on the internet seems to be in this relatively recent tweet from May 2015.

  • 16
    I find it somewhat ironic that the two quotes most commonly associated with Goebbels (this one and the lie repeated 1000 times quote) are fake. Apr 1, 2017 at 23:35
  • 17
    Well, that second quote has been repeated so many thousands of times it must be true by now. :p
    – Rekesoft
    Sep 19, 2017 at 10:13
  • This version of the principle is brilliant, because it makes the point while demonstrating it.
    – Bob Stein
    Mar 6 at 16:52
  • From a very young age I always attributed that quote with the father of propaganda, as they say it. And I always believed he said that in one way or the other. Coming to find out he said the opposite was a revelation for me. It was then that I understood how propaganda truly worked. The irony is hard with this one.
    – Everyone
    Sep 3 at 19:14

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