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Encyclopedia > Sportpalast speech

The Sportpalast or total war speech (German: Sportpalastrede) was a speech delivered by Propagandaminister (Propaganda Minister) Joseph Goebbels at the Berlin Sportpalast to a large but carefully-selected audience on 18 February 1943, as the tide of World War II was turning against Nazi Germany. Image File history File links Goebbels. ... Image File history File links Goebbels. ... Joseph Goebbels (October 29, 1897 – May 1, 1945) was Adolf Hitlers Propaganda Minister (see Propagandaministerium) in Nazi Germany. ... The Propagandaministerium () (or State Ministry for Public enlightenment and propaganda) was the ministry for propaganda in Nazi Germany. ... Joseph Goebbels (October 29, 1897 – May 1, 1945) was Adolf Hitlers Propaganda Minister (see Propagandaministerium) in Nazi Germany. ... The Berliner Sportpalast (built 1910, demolished 1973) was a multi-purpose winter sport venue and meeting hall near Potdamer Platz in the Schöneberg section of Berlin. ... February 18 is the 49th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... Combatants Allied Powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Axis Powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ...



The Vichy French leader François Darlan had been assassinated two months earlier, and on 2 February the Battle of Stalingrad ended with the surrender of Paulus to the Soviet Red Army. At the Casablanca Conference, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill demanded Germany's unconditional surrender, and the Soviets, spurred by their victory, were beginning to retake territory, including Kursk (8 February), Rostov (14 February), and Kharkiv (16 February). In North Africa, the Afrika Korps under Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was beginning to face setbacks, when German supply ships sailing to Tripoli were sunk by the Allies on 19 January. François Darlan, French admiral and politician of Vichy France Admiral of the Fleet François Darlan (August 7, 1881 – December 24, 1942) was a French naval officer and senior figure of the Vichy France regime. ... February 2 is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Combatants Germany Italy Romania Hungary Soviet Union Commanders Friedrich Paulus Erich von Manstein Hermann Hoth Georgiy Zhukov Vasiliy Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Strength German Sixth Army German Fourth Panzer Army Romanian Third Army Romanian Fourth Army Hungarian Second Army Italian Eighth Army 500,000 Germans Unknown number Reinforcements Unknown number Axis... Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus (September 23, 1890, Breitenau – February 1, 1957, Dresden) was a German general, later promoted to field marshal, during World War II. Paulus was the son of a schoolteacher. ... The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (in Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya), the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... The Casablanca Conference was held at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco, from January 14 to 24, 1943, to plan the European strategy of the Allies during World War II. Present were Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle. ... FDR redirects here. ... This article is becoming very long. ... Unconditional surrender refers to a surrender without conditions, except for those provided by international law. ... Kursk (Russian: ; pronunciation: koorsk) is a city in Central Russia, the administrative center of Kursk Oblast. ... February 8 is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Rostov (Russian: Росто́в; Old Norse: Rostofa) is one of the oldest towns in Russia and an important tourist centre of the so called Golden ring. ... February 14 is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Location Map of Ukraine with Kharkiv highlighted. ... February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... The seal of Afrikakorps The German Afrika Korps (German: Deutsches Afrikakorps, DAK ) was the corps-level headquarters controlling the German Panzer divisions in Libya and Egypt during the North African Campaign of World War II. Since there was little turnover in the units attached to the corps, the term is... Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (November 15, 1891 – October 14, 1944) was one of the most distinguished German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname The Desert Fox (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he... Tripoli (Arabic: طرابلس Tarābulus) is the capital city of Libya. ... The group of countries known as the Allies of World War II consisted of those nations opposed to the Axis Powers during the Second World War. ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Adolf Hitler responded with the first measures that would lead to the all-out mobilization of Germany. On 2 February, 100,000 restaurants and clubs were closed throughout the country so that the civilian population could contribute more to the war. Millions of Germans listened to Goebbels on the radio as he delivered this speech about the "misfortune of the past weeks" and an "unvarnished picture of the situation." The audience reacted in a fanatical way, causing an even bigger impact; they were selected by Goebbels to perform befittingly, showing one of his many skills as propaganda minister. Goebbels also wanted, by building such huge popular enthusiasm, to convince Hitler to give him greater powers in running the war economy. Hitler redirects here. ... February 2 is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


The speech was key in that it was an early admission that Germany faced serious dangers, and one in which Goebbels attempted to motivate the German people to continue the struggle. He cited three theses as the basis of this argument:

  1. If the Wehrmacht was not in a position to break the danger from the Eastern front, then the German Reich would fall to Bolshevism, and all of Europe shortly afterwards;
  2. The Wehrmacht, the German people, and the Axis Powers alone have the strength to save Europe from this threat;
  3. Danger is a motivating force. We must act quickly and decisively, or it will be too late;

Goebbels concluded that "Two thousand years of Western history are in danger," and blamed Germany's failures, in typical Nazi fashion, on the Jews. While Goebbels referred to Soviet mobilization nationwide as "devilish," he explained that "We cannot overcome the Bolshevist danger unless we use equivalent, though not identical, methods [in a] total war." He then justified the austerity measures enacted, explaining them as temporary measures. Wehrmacht troops of the Heer (military land forces) marching at a military parade in honour of the 50th birthday of Adolf Hitler, on April 20th, 1939. ... The Eastern Front of World War II was the theatre of war covering the conflict in central and eastern Europe from June 22, 1941 to May 9, 1945. ... Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... Germans ( German: die Deutschen) are defined as an ethnic group, or Volk, in the sense of sharing a common German culture, speaking the German language as a mother tongue and being of German descent. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Historically, the speech is important in that it marks the first admission by the Party leadership that they were facing problems, and launched the mobilization campaign that, arguably, prolonged the war, under the slogan: "And storm, break loose!" (Und Sturm, brich los!). The (German: Nazional- socialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) [National Socialist German Workers Party]); generally known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. ...


Original German English Translation
Ich frage euch: Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg? Wollt ihr ihn, wenn nötig, totaler und radikaler, als wir ihn uns heute überhaupt noch vorstellen können? "I ask you: Do you want total war? If necessary, do you want a war more total and radical than anything that we can even yet imagine?"
Reply: Ja. Sieg heil! Führer befiehl, wir folgen! Reply: "Yes, hail victory! Führer command, we will follow!"
Nun, Volk, steh auf und Sturm brich los! "Now nation arise, and storm break loose!"
This line originated in the poem Männer und Buben (Men and Boys) by Carl Theodor Körner during the Napoleonic Wars. Körner's words had been quoted by Adolf Hitler in his 1920 speech "What We Want" delivered at Munich's Hofbräuhaus.

This article is about the military doctrine of total war. ... (Fuehrer in English when umlauts are not used) is a proper noun meaning leader or guide in the German language. ... Carl Theodore Korner Carl Theodor Körner (September 23, 1791 – August 26, 1813) was a German poet and soldier. ... Combatants Allies: • Great Britain (until 1801)/United Kingdom(from 1801) • Prussia • Austria • Sweden • Russia • Portugal • Spain • and others • France • Denmark-Norway • Poland Casualties Full list The Napoleonic Wars comprised a series of global conflicts fought during Napoleon Bonapartes rule over France (1799 - 1815). ... Hitler redirects here. ...

External links

  • Complete Sportpalast speech English translation
  • Excerpts from the Sportpalast speech (in German)



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