Dr. Joseph Goebbels Total War Speech


His greatest and most famous speech. Dual English/German text. Translated from the original Third Reich book.

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Excerpt from #505 Goebbels TOTAL WAR Speech – $10.00*

Now, Nation, Rise, and Storm Break Loose!

Speech in the Sportpalast of Berlin by Joseph Goebbels

February 18th 1943

Only three weeks ago I stood in this place to speak to the German people while reading the Führer’s proclamation of the 10th anniversary of the seizure of power. The crisis in which our Eastern Front is in at the moment is at its height. In the midst of the hard misfortunes then occurring on the Volga, we gathered together for a proclamation of unity, of unanimity and of a strong will to overcome the difficulties the war piles up in its fourth year.

For me and probably also for all of you, it was a moving experience to learn a few days later that the last heroic fighters of Stalingrad – at that moment connected with us by radio – have taken part in our edifying Sportpalast proclamation. They radioed to us in their final report that they had heard the Führer’s proclamation, and perhaps for the last time in their lives joined us in raising their hands to sing the national anthem. What an example German soldiers have set in this great era! And what an obligation it puts on us all, particularly on the entire German Homeland! Stalingrad was and is fate’s alarm call to the German nation! A nation that has the strength to survive and overcome such a disaster, yes, even to draw additional strength from it, is invincible. The remembrance of the heroes of Stalingrad shall therefore also today in my speech to you and the German nation put me and all of us under a deep obligation.

I do not know how many millions of people, connected with us by radio, are listening to us tonight, at home and at the Front. I want to speak to all of you from the depths of my heart to the depths of yours. I believe that the entire German people have a passionate interest in what I have to say tonight. I therefore want to speak seriously and openly, as the hour demands it. The German people, raised, educated and disciplined by National Socialism, can bear the whole truth. They know the gravity of the Reich’s situation, and their leadership can therefore demand the necessary hard measures, yes even the hardest measures. We Germans are armed against weakness and decay, and the blows and misfortunes of the war only give us additional strength, firm resolve, and a spiritual and fighting activity to overcome difficulties and barriers with revolutionary elan.

Now is not the time to ask how it all came. That can wait until later, when the German people and the whole world will learn the full truth about the misfortune of the past weeks, and its deep and fateful significance. The great deeds of heroism that our soldiers in Stalingrad have delivered have vast historical significance for the whole Eastern Front. It was not in vain. The future will prove why.

When I jump over the latest past to look ahead, I do it intentionally. The hour is at hand! There is no time for fruitless debates. We must act, immediately, fast and decisively, as has always been the National Socialist way.

The movement has from its beginning acted in that way to overcome the many crises it faced. And also the National Socialist state acted decisively when faced by a threat. We are not like the ostrich that sticks its head in the sand for not seeing the danger. We are brave enough to look danger in the face, to coolly take its measure, then act decisively with our heads high. Both as a movement and as a nation, we have always been at our best when we needed fanatic, determined wills to overcome danger, or a strength of character sufficient to overcome every obstacle, or bitter determination to reach our goal, or an iron heart capable of withstanding every internal and external battle. So it will be today. My task is to give you an unvarnished picture of the situation, and to draw the hard conclusions that will guide the actions of the German government, but also of the German people.

We face a serious military situation in the East. The crisis is a broad one, similar but not identical in many ways with that of the previous winter. We will discuss the causes later. Now, we must accept things as they are and look for the ways and means to turn things again in our favor. There is no point in arguing the seriousness of the situation. I do not want to give you a false idea of the situation that could lead to false conclusions, perhaps giving the German people a false sense of security that is altogether inappropriate in the present situation.

The storm raging against our venerable continent from the steppes this winter overshadows all previous human and historical experience. The German Wehrmacht and its allies are the only possible defense. In his proclamation on 30 January, the Führer asked what would have become of Germany and Europe if, on 30 January 1933, a bourgeois or democratic regime had taken power instead of the National Socialists! What dangers would have followed, faster than we could then have suspected, and what powers of defense would we have had to meet them? Ten years of National Socialism have been enough to make plain to the German people the seriousness of the danger posed by Bolshevism from the East. Now one can also understand why we spoke so often of the fight against Bolshevism at our Nuremberg Party Rallies. We raised our voices in warning to our German people and the world, hoping to awaken Western humanity from the paralysis of will and spirit into which it had fallen. We tried to open their eyes to the horrible danger from Eastern Bolshevism, which had subjected a nation of nearly 200 million people and was preparing an aggressive war against Europe.

When the Führer ordered the army to attack the East on 22 June 1941, we all knew that this would be the decisive battle of this gigantic struggle. We knew the dangers and difficulties it would bring us. But we also knew that dangers and difficulties always grow over time, they never diminish. It was two minutes before midnight. Waiting any longer could easily have led to the annihilation of the Reich and the total Bolshevization of the European continent.