Joseph Goebbels Delivers His Sportpalast (Total War) Speech

Except for Hitler's most successful public meetings, I had never seen an audience so effectively roused to fanaticism. Back in his home, Goebbels astonished me by analyzing what had seemed to be a purely emotional outburst in terms of its psychological effect — much as an experienced actor might have done. He was also satisfied with his audience that evening. "Did you notice? They reacted to the smallest nuance and applauded at just the right moments. It was the politically best-trained audience you can find in Germany."”

— Albert Speer

The Sportpalast or total war speech (German: Sportpalastrede) was a speech delivered by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels at the Berlin Sportpalast to a large but carefully-selected audience on 18 February 1943 calling for a total war, as the tide of World War II was turning against Nazi Germany.

It is considered the most famous of Joseph Goebbels' speeches. The speech was an early admission by the Nazi leadership that Germany faced serious dangers. Goebbels exhorted the German people to continue the war even though it would be long and difficult because he asserted Germany's survival and the survival of Western Civilization was at stake.