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German Little Set

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Villingen (made)

  • Date:

    1933 (designed)
    1938 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Saba-Radio (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Compression-moulded phenol-formaldehyde resin ('Bakelite'), valves and electrical components

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This small, cheap 'Bakelite' radio, known as the Deutscher Kleinempfänger ('German Little Set') or Volkesempfänger ('People's set'), was the brainchild of Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. The model was comissioned from a conglomerate of radio manufacturers by the Ministry of Propaganda to supplement the larger Volkesempfänger VE301W (V&A W.7-2005). The receiver was constructed to receive only broadcasts from German stations. More than 3 million were produced before the outbreak of the Second World War when radio manufacturing switched to military contracts. So widespread were these radios, and so far reaching was Nazi propaganda, that they received another nickname: Goebbels Schnauze ('Big Mouth').

Physical description

Valves and black Bakelite case

Place of Origin

Villingen (made)


1933 (designed)
1938 (made)


Saba-Radio (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Compression-moulded phenol-formaldehyde resin ('Bakelite'), valves and electrical components


Height: 24 cm, Width: 24 cm, Depth: 12 cm

Object history note

This set was recommended for inclusion in the Twentieth Century Gallery radio display by a member of the Outside Advisory Team, 1992.

Historical context note

This and a larger model were commissioned from radio companies by order of the German Ministry of Propaganda.

Descriptive line

model Deutscher Kleinempfanger; German 1938 des. 1933 man. Saba-Radio

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hawes, Robert and Sassower, Gad. Bakelite Radios (Edison, New Jersey, 1996)
Hawes, Robert, Radio Art (London, 1991)

Labels and date

Designed 1933
Made by Saba-Radio Villingen, Scwarzwald, Germany, 1938
Valves; Bakelite case

Three million of this cheaply produced small receiver were sold between 1933 and 1939. It was also known as the Volkesempfänger [the People's set]. Along with a larger sister model, it was commissioned from radio companies by order of the German Ministry of Propaganda. [1992]


Bakelite; Phenolic; Electrical components


Compression moulding


Household objects; Electrical appliances; Entertainment & Leisure; Politics; Audio equipment; Plastic

Production Type

Mass produced


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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