Political Posters
from the Depression Years

Click on the picture to see an enlarged version.

  • Stiller, Berlin
  • Dinse & Co, 28" x 18"
  • 1930


Vote List 4

German People's Party

Unity, Justice, Freedom


The DVP entered the Reichstag election campaign stripped of its leadership. Gustav Stresemann, the founder and chief spokesman for the party since 1919, had died prematurely in 1929. The new leaders lacked both his political skills as well as a vision for this moderately conservative and business-oriented party. Admitedly, it the face of the economic crisis, such a party faced an uphill battle in any case.

This poster shows the ambiguity and fundamental weakness of the DVP in 1930. The symbol of a bell is vague, and even though it is enscribed with the right-sounding words -- unity, justice, freedom -- it says nothing about the party's platform or what it could offer the voters who were confronting the chaos of the Depression.

This poster is almost a prediction of defeat, for does not a bell also toll at a funeral? And in the Reichstag elections of 14 September 1930, the DVP was essentially wiped out. Although it had participated in every government coalition since 1923, it now dropped to less than 6 seats in the Reichstag and would no longer be a factor in national politics.

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