The High Style of Nazi Propaganda


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  • 1926

Although only an insignificant and largely regional Bavarian party, Hitler threw himself and his supporters into the larger German controversy that broke out in 1926. In the midst of the difficult stablization program, a number of the former ruling princes began legal procedures to gain back at least a portion of their property which had been seized in 1919, but had never been legally confiscated. This was a most ill-advised move, for, as part of their ongoing charge that the Weimar Republic was "soft" on the old supporters of the monarchy, the Communist and Socialist Party promptly introduced a bill to nationalize all the former princely and royal properties without a penny of indemnification.

The Reichstag soundly defeated this bill, and the Communists demanded a plebiscite. Scheduled for 20 June 1926, this vote would succeed only if a majority of Germans supported it by voting yes. A loose-alliance of right-wing parties joined in opposition. This was one of their posters.

It is included here not because it was designed by Hitler, but because it was drawn by Hans Schweitzer, later famous under his pseudonym of Mjölnir, the most prolific poster maker for the Nazi party. His trademark is already present in this work.

Although the issue was clearly whether or not the infant Republic, with its years of economic and financial chaos only recently over, could afford to pay millions of marks to ex-princes and ex-dukes and ex-kings, Mjölnir makes it seem as if the Communists are reaching out to grab something that doesn't belong to them. The simple yet strongly grasping hand says more than the caption which reads:

This Plebscite is
Common Theft!

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