The Third Reich
Nazi Propaganda

1935-1938

 

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  • 1937

 

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Belong to the Führer

 

This is one of the most famous posters to come out of pre-war Germany. Yet its message is open to broad misunderstanding. It does NOT suggest&emdash;as so many commentators have implied&emdash;that this young girl has become the property of the Führer, or that her individuality has become submerged in him.

The phrase means that just as Hitler represents the entire Volk, the German people, so too this girl is a part, must be a part of the whole Volk. Her role as an individual can only be attained by becoming part of the whole, and in this sense part of the Führer.

The second meaning which the German language permits here is that built into "gehörst" is Gehorsam [Obedient]. Belonging is not enough, one must learn obedience to the whole, to the Führer, in order to really become a part of the Volk.

But there is still a third implication in this poster. Most of the great Nazi propaganda graphics of the past years have been masculine.They have shown men and boys doing their duty, following the Führer. Here, the poster flatly states, EVEN girls have a role to play. And in this sense, it marks a kind of "liberation" from the patriarchal society which many commentators insist characterized the Third Reich.

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