The High Style of Nazi Propaganda


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  • 1930


For You!


For the crucial Reichstag elections of 1928, surely the single most important issue was the economy. But instead of attempting to address that issue, Hitler directed his propaganda to blame the mess on the Versailles Treaty and the Young Plan (as we have seen in previous posters), or else to skirt around it completely by posters such as this one.

Remarkably simple, this poster shows a muscular army holding up a sword surrounded by oak leaves (the traditional German symbol of victory). Both frame a huge Swastika (Hakenkreuz). This combination of symbols with little text offers the rather sublte message: "Germany would not be in its current mess, if it were run for and by Germans."

The combination of sword, leaves and swastika offers this racial (and anti-Semitic) message without overt use of Jewish stereotypes or Jewish figures. This fact helps explain why after 1928, the blatant anti-Semitic poster of earlier days becomes quite rare. In his drive for power HItler need not stress anti-Semitism openly but can attempt to appeal to a broader spectrum of the German population. This poster is an excellent example of Nazi success in this endeavor.

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