Consolidation of Power
Nazi Propaganda

1933-1934

 

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  • 1933
 

Give me Four Years 

This arresting poster appeared in mid-February 1933, following Hitler's first great rally and speech at the Sports Palast, the large atheletic complex in downtown Berlin. On 10 February 1933, Hitler mesmerized a huge crowd with his denunciation of the do-nothing Republic, the paralysis which democratic politics had brought, and his solemn promise that unlike regular politicians, he would never lie or cheat the public.

His speech ended with the appeal. Give me four years, and you will not recognize Germany. And after that period, he would be prepared to relinquish power to whoever wanted it.

This poster is a symbolic counterpart to that speech. With its bright red background, and a photo-montage picture of Hitler, it serves to call attention to the leadership which he had promised. In the background, huge factories are again belching out smoke from their chimneys, a symbolic promise that Hitler would use his four years to restore economic prosperity -- although there was in the speech no program to address either the unemployment or economic chaos then ruling Germany.

Instead, Hitler called upon all Germans to join him in dedicating themselves to the rebirth of Germany. The speech ended on an uncharacteristic, but brilliantly selected religious tone. Praising the work previous generations had done in building the German Reich, he held out the promise of a new Reich, ending with the ringing words -- "The kingdom (the German uses the same word "Reich"), the power, and the glory." And he even adds: "Amen." It brought down the house.

This powerful poster was part of the carefully planned campaign to develop the "Cult of the Führer" in place of traditional political programs.

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