The High Style of Nazi Propaganda


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  • 1925

Released from Landsberg Prison as part of the Christmas Amnesty of the Bavarian Government in 1924, Hitler had served only 9 months of his five year sentence. Surprisingly, the Bavarian government permitted him to take up residence in Munich, although as an Austrian citizen he could easily have been deported as an undesirable alien.

Forbidden to speak in public, Hitler utilized his first months of freedom to re-think his whole political program. Part of this rethinking had started in prison and was incorporated in the rambling book of Memoirs he published late in 1925. Called, Mein Kampf, or My Struggle, it is an almost unreadable diatribe against Jews, Marxists, Catholics, and almost everyone in political life. But the book does contain one very important point. Hitler had learned just how disasterous it was to rely upon allies from Germany's political right. Almost at once, he set out to remedy the Völkischen Block alliance. He refounded the NSDAP, and from its start insisted it must appeal to all Germans, not just Bavarians, not just peasants, not just the urban poor.

This poster Hitler drafted for the 1925 elections reflects the evolution in his approach. The title is all-encompassing:

For the Hearth, for the School, for a Working Place, Vote List Number 19
National Socialist."

The three men holding up the symbolic piece of Germany represent the farmer with his scythe, the worker with his sledge-hammer, and the educated middle class with glasses and a brief-case.

In Germany's multi-partied political system, the ranking a party achieved in the last election determines their place on the ballot. The NSDAP (in its Völkische Block designation) had finished 19th in the 1924 election and thus it would be identified by this number on the ballot.

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