The High Style of Nazi Propaganda


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  • 1928
Break the

Dawes Chains

National Socialist
German Workers
The Hitler Movement

This poster also comes from the Fourth Reichstag Elections of 20 May 1928, and taken in conjunction with the two previous examples shows that Hitler was floundering for a topic. The Dawes Plan was passed in 1924, and while no one particularly liked it, its "mortgage" approach had permitted the restoration of credit, and German companies and municipal/state governments were raising huge loans abroad. These were fundamentally responsibile for the economic recovery which the Republic now enjoyed.

Thus no responsible politician was pushing for a change in the Dawes Plan arrangements. Yet Hitler issues this poster all the same.

The iconography is somewhat confusing. A man's shackled arm is raised against a background of the rising/setting sun, and the factories seem to be working (at least there is smoke coming from their chimneys). Thus, what are the chains that have to be broken? And can the man do it himself? If not, what does this poster call upon the viewer to do?

Such a problem is usually not raised by Nazi posters, and I suggest this shows Hitler's inability to find important new issues. In Mein Kampf, he had explained that the essence of propaganda was to keep hammering away at a small number of points. As long as the economy was prosperous, the Nazis could only repeat the old issues of the Dawes Plan. Unfortunately, it is 1928 and the Depression is only 18 months away.

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