The High Style of Nazi Propaganda


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  • 1928
  • Mjölnir (Hans Schweitzer)
Death to Lies

By the end of 1928, Hitler's posters have achieved a distinct pattern. They are simple, with a single figure predominating. They make use of strong colors, but without filling the whole page. And the text is kept short and linked up directly with the image.

This poster contains all these elements. The muscular arm of a German worker (identified by the Swastika and the rolled-up sleeves) is throttling a snake. The violent action is justified not only by the traditional view of snakes, but by the caption that somehow the snake personifies lies. Did not the Devil, the father of lies, assume the form of a snake in the Garden of Eden? In Christian iconography, the Blessed Mother is shown as crushing the head of a snake, who embodies deceit and destruction.

In this case, the snake represents more than just the traditional villain. Here he embodies lying of an insidious and political kind. One side of the snake's skin is labelled "capitalism" and that would make the snake dangerous enough for the Nazis and worthy of being destroyed. But the other side of the snake's skin, his under-belly, is labelled "Marxism." In the Nazi mythology, rather than being diametrical opposites, Capitalism and Marxism were part of an unholy alliance to exploit the People (the Volk). And while each of these "isms" claims to hate the other, they are actually cooperating.

That idea is perhaps difficult to accept, until we add another aspect of Nazi ideology. The link between marxism and capitalism exists because both are led by Jews! Although this particular point is not made in the poster, it is subconsciously implied. Jewish capitalists and Jewish Marxists work together as part of the international Jewish conspiracy. Hence, Death to Lies.

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