Consolidation of Power
Nazi Propaganda

1933-1934

 

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  • 1933
 

The Field Marshal

and the Corporal

Fight with us for Peace and Equality of Rights  

This poster appeared in late February 1933, and continues Goebbels' second theme for the election -- Hitler was only the collaborator and representative of the old President.

Here, Hitler's picture is skillfully cut in so that it appears to stand slightly behind Hindenburg, implying that it was Hindenburg who was the real leader. Thus, German voters should overcome whatever uneasiness they had about the untried Nazi Chancellor and vote for him as the servant of Hindenburg.

The caption is particularly seductive. It implies that both men are fighting for the same thing -- peace, of course, and Equality of Rights. The latter phrase refers to a recent controversy at the Geneva Disarmament Conference sponsored by the League of Nations. In the summer of 1932, as a condition for their participation, the German Foreign Minister, Constantine von Neurath, had demanded that the conference recognize Germany's equality, even in military matters. A full recognition of that equality, of course, would have nullified the disarmament clauses of the Versailles Treaty.

When France refused to accept this, Germany walked out of the Conference. Then on 10 December 1932, only three months before this poster appeared, a compromise was reached. In a Big Five declaration signed by the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, the conference officially accepted the principle of "equality of rights" and promised that all future agreements would be based upon Germany's full equality. This was a major victory for Germany, and now Hitler is trying to claim part of the credit, although at the time he was a purely private citizen.

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