The Third Reich
Nazi Propaganda

1935-1938

 

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  • 1937

 

9 November

As the Nazi party consolidated its hold upon the German people and government, it sponsored a number of new holidays -- the day of the German worker, the Day of the Shame of Versailles, the day of the German Youth, the day of the Machtergreifung [30 January], and of course, the Führer's Birthday (20 April].

But none of these was as elaborately developed or as emotionally celebrated as the night of the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. Not only did the old-fighters regularly reassemble in the Burgerbräu Keller on that night every year -- with Hitler always in attendance -- but the next morning the famous march through Munich would be re-created.

It ended, of course, on the Odeon's Platz, the Bavarian War Memorial (shown here in the background) where the 16 martyrs fell to police bullets.

But in 1937, a new ceremony was added. While the old fighters were celebrating in the Burgerbräu Keller, new recruits to the SA and SS would gather in the darkness before the War Memorial. There, lit only by torches,they would take their oath to Hitler. It began with a roll call of the names of the 16 SA men who had died there. As each name was read, the assembled recruits would thunder out their response: "HERE!"

This poster depicts that scene: a young SA man, his face transformed by emotion, gazes into the distance above the viewer's head. He is contemplating the sacrifice of his predecessors and committing himself to that same dedication -- death if necessary for the Führer and Fatherland.

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