The High Style of Nazi Propaganda


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  • 1930

As a result of a masterful propaganda campaign in Berlin, Hitler became deeply impressed with the Gauleiter, Joseph Goebbels, and in late 1929 promoted him to Reich Propaganda Leader of the NSDAP. Goebbels' success with his photo-montage campaign against Dr. Weiss in Berlin prompted him to apply the same technique nation-wide. But he found himself constantly being held in check by the "conservatives" in Munich. This poster, therefore, was the only one which employed the new technique to be released by the party before the "Seizure of Power".

It shows Hitler kicking off the Nazi campaign for the Reichstag election of 1930. The scene is Munich's largest beer-hall, the Bürgerbäukeller, site of the abortive Beer Hall Putsch. The date is 6 August 1930. Goebbels had gradually come to the conviction that the chief weapon in the Nazi propaganda arsenal was Hitler himself. Slowly, and with some opposition from Munich headquarters, he began to create and organize the Führer myth, the image of the Messiah-redeemer.

This poster was one of the earliest to capitalize on this new insight. The central image is of a powerful and determined Hitler, surrounded by thousands and thousands of his adoring followers.

For the Reichstag elections, scheduled for 14 September, Goebbels was convinced the party's propaganda was now in top working order, and confidently predicted that the NSDAP would double its seats.

In this he proved to be a poor prophet. When the votes were in, the NSDAP had soared from 12 to 108 seats in the Reichstag, the second strongest party in the nation.

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