Consolidation of Power
Nazi Propaganda

1933-1934

 

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  • Ludwig Hohlwein
  • 1934

Federal Apprenticeship Competition of the
German Youth

This is another excellent poster by the Munich commercial artist Ludwig Hohlwein.

It shows how the older symbols of the Nazi party -- especially the working German with his sledge hammer -- could be skillfully adapted to serve the party no longer "struggling" for power.

Here, a young boy, stripped to the waist, stands in front of stylized flames and the waving flags of the Hitler Youth. Behind and above him floats the oak-leaf wreath, symbol of victory. The young boy approaches the competition with a confident air, but inflamed by the dedication of flame and fire. On his shorts is a Swastika symbol.

This poster was commissioned for the Federal Competition held in April 1934. It was a carefully constructed Nazi ceremony: young apprentices from all over Germany would come together for a week of games, sports, and other forms of competition. It was a direct revival of the late-medieval Guild system, an outdated form of career preparation.

But in the context of early 1934, with Germany only just emerging from the Great Depression, it signaled the government and party's dedication to the youth of Germany. By stressing good clean fun, outdoor activities, and youth-led organization, such competitions seemed to many Germans a healthy antidote to the degeneration and pervisions of the Republic.

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