The High Style of Nazi Propaganda


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  • 1929
  • Mjölnir (Hans Schweitzer)
The Iron Cohort of the German Revolution

Mjölnir, Hitler's favorite poster artist created this striking woodcut as a proposal for a major poster in 1929. I have only rarely found artistic drafts which would allow an interpretation of what kinds of input Hitler or other Nazi experts may have had in the final shaping of a poster. This is a rare exception and allows us to compare Mjölnir's proposed plan with that final poster that became the popular "Organized Will of the Nation."

Although we do not know who precisely reviewed this draft and suggested the changes, a comparison of the two is most instructive.

Note first of all, that in the woodcut, the Nazi party is identified by its letters, NSDAP, a form which not everyone would recognize. In the final poster this is changed.

Secondly, note that here the Storm Troopers, the SA, are called the "Iron Cohort" -- a flowery phrase, which uses a foreign word (cohort) and thus implies something not really German.

And finally, note that this draft refers to the SA as the leaders of the "German Revolution." We know from numerous sources that from 1924 onwards, HItler never describing his party as "revolutionary." But stressed instead its traditional and defensive nature.

Thus, although the hard evidence to prove this point has not been found, I would argue that Hitler himself probably dictated the changes which Mjölnir encorporated into his final version. To compare this draft with the famous "Organized Will of the Nation," click here. Is the finished poster more effective, in your opinion?

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