Political Posters
from the Depression Years

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  • "S", Berlin
  • R.Hauschildt, 23" x 16"
  • 1930

Vote List 1 SPD 

Against the Middle Class Block
and the Swastika

The Socialist Party of Germany (SPD), having walked out of the Cabinet, faced a difficult situation as it began campaigning for the Fourth Reichstag Elections scheduled for 14 September 1930. It could hardly blame the government for the coming of the Depression, since they had been a member of the Coalition in power in 1929-30. And they could not claim to have any plans to end the economic distress.

So, instead, the party concentrated on attacking two "safe" enemies, that is two groups which would naturally arouse the antagonism of the working class supporters of the SPD -- the middle class business community and the emerging Nazis.

The symbolism of this poster is quite striking although its meaning is somewhat obscure. A worker uses the Number One -- indicating the position of the SPD as the largest vote-getter in the last election -- to smash down on a huge bag tied with a Swastika ribbon and bulging apparently with money -- the figure is 100 trillion! But it is unclear what this money represents. It cannot be the reparations which Germany has just agreed to continue paying under the Young Plan; nor can it be the taxes which the German government is trying to raise to meet its domestic obligations under the Depression.

Instead, the bag seems to represent just "money," i.e. the power of capitalism and the funds raised by the Nazis. How an electoral victory for the SPD would affect this wealth is not clear. Thus, for all of its graphic power, this poster does not "work," and the same can be said for the entire SPD campaign of 1930.

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