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  • 1920
Be United

Vote for the list of the German Democratic Party

In the early years of the Republic, political parties frequently took irreconcilable positions -- socialist nationalization of industry vs. private enterprise; the republic vs. the monarchy; centralization of political organizations vs. a federal structure of states rights. All in addition to these constitutional issues, we have seen the disruptive influence of the plebescites, the loss of territory, and the general lack of respect which the world paid to the new German government.

Domestically, few Germans believed in the Republic or its ability to overcome the immense difficulties which it confronted. And the system of proportional representation, which permitted even the smallest party to gain seats in the Reichstag, contributed to that sense of factionalism which marked Weimar's political scene. All sorts of interest groups simply formed their own parties and ran for election: laborers, landlords, farmers, small businessmen, tenants, and civil servants all had their own political parties.

It was rare in these days to see a poster such as this, published by the small democratic party. It called for Germans to unite, and shows a civil servant in the middle, joining hands with a worker on the right and a farmer on the left. It is a powerful image, but did not help the DDP very much, because its leadership was almost entirely from the intellectual and professional class, with little or no contact with the workers and farmers.

This image, however, will return in much more powerful form with the Nazis.

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