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  • 1920

I have placed this poster at the end of this series because it is a blunt reminder that despite all the talk about reconciliation and unity, German society remained badly divided and suspicious of each other and of their government. This poster was printed in Bavaria, which in many ways was the center of extremist activities. It had experienced a Soviet-style revolution in 1919. That revolution in turn had been surpressed with excessive violence by "white" troops, really the volunteer Free Corps who often called themselves "Storm Troopers." And by 1921, Munich was the center of the most zealous forces hoping to overthrow both the republic and democracy. Many thought that an independent Bavaria under a restored monarchy might be the best way to restore stability and order.

This poster comes from one such group. It shows a land beset by war and violence, a clenched fist pounds against the frontier sign of Germany while in the background an explosion throws bodies and buildings into the air.

The caption is in the form of a poem, which rhymns in German:

The Enemy is in our land!
Defend yourself from his threat!
What should our battle cry be:
The Bavarian Peoples' Party

The Bavarian People's Party was the Catholic Party of Bavaria. It was not noted for its use of violence or calls for para-military action. But this makes this poster all the more striking. The excessive rhetoric of the years of Civil War and Counter-Revolution come to infect all the political parties.

It will be fertile ground for the Nazis to plow.

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