Propaganda Posters


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  • Summer 1919
The Danger of



This final example from the summer of 1919 is a good summary of the use of graphics to paint a frightening message.

Here, Bolshevism appears as a walking skeleton -- although it is unclear why he has a knife between his teeth and nor arms. He stalks across a wasted landscape, the only structure of which is a gallows, with a scattering of cross-inscribed graves around it.

Once again, it is noteworthy that this poster contains no overt reference to a particular political party or platform. For some, it could be "read" as a condemnation of the Republic which received its Weimar Constitution in August 1919. For others, it might be interpreted as a denunciation of the "radical" threats to that very Republic posed by the Spartakists and Communists.

And for many, perhaps the majority of Germans who saw this poster, it was simply a confirmation of their own sense that the world had been turned upside down and no one knew what lay ahead. The Kaiser fled, the Empire destroyed, revolutions in the street and countryside, and a vindictive peace dictated by the Allies -- And now on top of all this, the danger of Red terrorism.

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