Propaganda Posters


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January 1919


The National Assembly

Foundation for a

German Socialist Republic


In an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and open hostility, the provisional government (composed entirely of Socialists) found itself trapped between the radical Spartakus movement which sought the immediate formation of a Soviet kind of government, and the broad masses of Germans who just wanted peace and stability, and rejected all forms of economic experimentation.

In government propaganda, therefore, the tendency was to seek wide support by stressing non-controversial issues. But this ran the real risk of radicalizing the socialist workers, who might suspect that Ebert and Scheidemann were more interested in working with bourgeois civil servants than in implementing a truly socialist government.

This effective poster from January 1919 tried to address that issue. It shows a worker rather awkwardly laying a corner-stone (while sitting on top of it!). In the rear are a series of socialist red flags, and only one, rather small, republican flag with the 1848 colors of Black, Red and Yellow.


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