Nazi Propaganda
of the Machtergreifung


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  • 1932
Not a Strong Mouth,
But a Strong Hand
is needed, therefore,


In the closing days of the March campaign for the Presidency, Brüning's government issued a number of posters which attacked Hitler, rather than supported Hindenburg. This negative campaigning was, of course, not new. Indeed it was a major component of much of the Nazis own stock in trade. Here, the poster plays upon the well-known fact that President Hindenburg was not a speaker at all. Indeed, he seldom if ever spoke in public. Whereas Hitler was famous up and down the countryside as a flamboyant and demogogic speaker. So Hindenburg's reserve is praised while condemning Hitler's rhetorical skills. The German word used for "mouth" is in fact not applied to humans at all, for it refers to the mouths of animals. We do not have a similar expression in English, but the phrase "shut your trap" shows a similar usage.

In the poster, Hindenburg's "Strong Hand" is wielding a sword which is threatening the snakes at the bottom. The largest one is labelled The Crisis; the smaller offspring are identified as Destruction, Unemployment, Chaos, Suffering, revolution and Terror.

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