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  • 1919

Students to the Fore

Germany Must Live
Even if we must die!

Join the Local Militia

Throughout Germany, but especially in Bavaria, appeals such as this one urged young men to join para-military organizations. These went by various names, usually Free Corps Schmidt (that is the name of the officer who commanded them), Storm Troop Epp (again the name of the officer who was their leader), or in this case, the local militia. In German, the word means "army of the inhabitants."

This poster, with its striking picture of a fraternity student (with the characterstic hat and ribboned decoration across the chest) is clearly aimed at college students. With its pathos of self-sacrifice, it fit very well into the clichéd war-time recruitment posters. With outstretched arm and a flag pole in the other, it echoes the historical call of those German students in 1812 who became the first "storm troopers." Their adopted name came from the promise to drive out Napoleon and the French by the "storm" of their indignation.

The title of this poster is their 1812 rallying cry: "Burschen heraus" -- Students to the fore!

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