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  • 1919
Bavarian Fund

Mitigate the Losses of Foreign Germans


Help the Pioneers of Germandom

With so many German-speaking peoples forced out of their homes or suddenly turned into citizens of non-German countries, a new issue suddenly appeared on the political scene in the Republic. Posters such as this one urged donations to funds to help the "Auslandsdeutsch." I have translated this as "foreign Germans" but that is inaccurate, since it means people who are ethnically and linguistically German but who live outside of the German State. To avoid confusion, the term soon changes to Volksdeutsch, that is Germans by culture but not by nationality.

The graphics of this early poster will reappear with alarming regularity in subsequent years and will play an important role in the rising appeal of National Socialism. But clearly the Nazis did not invent the issue; they merely exploited it.

Here a German woman clutches her two crying children as she watches her family home burned. No information is given as to the culprits, but it could be Poles, Lithuanians, Czechs, Russians, Hungarians, Italians or Serbs. This is an important early representation of the cult of "victimhood" which German propagandists loved to adopt.

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