German Propaganda Archive

Background: The Nazis made effective use of posters from their earliest days. This is a fairly representative collection of pre-1933 posters. Many are courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks, who photographed them at the German Federal Archive in Koblenz. A collection of post-1933 posters is also available on the German Propaganda Archive.


Pre-1933 Nazi Posters


1920 Nazi Poster

1. This poster announces a Nazi meeting in Munich in May 1920. Hitler is to speak on the topic “What do we want?” The text below the title reads: “Citizens! Do not believe that the Germany of misfortune and misery, the nation of corruption and usury, the land of Jewish corruption, can be saved by parties that claim to stand on a foundation of facts. Never!” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1921 Poster

2. This is a typical early Nazi poster from 1921. The first Nazi posters has bright red backgrounds and a lot of text. This one announces that Hitler will speak, gives the topic, and notes that Jews are prohibited from attending. In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote:

“We chose red for our posters, since it is vivid and was the color that most aroused our opponents. It forced them to notice and remember us.”

German Liberation Poster

3. This poster seems to be dated 1924, a period during which the Nazi Party was banned after the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. The caption is: “Germany’s Liberation.” It likely came from one of the substitute parties Nazis founded to continue the movement while the Nazi Party was illegal. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks

G1924 Nazi Poster

4. This poster, an amateurish effort, dates to 1924. It says: “Adolf Hitler, our great leader, is still illegally being held behind bars. Strasser, his reprersentative in the Reich leadership of the National Socialist Freedom Movement, will speak for him in Münster on Saturday, 29 November 1924, at 8:30 p.m. at the Schützenhof. He is the lead candidate of the National Socialists in Westphalia. Non-Germans not admitted! Disabled veterans free. Admission 30 pfennig.” Source: Der Gau Westfalen-Nord (Detmold: N.S. Verlag, 1939), p. 73.

Trozt Verbot Poster

5. This poster was by “Mjölnir,” Goebbels’ artist from Berlin, whose real name was Hans Schweitzer (1901-1980). The caption translates as “Despite the ban, not dead.” Its date must be 1928, a period when most party activities in Berlin were banned. This striking poster apparently was not used. The Nazi book I take it from claims that it was previously unpublished.

1927 Nazi Poster

6. I think this dates to 1927, when Hitler was prohibited from speaking in most of Germany. The text translates:

“Who is Adolf Hitler? The man from the people, for the people! The German front soldier who risked his life in 48 battles for Germany! What does Adolf Hitler want? Freedom and food for every decent working German! The gallows for profiteers, black marketeers and exploiters, regardless of religious faith or race! Why is Adolf Hitler not allowed to speak? Because he is ruthless in uncovering the rulers of the German economy, the international bank Jews and their lackeys, the Democrats, Marxists, Jesuits, and Free Masons! Because he wants to free the workers from the domination of big money! Working Germans! Demand the lifting of the illegal ban on his speaking!

Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Freisler Meeting Poster

7. This poster advertises an anti-Semitic Nazi meeting in Frankfurt in 1928. The chief speaker is the later notorious Roland Freisler. It is supposed to be satirical. The text translates:

No more anti-Semitism! The nonsense of the uneducated, the “socialism of the fool,” must finally be eliminated in Frankfurt. Anti-Semitism must be absolutely abolished! The editor of an anti-Semitic newspaper cannot be allowed to reveal members of the Jewish race to the public, to uncover their misdeeds, and to call for the state attorney to do something. Words are inadequate to express one’s distress when the editor of the “Frankfurter Beobachter,” a filthy anti-Semitic rag, publicly insults a priest of Israel, Rabbi Georg Salzberger. He must be punished. In the first trial, this editor has already been sentenced to two months in prison. He appealed his sentence. The appeal will be heard on 16 October. Everyone come on Tuesday, 16 October at 8 p.m. to the Flora Room, Rotlintstr. 3, to hear the verdict. The editor’s attorney, Dr. Roland Freisler from Kassel, will not speak on behalf of the Central Federation of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith. His topic: “Special Interest Justice or the Rule of Law?” Editor Gutterer will speak on “Are the Jews our Misfortune?”

National Socialist German Workers Party

Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

 

Will of the Nation Poster

8. The Nazis viewed this as one of their best posters. It, too, is by Mjölnir. The caption translates: “National Socialism: The Organized Will of the Nation.” Goebbels claimed that Mjölnir perfected the art of drawing the Nazi Storm Trooper.

Speechless Hitler poster

9. For a period in the 1920’s, Hitler was forbidden to address public meetings in much of Germany, which was a major blow to the Nazi propaganda apparatus. This poster, by cartoonist Philipp Rupprecht (most known for his cartoons for Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer) is captioned: He alone of two billion people on earth may not speak in Germany.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Speechless Hitler poster

10. A variant of the above. This one announces that Goebbels (with the name in an unusual spelling) will speak at a protest meeting. Since he is not yet listed as Gauleiter of Berlin, this has to be 1925 or 1926. The words to either side of the Hitler drawing state that crooks can speak anywhere in Germany, but Hitler is banned. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Mjölnir Poster

11. I’m not sure of the date of this Mjölnir poster. It’s for a provincial election in Saxony. Since the Nazis are List 7, it must be 1930 or earlier. The caption: “Free Saxony from Marxist trash!”

Dawes Poster

12. This is a poster for the April 1929 provincial election in Saxony. The Dawes Plan was an international agreement dealing with the matter of German reparations payments from World War I. The caption reads: “Break the Dawes Chains.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1929 Nazi Election Poster

13. Another election poster from 1929 Saxon campaign. The caption reads: “Two million dead. Did they die in vain? Never! Front soldiers! Adolf Hitler is showing you the way!” The claim is that Hitler will redeem Germany from the loss of World War I. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1930 Poster

14. This poster is from the September 1930 Reichstag election, in which the Nazis made their electoral breakthrough. The caption: “The people rise! They vote List 9.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1930 Nazi Election Poster

15. This is also from the September 1930 Reichstag election. The caption: “Freedom and Bread.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Trozt Verbot Poster

16. Another poster on the same theme from September 1930. The text translates as: “Despite the ban, not dead. The German who loves freedom belongs in the National Socialist S.A.”

1930 Nazi Election Poster

17. This vivid poster from the September 1930 Reichstag election summarizes Nazi ideology in a single image. A Nazi sword kills a snake, the blade passing through a red Star of David. The red words coming from the snake are: usury, Versailles, unemployment, war guilt lie, Marxism, Bolshevism, lies and betrayal, inflation, Locarno, Dawes Pact, Young Plan, corruption, Barmat, Kutistker, Sklarek [the last three Jews involved in major financial scandals], prostitution, terror, civil war. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Local 1930 Nazi Poster

18. This 1930 poster was produced for local groups to use in advertising their meetings. The poster reads: “Come to the NSDAP Meeting.” There is room to fill in the date, time and speaker. At the bottom, there are the following notes:

Admission Price:
War injured and the unemployed half price
Jews not admitted

Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Red War Poster

19. I am not sure of the date of this poster, but I’d guess 1930. The text reads:

The Red War. Mother or Comrade? Man or Machine? God or the Devil? Blood or God? Race or Bastard? Popular music or jazz? National Socialism or Bolshevism?

Courtesy of Robert D. Brooks.

Death to Lies Poster

20. I am not sure of the exact date of this poster, which comes from the 1930-1932 period. The caption is: “Death to Lies.” A strong Nazi fist grips a snake with “Marxism” and “High Finance” on it. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1931 Nazi Poster

21. This is a 1931 poster on a referendum to dissolve the Prussian parliament. The caption reads: “Come out for the Referendum on 9 August.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Nazi Election Poster

22. A January 1932 poster, announcing 16 simultaneous mass meetings in Berlin on the theme of unemployment. The text: “5,600,000 unemployed demand work! The need of the unemployed is the need of the whole people! On Friday evening, 15 January 1932, at 8 p.m., there will be sixteen mass meetings for the unemployed.” The meeting places are listed, with a note that admission for the employed is 20 pfenning, 10 pfennng for the unemployed. Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Library.

1930 Nazi Election Poster

23. I think this Mjölnir poster is from 1932. The caption: “Enough! Vote Hitler!” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Poster

24. This Mjölnir poster comes from the March/April 1932 presidential elections. The text in red at the top translates as:

Grzesinski [the head of the Berlin Police] says: “How shameful is is for the German people that this foreigner Hitler . . . can speak about Germany’s future . . . without someone chasing this man away with a dog whip!”

Below the text reads: “Front soldiers. German men and women!! Give the answer! Hitler Reich President!” The point is that, until just before the election in 1932, Hitler was an Austrian citizen. The poster suggests that as a decorated soldier n the German army, the complaint is absurd. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Nazi Election Poster

25. I think this is also from 1932. It too deals with Hitler’s citizenship. The caption: “A front soldier earns his German citizenship. All German front soldiers who, like Adolf Hitler, earned and proved their citizenship through blood and the risk of their lives, read the ‘Völkischer Beobachter,’ the newspaper of their comrade Adolf Hitler. Fight for the truth! Death to the lie! Each German man and woman will vote for Adolf Hitler!” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Which Side Poster

26. This poster comes from the 1932 presidential elections, but I am not sure which round. The caption on top, in pseudo-Hebraic lettering, translates as: “We are voting for Hindenburg!” The pictures are of a variety of Jewish socialists and communists, sex researchers, etc. The caption beneath: “Look at these faces and you’ll know where you belong!” The pictures are of leading Nazis. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Hitler Election Poster

27. I think this dates to the Spring 1932 presidential elections, but I’m not absolutely sure. The caption: ““Workers of the mind and hand! Vote for the front soldier Adolf Hitler!” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Nazi Election Poster

28. This, too, looks to be from the 1932 presidential elections. The caption: “We are for Adolf Hitler!” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

April 1932 Poster

29. This poster comes from the April 1932 German presidential election, a run-off between Hitler and Hindenburg. The top reads: One man against the party cadavers and special interests!” To the left is a picture of a huge Hitler head towering over the 11 million who voted for him in the first round of the election in March 1932. To the left are the various parties that together made up Hindenburg’s supporters. At the bottom the caption reads: “Give your vote to the man of strength — Hitler.”

The author of the standard Nazi book on posters did not like this one. He writes:

“Hitler’s head looks like a soft-focused picture of an American film actor. This picture destroys the effect. ‘A man of strength’ must look like the Führer in the poster ‘We are taking the fate of the nation in our hands.’ [See below] ... as our Führer really appears. The only explanation for this picture is that it was aimed at women. Women, who make up a major part of the electorate, as is well known, are more influenced by superficialities.”

1932 Hitler Poster

30. This 1932 poster for the March presidential election gives an entirely different impression of Hitler. Dressed in a suit rather than his party uniform, he is saying: ‘We are taking the fate of the nation in our hands!” At the bottom, “Hitler becomes Reich President.”

The author of the book cited above thinks this is a good poster, but notes that many women did not like it because:

“They thought Hitler’s expression was too contorted and the general layout too communist.”

He also notes that Hitler’s hand is poorly drawn, and that the poster “promises” success in the election, which aroused false hopes in supporters, hopes dashed when Hitler failed to win.

Hitler Election Poster

31. I think this dates to the Spring 1932 presidential elections, but I’m not absolutely sure. The caption reads: “Germans! Give your answer to the System! Elect Hitler!” “The System” was the pejorative Nazi term for the Weimar Republic. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

Hitler Election Poster

32. This also is probably from the Spring 1932 elections. The text: “German votes for Hitler! The fighter for freedom and prosperity!” Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Library.

Hitler Election Poster

33. This looks to be from the April 1932 presidential election. The text: “Hitler! The faith and hope of millions!” The rest announces the time, place, and speakers at a Nazi meeting. Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Library.

Hitler Election Poster

34. This poster dates to the 24 April 1932 Prussian provincial election.

Hitler Election Poster

35. Another poster from the 1932 Prussian provincial election.

Map

36. This is a poster for a 1932 meeting by Julius Streicher, the leading Nazi Jew-baiter. The topic translates as: “The Jews are our Misfortune!”

1932 Poster

37. A poster for the July 1932 Reichstag election. The caption says: “The workers have awakened!” Various other parties are trying to persuade the worker to side with them, without success. The small chap in the center with the red hat represents the Marxists (note the Jew whispering in his ear). His piece of paper says: “Nazi barons! Emergency decrees. Lies and slanders. The big-wigs are living high on the hog, the people are wretched.”

During the Weimar Republic, a party’s position on the ballot depended on its strength. The higher the position on the list, the better the party had done in previous elections.

1932 Poster

38. From the July 1932 Reichstag election. The text translates as:

“Open the door to freedom! Put a strong man at the helm! Out of the swamp! Forward with the powers of renewal! Vote National Socialist List 2”

1932 Poster

39. From the July 1932 Reichstag election. The poster shows a Nazi pile driver hitting the party’s opponents. The gentlemen in black represents the Catholic Center Party, the one to the right the Marxist parties. The poster suggests the two are tied together in an unholy alliance against National Socialism. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Poster

39a.This is probably from one of the 1932 Reichstag elections. The text ttranslates: “Death to Marxism. Join us!” The three parallel arrows on the snake are the symbol of the “Iron Front,” an anti-Nazi coalition established on 16 December 1931.

1932 Poster

40. From the July 1932 Reichstag election. The text translates as:“We women vote for List 2: the National Socialists.”

1932 Poster

41. From the July 1932 Reichstag election. The text translates as:“Over 300 National Socialists died for you — murdered by Marxist subhumanity!!! For work and food vote Adolf Hitler List 2.” The reference is to Nazis killed during the political battles on the streets and in political meetings. The Christian imagery is clear. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Poster

42. From the July 1932 Reichstag election. The top part of the poster is missing. The remainder translates: “Bolshevism. It has raised its fist, dripping with the blood of German men. Now it wants to strike again, destroying everything and eliminating every form of order. Stop! That is what we demand! The Bolshevist beast has lived only from murder in recent weeks. Everywhere, blood marks their fearsome path. Altona [a suburb of Hamburg]! 16 dead! Including two defenseless women! German people! Enough is enough! Put an end to the bloodshed! Give power to Hitler! That will make a quick end of Bolshevism! Men and women! Free Germany from this red plague! Vote National Socialist. List 2. Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Library.

Only Hitler Poster

43. This 1932 poster makes the claim: “Only Hitler.” I’m not sure which election this one is from.

Hitler Poster

44. This interesting poster appeared in 1932. The usual approach with posters is to use color to make them stand out. This one stands out because of Hitler’s disembodied face floating on a black background.

Our Last Hope Poster

45. This poster was by “Mjölnir,” It is from 1932, probably from the November Reichstag election, but I am not absolutely sure.

Nazi Poster

46. I’m not sure of the date of this Mjölnir poster. The caption: “Germany Awakes!” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Poster

47. This poster comes from the November 1932 Reichstag election. The text: “Free the soil. Farmers vote for Adolf Hitler List 1.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks

1932 Poster

48. This poster comes from the November 1932 Reichstag election. The text: “The people vote for List 1: The National Socialists.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks

Our Last Hope Poster

49. “Work and Food,” this poster says. It was used for the November 1932 Reichstag election. The Nazis viewed this as one of their most effective posters.

Dawes Poster

50.The caption of this poster for November 1932 reads: “We are building the new Germany. Think on their sacrifice. Vote National Socialist.” The poster emphasizes that many of Hitler’s followers were injured or killed in political battles. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

132 Nazi Election Poster

51.Yet another November 1932 poster. The caption: “Work and food through National Socialism.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Nazi Election Poster

52.Another poster on the same theme, this one featuring a Storm Trooper. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

1932 Nazi Election Poster

53. This poster is from the November 1932 election. The text: “Papen is crippling the economy! Every evening one hears on the radio that more workers are being laid off. The result: In the last 14 days, unemployment has risen by about 50,000. In plain language, that means Papen’s economic program has failed. Away with him and his program for the ruling class! Come to Hitler!” Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Library.

1932 Nazi Election Poster

54. This vivid poster is from the November 1932 election. The text: “‘Bravo, Herr von Papen! Keep up those emergency decrees, and the pension and pay cuts. That will give us communists our last chance.’ Is that to be what happens? No! Only one man can rescue us from Bolshevism: Adolf Hitler!” Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Library.

1932 Nazi Election Poster ALIGN=

55. Another November 1932 poster on the communist threat, with anti-Semitic elements as well. The text: “Marxism is the guardian angel of capitalism. Vote National Socialist.” Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Library.

1932 Nazi Election Poster

56. A poster from the November 1932 election, referring to the governmental turmoil of 1932. The text: “The prize question: Which of the three governments is the right one? Answer: None of the three. They must make room for Adolf Hitler.” Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Library.

1932 Nazi Election Poster

57. I don’t know the date of this poster, though it has to be before 1933. The religious imagery is evident. Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.


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