Art Posters of the Third Reich

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
The National Socialists possessed a highly refined æsthetic sensibility, and they enacted their æsthetic at every level of politics and policy including propaganda.
Adolf Hitler, and many of his associates, not only believed themselves to be artists, but were regarded by others, at the time, as artists, whose very ideology was founded in an essentially æsthetic logic.
This is generally referred to as the  'æstheticization' of politics.

Alpine Landscape
Adolf Hitler
The artistic ambitions of Adolf Hitler, Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels, Alfred Rosenberg, Baldur von Schirach, Walther Funk and others were originally deeper than their political ambitions, and were essential elements of their personalities.
There were two conceptual cornerstones of National Socialist ideology - redemption and monumentality - which found their expression in National Socialist æsthetic productions, which were not only means by which to deliver a political message, but very much part of the message itself.
Without recognizing the central role aesthetics actually played in the regime of the Third Reich, we cannot ignore the basic historical fact that Art, beauty and æsthetics were not benign by-products of the Third Reich, but part and parcel of its coherent, internal logic.
Propaganda was skilfully used by the NSDAP in the years leading up to and during Adolf Hitler's leadership of Germany (1933–1945).
National Socialist propaganda provided a crucial instrument for acquiring and maintaining power, and for the implementation of their policies, including the pursuit of total war.

'Mein Kampf'
Adolf Hitler - circa 1920s
Adolf Hitler devoted three chapters of his 1925/26 book 'Mein Kampf', itself a propaganda tool, to the study and practice of propaganda.
He claimed to have learnt the value of propaganda as a World War I infantryman exposed to very effective British and ineffectual German propaganda.
The argument that Germany lost the war largely because of British propaganda efforts, expounded at length in 'Mein Kampf', reflected then common German nationalist claims.
Although untrue – German propaganda during World War I was mostly more advanced than that of the British – it became the official truth of Third Reich, thanks to its reception by Hitler.
The propaganda of the National Socialist German Workers' Party regime that governed Germany from 1933 to 1945 promoted National Socialist ideology by demonizing the enemies of the NSDAP, notably Jews and communists, but also capitalists and intellectuals.
It promoted the values of National Socialism, including heroic death, Führerprinzip (leader principle), Volksgemeinschaft (people's community), Blut und Boden (blood and soil) and pride in the Germanic Herrenvolk (master race).
Propaganda was also used to maintain the cult of personality around Adolf Hitler, and to promote campaigns for eugenics and the annexation of German-speaking areas.
After the outbreak of World War II, German propaganda vilified Germany's enemies, notably the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States, and in 1943 exhorted the population to total war.

Heroic 'Eternal' Art
Poster art was a mainstay of the German propaganda effort, aimed both at Germany itself, and at occupied territories.
It had several advantages.
The visual effect, being striking, would reach the viewer easily.
Posters were also, unlike other forms of propaganda, difficult to avoid.
Imagery frequently drew on heroic realism.
Nazi youth and the SS were depicted monumentally, with lighting posed to produce grandeur.
The artistic standard of National Socialist graphic design was remarkably high, but it must be remembered that in accordance with National Socialist theory poster art was not 'high art'.
'High art' - in National Socialist theory - was considered to be 'eternal', whereas poster art was temporal and utilitarian.


Nürnberg Reichsparteitag 1936


Triumph des Willens


Kdf Volkswagen


DER NATIONAL SOZIALISMUS IST DER GARANT DES SIEGES
National Socialism is the guarantor of victory

MUTTER TAG
GOTT HAT DIE HERZEN  DER MUTTER GEWEIHT ZU OPFERSCHALEN DER GROSSEN ZEIT
Mother's Day - God has blessed the hearts of mothers as vessels of sacrifice in a time of greatness.


SO WIE WIR MITLEIDLOS HART GEWE-SEN SIND IM KAMPF UM DIE MACHT, WERDEN WIR GENAU SO MITLEIDLOS UND HART SEIN IM KAMPF UM DIE ERHALTUNG UNSERES VOLKES ADOLF HITLER

Hard and without pity as we have been in our struggle for power, so will we also be in the struggle for the preservation of our nation.
Adolf Hitler

AUS DEN PFLlCHTEN DES DEUTSCHEN SOLDATEN GROSSE LEiSTUNGEN IN KRIEG UND FRIEDEN ENT STEHEN NUR IN UNER-SCHUTTERLICHER KAMPF GEMEINSCHAFT VON FÜHRER UND TRUPPE

From The Duties of the German Soldier - Great achievements in war and peace can only be accomplished through an unshakable unity of Führer and Army.



NATIONAL-SOZIALISMUS IST HOCHSTE SOLDATISCHE HALTUNG IM GESAMTEN LEBEN

National Socialism is highest soldierly bearing in all ways of life.



OPFER SCHUFEN DAS GROSS DEUTSCHE REICH DURCH OPFER WIRD ES EWIG SEIN !

Sacrifices created the great German Empire. Through sacrifices it will be made everlasting !



5 JAHRE KRAFT DURCH FREUDE KRAFT DURCH FREUDE- IST NICHT LEDIGLICH EINE FREI ZEITORGANISATION-SONDERN SIE IST EINE NATIONALSOZIA-LISTICHE GEMEINSCHAFT DIE AN DEM WERDEN EINER NEUEN LEBENGESTALTUNG MITWIRKT UND DIE NEUE GESELLSCHAFTSORDNUNG HERSTELLT.

5 years-Strength through Joy- Strength through Joy' is not simply a recreational organization-rather it is a national socialistic community that contributes to the realization of a new way of life and establishes a new social order.


KUNST IST HOCHSTER AUSDRUCK DER SCHOP-FERISCHEN KRAFTE EINES VOLKES.-DER KUNSTLER IST IHR BEGNADETER SINNGEBER.
DR. JOSEF GOEBBELS

Art is the highest expression of the creative powers of a nation. The artist is blessed with the task to give it meaning.

Dr. Josef Goebbels

Hitler-Jugend

Hitler-Jugend

Deutschen Jugend


Reichsparteitag Nürnberg 1937


Weimar Gau Tag 1936


Hitler Jugend - Reichsparteitag Nürnberg




1943 Paper Drive


Deutsche Reichsport


I gave my vote to the Führer
1936



Hitler
Election Poster



Austria Comes Home !
1938




VITORIA

DEUTSCHLAND SIEGT AN ALLEN FRONTEN

Germany is victorious on all fronts


© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013