SOME NAZI POSTERS: from the 1930s

Note the similarity to modern Leftist themes

Put up by John Ray

The first poster below is about Nazi "compassion". It advertises the Nazi charity, the NSV. The text translates: "Health, child protection, fighting poverty, aiding travellers, people's community, helping mothers: These are the tasks of the National Socialist People's Charity: Join up"

The poster below shows how big the Nazis were on collective action rather than individuality. It translates as: "National Socialism -- the organized will of the nation". It depicts storm troopers and was a favourite Nazi poster

And this next one must be the most amusing peace poster of all time. Note the date. It was issued in the very year the war began. It promoted the 1939 Nuremberg Rally and the slogan translates as the "National Party Rally of Peace". But the rally (or "assembly") was cancelled when World War II began. The message of the imagery seems to be: "Peace -- or else!". We all know how vicious and aggressive peaceniks can be (see e.g. here) but this image expresses that with unusual clarity.

But most interesting of all is probably the next poster below. It shows not a Soviet hammer and sickle (standing for worker and peasant) but just a hammer. And the text tells us why. It translates idiomatically as: "Workers with the mind and with the hands, choose the frontline soldier: HITLER!" How modern! Leftists today don't give a damn about country people either. They claim to be an alliance between the intellectuals and the workers. The more things change ....

The posters above can also be found on the German Propaganda Archive of Calvin College

Below is a picture of an original Nazi propaganda poster ("Flaggenspruch" or "flag motto") that was often publicly displayed during World War 2. An original copy was advertised for sale on eBay in November 2005. Its basic message is that help for the poor is not charity but something which the poor have a right to -- which is of course a common Leftist claim to this day.

The heading ("Opferwilligkeit") translates as: "Willingness for self-sacrifice" and the rest translates as: "Social works deserve no gratitude because they are not graciousness but the restoration of rights". The source of the quotation is blacked out in accordance with the rather ludicrous eBay rules but it is a quotation from Mein Kampf (around page 23 or 24 in most editions). I give the full context for the quote below (from the Manheim translation). I also give the full German original of the sentence from which the quote is taken as I think the Manheim translation is a bit clumsy. Hitler spoke a very colloquial "people's German" which it is very hard to translate so as to give exactly the same impact as the original.

"I do not know which is more terrible: inattention to social misery such as we see every day among the majority of those who have been favored by fortune or who have risen by their own efforts, or else the snobbish, or at times tactless and obtrusive, condescension of certain women of fashion in skirts or in trousers, who ' feel for the people.' In any event, these gentry sin far more than their minds, devoid of all instinct, are capable of realizing. Consequently, and much to their own amazement, the result of their social 'efforts' is always nil, frequently, in fact, an indignant rebuff, though this, of course, is passed off as a proof of the people's ingratitude.

Such minds are most reluctant to realize that social endeavor has nothing in common with this sort of thing; that above all it can raise no claim to gratitude, since its function is not to distribute favors but to restore rights. [In German: "Dass eine soziale Taetigkeit damit gar nichts zu tun hat, vor allem auf Dank ueberhaupt keinen Anspruch erheben darf, da sie ja nicht Gnaden verteilen, sondern Rechte herstellen soll, leuchtet einer solchen Art von Koepfen nur ungern ein"]."

While I think that the posters from the 1930s above are very vivid in what they tell us, it is perhaps even more impressive to see such posters "in action", as it were. And there are two photos below that show us that.

The poster appearing in the photo below says something that you won't believe unless you are aware of how readily all Leftists preach one thing and do another. It reads "Mit Hitler gegen den Ruestungswahnsinn der Welt".

And what does that mean? It means "With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world". ("Ruestung" could more precisely be translated as "military preparations" or "arms buildup" but "armaments" is a bit more idiomatic in English.) So, as we have already seen, the preaching of "peace" by the bloodthirsty Soviet regime of the cold war period had its parallel with the Nazis too.

And perhaps most explicitly Leftist of all is the election banner that also appeared in the photo above. I present a blow-up of it below:

It reads: "Mit Adolf Hitler "Ja" fuer Gleichberechtigung und Frieden" -- which translates as "With Adolf Hitler "Yes" for equal rights and peace" -- the same old standby slogans that the Left trot out to this day, of course.

And the next poster raises some interesting issues. It translates as: "We are building up. Our building blocks are work, freedom and bread. So National Socialists, list 8". The sidetext gives satirically "the building plans of the others", with the others being the capitalists and the Communists. The building plans of the Communists (guy with big cap) translate as: "Social destruction, corruption, terror, hate and lies". Note however that "terror" (which is exactly the same word in English and German) is spelled "teppop". There is no such word in German. What the poster does is spell the "r"s in "terror" with a Cyrillic (Russian) "r", which looks like the "p" in the Latin alphabet. So the poster assumes considerable sophistication among the German people. It assumes that a satirial association between the Russians and the German Communists would be understood. It assumes a rough familiarity with the Cyrillic alphabet.

The "building blocks" are also interesting. How can Nazis offer "freedom" ("Freiheit")? Presumably they would say freedom from Jewish exploitation and freedom from want. The Nazis had an extensive worker welfare program. The guy with the rolled-up sleeves is meant to represent a worker.

The next poster reads: "Frauen! Rettet die deutschen Familien - wählt Adolf Hitler", which means "Women, rescue German families, choose Adolf Hitler". It was of course traditional families which seemed in need of rescue. Marx and Marxists wanted to break the family down, as Leftists do to this day. The Nazis were to the Right of the Communists but to the Left of everybody else

The poster below tells the workers how much better is life under the Nazis. The worker orientation is of course traditionally Leftist

The lines at the bottom translate as follows:

Before: Unemployment; Loss of hope
Neglect, strikes, lockouts
Today: Work, joy, duty, racial comradeship
Therefore give your voice to the Leader (Hitler)

And the Dutch Nazis were very much in cahoots with the German occupation authorities. So have a look at one of their widely distributed posters:

In translation, it reads: "With Germany AGAINST capitalism". So Nazism was Rightist? Only in the fevered imaginations of modern Leftists. There is more on the background of the Dutch poster here

Just for luck, below is a 1930's Fascist "peace" poster that does not even need translation! I guess most readers here will be aware that Britain too had a vigorous Fascist movement during the Hitler era. And the leader of the British Union of Fascists -- Sir Oswald Mosley -- was anything but a nonentity. The King even came to his wedding! And Mosley originally left the British Labour party (in 1930) because it was not socialist enough! As Mosley himself said in 1968: "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics"

Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words so below is one of Mosley's posters from the 1930s. Note the familiar "peace" motif that Leftists always use:

Finally, Hitler also used propaganda posters even outside election time. Have a look at the 1939 Nazi propaganda placard below (a Wochenspruch for the Gau Weser/Ems). The placard promotes one of Hitler's sayings. The saying is, "Es gibt keinen Sozialismus, der nicht aufgeht im eigenen Volk" -- which I translate as "There is no socialism except what arises within its own people". Hitler spoke a very colloquial German so translating that one was not easy but I think that is about as close to it as you can get.

As some modern context for that saying, note that there have now been various psychological studies by Robert Putnam and others showing that people are more willing to share and get involved with others whom they see as like themselves. That leads to the view that socialism will find its strongest support among an ethnically homogeneous population -- which the Scandinavian countries notably were until recently.

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