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German Word of the Week propaganda poster declaring the inevitability of victory

Object | Accession Number: 1995.96.52

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    German Word of the Week propaganda poster declaring the inevitability of victory

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    Brief Narrative
    German propaganda poster likely issued from January 3 to 16, 1943, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series, showing a German soldier and civilian pushing forward against Germany’s Soviet, American, British, and Jewish enemies. By January 1943, Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union had stalled in the face of Soviet opposition, and German forces in North Africa were being worn down by Allied forces. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), the first of which was distributed on March 16, 1936. Each week, approximately 125,000 posters were strategically placed in public places and businesses such as: market squares, metro stations, bus stops, payroll offices, hospital waiting rooms, factory cafeterias, schools, hotels, restaurants, post offices, train stations, and street kiosks so that they would be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondence. The posters used colorful, often derogatory caricatures, and photorealistic images with vibrant language to target the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.
    Alternate Title
    Word of the Week
    Series Title
    Parole der Woche
    publication/distribution:  1943 January 03-1943 January 16
    publication: Munich (Germany)
    distribution: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    front, right, printed, red and black ink : PAROLE / 1943 / Unaufhaltsam / vorwärts / bis zum / ENDSIEG! [Parole / 1943 / Unstoppable / on the / way to / ultimate victory!]
    front, bottom center, printed, black ink : Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: W. Wächter, Berlin / Verlag Franz Eher Nachf. München [Responsible for the content: W. Wächter, Berlin / Publisher Franz Eher Nachf. Munich]
    front, bottom center, printed, black ink : Reichspropagandaleitung H.A. Prp. P I / 1. / 1943 [Reich Propaganda Directorate H.A. Prp. P I / 1. / 1943]
    front, bottom right, printed, black ink : C1538
    front, bottom left, printed, black ink : Mjölnir
    Issuer: Reichspropagandaleitung der N.S.D.A.P.
    Publisher: Zentralverlag der NSDAP
    Editor: W. Wächter
    Artist: Mjölnir
    Hans Schweitzer (1901-1980) was born in Berlin, and joined the Nazi party in 1926. As a member of the party, Schweitzer created cartoons, caricatures, and political posters under the penname, Mjölnir. He worked for several Nazi newspapers, including the Völkischer Beobachter (The People’s Observer) and a paper published by early Nazi leaders Gregor and Otto Strasser. With his artistic talents, Schweitzer advanced through the party. He was appointed as an honorary member of the SS and became friends with Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Later, Schweitzer illustrated several books for Goebbels, including Die Verfluchten Hakenkreuzen, published in 1930. Throughout the 1930s, Schweitzer created images for Nazi antisemitic, political, and election posters. He was also a cartoonist for the paper Der Angriff (The Attack), publish by Goebbels, and illustrated the book, Kampf um Berlin (Fight for Berlin). In 1935, he was appointed as Representative for Artistic Design and worked in conjunction with the Ministry of Propaganda for the creation of exhibitions, erection of monuments, and the development of insignia and national symbols. Later, he worked with a commission to decide how to utilize artwork stolen from Nazi victims. Schweitzer was arrested by American authorities in 1947 and fined 500 deutsche marks for his actions during the Holocaust. In 1955, he had his Nazi record expunged and was able to work as an illustrator and teacher.

    Physical Details

    Nazi propaganda
    Physical Description
    Large, offset lithographic German propaganda poster on off-white paper with a faded, white linen backing. On the left is an image of a large German soldier wearing a helmet and military uniform, alongside a man wearing a flat cap. They are both depicted from the chest up, and are arched forward. Above their heads is a red field, and there is a bayonet thrusting forward in front of them. In the foreground directly beneath the blade are small, gesticulating caricatures of four men as personifications of Germany’s enemies. The first man is wearing one-piece coveralls, with a hammer and sickle inside a red star on his back. The second man is wearing a top hat and has an American flag on his back. The third man is a caricature of Winston Churchill with a British flag on his chest; and the last is an obese man with a top hat, hooked nose, and Star of David on his chest. To the right are several lines of large red and black German text. The poster has discolored with age and has water damage on the right side. There is edge damage on the bottom right corner and a long tear that proceeds up from the bottom edge and stops near the center. Near the top right corner is a tear and two small holes. The back shows three evenly spaced, vertical and horizontal creases.
    overall: Height: 32.875 inches (83.503 cm) | Width: 46.625 inches (118.428 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, linen, adhesive, pencil
    front, bottom right, hand written, black ink : 3I-16.I:1943: [illegible] 1
    back, left center, printed on paper adhered to linen : Herausgegeben von der / [r]eichspropagandaleitung der NSDAP. / im Zentralverlag der NSDAP. / Franz Eher Nachf. / Vertrieb: Deutsche Kulturpropaganda / GmbH., Berlin-Charlottenburg 9, / Platanenallee 16 [Published by the Reich Propaganda Directorate of the NSDAP. / in the central publishing house of the NSDAP. / Franz Eher Nachf. / Distribution: German Culture Propaganda / GmbH., Berlin-Charlottenburg 9, / Platanenallee 16]
    back, bottom left, printed on torn paper adhered to linen : Ausgabe[missing] / Die P[missing] / Parteiamtlic[missing] / Folge 1 [missing]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Personal Name
    Mjölnir, 1901-1980.

    Administrative Notes

    The poster was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1995.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-08 08:57:03
    This page:

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