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Pro Hitler poster featuring a crowd of forlorn people

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.17

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    Pro Hitler poster featuring a crowd of forlorn people


    Brief Narrative
    Poster for Adolf Hitler’s 1932 presidential campaign as the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) Presidential candidate against incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. This poster was designed by Hans Schweitzer, who went by the pseudonym Mjölnir (the hammer of Thor) and initially preserved by the FJM Rehse Archive and Museum of Contemporary History in Munich, a museum operated by the Nazi Party that preserved much of their early propaganda. By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression with six million unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party who, along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. This poster was designed to appeal to the unemployed and destitute and claimed that Hitler was their only hope. When Germany held parliamentary elections in July of that year, the Nazi party won almost 40 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag, becoming the largest party in German parliament. However, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat Hindenburg in the presidential election. With the support of his majority party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg on January 30, 1933.
    Unsere letzte Hoffnung: Hitler
    Alternate Title
    Our last hope: Hitler
    publication/distribution:  1932
    distribution: Munich (Germany)
    creation: Berlin (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    front, top left, printed, white : Unsere letzte Hoffnung : [Our last hope]
    front, bottom, printed, white : HITLER
    front, bottom right, printed, black : Verantwortlich für Jnhaltund Druck : HeinzFranke, München Briener tr 45 [Responsible for content and printing: Heinz Franke, Munich Brienner str 45]
    front, top right, printed, black ink : MJÖLNIR
    Artist: Mjölnir
    Printer: Plakat Kunstdruck Eckert
    Publisher: Heinz Franke
    Previous owner: Friedrich J. Rehse
    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.
    Friedrich Josef Rehse was born on March 23, 1870, in Münster, Germany. He worked as a photographer until the outbreak of World War I, when he began collecting printed materials such as pamphlets, maps, stamps, postcards, letters, photographs and posters. Rehse continued to add to his collection throughout the 1920’s, becoming friendly with Adolf Hitler and other National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party or NSDAP) leadership and acquiring many pieces of their early propaganda work. In 1929, the NSDAP, which up to that point had saved little of their early works, purchased the entire collection from Rehse for 80,000 Reichsmarks and appointed him archivist of the collection. The collection was kept in the office of the NSDAP in the Munich Schellingstrasse, and in 1932 was named the "FJM Rehse Archive for Contemporary History and Journalism Munich.” In 1935, the collection was moved to the north wing of the Munich Residence, which was turned into a museum and renamed the “FJM Rehse Archive and Museum of Contemporary History Munich." The collection continued to grow both through legitimate acquisitions and through Nazi plunder until the end of the war when Munich was liberated by American troops in 1945. The collection was confiscated, and the unlawfully acquired pieces were returned to their rightful owners. The remainder of the collection, along with the files of the NSDAP main archive, were taken to the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Friedrich Rehse, aged 81, died on January 14, 1952 in Munich, Germany. Much of the confiscated collection was returned to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1963 as part of a "book repatriation" by the United States.

    Physical Details

    Nazi propaganda
    Propaganda posters.
    Physical Description
    Color poster printed on faded white paper with a white linen backing depicting a crowd of hopeless people gathered on the street. The crowd contains men, women and children, and all the people are facing forward. There is a building in the top far right corner. The black ink has been applied in such a way to make the people appear as if they have been sketched in pencil, enhancing the dark shading and their sad state. At the top left are three lines of white text and at the bottom there is one word in very large white text. The poster has a white border and rectangular stamps at the bottom corners.
    overall: Height: 48.000 inches (121.92 cm) | Width: 33.750 inches (85.725 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, linen, adhesive, pencil
    front, bottom left, stamped, blue ink : Eigentum / Der / NSDAP Ga?ung Köln – Aachen / Archiv [Property / The / NSDAP Ga?ung Cologne – Aachen / Archive
    front, bottom right, stamped, blue ink : NSDAP / GAU KOLN- AACHEN / ARCHIV / Gruppe: [checkmark] (handwritten pink pencil) / Fach: / lfd. Nr.: /H3 (handwritten, pink pencil) [NSDAP / Gau Cologne Aachen / Archive / Group / Subject / Number]
    front, bottom right, handwritten, pencil : 1922

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The poster was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1990.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:21:28
    This page:

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