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Waffen SS recruitment poster featuring a soldier and a Leibstandarte (SS Adolf Hitler flag)

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.24

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    Waffen SS recruitment poster featuring a soldier and a Leibstandarte (SS Adolf Hitler flag)

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    Brief Narrative
    Recruitment poster for the Waffen SS featuring an image of a uniformed soldier and a Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler flag. The Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler was Hitler’s personal bodyguard regiment. The Waffen SS was the armed military division of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi paramilitary organization that was responsible for security, intelligence gathering and analysis, and enforcing Nazi racial policies. They controlled the concentration camp system and planned and coordinated the Final Solution. The SS was originally formed in 1925 to protect Hitler along with other Nazi leaders and provide security at political meetings. In 1929, Heinrich Himmler was appointed Reichsführer-SS (Reich Leader of the SS) and turned the organization into an elite corps based on visions of racial purity and absolute loyalty to Hitler. The Waffen SS was established in 1939 to strengthen the position of the SS relative to the army and German elites, eventually fielding more than twenty divisions and half a million men at its peak. Members of the Waffen SS were selected based on “racial” ancestry. Selected individuals were expected to have an Aryan Nordic lineage and volunteers were accepted from Germany, and later Norway, Denmark and Holland.
    Waffen- SS Eintritt mit vollendetem 17. Lebensjahr
    Alternate Title
    Waffen SS Admission after age 17
    publication/distribution:  1940 May
    manufacture: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    front, top left, printed, green ink : Waffen SS
    front, bottom, printed green and black ink : Eintritt mit vollendetem 17. Lebensjahr / Küzereoder längere Dienstzeitverpslichtung / Auskunft erteilt: Ergänzungsamt der Waffen-SS Ergäzungsstelle Nordwest / Für Holland: Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 132 / Für Flandern: Antwerpen, Koningin Elisabethlei 22 [Admission at the age of 17 / A shorter or longer service life / Contact information: Recruiting office of the Waffen-SS Northwest / For Holland: The Hague, Stadhouderslaan 132 / For Flanders: Antwerp, Koningin Elisabethlei 22]
    front, right, printed, green ink : MJÖLNIR
    Artist: Mjölnir
    Distributor: Waffen-SS
    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

    War propaganda
    Propaganda posters.
    Physical Description
    Poster on faded light brown paper on a white linen backing depicting a soldier in a green military uniform with an upright rifle with a bayonet. He is shown from the waist up wearing a jacket with a black shoulder strap and collar patch, and a round green helmet with the SS insignia. His face is lightly colored red, and he stares into the distance with a blank expression. Flying behind him is the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler flag: a black swastika within a gold wreath on a red field with golden Reichsadler in each corner. At the top left are two lines of green, block print text and above the text, in the left corner, is a round stamp in black ink with German text. Below the image are two lines of green and black text in fraktur font, and below, one line of black text followed by two indented lines of text. For another example of this poster see accession number 2014.496.1.
    overall: Height: 31.125 inches (79.058 cm) | Width: 21.125 inches (53.658 cm)
    overall : paper, paint, adhesive, cloth
    front, bottom left corner on linen, handwritten, pencil : 16/K
    front, bottom right corner on linen, handwritten, pencil : pII 486
    front, top left corner, stamped, black ink : Kommandantur / 1 / ,,Doetinchem” [Headquarters 1 "Doetinchem"]

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Berlin (Germany).

    Administrative Notes

    The poster was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1990.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-28 08:11:55
    This page:

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