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Ja Volksentscheid gegen Kriegs- und Naziverbrecher zur Sicherung des Friedens

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.43

Poster encouraging the German public of the Soviet-occupied region of Saxony to vote "yes" on a referendum to expropriate factories and companies owned by Nazis. The poster was designed by Wilhelm Schubert, who worked with the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and distributed in May 1946. The poster implies that voting "yes" to the referendum will help to ensure peace in occupied East Germany. On June 30, the referendum passed, with 82.9 percent voting in favor. After the German surrender on May 8, 1945, Germany was divided into zones of occupation by the Allies. The Soviet zone encompassed the eastern part of Germany. On June 6, SMAD was established to administer and carry out military, political, and economic tasks in the Soviet occupied zone (SBZ). One of the principal tasks undertaken in every occupation zone was denazification. After the conclusion of the war, the Allies worked to cleanse Germany of all traces of Nazi ideology, institutions, and laws. Additionally, they removed Nazi party members from office or positions of responsibility in an effort to wipe out the Nazi party and its influence. In the SBZ, this process was carried out by several commissions and committees, and was also used as a means to consolidate Communist rule, nationalize industry and confiscate property for land reforms. Denazification was used to purge public officials and fill the positions with members of Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which later became the Socialist Unity Party (SED), the ruling party of East Germany. However, many former Nazis were allowed to keep their positions so long as they conformed to Communism. By the 1950s, denazification efforts ended and many former Nazis were able to return to their former roles in industries and government in both East and West Germany.

Alternate Title
Yes referendum against war and Nazi criminals to ensure peace
publication/distribution:  1946 May
publication: Dresden (Germany)
Political posters.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:45:44
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