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Text only poster for Hitler's election acquired by an American tourist

Object | Accession Number: 2010.485.3

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    Text only poster for Hitler's election acquired by an American tourist

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Small broadside produced for the August 19, 1934, referendum to approve Hitler as Führer, the consolidation of President and Chancellor. It was acquired by 17 year old William A. Nelson, an American tourist traveling in Germany that month. Hitler assumed the role of Fuhrer on August 4, two days after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg. The vote was held to legitimize the position and solidify his dictatorial authority. Ninety percent of the population voted in favor of Hitler. After the results were announced, William rode his bicycle down the Rhine River and watched the celebrations.
    Artwork Title
    Der Führer fragt. Das Volk sagt Ja.
    Alternate Title
    The leader asks. The People say Yes.
    Date
    publication/distribution:  1934 August
    Geography
    publication: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Nelson
    Markings
    front, black ink : Der Führer fragt. / Das Volk sagt Ja. [The leader asks. The People say Yes.]
    Contributor
    Subject: William A. Nelson
    Biography
    William (Bill) A. Nelson was born on August 16, 1916, in Phillipsburg, Kansas, to Dr. Enos A. and Constance Greiner Nelson. He had a younger brother, Theodore A., born in 1918. In 1933, William became involved in the American Youth Hostels (Hostelling International USA), a nonprofit organization created to promote understanding of different cultures among students.

    In June 1934, William traveled to Europe on the first AYH trip with a group of fifteen to twenty others. When the group reached the German border, an African American student was refused admittance to the country. They decided to split into two groups; one would continue into Germany and one would stay in France. William joined the group going into Germany. His mother’s relatives emigrated to the United States from Germany in the late 1800s. They were joined by young Germans who would act as guides. One was a member of the Hitler youth; he told William that he had no choice but to join. William was there during the August 19, 1934, referendum to approve Hitler as Fuhrer, the consolidation of President and Chancellor. Ninety percent of the population voted in favor of Hitler. After the results were announced, William and 3 other boys, including one German, rode their bicycles along the Rhine River and watched the celebrations.

    During World War II, William served as a US Army 1st lieutenant in occupied Japan. In March 1945, he married Ruth Kimball. After the war, he discovered that the young German he rode bicycles with had died on the Eastern front. William and Ruth worked and volunteered for AHY for many years, serving in several leadership positions. William passed away, age 93, on May 6, 2010, and Ruth passed away four days later, age 88.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Posters
    Category
    Nazi propaganda
    Physical Description
    Small text only newsprint poster with 2 lines of German text printed in black ink on an offwhite background. There are white sticker remnants, deep creases, and a torn lower right corner.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 11.750 inches (29.845 cm) | Width: 16.000 inches (40.64 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink, adhesive

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The poster was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 by Judith Nelson, the daughter of William A. Nelson.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:26:31
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn43392

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