OPTICC 5th Six Week

Introduction: This is a propaganda poster from the 1930s, when Hitler was running for president in Germany. This form of propaganda was very apparent during this time, to try to convince people to vote for Adolf Hitler for president. People believed Hitler would change the course Germany was taking. Devastatingly, Hitler’s presidency led to the occurrence of the Nazis as well as the Second World War. It is important that people view this type of propaganda to understand that Hitler was very persuasive, so persuasive that he was elected as president. The population of Germany truly believed the country would be better off with Hitler as president, and much of that was due to this type of propaganda. This poster also shows that propaganda is still around today. Walking down the street, signs and bumper stickers advertising the presidential campaign can be found on cars, in stores, and many other places. Propaganda is still around, and it is easy to be convinced by it.

Overview: A Nazi, dressed in full uniform, is standing at attention in the center of the photograph holding a sharp object shaped like a shovel. Faint images of townspeople surround the sides of the poster, holding signs written in German, and looking quite desperate, one man with his head down on a bench. The background is completely red. There are words written in German at the bottom of the page.

Parts: The Nazi stands at attention, looking extremely poised and alert. The point of the Nazi is to give the public comfort in knowing that such a seemingly strong person is defending their country, and voting for Hitler. Impressionable children, almost of voting age, probably looked up to this strong soldier and wanted to be him. The people surrounding the poster are important as well. They show desperation and unhappiness, implying that the country is not good yet, and that Hitler can fix it. The words written in German at the bottom of the page say, “Before: Unemployment, hopelessness, desolation, strikes, lockouts. Today: Work, joy, discipline, camaraderie. Give the Führer your vote!” This writing gives the viewer a pre-Hitler and post-Hitler idea, implying that post-Hitler would be better for Germany.

Title: This poster doesn’t have a title, but if it did, it would probably be called, “Give the Führer your vote!” which are the largest words written on the bottom of the page. This title represents the goal of the poster, the goal being for everyone to vote for Hitler. It also ties the whole piece together. Though a lot of information can be withdrawn from the poster without the words, the title can tell the viewer exactly what the artist wanted you to receive from the poster at a glance.

Interpretation: The intent of this poster is for the German population to elect Hitler as the president. Because Hitler came at a time of German desperation, these posters increased his chance at becoming president. Hitler was an incredibly convincing public speaker and had many things going for him at the time. The propaganda posters were only part of it, but they worked in convincing people to vote for him. These posters worked because they showed a better Germany with Hitler’s leadership. They showed the grief of the population that almost everyone could relate to, then showed that they would be happier and better off under Hitler’s presidency. It was very easy to be convinced.

Context: Hitler came post-World War I, in a time when Germany was experiencing major economic problems. The population was desperate for a good leader that would better their economy. These propaganda posters were placed everywhere, showing a better country if Hitler became president. People believed these posters, and sure enough, elected Hitler as the next president. All in all, these propaganda posters did their job. Little did they know that Germany would only decline after Hitler became president, starting yet another world war.

Conclusion: People viewed this poster, and saw a poised, strong soldier leading the German population out of desperation. The only way they could be led was by Hitler, who seemed like the logical vote at the time. Right now, we are studying World War I and II, as well as Hitler’s, Stalin’s, and Tojo’s rule. This type of propaganda was prevalent everywhere, increasing the chances of these horrible people rising to power. There were many other types of propaganda at this time as well, including propaganda against other countries. For example, Russia had artwork against Germany, and Germany had posters against Jews. This type of artwork was incredibly convincing which is why such horrific things happened during this period of time.

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