The Seeds of Evil: The Rise of Hitler

The Seeds of Evil: Germany 1919 - 1933.

Nazi Party methodology in the period leading up to, and including, the Munich Putsch.

Propaganda is a means of advertising a political idea. In the case of the NSDAP in its early days this took the form of posters, public meetings / speeches and a conscious decision to present the party in a particular manner.

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Posters: Click on these thumbnails to see larger versions of these examples of early Nazi Propaganda.

"Citizens! Do not believe that the Germany of misfortune and misery, the nation of corruption and usury, the land of Jewish corruption, can be saved by parties that claim to stand on a foundation of facts. Never!"

This poster advertised a speech that Hitler was due to make in May 1920.

Another early example of a Nazi poster, again inviting people to attend a speech by Adolf Hitler in Munich. The choice of colours here is deliberate. Red was believed to 'arouse the opponents' of National Socialism - and of course, is highly visible and therefore attracts more attention.

This poster dates from 1921.

Following the failure of the Munich Putsch it is noticeable that the design of the Propaganda posters alters quite radically. Early posters such as these are largely text based, make use of rhetoric and entice the passer by through use of striking background colours and carefully chosen slogans. Later examples of Propaganda Posters tend to be image based, portraying the strength of National Socialism, portraying Germany as the Fatherland etc.

Rhetoric

This example of Hitler's use of Rhetoric as a Propaganda tool dates from May 1923, at the time when French and Belgian troops were occupying the Ruhr and hyperinflation was at its peek. In it Hitler appeals to the National Pride of the people and plays on the economic crisis and its consequences.

My dear fellow Germans!

When Cuno became Chancellor of the German Reich people said that the failure of the policy of compliance necessitated a change in the leadership of the Reich. What did the policy of compliance mean then? That's very simple: you must try as far as possible to satisfy your adversary's demands so as to make Germany's recovery possible. It was unimportant whether or not there was any legal basis for these demands. No state could do more than Germany to fulfil them. But the German People are required to make reparations which exceed the entire wealth of the nation. So these requirements must have a very definite purpose, an agenda which goes far beyond economics. France does not want reparations; it wants the destruction of Germany, the fulfilment of an age-old dream; a Europe dominated by France.

"Reparations" are nothing but a "legal device" intended to bring a state to its knees with a facade of legality, to destroy the fabric of a nation and to replace one state with a conglomeration of small states which consume and destroy each other.

So the only way that the Government could satisfy France was by liquidating the German Reich, by bringing about its dissolution. Satisfying France is not an economic but a political question. This was what caused the downfall of Dr. Wirth. To satisfy France he would have to destroy Germany; that he cannot do; and what he can do, will not satisfy France... But it is the fire in the hearts of Germany's young folk which will bring us ultimate victory. It will be they who will sustain the state which they will create for themselves. New young warriors are coming forward in Germany, young men who have already shed their blood for their Fatherland but know full well that because of those who rule Germany today their blood was shed in vain. The parliamentarians do not enjoy the respect of the nation; they have to pass protective legislation to defend themselves. Germany can be saved only by the dictatorship of the national will and determination to take action.

People ask: is there someone fit to be our leader? Our task is not to search for that person. Either God will give him to us or he will not come. Our task is to shape the sword that he will need when he comes. Our task it to provide the leader with a nation which is ready for him when he comes!

My fellow Germans, awaken! The new day is dawning!

The Second Reich
The Founding of the Weimar Republic
The Impact of War
The Treaty of Versailles
Germany 1919 - 1923
Germany - Economic Recovery
The Early days of the Nazi Party 1919 - 1924
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Text © Schoolshistory.org.uk

Unit last updated 4th June 2004

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