Listen closely.
June 25, 2003 1:57 PM   Subscribe

German propaganda. "Who is Adolf Hitler? The man from the people, for the people! The German front soldier who risked his life in 48 battles for Germany! What does Adolf Hitler want? Freedom and food for every decent working German! The gallows for profiteers, black marketeers and exploiters, regardless of religious faith or race! Why is Adolf Hitler not allowed to speak? Because he is ruthless in uncovering the rulers of the German economy, the international bank Jews their lackeys, the Democrats, Marxists, Jesuits and Free Masons! Because he wants to free the workers from the domination of race! Working Germans! Demand the lifting of the illegal ban on his speaking!"
posted by the fire you left me (24 comments total)
All right, you convinced me. Where do I sign?
posted by jonson at 2:09 PM on June 25, 2003

By the way, this is fantastic.
posted by jonson at 2:12 PM on June 25, 2003

It's a photoshopper's goldmine.
posted by crunchland at 2:20 PM on June 25, 2003

Those nutty Germans and their crazy propaganda. It's a good thing we don't fall for that kind of thing here in the USA.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:26 PM on June 25, 2003

Hmm, that Hitler guy seems like an okay candidate.
posted by xmutex at 2:37 PM on June 25, 2003

This poster (it's actually a dusty blue background not b/w) was claimed to be the inspiration for the 94 (uk) Campaign "Reg on smoking", which also had a hovering head and blue background. It's so good it's creepy. Propaganda seems to bring out the the best work from designers.
posted by dabitch at 2:42 PM on June 25, 2003

Whoa, read the toadstool!
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:22 PM on June 25, 2003

Some other posters from WWI and WWII:

WPA Posters from WWII

French Posters from WWI. (This one is my favorite.)

American posters from WWII
posted by bragadocchio at 4:25 PM on June 25, 2003

My favorite WWII war poster.. Apologies - self post. Taken at the Sydney Maritime museum (I think)
posted by seanyboy at 4:46 PM on June 25, 2003

Any idea why Hitler wore that goofy little 'stache? Was it the fashion of the day, or was it his own peculiar invention?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:47 PM on June 25, 2003

It may well have been the fashion of the day, as my grandfather had the exact same moustache. He also refused to shave it off during the war, claiming that he had it first. He wore it the rest of his life. This was in Birmingham, England.
posted by jokeefe at 5:08 PM on June 25, 2003

I'd agree with you Sean. Good poster.
posted by bragadocchio at 5:55 PM on June 25, 2003

five fresh fish: I have heard (in history class, for all that's worth) that it was intended to look like a nosebleed, as if he'd been fighting (for a better germany or what have you)
posted by fvw at 8:40 PM on June 25, 2003

Hitler's moustache is a regional fashion from his area in Austria.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:01 PM on June 25, 2003

Well, I suppose he could have made himself look even more goofy -- he could have had one of those godawful little micro-goatees!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 PM on June 25, 2003

If you really want to see how *normal* everything was in Nazi Germany, check out Signal Magazine, the German equivalent to "Life". Every effort was made to make Hitler look just like any other politician, but in a snazzy uniform:

"Signal is generally considered to have been the most spectacular publication to appear during the Second World War, yet all that now remain are few volumes of file copies carefully preserved in various museums and archives... The first magazine appeared in April 1940. The title of the magazine was carefully chosen, the word "SIGNAL" being much the same in most European languages.
The magazine was printed in over 20 languages and had 1500 official reporters and 1000 cameramen. The general quality of the articles, in both content and style, was extremly high and the standards of production, particulary in the use of colour printing, was years ahead of anything else in the field at that time. It can be truthfully said that, as a result, Signal had a enormous effect throughout wartime Europe."
posted by kablam at 10:00 PM on June 25, 2003

Wasn't there an advert by Braun, advertising their shaver with a pic of Adolf with his moustache photoshopped away? I think they pulled it, wonder why...
posted by slater at 10:18 PM on June 25, 2003

Hitler's quite the iconoclast here in Taipei, former home of the Hitler Cafe and other Nazi fashions.
posted by Poagao at 1:12 AM on June 26, 2003

*sigh* silly me. should've linked the article, but wanted to avoid a self-link. You can download the sept 11 memorial poster as a pdf here.
posted by dabitch at 5:15 AM on June 26, 2003

It's been said that Hitler was imitating the mustache of Charlie Chaplin, whose film work (but presumably not politics) he admired. I have no idea whether this is true, and a quick net search yields a lot of repetitions of this story, but definite proof.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:05 AM on June 26, 2003

Erp. "...but no definite proof."
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:06 AM on June 26, 2003

If what dagnyscott said about its being a regional fashion is true, that's a good and sufficient explanation. I'd love to see some documentation (and pictures of other guys from the region with similar 'staches). I seriously doubt he was imitating Chaplin; why would a politician who wanted to be taken seriously make himself look like the Little Tramp?
posted by languagehat at 7:23 AM on June 26, 2003

Ah, memories of previous threads where "Hitler's moustache!" is used as an expression of amazement....

Photos of Hitler with WWI comrades suggest that a small, neatly trimmed mustache was popular in German military circles of the day, but the so-called toothbrush moustache or "square button" was still an affectation. One theory is that the short mustache helped in fitting a gas mask, but it really was simply commonly found in the region at the time, not to mention America, and fit the familiar Bavarian pretension for neatness. But jeez: it wasn't even unique among American comic actors of the era.
posted by dhartung at 12:02 AM on June 27, 2003

I have nothing to add regarding Hitler's specific style of mustache but I did remember this bit about facial hair and significant figures of the interwar period. This translation of an essay by Italo Calvino is taken from the New Yorker of Jan 6, 2003:
... no one had ever heard of a prime minister who was only forty. Nor had anyone ever seen in Italy a statesmen without a beard or a mustache. It was common practice to shave, but the most significant politicians still wore facial hair. This was true throughout the world, I would say (I'm writing this without consulting any books or encylopedias), with the sole exception of the American Presidents. Even the quadrumvirate who lead the March on Rome had mustaches, and two of the four had beards. (I don't think historians are likely to emphasize the facial-hair aspect of the various epochs, and yet these are surely messages that have a meaning, especially in periods of transition.)

In short, Mussolini's image in the day was meant to express at the same time modernity, efficiency , and a reassuring continuity, along with authoritarian severity.

The essay traces the biography of Il Duce by examining his portraits.
posted by stuart_s at 11:52 AM on June 30, 2003

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