German Propaganda Posters – 1936 Referendum

Tad found a great collection of Nazi Propaganda that has been collected by a college professor in Michigan, Randall Bytwerk. I’ve shown plenty of WW2 propaganda posters but the majority have been from the Allied side of the war and I’m using this opportunity to showcase the types of propaganda used by the Germans and will be highlighting some of these posters over the next few months.

Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party utilized the elections and referendums throughout the 1930’s to legitimize their rule. The main point of the 1936 referendum was to gain public support for the military occupation of the Rhineland and to approve the Nazi candidates for the Reichstag. Two themes dominate the posters from this event: Supporting the Nazi party against the ‘war-mongers’ who surround them (Britain, France, and Russia); and Supporting the Nazi party because of all the good their economic policies have done for Germany.

Here’s are Randall’s posters and comments regarding the 1936 referendum:

This poster is from the 1936 referendum. The text: “The train would have to be 6,000 kilometers long, stretching from Berlin to Addis Ababa, if it had to carry the 209 million hundredweights of materials contributed to the Winter Relief drive during the years 1933-1935. That is socialism in action. Support the Führer on 29 March!”

This 1936 poster urges people to vote for Hitler by noting what he has done to promote automobile ownership in Germany. The caption: “The Führer promised to motorize Germany. In 1932, 104,000 motor vehicles were manufactured, 33,000 people were employed, and goods with a total value of 295,000,000 marks were produced. In 1935, 353,000 vehicles were manufactured, Over 100,000 people were employed, and the value of goods produced was 1,150,000,000 marks. The Führer gave 250,000 people’s comrades jobs in the auto industry and its suppliers. German people: Thank the Führer on 29 March! Give him your vote!”

This poster is probably from the 1936 Referendum. The caption: “Check the war-mongers of the world. Every vote for the Führer!”

This poster is from the 1936 referendum. The text says that German construction expenditures rose from 10.9 billion Marks in 1932 to 14.5 billion in 1935. “That is what Adolf Hitler has done for German craftsmen. All classes vote on 29 March for freedom, peace and construction.”

This poster is also from the 1936 referendum. The text: “We stand with the Führer. The oath of the German people on 29.3!”

This poster dates to the 29 March 1936 referendum. The text reads: “No German must freeze. 11.5 million cubic meters of coal have been provided by the Winter Relief. That is 4 times the volume of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. That is one of the Führer’s accomplishments. Give him your vote!”

This poster is probably from the 1936 referendum. The text: “Before: Unemployment, hopelessness, desolation, strikes, lockouts. Today: Work, joy, discipline, camaraderie. Give the Führer your vote!”

This poster is from the 1936 referendum. The text says that German industrial production has risen from 34.8 billion marks in 1932 to 58.3 billion in 1935. “An unprecedented increase in industrial production is the result of the Führer’s economic policy. Keep it going! Vote for the Führer on 29.3!”

This poster promotes Hitler’s 1936 referendum. Since it quotes Schwabian Gauleiter Karl Wahl, I assume it comes from his area. Hitler is quoted as saying: “I ask the German people to strengthen my faith and to lend me its strength so that I will always and everywhere have the strength to fight for its honor and freedom, to work for its economic prosperity, and particularly to strenthen me in my struggles for genuine peace.” Karl Wahl says: “German women and men, it is in your own interest to fulfill the Führer’s request and vote on 29 March 1936. Be loyal to him who is loyal!”

[Images courtesy of Randall Bytwerk at Calvin College.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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