Visual Culture and the Holocaust: Nazi Anti-Semitic Propaganda


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Social and political reasoning uses predetermined national security to defend its position against European Jewry. Historic animosity, paranoia, and social fatigue led to false defensive actions against the Jews. Wrongful blame, according to socialist doctrines, both accelerated and intensified after the out come and Germany’s Nationalist position after World War I.

The undercurrent attitudes, extended anti-Semitic ideologies dating back to Martin Luther’s protestant reformation, and the events and circumstances surrounding the French inquisition. The predominant historic attitudes of European citizens continually resented the Jewish communities wealth and supposed economic influences. European Jewry previously had been denied land ownership rights in Russia, France, Germany, and England. This political and economic restriction forced the International Jewish Diaspora to turn inward, relying on the extension of community and its cross-cultural connections incorporating academia, and the trade and distribution of marketable goods.

Jewish national identity has continually focused on their biblical Holy Land of the ‘Chosen People,’ Palestine, Israel and the city of Jerusalem. This affection continued to provide them with a strong emotional and national pride. A people without land to claim as their own, left Jews around the world to identify first with religious conviction, and secondly with their national/state of occupancies. This conviction, to the ideological state of Israel, considered by residential communities to represent a lack of National pride in the host country, such as Germany, Italy, Poland, Bohemia, the Ukraine, Russia, and the Balkan States. This apparent and deliberate lack of National pride provoked citizens and wrongfully encouraged ideologies of mistrust, questioned solidarity, paranoid rumors of espionage, and undercurrents of potential revolutionaries.

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Visual Culture and the Holocaust: Nazi Anti-Semitic Propaganda

  1. 1. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA HISTORIC VISUAL SURVEY John P Corrigan GD///MFA AH5622 Visual Culture and the Holocaust Jennifer Hirsh Spring 2007 Fight for Freedom logo, a British anti- Nazi campaign, c. 1941. 1
  2. 2. | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA INTRODUCTION anti-semitism leading to the holocaust 3 The Wandering Jew (The Eternal Jew) Der-Ewige-Jude, Poster design by Horst Schlüter.1937. (Aynsley, 197) Even though the headline text is in German, the type is stylized into Hebrew letter forms. The text reads from left to right, where as Hebrew is written and reads from right to left. The image of the Jewish figure is distortingly hunched, and facial gesture have been exaggerated. The figure also carries a stone portion representing a broken fragmented Russia. The film, The Wandering Jew, produced by Jewsih Zionists, was twisted by Nazi propagnda exploiting the Jewish quest for a return to Palestine.
  3. 3. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | Social and political reasoning uses predetermined national security to defend its position against European Jewry. Historic animosity, paranoia, and social fatigue led to false defensive actions against the Jews. Wrongful blame, according to socialist doctrines, both accelerated and intensified after the out come and Germany’s Nationalist position after World War I. The undercurrent attitudes,extended anti-Semitic ideologies dating back to Martin Luther’s protestant reformation,and the events and circumstances surrounding the French inquisition.The predominant historic attitudes of European citizens continually resented the Jewish communities wealth and supposed economic influences.European Jewry previously had been denied land ownership rights in Russia,France,Germany,and England.This political and economic restriction forced the International Jewish Diaspora to turn inward,relying on the extension of community and its cross-cultural connections incorporating academia,and the trade and distribution of marketable goods. Jewish national identity has continually focused on their biblical Holy Land of the‘Chosen People,’Palestine,Israel and the city of Jerusalem.This affection continued to provide them with a strong emotional and national pride.A people without land to claim as their own,left Jews around the world to identify first with religious conviction, and secondly with their national/state of occupancies.This conviction,to the ideological state of Israel,considered by residential communities to represent a lack of National pride in the host country,such as Germany,Italy,Poland,Bohemia,the Ukraine,Russia, and the Balkan States.This apparent and deliberate lack of National pride provoked citizens and wrongfully encouraged ideologies of mistrust,questioned solidarity, paranoid rumors of espionage,and undercurrents of potential revolutionaries. National pride of European nations intensified after the Great War.Germany suffered great losses after the fall of World War I.Germany was severely severed and fractured in social and economic depression.Germany looked to their National identity and government for answers as to the demise of their once powerful nation.The National Socialist party looked to answer these questions,ending blame on the Jews. 1933 JANUARY German government takes away freedom of speech, assembly, press, and freedom from invasion of privacy (mail, telephone, telegraph), and from house search without warrant. March The concentration camp at Dachau is established. July Nazis pass a law requiring the forced sterilization of those found to have genetic defects. September German Jews are forbidden from owning land. October German Jews are forbidden from being newspaper editors. Timeline events focus on anti- Semitic legislation and actions directed by the Nazi regime.
  4. 4. | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA 654 The Wire Puller: Brain-and Manual Workers Vote for the People’s Bloc, Election poster, 1924. (Herf, 33) Behind the Enemy Powers: The Jew Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, by Hans Schweitzer, 1943. (Herf) Jewish Conspiracy against Europe, Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda 1941. (Herf, 143) Political posters from the begining of the Nazi regime, and through the end of the war, consistently depicted the Jewish man as the mastermind behind all oppositional politcal force. The caricature of the Jewish figure is consistenly positoned behinde, or above, symbols of industrial and politcal influence. These posters represent a ‘lurking’ Jew, controling the political relationships of Allied agreements between England, Russia and America. Nazi propaganda used sterotypical caricatures of the overweight British bourgeois and heavy forcefulness of the Jewish politican. Other Nazi sterotypes focused on religious Jews; these depictions exaggerated the beard, nose, ears, and lips in appoving facial gestures. The Nazis commonly depicted Jewish conspirators safely hidden away in the safety and luxury of influence in America or England.
  5. 5. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda presented Hitler and Germany as merely responding to political threats,initiatives,and injustices of others.Propaganda initiatives portrayed the Germans innocence, turning the power relationships of the Jews upside down.Hitler projected his own paranoia,twisting historical world events to make claims of the diabolical intentions of International,and world Jewry. Nazis projected blame onto the Jews at the outbreak of World War II.According to Hitler and the Nazi party,it was the Jews who had launched the war against Germany,thus compelling the Nazi party to retaliate. Germany would use propaganda tactics to contradict historical events,making simultaneous claims of a master race and world domination.With world domination,paranoia,and the self-pity of victimization,the Nazis used propaganda to convince themselves and the rest of the world that they were the victims.The Nazis believed they had uncovered deep secrets of modern history and politics.Through means of propaganda,the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda (Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda) was to educate the people,(Herf,6) of the‘true’realities. The mid-late 1930’s the political consensus led to the Nuremburg Race Laws.The newly enacted laws would deny citizen- ship,encourage economic impoverishment of Jews—the enemy to the sate and well being of Germany.Anti-Semitism rested on the belief that the Jews were a cohesive and politically active power that was seeking the destruction of Germany.Nazi propaganda insisted that the powerful autonomous entity of International Jewry controlled stooges and political accomplices who served their evil interests.An International Jewish political force was falsely exposed for effecting leaders in Great Britain,the Soviet Union (under the Bolsheviks,) and the United States.The Nazis made claims that Jews were masters of camouflage,able to unknowingly afflict its goals at the unsuspecting 1934 May German Jews are forbidden from receiving national health insurance. NAZI AGENDA
  6. 6. | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA Germans.Nazi propaganda made its initial effort to expose,identify,and destroy the supposed goal of German annihilation.Hitler personally sought to exterminate the Jews before they were able to annihilate the contemporary German empire. Established decades prior to the Nazi party, The Protocols of Zion,popularized fictitious themes of Jewish conspiracy.Twisting historical events effecting German strength,The Protocols of Zion supposedly answered questions to policies that beleaguered Germany after World War I. The campaign’s only rationale was to blunt the sensibilities of the people regarding the campaign of persecution and murder which was being carried out…they were not designed to unite the German people in the war effort…sub due any doubt…racial persecution to which the Jews were to be subjected… 1 1 “Judgement,” Trials of War criminals before the Nuremburg Military Tribunal (IMT), 14, 565-576. Otto Dietrich testified at the Nuremburg Military trial stating… (Herf, 23) Election poster, 1932. (Heller, 64) 8 All of Germany listens to the Führer with the People’s Receiver. Designed by Leonoid. 1936. (Aynsley, 179) 7 The audience is directed at ‘the people’ of Germany, which refer to Aryan decendents. Both the visual tone and the language is set to Fraktur, calling on German Nationalism.
  7. 7. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | Before the official beginning and declaration of war in 1939, propaganda had been used to propagate the new world order according to the Nazis,and vilify the enemy.The industrial revolution allowed the proliferation of posters,uniforms,street graphics and political banners en masse.The propaganda image both unified and identified political opponents giving faces to the enemies of the Reich, creating solidarity amongst leaders,followers,as well as the crushed opposition. Leadership figures embodied the power and ideology of Nazi Germany.For the first time,photographic representation allowed images of Hitler to become icons.(Hollis,108) Through photographic representation,the Jewish enemy would also be vilified.Jewish faces could also be used to identify,misrepresent,and exaggerate anti-Semitic stereotypes,to the disadvantage of the Jews. Direct photographic representation was better suited to symbolic representation of the power of the Nazi party,and expose and propagate the negative connotations of the Jews. Posters were used by the Nazi party to boost morale among its own,encourage war production,and dictate order to civilians.The modern medium of propaganda was able to overwhelm viewers. (Hollis,109) Posters effectiveness depended upon the images ability to communicate instantly and sub due the potential for reactionary thought or consequences. The statistical information offered by Jeffrey Herf,is a staggering account of propaganda activity.In the initial years of the war the Propaganda Ministry was responsible for 200,000 political meetings from September 1939 through October 1940,a staggering 29,674 slide show meetings consisting of nine productions,as nine to ten million saw the German Weekly Newsreel each week.Herf reports, “Text posters were printed in edition of 400,000-500,000 and picture posters numbering 300,000.By the end of 1940,700,000 photos of 1935 May German Jews are forbidden from serving in the military. September The German government enacts the Nuremberg Laws— depriving German Jews of citizenship and fundamental rights. The Nazis intensify persecution of political dissenters and others considered“inferior,” including Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals. WAR AND PROPAGANDA
  8. 8. | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA 9 Collaboration, USHMM Call Number: 2004.264.1 Front divided into three panels with anti-Semitic caricatures in center panel. The poster refers to the meeting between Henri Philippe Petain, French general and head of the Vichy government in France, and Adolf Hitler in Oct. 1940 at Montoire- sur-le-Loir, France, when Petain offered his collaboration with Nazi Germany. Language(s): In French.
  9. 9. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | Hitler had been produced.Herf also specifies the color poster accompanying the film The Eternal Jew was 23,000.(Herf,59) By January 1941,Herf lists the Propaganda Ministry claims that,“more than seven million posters,two million pamphlets,sixty million periodicals and wall newspapers,an sixty-seven million leaflets were produced.”(Herf,34) This amount does not reflect film,demonstrations,slide shows,or political rallies.The quantitative mass was pre-dominantly implementing the solution to‘The Jewish Question,’addressing the supposed subversive power of the Jews in Germany.The staggering numbers start to represent the other fact that these reports do not show,the six million Jews destroyed as the results of paranoia and murderous anti-Semitism. 1936 August Olympic Games begin in Berlin.To gain public favor, Hitler and Nazis temporarily stop actions against Jews. 10 The Jew: Instegators of the War, Prolonger of the War, Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, by Hans Schweitzer, 1943. (Herf) 11 He Bears the Guilt for the War! Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, by Hans Schweitzer, 1943. (Herf)
  10. 10. 10 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA Jeffery Herf’s book,The Jewish Enemy,lays out specific accounts and historical facts that prove and identify Nazi propaganda to be falsely based,and politically skewed for public support.Herf’s specific numbers dramatically prove the ultimate purpose was to falsely convince its own party,as well as the German citizens the supposed power of International Jewry.Herf’s statistical information is based on the decreasing percentage of German Jews predating the Nazi regime.Herf’s figures state,“The percentage of Jews in the German population had declined from it’s peak of just over 1 percent in 1880 (under the Weimar Republic) to .76 percent in 1933…”Herf continues,“Out of all German Jews,160,000 or 32.1 percent,lived in Berlin,a fact of considerable importance for Joseph Goebbels before and after 1933.”(Herf,35) Previous anti-Semitic prejudices had limited Jewish professions.Jews had been mostly removed from political and civil service.Jews were not allowed to participate,nor be the head of large corporate business.Herf states, “Almost three-quarters of German Jews made their living from trade,commerce,or banking,with strong concentrations in sales,white-collar jobs,and office work.”(Herf, 35) Remaining professions was law and medicine,which remained accessible for Jews to practice. Anti-Semitic propaganda made unsubstantiated claims the Jews dominated both the cultural and intellectuals of Berlin.These numbers were highly dramatized as less than an average of six percent occupied positions of notable influence.The less than consistent positioning of the Nazis regime conspiratorial claims of Jewish involvement was fictitious. Under the sanctioned Nuremburg laws,which eliminated both economic and social standing for the Jews,continued deception strengthened the Germans disgust of the Jews supposed power.Herf writes,“By the end of 1933,37,000 of the 525,00 Jews in Germany had already left.”(Herf,37) From the onset of Hitler’s rise to power,his previous publication Mein Kampf, which was written from prison,did not obsessively discuss racial biology,consuming itself mostly with the affect International Jewry had on the economic depression that afflicted Germany after World War I.The Jews were enemies because of their supposed economic war,capitalism,and connection to the Bolshevik revolution started in Russia. Herf cites the continued pressure and activism in England and America towards Germany for the increasing anti-Semitic policies towards Jews and the conspiracy of QUESTIONING ANTI-SEMITIC REPRESENTATION / PROLIFERATION
  11. 11. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 11 International Jewry.Herf writes,“The source of tension was therefore foreign criticism of the regimes anti-Semitic policies,not the policies themselves…”(Herf,39) Joseph Goebbels,second in command to Nazi propaganda, frequently linked Bolshevism with Germany’s Jewish problem. Both Goebbels’and Hitler’s speeches would demonize the‘Judo- Marxist domination’in its westward expansion of Germany,and the Jewish quest for world domination.Hitler’s hatred of America was continually obsessed with its connections to supposed Jewish influences.Outspoken American politicians,against the Nazis in Germany,fueled Jewish implications.Herf states,that Nazis attacked F.D.Roosevelt’s New Deal,believing that it was common to National Socialism in its encouragement of Liberal Democracy,a strong state- hood and active public welfare system.Politics in America was propagated by the Nazis proof of its alleged Jewish manipulation. International outrage and criticisms of the Nazi policy of anti- Semitism,provoked Hitler to‘retaliate’against the Jews of Germany and later the rest of Europe.Seen as an act of Jewish aggression on Germany,Hitler enacted the anti-Jewish pogrom of November 1938,‘the night of broken glass’destroying Jewish business and synagogues,killing and beating of Jews,and subsequently sending many males to Dachau,at which time was a cap for prisoners of war. 1937 January German Jews are banned from many professional occupations including teaching Germans, accounting and dentistry.They are also denied tax reductions and child allowances. July Many Jewish students are ordered to leave German schools and universities. November Jewish passports are declared invalid for foreign travel. 12 The Wire Pullers: They Are Only Jews! Parole der Woshe, Reich Propaganda Directorate of the Nazi Party, 1942. (Herf, 153) The early use of photography put faces of the enemy for all passersby to see.
  12. 12. 12 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA Nazi anti-Semitic theories,were disseminated from the writings of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. Hitler’s chief conspirator in the proliferation of anti-Semitic propaganda was Joseph Goebbels. Through Hitler and Goebbels the Nazi party generated prolific amounts of effective propaganda.First to win the popular election of Hitler and secondly the anti-Semitic campaign aimed at the destruction of European Jews.Nazi propaganda pioneered the use of modern communication methods,incorporating radio,aerial travel, and the novelty of film (Bytwerk,11) was used to establish the Third Reich as a strong and powerful political force.In the publication Paper War,Randall Bytwerk introduces Hitler’s clear identification of propaganda’s use to persuade the masses.Bytwerk quotes Hitler’s writings in Mein Kampf,“The act of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding,through a psychologically correct form,the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses.” (Bytwerk,11) Hitler’s anti-Semitic convictions was addressed,supported and inflated by his closest party propagandists.His core of experienced supporters were Joseph Goebbels,Otto Dietrich,and Alfred Rosenburg. (Herf,17) During the past Weimar Republic years,Nazi propagandists learned the importance and influential methods to distort the reporting of both political and military news worthy stories.Half- truths selected,omitted,and downplayed historical facts,slanting fact and fiction.Most effective propaganda does not consist of blatant lies, for the truth always has the potential to be found. By January 1933,the Nazi party confiscated,destroyed, eliminated,and closed all opposing newspaper and publications.This process led to the expulsion of German journalists,including Jews, Social Democrats,Communists,political writers,and other forms of political dissent.By the end of 1933,the Nazis controlled all remaining papers and free press,also enacting laws forbidding Jews as editors, 13 Der Stürmer. “Jewish Murder Plan against Gentile Humanity Revealed,” issue accusing Jews of practicing ritual murder to secure the blood of Christians to use in Jewish religious rituals. Special Issue: May 1934. (Calvin College Archive) NAZI OFFICES AND OFFICERS Der Stürmer (The Stormer) was a weekly Nazi newspaper published from 1923 to the end of World War II in 1945. It was a significant part of the Nazi propaganda machinery and was vehemently anti- Semitic. Der Stürmer often ran obscene materials such as anti-Semitic caricatures and propaganda accusations of blood libel.
  13. 13. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 13 and banning those married to Jews from practicing journalism. The Nazi Press Office in Propaganda Ministry was run by Otto Dietrich.Both the Reich Press Chamber and German Association of Newspapers and Periodical Publishers was ran by Max Amann,a close friend of Hitler,who helped publish Mein Kampf.Under both ministries,Nazi ownership and influence of all remaining privately owned newspapers had to attest to orders officially directed from the Nazi ministries.All information was now in the control of a hand selected few from the Nazi party.Each,in their own right,had made public testimonies to party members making their intentions regarding‘the Jewish question’known to all.At the head of the propaganda chain,its chief Adolf Hitler,who along with Goebbels directed the anti-Semitic hatred and war against the Jews. Goebbels who was now in charge of the Propaganda Ministry,was director of press divisions,mass speaking engagements,political rallies,cultural events,radio,and film.The Office of Active Propaganda produced pamphlets and posters. Goebbels was directly responsible for many academic and scholarly publications.He formerly had been editor of Der Angriff (The Attack) the official National daily newspaper of the Nazi party,Der Völkische Beobachter (VB),and Das Reich.Herf writes that,“Das Reich focused exclusively on the Jews,and anti-Semitic motifs were ubiquitous.” (Herf,21) Jeffrey Herf places a large influence of anti-Semitic rhetoric on Otto Dietrich.He was the Reich press chief,and unlike Goebbels, worked in Hitler’s office everyday.To a large extent,his specific mission was to enrage the Germans against the Jews.Herf accounts of the multiple Nazi ministries,all of which maintained anti-Semitic propaganda as their chief reasoning for existence.At the core of these ministries of propaganda,a small frequently reported set group of men are solely responsible for the consistent messages of hate.The list:Adolf Hitler,Joseph Goebbels,Otto Dietrich,and Alfred Rosenburg. 1938 March Germany takes over Austria and all anti-Jewish laws are enforced. April Nazis require Jews to register wealth and property. July Nazis require Jews over age 15 to apply for identity cards to be shown on demand to any police officer. Jewish doctors are prohibited by law from practicing medicine. August Nazis destroy the synagogue in Nuremberg. Nazis require all Jewish women to add“Sarah” and all men to add “Israel” to their names on all legal documents, including passports. September Jews are prohibited from all legal practices. October Law requires Jewish passports to be stamped with a large red“J.” November Kristallnacht:The Night of the Broken Glass, Nazis attack Jews throughout Germany—30,000 Jews are arrested; 91 are killed; 7,500 shops and businesses are looted; and more than 1,000 synagogues are burned. Nazis fine Jews one billion marks for the damages. Jewish children are expelled from public schools. December A law is passed calling for the Aryanization of all Jewish businesses. Hermann Goering takes charge of resolving the “Jewish Question.”
  14. 14. 14 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA Whether it be the Office of Active Propaganda,Propaganda Ministry,or the Reich Press Office,the continuity remained, propagators of the continued hatred and oppression,and offered the supposed answers to‘the Jewish Question.’ Under the Office of Active Propaganda,the Institute zum Studium der Judanfrage, and its bi-weekly journal,Antisemitische Aktion that Die Judenfrage,authored ideological and theoretical offerings regarding‘the Jewish Question.’According to Herf,the anti-Semitic topics included,“the Jews as a race;the national and international impact of the Jews on economic,political,and cultural life of modern nations…”(Herf,28) With continuing active debate paramount,the group oversaw the theft of treasured Jewish objects from all over Nazi occupied Europe. The Nazi rhetoric sought to permanently expel the Jews,and all their implied misery and suffering caused to the nation of Germany. Accusations of international Jewish conspiracy,were explicity enacted by political opposition from England and America.The Jews were believed to be searching for the destruction of Germany to create the founding of their own statehood.This belief was propagated by Reich propaganda offices,encouraged by Hitler,and used to substantiate the destruction of European Jewry. 14 Who Bears the Guilt for the War? Parole der Woshe, Reich Propaganda Directorate of the Nazi Party, 1942. (Herf, 153) 15 The Jews Wanted the War! Parole der Woshe, Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda 1941. (Herf) For the first time, images of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin put faces to the Jewish co-conspirators in the International conspiracy of the Jews. The National leaders were described by the Nazis as figure heads fronting Jewish advance on Germany. The size of Roosevelt represents his influence of Jewish advisors.
  15. 15. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 15 While anti-Semitic propaganda remains a constant,the Nazis also created racist propaganda directed at all of its declared enemies.Early in the Nazi regime’s climb to power,specific propaganda was aimed at the Polish,specifically leading to the introduction of World War II with the Nazis advancement on Poland. Nazi anti-Polish propaganda declared the Pole an inferior, claiming the insignificant accomplishments of the Polish nation in regards to the other European nations.On October 23,1939,the Nazi Periodical Service officially dictated that future associations with the words:‘Pole,’‘Poland,’and‘Polish’to be indicative of sloppy and objectionable behavior.(Herf,58) Nazi racial purity condemned any mixture of German bloodlines.Reported fraternization between German soldiers and Polish women led to the directive stated by Jeffrey Herf,“Every blood- linked mixture between Germans and Poles leads to racial decline in German blood.”(Herf,58) Nazi propaganda linked Poles,Gypsies and Jews,however they did not assert that Poles were part of the International conspiracy, that was specifically left prescribed to the Jews of Europe.As Hitler’s army began to loose Polish ground in 1944,propaganda adjusted its claims.Nazis leaflet‘newspapers’addressed the Poles as heroic dupes contracted by both the Americans and the Russians.Propaganda frequently described the killings of thousands of Polish soldiers by the blood red murderous hands of the Russian and Bolshevik army. Nazis laid claims to encourage the Poles to stop fighting and go home, rejecting the leadership of International Jewry leading the Russian fight against them. Propaganda directed at the Poles consisted of horrific accounts of anti-Semitic atrocities.The visual tone implied Jewish control of the advancing Russian army.Often times,indicating International Jewry behind the scenes were enjoying their lives on English or American soil.The formal language addresses the heroic fighter 1939 January Goering orders the emigration of Jews speeded up. February Nazis force Jews to hand over all gold and silver items. April Slovakia passes its own version of the Nuremberg Laws. Jews are forbidden rights as tenants and are relocated into Jewish houses. July German Jews are forbidden the right to hold government jobs. Adolf Eichmann is appointed director of the Prague Office of Jewish Emigration. September Nazis order Polish Jews into restricted ghettos and force them into slave labor. German Jews are forbidden to own wireless radios. November Yellow stars are required to be worn by Polish Jews over the age of 10. December Adolf Eichmann takes over the section of the Gestapo dealing with Jewish affairs and evacuations. ANTI-POLISH PROPAGANDA
  16. 16. 16 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA TO POLISH OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS! The whole world learner with horror of the terrible bestialities bestowed on the Polish people by the blood-thirsty Bolsheviks. Practically none of the Officers of the Polish Army, who in 1939 were imprisoned by the Soviets, survived. Whether General or Second Lieutenant – it made no difference – all shared the same fate in the forest at Katyn in April 1940. They fell, shot in the backs of their heads by the Red Commissar. This crime, committed by the bestial Soviet Regime, was confirmed by the International committee and the horror displayed to the whole world. 12,000 Polish Officers, the bloom of Polish youth, Poland’s pride, were murdered by bandits from the Kremlin, victims of the madness of the Reds, aspiring to control the whole world. These same Bolsheviks who got rid of Polish Officers, tortured, using long and atrocious methods, nearly 3 million poles in Siberia, in concentration camps by the North Sea and Kazakstan Steppes, telling them to die slowly, far from their Fatherland. And you,Polish Officer and Soldier,want to give up your life for the murderers of your people who, together with England in a close alliance, are, without scruples, selling your country to Stalin? THINK ON IT, YOU’RE BETRAYING YOUR OWN COUNTRY! COME TO US! EVEN IN THE 5TH YEAR OF THE WAR, WE PROMISE YOU A RETURN TO YOUR FATHERLAND.THERE, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SERVE YOUR NATIONALS. Leaflet 7 back, “Paper War,” Mark Batty Publisher, p.37. The visual tone has a heightened use of red–indicating Polish blood shed, as well as the color of the red army. The three striking symbols specific to anti-Semitic propaganda is firstly the remote Jewish figure holding the string. The caricature is involved but indirectly responsible. Large exaggerated rat-like nose, mouth and tail is also exaggerated with a brief-case. The second visual distortion is the ‘Bolshevik’ red army soldiers, with the blatant Star of David, as they are presumably controlled by the Nazi ideas of Jews central influence of the Bolshevik revolution in Bytwerk, Randall L. Translation: Leaflet 7 back,“Paper War,” Mark Batty Publisher, p.37. 17 Russia. One could read into the swinging pendulum, and the short length of rope into the tenacious relationship of the Nazis ideas of the Jews and the Russian army. The third visual reference is the head smashing into a Swastika / German brick wall, as if the wall of Germany has nothing to do with the blood shed. The Nazi wall remains strong, all of this activity relates to the horrific claims made in the text, specific to the Poles addressed. The text references are specifically horrendous. Leaflet 7 front, “Paper War,” Mark Batty Publisher, p.36. 16
  17. 17. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 17 DEAR POLISH FRIEND! You are fighting, but those who are toasting to the defeat of Poland, who are contributing to the mass murder of a nation, do not know anything about the pains and anxieties of war, and do not appreciate the effect of 5 years’ struggling. You are suffering because they are looking after their own dirty business at your cost. And the war goes on… THE JEWS ARE GETTING THE BEST OUT OF IT. You are wandering far from your close ones, in a far- away country. Thew swindlers are imposters of the war are away from the front, enjoying every comfort, surrounded by their families. But they are pushing you to war whilst sitting in their warm houses where they do not want for anything. At the cost of your pains and toils, at the cost of your blood, they are collecting millions. They do not care that you are disappearing, because gigantic profits are more important to them. Your families, like our, are really feeling the effects of the war. They have to work hard, and they have recognized the red disease approaching from the East. Your families do not believe that Stalin’s victory can make Poland happy. Would you like to know how your nearest and dearest are, what they think of the war, and how they are yearning for you? If you do – come to us. We assure you an instant return to your Fatherland. Your wives, children and beloved Fatherland await you! SLOGAN: GO HOME!! POLISH FRIENDS! DO YOU WANT TO DIE FOR THESE? 19 Leaflet 8 back, “Paper War,” Mark Batty Publisher, p.39. Bytwerk, Randall L. Translation: Leaflet 8 back,“Paper War,” Mark Batty Publisher, p.39. 18 Leaflet 8 front, “Paper War,” Mark Batty Publisher, p.38. Military propaganda directed towards the Polish army contained aspects of Nazi anti-Semitic. The visual tone, paired with the text, indicates the female figure is not of Jewish heritage. With consideration of the Polish Army as the direct audience, the anti-semitic depiction of the seated Jewish man is assumed to be a international conspirator either in England or in the United States. The visual tone of the seated man is also wrapped, misshapen facial features, and a racially stereo typical nose. The text is also filled with anti-semitic rhetoric.
  18. 18. 18 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA being led to pain and death,at the hands of the Jews.The language insists that Jews were making millions off the continual war with Germany and toasting to the defeat of both Germany and Poland.The radical language twists the fate of German Jews,subjecting them to the horrendous crimes against them.Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda used language to invert the roles of the Jews lying (sic.) false claims to distort the true actions of the crimes against Jews on Polish land, namely the establishment of both concentration and death camps in Poland. Nazi propaganda persuaded the Poles,historically skeptical to both the Germans and the Russians,in effect,to doubt their implications in the war.Germany needed the Poles assistance in fighting the Russian advance.Anti-Semitism added fuel for hate citing the mass population of and their‘demented intentions’against the state of Poland.Prolonged anti-Semitic reasoning had created contempt of the Jews by Polish citizens increasingly since the Nazi regime,justifying the killings and interment of thousands of Polish Jews. Anti-Polish propaganda used by the Nazis was an exaggerated account of similar propaganda used in other countries to be annexed and incorporated into the Reich.Poland was the first nation misleadingly led into the war with Germany,and subsequently encouraged England’s involvement into World War II.As a bordering country to Germany,and a country also seemingly plagued,in Nazi terms,with a similar scourge of Jews.The Nazi held contempt for the Poles.Historically the Poles had their own version of anti-Semitism and had enacted their own pogroms of hate on the Jews.Germany used its relationship with Poland in a constant state of manipulation. Nazis consistently made claims that they were cleansing Jews of all Europe at the betterment of Germans and Poles. The Jewish Conspiracy Parole der Woshe, Reich Propaganda Directorate of the Nazi Party, 1941. (Herf) 20 Nazi propaganda visually mapped the Jewish conspiracy falsly linking outspoken political intellectuals with Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin in America, England, and Russia.
  19. 19. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 19 Any further usage of the swastika,beyond specific historical reference must be avoided at all costs.Steven Heller’s book,Swastika Beyond Redemption,lays out the increasing potential of contemporary derivatives by examining the historical usage and origins of the swastika.Racial segregation appeared in Germanic Free Masonry cults dating back to the 1890’s.Swastika like images appeared on various forms of Aryan brotherhood literature,pre-dating the radical influences of the Nazis.Early symbol identification extended the Swastika symbol representing secret German folk nationalism.These secret orders expanded on the already prevalent symbols of mystic origins,further extending it once again to represent the pure order of Aryan supremacy. Viennese-born Guido Von List,(1848-1919) asserted the Swastika with supernatural power,(Heller,51) linking it with Aryan’s strength and energy.List’s idea was also responsible for the Gothic revival in Germany,encouraging Germanic conservative art and architecture.List was responsible for the classic revival of writing with spiky Fraktur type because it glorified the past strength and resolve.(Heller,54) The swastika image was used in World War I by a militarist German youth movement.Hitler,like other World War I veterans,and secret Germanic brotherhood’s, believed the Jews,Communists,and Republicans betrayed and profited from Germany at the end of the war.Hitler strongly identified and was inspired by the national style, co-opting the symbol for his own usage,unifying his anti-Semitic beliefs with those of his brothers.Hitler’s book,Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was devoted to semiotics and Germanic heroism.He had previously witnessed the strength and visual impact that the Communist party used to create a political spectacle.Hitler’s first commission for the Nazi movement was as its propaganda chief.As a former art student,Hitler easily understood the power of symbolism and propaganda in the effort of the war.He had witnessed the new visual age and realized the impact propaganda could have on the masses.As the newly formed leader of Nazism he choose to be its art director and image manipulator. Hitler’s vision of the new German Reich imagined past glories and the ultimate destruction of its enemies—including of the Weimar Republic,Jews,and Communists. Hitler’s final design was stolen from Dr.Friedrich Krohn,a Völkish symbology scholar. Through Mein Kampf,Hitler was able to strengthen the past symbol,changing the visual direction,a denotation of forward power.Without further debate,the Nazi symbol,with 1940 July Eichmann proposes his Madagascar Plan, which would deport all European Jews to the island of Madagascar, off the coast of east Africa. The first anti-Jewish measures are taken in Vichy France. August Romania introduces anti-Jewish measures restricting education and employment, and then begins the “Romanianization”of Jewish businesses. October Vichy France signs its own version of the Nuremberg Laws. THE ULTIMATE ANTI-SEMITISM SYMBOL
  20. 20. 20 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA its white,black,and red flag was implemented for the Nazi regime. Hitler debuted his creation in 1920,encouraging and mandating his creation for the sole usage as the true Nazi identity.The swastika’s systematic usage,under the minister of propaganda,Joseph Goebbels, and architect Albert Speer,incorporated it into every aspect of Nazi representation.Even the most vociferous opponents of Nazism agree that Hitler’s‘identity system’is the most ingeniously consistent graphic program ever devised—is attributed to his visual mastery of the design and propaganda process.(Heller,69) On September 15,1935,Hitler enacted the first Nuremburg laws,making the Swastika Germany’s only national flag.(Heller,71) On the same day,the next laws were against the Jews,removing the rights and citizenships,and prohibition of them from ever flying the German national flag.(Heller,72) Over the next few years the swastika was codified into national icon—ultimately denoting it as the symbol synonymous with evil. After the destruction of the Nazi regime,as the Nazi symbol retreats into mythic memory,the danger remains for its usage to represent some new abhorrent form or resurgence of Nazi anti- Semitic intolerance—or even worse an effigy of a destroyed dictator. 21 Graphic artists in the Hitler Youth c. 1938. (Heller, 60) Always the Same Goal: Germany Must be Exterminated, Parole der Woshe, Reich Propaganda Directorate of the Nazi Party, 1941. (Herf) 22 As the Nazis intensified mass murders, and concentration camps reached their maximum efficiency, the language of The Posters of the Week became increasingly accusational of the Jewish politcal agenda.
  21. 21. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 21 REACTION Increasing usage by Aryan inspired anti-Semitic militias and white supremacist hate groups are to be kept in check.The reoccurring usage implies a call to arms and the potential to cause a resurgence of hatred is to be considered intolerable.Every time I personally encounter the image of the swastika, whether in Heller’s book,a flag in a Jewish historical museum,or commentary on contemporary supremacist power,as telling illustration I am left in shock and horror.Contemporary usage of the swastika,newly describing the American Fascist or Republican Party does not serve as an appropriate aesthetic,even to describe the current political regime.The usage of the swastika represents everything that I find offensive.Heller questions the symbols potential redemption,and I believe he would agree that any usage is wrong and hurtful in any context.Its representation is especially dangerous in political usage—even if it is to describe our current state of affairs.Its usage wrongfully addresses ideas of anti-Semitism. 23 Down with Financial Enslavement! Vote National Socialist! Nazi Election poster, by Hans Schweitzer, 1924. (Herf, 32) 1941 February 430 Jewish hostages are deported from Amsterdam after a Dutch Nazi is killed by Jews. September German Jews are ordered to wear yellow stars. October Nazis forbid emigration of Jews from the Reich. November The Theresienstadt Ghetto is established near Prague as a model ghetto for Nazi propaganda purposes. During a cabinet meeting, Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, says“Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourselves of all feeling of pity.We must annihilate the Jews wherever we find them.” They Will Stop Laughing!!! Parole der Woshe, Reich Propaganda Directorate of the Nazi Party, 1942. (Herf, 168) 24 Poster text quoted from a Hitler speech regarding his early proficy of Jewish extermination. Hitler repeatedly reference the jews as ‘them laughing,’ ‘once laughed,’ or ‘if the laughter has already gone from them.’ Hitler publically announced his ordering and implimentation the extermination of the Jews.
  22. 22. 22 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA Of the anti-Semitic propaganda used by the Nazis,predominantly the most effective form of communication was that of printed matter— en mass.The commercial and industrial strength of the printing industry led to the direct and immediate form of the printed visual political poster. The Active Propaganda Division in the Propaganda Ministry was responsible for the direction and national implementation of the propaganda machine.The placement of graphic street‘wall newspapers’was crucial for the Nazis to bombard every German citizen with news generated from the propaganda ministries.The predominant form of transportation was propelled by pedestrian traffic.Public transportation was used by most Germans, especially in the highly developed city of Berlin,making posters noticeably present and highly visible to all Germans. Nazi directives place all forms of political posters through an array of national,state,provincial,local,and specific bureaus of information.The influx of active political members was required by Nazi law.The distribution was statewide and mandatory.Labor and professional organizations were required to respond and post all Nazi party dictated materials.Under the Third Reich,the nation of pedestrians came to convergence in centralized public spaces.The political poster was favored to film and radio due to its prevalence truly amongst the people.Every German citizen that could read was exposed to the political agenda prescribed by the Nazis,including the vast and repeated message of sanctioned anti-Semitism. The Word of the Week (Parole der Woche) wall newspapers became crucial and pervasive forms of visual propaganda.From 1937-1943,in all of Nazi Germany,its images were unified everywhere. Jeffrey Herf quotes Walter Benjamin,“The Word of the Week wall newspapers were stunning examples of the work in propaganda in the era of mechanical reproduction.”(Herf,29) Hitler personally appointed Hans Schweitzer with the task NAZI PROPAGANDA DESIGN OBJECTIVES The Jew Kaufman Outdone! Parole der Woshe, Reich Propaganda Directorate of the Nazi Party, 1942. (Herf, 111) 26 Jewish author Nathan Kaufman, self published Germany Must Die, an angry anti-Nazi book of writing calling for the International retaliation for the persecution of the Jews. The book was wrongly linked for its influence on American political and intellectual policies against Germany. 25The War Aim of World Plutocracy Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda 1941. (Herf)
  23. 23. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 23 of translating Nazi ideology to the uniforms,stamps,and posters. The Word of the Week poster campaign was directed to‘document’ (emphasis) political events important to the people of Germany. Hitler’s strict criteria for judgment was,its effectiveness.The Nazi propaganda offices where supplied with the actions and reactions of the people at the local level.This system of evaluation had previous been used by the Weimar Republic. According to Jeffrey Herf,specific production actualities of The Word of the Week campaign;“the first edition was distributed on March 16,1936.By January 1941,eight million copies had been distributed,approximately 125,000 a week.”(Herf,30) Everything about the campaign became a political activity,from the message by design to be read by everyone,to the distribution handled by party members.The visual tone of the poster utilized bold type and strong use of Nazi influenced colors In stark contrast to the previous political posters of the Weimar Republic,which advocated for high modernism incorporating dogmatic works of Bauhaus and DaDa artists,Nazi propaganda resisted‘degenerate art’created by German émigrés.Nazi propaganda revisited past German glorification of the mythological Aryan hero. Initial Nazi posters featured Germanic völkisch type.Contemporary Germans at first had a difficulty grasping antiquated letterforms. Hitler initially rejected Gothic styled modern letterforms,associating their prevalence on Swashbacher type styles associated with the Jews in the graphic forms presented by the Bolshevik’s. Jeffrey Herf adds significant anti-Semitic representation in The Word of the Week in its direct reinforcement,specific to anti- Semitism as well as the greater reports of the Holocaust.Herf report the quantity of anti-Semitic wall newspapers coincided with varying Nazi programs against the Jews.Herf writes,“Between 1936 and 1940, anti-Semitic themes were infrequent.In 1940,only three of the wall newspapers broached them.From 1941 to winter 1943,about a quarter Fraktur typefaces advertised in Graphische Nachrichten Berlin 1935. (Hollis, 66) 27 1942 April German Jews are banned from using public transportation. June Jews in France, Holland, Belgium, Croatia, Slovakia, and Romania are required to wear yellow stars. September Food rations for Jews in Germany are reduced. December The British Foreign Secretary Eden tells the British House of Commons the Nazis are“now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people of Europe.” The United States declares those crimes will be avenged.
  24. 24. 24 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA of wall posters included attacks on Jews… moreover 27 posters were produced from January 1942 to July 1942,at a time when the extermination camps had begun full operation,twelve poster were devoted partly or wholly to anti-Semitic attacks.”(Herf 31) As many Germans have made claims after the war that they did not know,it is difficult to believe that the propaganda efforts made no lasting affects at the Germans response to anti-Semitic actions.The direct ratio of posters,with or without anti-Semitic claims,is relative to the Nazi pogroms enacted upon the Jews,as well as the annexing of ghettos,and the murder of German and European Jews. Herf also lists the subscription requests from the outlying areas of the German population.The subscription figures account the attitudes of the German people.The request comes from a complete representation of local governing forces:hospitals, factories,schools restaurant associations,war veterans,and Nazi party officials to name a few. This shows the complete effectiveness of Nazi propaganda. 30 Ludwig Hohlwein, poster for the Deutsche Lufthansa, 1936. (Meggs, 263) And You? Ludwig Hohlwein, recruiting poster, early 1940s. (Meggs, 263) 29 The Mask Falls! They Are the Real Rulers in the U.S.A.! Parole der Woshe, Reich Propaganda Directorat of the Nazi Party, 1942. (Herf) 28
  25. 25. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 25 From a design history perspective,anti-Semitic propaganda has been well avoided. With minor exception,Nazi propaganda has been left out of the design continuum. Philip Meggs,a respected design historian,negates even the negative impact the Nazis had on European graphics.Meggs’book,A History of Graphic Design,all but alludes to the Nazi domination of graphics produced during the Second World War.Meggs’ graphic time line cites,“The poster reached its zenith of its importance as a medium of communication during World War I (1914-1918).”(Meggs,258) Meggs’beginning introduction and conclusion offer three brief paragraphs introducing the design work of Ludwig Hohlwein,citing two posters produced for the Nazis,one in 1936,the second in 1940.Meggs’cites the like minded graphic approach,favored by Hitler and visualized by Hohlwein.The effective propaganda,used Hohlwein’s artistic representation of heavy handed graphic symbolology,depicting the mythological and formal gestures often implied in Nazi propaganda,he also used an integrated combination of text and imagery.While these two posters are militaristic in tone,neither depict elements of anti-Semitism.None of Meggs’reproduction or text show,or inform the reader of the potential for Nazi propaganda to be in effect.Meggs’consistently fluctuates with High German art,Allied propaganda with the WPA poster projects,and the inclusion of design movements prior to Nazi occupation of Europe.He is proficient at representing the Bauhaus both in Weimar and in Dessau.Other than the admission of the Nazis forcing the Bauhaus out of Germany—he quickly moves on to the Russians.Meggs’main representation consist of Allied posters for the war effort.Surely the negation,at least from a historic mode of inclusion is to be dually noticed. Jeremy Aynsley’s book,Graphic Design in Germany 1890-1945,specifically confronts the ideological Nazification of propaganda.While non-specific to anti- Semitism,it does analyze the mythology of German artifacts. Aynsley makes immediate mention of lacking analysis of Nazi strategies of advertising published in the English language.Aynsley relates political propaganda to adaptive strategies of marketing (Aynsley,180) citing specific practice of graphic design and its ephemeral response to the informative needs of the people’s reaction towards regime announcements.The response was less controlled and oddly dependent on the diversity of the message.Many contradictory methods were explored for the total search for questionably effective communication.Aynsley writes,“Often pragmatic recognition 1943 January Ernst Kaltenbrunner succeeds Heydrich as head of RSHA. March In New York, American Jews hold a mass rally at Madison Square Garden to pressure the U.S. government into helping the Jews of Europe. April At the Bermuda Conference, the United States and Great Britain discuss the plight of refugees from Nazi-occupied countries, but nothing is decided about the plight of the Jews. October Himmler talks openly about the Final Solution at Posen. Massive escape from Sobibor as Jews and Soviet POWs break out, with 300 making it safely into nearby woods. Of those 300, 50 survive. Exterminations then stop at Sobibor, after 250,000 deaths. All traces of the death camps are removed and trees are planted. November The U.S. Congress holds hearings on the U.S. State Department’s inaction regarding European Jews, despite mounting reports of mass extermination. DESIGN HISTORY PERSPECTIVE
  26. 26. 26 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA that a modern Germany,even under National Socialism,needed a sustained consumer economy was disguised by party rhetoric and official propaganda.”(Aynsley,180) Aynsley argues that the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda, stating its‘own’claim on völkish ideas and return to neo-classical was inherent in the propaganda itself.Beyond the total rejection of Weimar representation,Nazi artistic representation claimed modernization for their own.This testament remains intact when comparative consideration of the magnitude of graphics supplied by the Nazis,and extended grandness of its architectural extremes.In the proprietary interest of National Socialist system,graphic evidence incorporated the Bauhaus Modernism specific to publicity. After the Nazi election in 1933,all arts and media control was under the jurisdiction of the Reich’s Ministry for Education and Propaganda.Under Goebbels international responsibilities concerned with the display of German art,film,and sport;while domestic responsibility controlled festivals,the press,radio,education, art,and music.All design efforts consisted of official commissions, heavy restrictions forced many Jewish artists out of Germany,and others consequently were attacked as cultural Bolshevik’s and were murdered (Aynsley,189) those lucky enough to emigrate did so quickly.Aynsley documents,“The last exhibition of graphic art, entitled The Jewish Poster, took place at the Jewish Museum in Berlin in March 1937,before the final devastating stage in the obliteration of the Jewish Germans in the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9 and 10,1938.”(Aynsley,190) The Reich Advertising Division declared a unification of leadership for the direction of political,cultural,and economic concerns. Aynsley studies the language and graphic representation of Gebrauchsgraphik,a newly converted graphic magazine under the Nazi regime.The magazine continued to represent contemporary styles not allowed by the Nazi regime,yet still covering International Gebrauchsgraphik Magazine cover, designed by Herbert Bayer, October 1938. (Aynsley, 193) 31
  27. 27. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 27 design styles.The magazine was allowed to show foreign work from the United States,England, France,and with great interest an emphasis in the popular Fascist design of Italy.An International attitude invited Herbert Bayer to create its cover in October 1938.(Aynsley,193) Aynsley makes a final cautionary note saying,“The continuing pluralism in Gebrauchsgraphik after 1933 should not mislead the historian into believing that there was an open editorial policy,unchanged by political events.The distinct ideological nature of the overall coverage of official design events warns against this reading. (Aynsley 195) Similar to the staged propaganda of the Olympic Games held by the Nazis in Berlin in 1936, Herbert Bayer’s exhibition and design work was used to propagate,as Aynsley writes,“an image of national economic potential for domestic and foreign audiences alike.”(Aynsley,205) While Herbert Bayer work does not represent anti-Semitic propaganda,it both establishes and demystifies the conflicted history of Nazi design. While National Socialism held fast to neo-classical representations its process and attitudes are still fascinated by the industrial and cultural revolution that Nazi power was to identify itself with. Its intolerant attitude certainly corresponds in particular to the German inclination to the absolute; its military will- to-order and its claim to sole power correspond to those fearful components of German-ness which unleashed Hitler’s rule and Second World War. 2 Jan Tschihold, “Glaube und Wirklichkeit,” Schweizer Graphische Mitteilungen, 65, No.6, June 1946. 2 Aynsley seems to perfectly encapsulate his academic analysis with a quote from Jan Tschihold, (Aynsley, 214) 1944 January In response to political pressure to help Jews under Nazi control, Roosevelt creates the War Refugee Board. Diary entry by Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, concerning the fate of 2.5 million Jews originally under his jurisdiction,“At the present time we still have in the General Government perhaps 100,000 Jews.” March President Roosevelt issues a statement condemning German and Japanese ongoing“crimes against humanity.” May Himmler’s agents secretly propose a trade to the western Allies: Jews for trucks and money.The deal is rejected. June A Red Cross delegation visits Theresienstadt after the Nazis have carefully prepared the camp and the Jewish inmates, resulting in a favorable report.
  28. 28. 28 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA The initial research of this paper was to examine the visual properties of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda leading to the horrific results of the Holocaust.Visual aspects of Nazi propaganda are formulations of racially spirited anti-Semitism. Formal attributes twist previous stereotypes of the European Jew.Historical studies of the Holocaust have shown prolific biological racism enacted upon the Jews.Subsequent research written by Jeffrey Herf suggests that,anti-Semitism is more specific to Hitler’s paranoia of International Jewry.The research presented here,reveals a more specific and directed verbal communication of slander and miss-representation of the Jews.Verbal accusations, made by the Nazi regime,proved to be filled with hatred and malice.As my research unfolded,I easily realized that the verbal language used by the Nazis was far more incriminating.Carefully articulated words were chosen for their capacity to carry a desired message.Specific words could encourage hatred,propel fear,or quell victims into silent submission.The heavily ironic words,posted in the changing rooms in Aushwitz-Birkenau,initially soothed gassing victims.These would be the last set of words administered by the Reich. Hitler’s specific use of language,at Nazi rallies,was strengthened by the various propaganda ministries.Even the language chosen, to identify the varied propaganda ministries, were specific to methods of propaganda. Hitler’s consistent usage of‘extermination,’and ‘exterminate,’indicated that he had ordered the PAROLE DER WOSHE: SPRACHE CONCLUSION: QUESTIONING LANGUAGE Protective Custody Living Space Quarantine District Treated Appropriate Special Action Clearing up the Jewish Question Evacuation to the East Jewish Residential District Mercy Killing Shot—while trying to escape Auxiliary Equipment Resettlement Final Solution to the Jewish Question Hairdresser Selection Special Treatment Disinfection Shower ‘Work Liberates,’ gates of Auschwitz. ‘Harvest Festival,’ extermination of 43,00 Polish Jews, November 1943. Also specific to Jewish Holiday of Sukkot. ‘Lake Forest,’ used as a fake return address on postcards sent from Auschwitz. Alternate words and phrases disinfected the hands of the Nazi elite. Words became clever deceptive devices for the continued need to simultaneously pacify the Jewish community and encourage idealistic favoritism among Germans.These word phrases were used to deflect the blame away from the Nazis intent of persecuting the Jews. Words of propaganda used by Nazis to obscure acts against Jews. The Jewish Heritage Museum (installation) New York, New York
  29. 29. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 29 implementation of the destruction of the Jews.Hitler avoided the use of first person,and active verbs directly negating association to the causality of his actions.Herf specifies, “the Nazi faithful understood that Hitler was telling them in language by then familiar that the Nazi regime was at the moment murdering the Jews.”(Herf,167) If the oration of his speeches remained ambiguous to its audience,it was redistributed in mere weeks following the political rally in a varied form of propaganda mediums.This combination of word and image would have clarified any doubt of his intentions. Hitler conveyed tyrannical words of hate and anti-Semitism by dissemination, through the Reich Press Office under Joseph Goebbels.Jeffrey Herf writes,“…a fanatical,but not small,minority embedded in or hovering around front organization of the Nazi party adopted the anti-Semitic narrative…these fanatics were surrounded by a society in which milder forms of anti-Semitism had become commonplace.”(Herf,277) The Nazis manipulated language for the explicit means of obscuring their answer to‘the Question of the Jews.’Increasingly aggressive actions against the Jews was twisted to reflect back upon their victims,the supposed conspiracy of International Jewry.The Nazi leaders knew,that they could not rely on a popularized backing for the total annihilation of the Jews,without reprisals from England and America.The truth of what is not said—and lies remain—in the words broadcast loudly.The repetitious and paranoid language of the Nazi regime again forces blame upon its victims.Through persuasive words of convoluted propaganda,the Nazis influenced Germany’s social and emotional support in the advancement of national and anti-Semitic support.While visual aspects of Nazi propaganda leaned toward obscure racial stereotypes,the‘true’war,consisted of rhetorical,manipulative,and slanderous propagated discourse,becoming the Nazis strongest asset to the slaughter of the innocent Jews.Through systematic and radical use of language the Nazis overwhelmingly communicated its contempt of European Jews. This research catalogues specific and deliberate results generated by the Nazi regime to justify the destruction of the Jews.The purpose of this research is to display both the visual characteristics,and the ultimate methodical use of language by the Nazi regime. The lasting affects forever changed the visual representation of the Jews. TIME LINE Material based on information from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, and A Teachers Guide to the Holocaust, Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida © 2001
  30. 30. 30 | NAZI ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA Herf,Jeffrey.The Jewish Enemy, Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust.Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,2006. Paper War. Nazi Propaganda in One Battle, on A Single Day Cassino, Italy, May 11, 1944.Mark Batty Publisher,2005. Heller,Steven.The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption? Allsworth Press,2000. Meggs,Philip B.A History of Graphic Design. Second Edition.Van Nostrand Reinhold,1992. Aynsley,Jeremy.Graphic Design in Germany 1890-1945. University of California Press,2000. Hollis,Richard.Graphic Design, A Concise History. Thames and Hudson,1994. Conot,Robert E.Justice at Nuremberg.Gustan Muhler Gilbert,1975.1983. The Wandering Jew, (videorecorring) 1933.Directed by George Roland.Written byJacob Mestel.Waltham,Ma National Center for Jewish Film.1999.USHMM. The Eternal Jew.Der Ewige Jude.(videoreccording) Nazi propaganda films.Rolf Giesen.Jefferson,N.C :McFarland Co.,c2003.USHMM. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1 “Judgement,” Trials of War criminals before the Nuremburg Military Tribunal (IMT), 14, 565-576. 2 Jan Tschihold,“Glaube und Wirklichkeit,” Schweizer Graphische Mitteilungen, 65, No.6, June 1946. QUOTED REFERENCES
  31. 31. VISUAL CULTURE AND THE HOLOCAUST | 31 1 Heller,Steven.Fight for Freedom. [pg.79] 2 Jewish identification armbands, Czechoslovokia, est.1941. 3 Aynsley,Jeremy.Der-Ewige-Jude. [pg.197] 4 Herf,Jeffrey.The Wire Puller: Brain- and Manual Workers Vote for the People’s Bloc.[Color Plate] 5 Herf,Jeffrey. Behind the Enemy Powers: The Jew. [Color Plate] 6 Herf,Jeffrey. Jewish Conspiracy against Europe. [Color Plate] 7 Aynsley,Jeremy. All of Germany listens to the Führer with the People’s Receiver. [pg.179] 8 Heller,Steven.Nazi Election poster. [pg.64] 9 USHMM.Collaboration,Call Number: 2004.264.1 10 Herf,Jeffrey.The Jew: Instegators of the War, Prolonger of the War. [Color Plate] 11 Herf,Jeffrey.He Bears the Guilt for the War! [Color Plate] 12 Herf,Jeffrey.The Wire Pullers: They Are Only Jews! [Color Plate] 13 Der Stürmer. Calvin College Archive. 14 Herf,Jeffrey.Who Bears the Guilt for the War? [Color Plate] 15 Herf,Jeffrey.The Jews Wanted the War! [Color Plate] 16 Mark Batty Publisher.Leaflet 7 front.[pg.36] 17 Mark Batty Publisher.Leaflet 7 back.[pg.37] 18 Mark Batty Publisher.Leaflet8 front.[pg.38] 19 Mark Batty Publisher.Leaflet 8 back.[pg.39] 20 Herf,Jeffrey.The Jewish Conspiracy. [Color Plate] 21 Heller,Steven.Graphic artists in the Hitler Youth. [pg.60] 22 Herf,Jeffrey. Always the Same Goal: Germany Must be Exterminated. [Color Plate] 23 Herf,Jeffrey. Down with Financial Enslavement! Vote National Socialist! [Color Plate] 24 Herf,Jeffrey.They Will Stop Laughing!!! [Color Plate] 25 Herf,Jeffrey.The War Aim of World Plutocracy. [Color Plate] 26 Herf,Jeffrey.The Jew Kaufman Outdone! [Color Plate] 27 Hollis,Richard.Fraktur typefaces. [pg.66] 28 Herf,Jeffrey.The Mask Falls! They Are the Real Rulers in the U.S.A.! [Color Plate] 29 Meggs,Philip B.Poster for the Deutsche Lufthansa. [pg.263] 30 Meggs,Philip B.And You? [pg.263] 31 Aynsley,Jeremy.Gebrauchsgraphik. [pg.193] PHOTO CREDITS
  32. 32. 2 Czech Jews wore stars after 1941.