Examining Nazi Propaganda By Viviane Weinstabl The Use of Colour Denotation: The only colours used on this poster are black, white and red. Connotation: Red, white and black are the colours used in the Nazi logo. Together they symbolise the Nazi party and Hitler. Hence, the repetition of only these (simple) colours in the poster emphasise the party and make it easier to remember them. The Swastika Denotation: The symbol of the swastika is portrayed in a white circle surrounded by a splatter of red. It is also covered up by red words which read: “List: 9” The red and white contrast and draw attention to the audience (the first thing they see is the swastika) Connotation: The audience is drawn straight towards the swastika, the symbol of the Nazi’s, repeated in almost every Nazi propaganda poster. Though it is covered up with red text, it is undeniably the Nazi symbol. The red text above is smartly located as it relates the Nazi logo with the number they are on the election list. The Text Style Denotation: In the middle of the poster is says “NATIONAL-SOCIALIST GERMANWORKERS-PARTY” Connotation: This poster was made in 1930 for the Reichstag Election and is propaganda for the Nazi Workers Party. The use of making the “German” text large and bold, makes it a bandwagon poster. With the emphasized “German”, it implies that the Nazi Party is the only party which really represents the German Nation. During WWII, Hitler’s objective was to expand Germany, to create Greater Germany. Hence, the style of the text conveys the party’s message as well as unites all German citizens (a successful title for an election poster). The Image of a Flag Denotation: The top part of the poster consists of a rectangular-shaped splatter of red colour, the Nazi logo and the title text of the poster and on the left side of the poster there is a sword passing through the Star of David on a serpent’s head. The form that the sword and the red splatter make is that of a flag. Connotation: The shape of a flag emphasizes that the Nazi party is the representing party of a whole country. This conveys a meaning to the audience and the German citizens which states that the Nazi party will do what is right for Germany. Furthermore, the fact that the pole of the flag is a sword which passes through the Star of David on a serpents head, it depicts a state of conquering. The Germans largely blamed the Jews for WWI, thus the defeat for Germany, the Treaty of Versailles and ultimately the depression. Therefore, an image of a flag knifing through Jews, is a scapegoat on the Jews to unite Germany and make them vote for the Nazi party; the ones who represent Germany and ‘exterminate those who have done bad to her and must pay’. The Serpent Denotation: The bottom part of the poster consists of a (black and white) serpent, whose tongue is red and has a red Star of David on his head with a sword passing through it. Connotation: The meaning of the serpents head is obvious, the serpent represents ‘Der Jude’ (the Jew), and the significance of the sword was discussed previously. The depiction of the Jew (the serpent) is made to look bad and disgust the audience. Instead of an image of a serpent with its colourful scales and patterns, this serpent it black and white. Its skin looks almost worm-like; something which would look disgusting to most people. Additionally, the red tongue implies the evilness of the Jews. Red, in this case, is a symbol for blood and evil. Together with the Star of David, it is the only thing that has colour; emphasising the disgust towards the threat of the Jews. The Words Coming out of the Serpent Denotation: Coming out of the serpent are the red words: ‘USURY, VERSAILLES, UNEMPLOYMENT, WAR GUILT LIE, MARXISM, BOLSHEVISM, LIES AND BETRAYAL, INFLATION, LOCARNO, DAWES PACT, YOUNG PLAN, CORRUPTION, BARMAT, KUTISTKER, SKLAREK [the last three Jews involved in major financial scandals], PROSTITUTION, TERROR, CIVIL WAR’ Connotation: The red parts of the serpent symbolise what is evil and hence these words are associated with hatred and revulsion. Here are the words used and why Hitler’s party depicted them as awful things, that he and the Nazis would improve for the German nation. • ‘USURY’, ‘ WAR GUILT LIE’, ‘LIES AND BETRAYAL’, ‘CORRUPTION’ and ‘PROSTITUTION’ - All of these things were what Hitler blamed the Jews with; for lending money exorbitant interest, for starting WWI and denying it, for corrupting Germany and engaging in prostitution. •‘BARMAT’, ‘KUTISTKER’ and ‘SKLAREK’ [the last three Jews involved in major financial scandals] - They were known to the German public and hence, hated by all (a scapegoat to unite Germans and get them to vote the Nazi party) •‘VERSAILLES’ - The Treaty that Germans absolutely loathed as it suppressed Germany, gave her little freedom, put her in dept and caused many problems for citizens The Words Coming out of the Serpent Connotation (continued): •‘INFLATION’ and ‘UNEMPLOYMENT’ - Inflation occurred after WWI and caused mass unemployment; things that Hitler promised to change as it brought great misery to Germany •‘MARXISM’ and ‘BOLSHEVISM’ - Two ideologies and beliefs that Hitler and the Nazis opposed (and tried to get Germans to feel the same by relating them to the Jewish serpent •‘LOCARNO’ - A treaty that German foreign minister Gustav Stresemann proposed to France and Belgium, which included the acceptance that Alsace-Lorraine was permanently part of French and the promise not to send German troops into the Rhineland. Hitler hated this as he thought it was a disgrace to Germans and would tear it up eleven years later when he sent the German Army into the Rhineland in 1936. •‘DAWES PACT’ and ‘YOUNG PLAN’ - These two pacts were drawn up by American bankers to reduce the reparations that Germany faced and in return put the German economy in American hands. •‘TERROR’ and ‘CIVIL WAR’ These were words that the Nazi propaganda poster used to tell the Germans that they should vote for them so that they could abolish terror and war; something that most people wanted anyway.