The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) was founded in 1920 and took its roots from several nationalist right-wing political groups. Their ideology relied heavily on German nationalism and anti-Semitism. By 1921, Adolf Hitler became the leader of the NSDAP, a position which would later propel him to become dictator of the German Third Reich.
While the NSDAP was relatively weak at the end of the 1920s, the party quickly gained public support in the 1930s by using a message that focused on prosperity for all Germans and ridding the nation of its internal enemies, primarily its Jewish population.
Throughout the campaign, the Nazis relied on a wide variety of slogans and campaign messages designed to simultaneously erode the public’s confidence in Germany’s current leadership while cementing the “cult of personality” they wished to create around Hitler.
The poster for sale is from the 1932 Presidential election and is indicative of the propaganda used by the Nazis. The caption reads “Only Hitler!” Minimalistic, stylized posters with commanding language were used to keep the NSDAP populist image in the mind of the German voters.
The story of the Nazi rise to power in the Germany of the 1930s is often seen as a classic example of how to achieve political ends through propaganda. The Nazis themselves were certainly convinced of its effectiveness, and Adolf Hitler devoted two chapters in his book Mein Kampf (‘My Struggle’, 1925), to an analysis of its use. He saw propaganda as a vehicle of political salesmanship in a mass market and argued that it was a way of conveying a message to the bulk of the German people.