Support! Vote! Strike!

The 1930s

The Great Depression, rampant unemployment, and the rise of national socialism defined the 1930s. Many people perceived the danger to democracy: first because of the proliferation of groups at the far right and the extreme left of the political spectrum and later by the threat of war. Fierce political propaganda became controversial, and many political slogans and symbols were prohibited. The National Socialist movement capitalized on this situation by launching sophisticated campaigns, in which the Nazi ideology blended into the background. The posters of the major social-democratic organizations (the SDAP and the NVV trade unions) became more low-key. They did not urge resistance and maintained a low profile. Anti-fascist expressions were prohibited in some cases, on the ground that they were 'offensive to a friendly head of state.'

No new forms, styles, or techniques were introduced after composite photographs. Pioneering artists - convinced that political posters no longer had much influence - lost interest in producing them. Posters became standard elements of major professional campaigns, coordinated by experts. The direct, emotional involvement of poster designers faded into the background.


1. Dolly Rüdeman, Unilateral disarmement is irrational, 1930
2. P.A.H. Hofman, For national unity, 1933
3. Albert Funke Küpper, Disarmament. Protect your child, 1933
4. S.L. Schwarz, Art evening for the Main Fund 1933, 1933
5. Joep Nicolas, Storm is coming, buttress your house, 1933
6. Arjen Galema, Don't let your boy grow up for the dole, 1935
7. Designer unknown, Thinking women vote NSB too, 1935
8. W, Fascism, 1936
9. Aart van Dobbenburgh, The drinker, 1936
10. Harm Visser, Plan of labour, 1936
11. Jos van Woerkom, Labour for our people, 1937
12. Franz Meyer, Hitler's work, Hitler's word, ca. 1938
13. Segal, Women's peace procession, 1940


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