Support! Vote! Strike!

The Red Family

Like the other 'compartments' the social democrats established all conceivable types of organizations in the 1920s and 30s. The entire network, which was known as 'the red family,' comprised newspapers and magazines, a radio broadcasting association, associations for women and young adults, choral societies, institutes for adult education, trade unions for all occupational groups, and even sports associations. And each and every one of them advertised through posters.

Many artists and designers sympathized with the social-democratic movement. Artists such as Albert Hahn, Jr., and J.J. Ottens used posters as enlarged political cartoons, with which they brought specific subjects into plain view. Fré Cohen, Jo van Hell, and other artist-designers used a style very similar to Art Déco and the Amsterdam School. Like their predecessors, these artists tried to educate people by introducing an aesthetic element in everyday life.

Several symbols keep recurring: the strong, young workingman, the red flag, the crowing rooster, and the idealized woman personifying socialism and freedom.


1. Carlo Jung, Forward, 1920
2. A. Lüske, Subscribe to The Proletarian Woman, ca. 1920
3. Albert Hahn junior, Singing in the front rank, 1921
4. Designer unknown, Lantern-lecture, 1925
5. J.J. Ottens, From the dark towards the light, 1925
6. Fré Cohen, Disarmament!, 1926
7. Johan van Hell, May 1 1927, 1927
8. Walter, Paper-hangers, forward with the modern union, 1927
9. Albert Hahn junior, Wake up!, 1927
10. Meijer Bleekrode, The reds are calling, 1930
11. Jan Rot, Join the VARA, 1930
12. Nico Schrier, Join!, 1933


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