JF Ptak Science Books Post 297
This is another in a series of posts about the use of maps and images in propaganda, principally concentrating in the 1930' and 1940's. This pamphlet, Luftschutz durch Selbstschutz Schtz fuer jedermann bei Fliegerangrissen), was published by the Luftschutzbund and written by Hugo Noll in 1935. The title page claims that this is the 4th (augmented) edition, with the print run already above 30,000 (which you can either believe or not (is there anyone who starts their program out as version 1.0?))
The pamphlet begins right at the beginning--the cover shows Germany in red, surrounded by airplanes of its enemies, with a bomb coming down into the heart of the country in a yellow triangle (which resembles a flame). The striking design begs to be picked up by anyone who sees it--as I did, as a person here in its future; I'm sure that it must've been very provocative to its target audience. It gets immediately into the idea of Germany being surrounded by nations who wish do it harm by air. Another map in the text is more detailed and shows exactly where the threat was coming from (and this is much in line with some of the other threat-by-air maps that the Nazis published during this decade
The main body of the text is a series of warnings about what to do when the bombs come; the rest of it has to do with preparing yourself and your household from attack, which means that there's allot of digging and canning and putting away water and fire retardant. In general the population was getting very stirred up about the sure-to-arrive but survivable Apocalypse (duck tape and plastic sheeting, anyone?) There are a number of ads from enterprising folks who weren't above taking advantage of the situation, selling gas masks and such. (It doesn't remind me AT ALL of our petroleum companies, who are now selling me gas at 4.00 a gallon when the price of petroleum per barrel is, at $94 a barrel, about 40% less than it was when gas was selling at, oh, 4.25 a gallon. Hm.)
The Nazi government no doubt was trying to justify its mammoth expenses on war ("defence") materiel, which at the same time would build up the army, which could also be used to enforce whatever the Nazis were going to be doing at home. Its always nice to have a little outside coercive influence when creating an aggressive military force (as we see in this image just below, a figure standing next to a perspectively-aided giant British bomber).
By 1935 the Treaty of Versailles was gone, and Germany was preparing for the next need for a treaty, which somehow really didn't make the notice it should've made to the rest of the world. When you look at every page of the Illusrirte Zeitung (for Leipzig and the other for Berlin) for the 1932-1939 period there is absolutely no doubt about what is going on in that country. By 1934 pretty much all of the weekly issues--which were somewhat like the American LIFE magazines for Germany) were wrapped around the military effort. Hitler begins to make more and more appearances in 1935, and by 1936/7 they seem like a military magazine.
In any event the coverage in the Illusrirte Zeitung seems as much a hearts and minds campaign at home than anything else, except that by (sorta) 1937/8 the external threats are much less prevalent, replaced by German Destiny and reclaiming the Vaterland and that sort of imperial need. Of course by 1935 there was already a vast amount of social engineering and change underway in Germany, so publications like this were far from being the only "spirit" of change...they were though the least injurious to believe in.