The Uplifting Graphic Art of Ludwig Hohlwein

When people think about propaganda art in the Third Reich images of marching soldiers waving swastika flags comes immediately to mind. This is partially true to a certain extent, also because this is the very constrained image the promoters of the ‘official version of events’ wish to project only, but I closer look to works of graphic design from this period in Germany will reveal a much colourful and optimistic vision.

One of the artists who was in charge of materializing this vision was Ludwig Hohlwein (1874-1949) an already laureate graphic designer who, by the time Hitler’s Germany came about, had a very dilated experience in the field of advertising in his native country. Prior to this period his posters created during the First World War are also worth mentioning. Ludwig Hohlwein designed works in support of the Kaiser’s war effort, and after WWI he designed posters supporting the anti-leftist Stahlhelm paramilitary organization (among other assignments of a more commercial nature).

Hohlwein’s images of smiling Aryan folks under the light of the sun, from Hitler Youth rallies to ski holiday resorts, are immediately recognizable for their colourful and uplifting style. In spite of Hohlwein having been a National Socialist through and through from the very start (he immediately became a party member in 1933) his watercolour works are still praised and highly valued by art experts everywhere up until this day, probably in part because Hohlwein focused mostly on the positive aspects of the Third Reich instead of concentrating on Anti-Jewish and war propaganda like other artists of the era. Of course that was not a valid excuse to the ‘denazifing inquisition’ since after WWII he was forbidden to produce any works until February 1946 (fortunately only nine months after Germany’s defeat). Hohlwein died three years later in September 1949.

It would be impossible to include all of his artworks here since Ludwig Hohlwein was an incredibly prolific artist, so much so that by 1925 he had already designed 3,000 different advertisements, and I suspect that was probably half of what he finally produced during his career. All in all I have separated his material in two periods.

I hope these images are attractive enough for those looking for inspiration when creating their own vision for the future.


Before The Third Reich (1910s to early 1930s)

ludwig-hohlwein-join-us-steel-helmet-youth-1920-1923 ludwig-hohlwein-herbst-in-wiesbaden-1930ludwig-hohlwein-dkw-sportludwig-hohlwein-mercedes-1914ludwig-hohlwein-richard-strauss-woche-festival-poster-1910ludwig-hohlwein-original-vintage-german-advertising-poster-for-zoo-1906ludwig-hohlwein-spring-in-wiesbaden-1926ludwig-hohlwein-poster-for-mens-ready-made-clothing-1908


Third Reich Era (1933-1945)

ludwig-hohlwein-the-german-student-fights-for-the-fuhrer-and-the-peopleludwig-hohlwein-wankbahn-partenkirchen-193330.Auktionludwig-hohlwein-schafft-uns-jugendherbergen-wir-sind-die-granten-der-zukunftludwig-hohlwein-reichsnahrstands-ausstellung-c-1937ludwig-hohlwein-koblenz-by-ludwig-hohlwein-1935ludwig-hohlwein-frau-im-luftschukludwig-hohlwein-deutscher-bekunde-deine-wehrfreudigkeit-errvirb-das-sa-sport-abzeichenludwig-hohlwein-erster-schutzstaffel-appell-der-gruppe-ost-im-berlin-111213-august-1933ludwig-hohlwein-ns-reichskriegerbundludwig-hohlwein-bund-deutscher-madel-in-der-hitler-jugendludwig-hohlwein-first-national-socialist-day-of-the-reichs-youthM29274-3 001ludwig-hohlwein-reichssporttag-des-b-d-m-23-september-1934ludwig-hohlwein-heute-nur-stick-garne-cus-aus-deutschem-rohstoffludwig-hohlwein-hitlerjugend-national-socialist-posters-third-reich-deutschlandludwig-hohlwein-franziskaner-brau-munchen-1935ludwig-hohlwein-neues-volk-1938CIS:E.2905-1980ludwig-hohlwein-1936-olympics-deutsche-lufthansa-german-poster-largeludwig-hohlwein-1943-luftschutzNIOD01_AG0124, 14-05-2002, 11:20, 8C, 3287x4157 (2355+3372), 100%, NIOD POSTER AG, 1/40 s, R59.0, G22.2, B20.4ludwig-hohlwein-deutschland-lager-1935ludwig-hohlwein-10-jahre-n-s-d-studentenbund-reichsfeier-in-munchen-1936ludwig-hohlwein-rommberg-fest-spiele-c-1937ludwig-hohlwein-sammelt-euch-im-n-sM29274-6 001ludwig-hohlwein-bayernludwig-hohlwein-1938-calendar-2ludwig-hohlwein-spaten-brau-munchen-1950

Published in: on November 15, 2016 at 12:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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