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German History in Documents and Images
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German Democratic Party (DDP) Election Poster (1924)
The left-wing liberal, bourgeois German Democratic Party (DDP) was founded in November 1918. Among its founding members were publicist Theodor Wolff, sociologist Max Weber, theologian and author Friedrich Naumann, and the architect of the Weimar Constitution, Hugo Preuß. The DDP was one of the main proponents of parliamentary democracy and liberalism. As one of the parties representing the bourgeoisie, it sought to create more equality between workers and the middle class. In 1919, it became part of the government coalition with the SPD and the Zentrum and thus played a major part in the establishment of the Weimar Republic. This election poster from the campaign for the Reichstag elections of May 1924 illustrates the DDP’s conviction that the republic was the only viable future for Germany. Its specific appeal to women voters in both word choice and iconography is interesting in this context. The republic, portrayed as a mother wrapped in the black, red, and gold republican flag, is depicted as protector of the German “child,” ensuring it would grow up in peace, security, and prosperity. The poster reads: “German women and mothers! Think of your children’s future! Vote for the German Democratic Party.” However, most of the DDP’s main political figures either died or were murdered in its early years. While attacks on the foundations of the republic increased, the DDP, one of its main representatives, continued to lose support. In 1930, it became part of the newly formed Deutsche Staatspartei (DStP), whose program had little in common with the DDP’s original agenda. The party eventually dissolved in 1933.