Stroller with a Swastika Painted on its Back (1937)
Shortly after the National Socialists had come to power, swastikas and other slogans and images associated with the movement started appearing on numerous objects of everyday use. Beer glasses, matchboxes, and toys were decorated with symbols of the new regime. The NSDAP party leadership frowned upon this mass market and often kitschy use of party symbols and in May 1933 passed a “Law for the Protection of National Symbols” in order to curb the production of non-official propaganda objects. The propaganda ministry led by Goebbels, which was mainly responsible for passing this law, was eager to keep party and state symbols strictly under its control in order to avoid their trivialization and commercialization. Objects in violation of the law’s stipulations could be confiscated without compensation. This picture taken in a Lower Bavarian village in 1937 shows a stroller, most likely self-built, on the back of which a swastika has been painted. It proves that the conspicuous depiction of the swastika remained quite popular despite the law.