Down with Bolshevism. Bolshevism Brings War and Destruction, Hunger and Death
This poster was published in Berlin shortly after World War I by an organization called the Vereinigung zur Bekämpfung des Bolschewismus (Union for the Struggle against Bolshevism). The poster shows a man struggling with a snake above text that reads: “Down with Bolshevism. Bolshevism brings war and destruction, hunger and death.” The term “Bolshevism,” derived from the Russian word for majority, referred to the faction that split off from the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1903 and seized power in Russia under the leadership of Vladimir I. Lenin (1870–1924). This term was widely used in the late 1910s and 1920s until it was gradually replaced by “communism.” Following the November 1917 communist revolution in Russia, it was widely believed that other European countries might also fall to the communists. The Communist Party of Germany, seeking to capitalize on widespread economic misery in the aftermath of the German war defeat, did attempt several takeovers of the country during 1919–21, but they were unsuccessful. This poster warns Germans about the threat posed by communism. Inside Russia, the ruling communist party had unleashed the Red Terror against its political opponents, a campaign of mass killings, torture, and oppression, which lent credibility to the anti-communist message.
Union for the Struggle against Bolshevism, Berlin
Title in Original Language
Nieder mit dem Bolschewismus. Bolschewismus bringt Krieg und Verderben, Hunger und Tod
Type of Item
1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 67 x 101 centimeters
Last updated: February 10, 2014