1935 Kulmbach Propaganda Postcard Nazi Symbols

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
JLEES
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1935 Kulmbach Propaganda Postcard Nazi Symbols

Post by JLEES » 17 Feb 2004 00:32

Hello,
I just purchased this 1935 Kulmbach 900th anniversary postcard a few weeks ago. It depicts a view of the older city and the Plassenburg fortress on the hill above the town. Nevertheless, I have two questions about this postcard. First, can anyone identify the main building in the center of the postcard with the Nazi flag flying from it? It looks like the town’s city hall, but does anyone know for sure? Secondly, there are two small symbols on the lower left of the postcard. They look like they’re symbols typically used by right-wind conservative groups. Can anyone identify these symbols? The card’s artist placed them on the image and there must have been a reason for their inclusion. There was no writing on the back of the card giving me any ideas what these symbols could be. Any help would be appreciated.
James
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Ustuf
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Post by Ustuf » 18 Feb 2004 09:11

The building is definitely the townhall (Rathaus).

The signs remind me of runes. But I`m not sure what they mean

JLEES
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The Signs

Post by JLEES » 18 Feb 2004 11:56

Ustuf,
Yes, I also think they look very SS orientated, or they are from right wing conservative racist group. I know there were a few of them during the Weimar Republic using symbols like these. I'm not sure why they were placed in the design of this postcard. It makes no sence to me.
James

nondescript handle
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Post by nondescript handle » 20 Feb 2004 10:35

Yes, its the town hall http://www.golf-region.de/clubs/Oberfra ... athaus.gif

Regarding the signs:
In conjuktion with the year in similar circles and the placement, it looks to me like the sign of the artist, printer or publisher.
Furthermore I can't detect any runes: to me the first one is an "A", a "X" and a "I" or "L" in a circle (="O"?) the second a "S" and a "F" in a circle (="O"?).
Is there any copyright on the back?

Regards
Mark

JLEES
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The Postcard

Post by JLEES » 20 Feb 2004 12:04

Mark,
That's an interesting idea about the artist's name. This is something I did not think about. I think you may be correct and this is nothing but the artist's initials. The rear side of the card indicated it was published by E. C. Baumann, KDT GES. of Kulmbach, 1935. Does KDT and GES mean anything to you?
James

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Re: The Postcard

Post by nondescript handle » 20 Feb 2004 13:04

JLEES wrote:[...]Does KDT and GES mean anything to you?[..]
James,
I think it may be the (somewhat unusual) abbreviation of "Kommanditgesellschaft" (usually: KG) [limited partnership].

Regards
Mark

JLEES
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The Postcard

Post by JLEES » 20 Feb 2004 14:26

Mark,
Thanks for the great information. Have a great day.
James

bratwurst
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Post by bratwurst » 21 Feb 2004 21:44

Hi world! - sorry, first post :D

That's funny! It's my hometown!

I can say that you are right:
Yes - it's the town hall
Yes - KDT GES means 'Kommanditgesellschaft' (Baumann is the publisher of the local newspaper)
YES - It's nearly sure that the 'runes' are signs of the artist(s). I remember I've seen the right one on other illustrations of this time. Probably I get one to verify this.

JLEES: Was the postcard ever sent to s.o.? ...or is it unused?
(It would be interesting to me what's on the back)

regards

JLEES
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Location: Michigan, USA

The Postcard

Post by JLEES » 21 Feb 2004 22:34

Welcome to the forum!
It is small world and I hope you enjoyed seeing this postcard. No, there is no other writing on the back of the postcard. It was never mailed. The only information was on the rear side of the postcard giving me the publisher's information. It is a nice postcard. Can you identify any of the other buildings on the card for us? Maybe the church off to the left of the postcard. Was Kulmbach 900 and the fortress 800 years old in 1935?
james

bratwurst
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Re: The Postcard

Post by bratwurst » 22 Feb 2004 03:26

Hi James!

It's not easy for me to answer all the questions (after 6 beer) :P

but let's begin:

small world - yes, it is. I'm wearing a 'Michigan Football' t-shirt at the gym. Got it from an outlet store in 'Great Lakes Crossing', you should know.

...and yes, I enjoyed seeing the postcard. It shows me, that we got a few 'dark years' in the past here. But it was allways interesting to me. When I saw the pictures from that time or I heard some stories from my grandpa or grandma, I was very curious.

I thought that there would be a name of someone on the back of the postcard, who I know. But it doesn't matter. A lot of people living here now, are related to the parts of Germany which are truncated after the war (Koenigsberg, Breslau, Eger,...). So the chance of knowing s.o. of that time is very low.

Other buildings. Of course, I can tell you more, than you want to know:

1. On top, you can see the Plassenburg, a fortress. It was a residence of the 'Hohenzollern', which (or a part of the family) became later Kings of Prussia and later on Emperor of Germany. The size of the fortress was originally twice as much you can see today. It was teared down by Napoleon after taking the siege of Kulmbach. In the 3.Reich it was a headquarter of the O.T. (Organisation Todt). Nowadays the Plassenburg contain several museums. E.g. the greatest museum of tin figures on earth. Or the 'Museum of Prussian Army' (18th Century).
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Die- ... d_355_.htm
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/img/k ... maButt.gif

2. In the middle you find the town hall. Build somewhere in the 16th century. (style: Rokkoko)
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Unse ... d_358_.htm

3. Nearest on the left, you can see the 'Red Tower'. A part of the ancient defense system. Now there it is an atelier for painting artist inside.
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Rote ... d_357_.htm

4. Next to the left there is the 'Langheimer Amtshof'. In former times it was an administration building for catholic munchs. (Remarkable: Kulmbach was one of the first protestant towns). Now there is a school for 'new media'.
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Lang ... d_362_.htm

5. Down there you can see the 'Spitalkirche' with a typical frankonian house aside. A very nice chuch.
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Die- ... d_356_.htm

6. Then you can see the 'White Tower'. Same function as the red one.

7. Right: attached to the town hall you see the 'Schloesslein'. Was a house for the princess. Now an administration building.
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Schl ... d_359_.htm

8. Up there, you find the minister house and the church 'Petrikirche'. The biggest church in Kulmbach.
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Die- ... d_361_.htm

9. The rest are ancient buildings, you can find elsewhere in Kulmbach.

10. The most interesting building in Kulmbach is not illustrated:
The 'Badhaus'. In the middleages it was a house, where people can get a bath. But you can imagine what happens when men and women get the same bath!!
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Das- ... d_353_.htm

11. Here are some other images from Kulmbach:
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/-Zins ... d_360_.htm
http://www.kulmbach.de/xist4c/web/Stadt ... d_138_.htm
http://portal.kulmbach.net/pub/index.php?mid=74&aid=218

12. Back to the topic: It's interesting that Kulmbach votes in the 30's mostly for socialists. After a visit of A.H. in the 1933 election campaign the votes for the Nazis were more than 50%! (note: A.H. had a speech in a gym where I got my school sports 50 years after).
http://www.literad.de/regional/bay_kulmbach.html

13. IMPORTANT: Kulmbach is very famous of the beer breweries. When ever you come to Kulmbach, check out it is the first week of August. In this week, we got our 'Bierfest'. Strange happening.
http://www.bierfest.de/bierfest/b03s03s.htm
Be aware that the pictures are taken only from one day of the week!!!!
...and I'm sure that our beer is little better than the beer at 'Big Buck Brewery' in Auburn Hills. (Where I got a few headaches after visiting last year).
http://www.bigbuck.com/

Cheers!

JLEES
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Location: Michigan, USA

The Poastcard

Post by JLEES » 22 Feb 2004 13:33

Bratwurst,
The information and the links you posted are great. I must say, thank you very much for the great information!
Yes, it is truly a small world. I’ve been to Nuremberg three times now and never ventured up to Kulmbach. Next time I’m there, I’ll jump on the train and checkout your city too. It looks most interesting and friendly. It seems that Kulmbach would be a great town to visit for a few days, especially around the beginning of August. Yes, German Beer is much better than ANYTHING they sell in the USA…and yes, the U of M Football team is the best. When in Munich, I live at the Hofbrauhaus and rest in my hotel room from time to time. I also typically walk around wearing my Graz and Munich soccer scarves too. When visiting Auburn Hills you were about 20-miles from my house in Brownstown, Michigan. What brought you to Michigan? It’s typically far and out of the way for most people to visit.

When you said Plassenburg was the headquarters of the Organization Todt, was it the National command HQ, or just a Gau HQ located there?

It looks like Kulmbach didn’t receive any damage during the war. I can image there were no military target there worth hitting. Or, am I wrong?
James

bratwurst
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Re: The Poastcard

Post by bratwurst » 23 Feb 2004 23:21

Hi James,

the last year I was two times in Detroit/Auburn Hills. My company has a development center there for automotive parts. You have a good chance getting a product from us in your car (seat adjusters, window regulator,..). Maybe I'll be there again at the end of this year.

The Plassenburg was s.th. like a HQ during the Third Reich. It was the O.T. training center for engineers and architects. (Hey, this relates 100% to the topic!).
I got only very few informations about on the internet.

here are some photos from the Plassenburg:
http://www.burgenwelt.de/plassen/binu.htm
...tons of pictures when making a Google search (images) with typing 'Plassenburg'.

The northern wing of the Plassenburg was hit by a bomb nearly at the end of WWII. Maybe another bomb damaged the clock tower.

During WWII, Kulmbach was no target for allied bomber streams (got only nutrition industry - beer & sausages). But heavy bombed was the town nearby (Bayreuth) and, of course, Nuremberg and Schweinfurt (both 75miles next to here). I read that these towns lost 50 - 80% of their buildings. My grandma told me, that they could see the glow shining in the sky at night.
Kulmbach had one or two bombs in the town. Causing some damage. Probably wrong targeted.
Grandma told me another story, where a neighbour was shot down by the machinegun fire of an american fighter. She and a girl friend got lucky when diving into the ditch at the right time.
My father told me a funny story: A few days later, american troops arrived at Kulmbach. There were no Wehrmacht units in town, only Volkssturm & HJ. They built barriers on the roads, but forgot a small street leading down a hill, through a forest, right to a house 100 meters behind the main barrier. The american tanks drove trough without any gunshot, not noticed by the 'heroic' defenders. Only some HJ kids began to shoot with a MG. But soon they were stopped by elder inhabitants, kicked in the ass and sent home to Mom. That was the end of WWII in Kulmbach.
Interesting: one of these tanks (probably a Sherman) sunk in muddy water when the tankers tried to cross a sidearm of the Main river. My father was playing on it, many years after the war. With the time the tank sunk more and more. It should be still there, lying 6ft under water.

If you ever come to Kulmbach, you'll find a place in my flat, where you can rest and get your recreation of your 'beer related damages' (not only when it's the first week of august).
...and don't hesitate, as you can see, we were allways friendly to the americans (even we were in war with them :wink: ).

regards

JLEES
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Joined: 26 Apr 2002 04:01
Location: Michigan, USA

The Postcard

Post by JLEES » 24 Feb 2004 03:17

Bratwurst,
Thanks again for the great information on your town. With your kind help, the 1935 postcard means far more to me now then when I picked it up some time ago. Next time I’m in Nuremberg, I’ll travel up to Kulmbach and have some of your city’s beer and check out the sites there. In fact, while there I’ll even buy you a beer as payment for your kind help. Over the past few years I’ve started to enjoy the smaller German towns over the bigger ones and Kulmbach seems like it would be a great place to see. Unfortunately, I will not be traveling to Germany again for another year, or two. Will you be traveling to Michigan again soon?
James

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