Rene Wanner's Poster Page


front cover Die Grundrechte im Spiegel des Plakats von 1919 bis 1999
edited by Kai Artinger, with contribuitons from Klaus Adomeit, Kai Artinger, Herta Daeuber-Gmelin, Thomas Flint, Andrea von Hegel, Ralf Poscher, Hubert Rottleuthner, Joern Schuetrumpf, Uwe Wesel and Rosemarie Will ; published by Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin (DE) (1999); 192 pages, about 150 color illustrations; 22 x 28 cm; hardcover; ISBN 3-86102-110-2; in german, Euro 19.42 (about US$ 17)
The history of Human Rights in Germany, in the mirror of posters from the collection of the German Historical Museum in Berlin

One of the six photographs on the cover shows a demonstrator in East Berlin in November 1989 with a sign that reads "I prefer to travel when I want! And not when they want!"

This book is not about the highlights of graphic design in the fight for human rights, but rather a detailed historical study on their fate in Germany during the last eighty years, where the posters serve as illustration for some of the points that are made.

It is divided into sections covering the Weimar Republic 1919 - 1933, the Third Reich 1933 - 1945, the German Democratic Republic 1949 - 1989, and the fifty years of the German Federal Republic.

Each human rights article in the respective constitution is quoted verbally, and commented, and theory and practice are compared, from equal rights for men and women, the right to a fair trial, to the right of way for bicycles over cars, a rather far-fetched interpretation of the basic rights of a citizen.

The topics treated include the rights of minorities, protection from sexual abuse of children, the rights of the handicapped, the right to a free development of your personality (whatever that means), the rights of gays and lesbians, protection from censorship, the right to a natural environment, to freely choose your job, profession, and educational institution, the right to privacy, and so on, an amazing array of everyday privileges that are often taken for granted by those that still have them.

1919, Women!
Equal rights - equal duties
Vote for Social Democrats
poster by Fritz Gottfried Kirchbach
1943, Public notice
Alfred Kurt Prescher, b. 24.12.01, construction worker, removed a bag of cigarettes and 118 tobacco coupons from a burning house after the terrorist attacks on Leipzig. The Leipzig Special Court has therefore sentenced him to death for looting. He has already been executed.
Leipzig, 13.12.43, The Attorney General
1946, Equal rights for all youngsters!
poster by Heinz Voelkel, promising equal pay for equal work, among other things
1985, Yield the right of way for bicycles
poster by Klaus Staeck

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