By Professor David Welch
Last updated 2011-02-17
This poster is advertising the benefits of saving for 'your own KdF car'. 'KdF' referred to the Kraft durch Freude ('Strength through Joy') organisation, and the car is the Volkswagen.
In May 1933 most of the trade unions were replaced by the Deutsche Arbeitsfront ('German Labour Front'), or DAF, and strikes were banned. In order to win over the support of the working class, the Labour Front established two new organisations: Schönheit der Arbeit ('Beauty of Labour') and Kraft durch Freude ('Strength through Joy'), or KdF. Both can be seen as an attempt to improve the status of workers, and their working conditions, as a substitute for wage increases.
The Labour Front's official philosophy was to reduce leisure to a mere auxiliary of work, although it preferred to concentrate on the achievements of organisations like KdF, and provide workers with the prospect of owning one of the new 'people's cars' shown in the poster.
Similar posters urged workers to: 'Save five marks a week and get your own car.' Workers responded enthusiastically, and paid millions of marks in to the saving scheme, but they received no cars.
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