Dissolving: Ideal family


When writing about the SS housing estate at Krumme Lanke, we have mentioned that the idyllic family model of the Nazi party found a positive response among German citizens. The succesful visual formulation of the modell was also taken over from the poster of the NSDP to that of the Winterhilfswerk, founded on 1 September 1933 as an organization of the party. The organization’s goal was to provide with warm clothing, heating and food those in need, through a wide range of collections. Given the importance of the task, from 1 December 1936 the organization was transferred in the direct competence of Goebbels’ propaganda ministry.


This image seems to reperesent the same family, enlarged by one new member, and namely in a rapid rate, because the angel-haired little girl did not grow much in the meantime. But the well-formulated group also had a number of other versions. Perhaps the saddest of all is the one published on an aid stamp for the ten-year anniversary of the Winterhilfswerk in 1943, and which shows the then most widespread, fatherless family modell.


This family model, however, was welcomed not only among the German party and government organizations, but also in today’s Russia. This is why the Organization of Russian Large Families (ОМС) chose for their website an emblem surprisingly similar to that of the Winterhilfswerk.


The Russian bloggers soon discovered the accidental coincidence, and then the image disappeared from the site. But the topos itself was too attractive to be fully thrown out with the bath water. Like the later German posters, the ОМС still uses a duly stylized version of the original Winterhilfswerk group on its website.