Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ottomar Anton: Poster Artist for Travel ... and the SS

Ottomar Carl Joseph Anton (1895-1976) was a poster artist whose work was mostly in the clean, simplified, moderne style that was especially popular during the 1930s. His Wikipedia entry is here, but was only in German when this post was drafted. The translator on my computer did a fairly good English rendition, but a few details were given misleading meanings.

The bulk of Anton's production had to do with travel -- usually for steamship lines, but also for air travel by dirigible.

However, there was another side to Anton. He joined the National Socialist German Workers Party in 1933, about the time Hitler became Chancellor. Then in 1936 Anton joined the Schutzstaffel -- the SS -- and created many posters for that organization from then through World War 2. He was jailed after the war and released in March 1946. He was able to revive his career following that.

Below are examples of his work.


Advertising special fares to London and Scotland.

Probably from autumn 1928, publicizing travel to the Mediterranean early the next year, getting away from winter in the north. The scene is on the African coast.

Again, the Mediterranean, but here are mentioned Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Mallorca, the Riviera and Egypt.

Under the image of a ship's captain the headline stresses cheap travel.

A poster with space at the bottom for placement of local contact information. In this case, two locations in or near downtown Vienna.

"To South America in 3 Days!" this proclaims. The Graf Zeppelin only takes one as far as Rio, so to reach Buenos Aires, you'd have to catch an airplane.

The claim here is crossing the ocean in two days.

A sailing week near Kiel, showplace of the 1936 Olympics sailing regatta.

Now to the SS. The caption says "Your Future," the German word for "your" being the familiar, not the formal, term.

The illustration here is used for multiple message variations. In this instance, it is in Dutch for a Flemish audience asserting that "like blooded" Germans, Flemings, Dutch, Danes and Norwegians can stride together in the Waffen-SS. A major appeal, which got some response, was to join the Germans in the fight against Communism.

Again using the familiar "you," an appeal to Frenchmen to join the SS military to fight Communism.

Now it's 1958, the war is over and Anton is back to travel poster work, this one featuring a Norwegian fjord.


Hels said...

The most powerful image is Hamburg Sud. The captain is not posing or glancing around.. rather he has his mind solely on the job. In fact we see far more of the man and his uniform than we do of the ship.

TonySS said...

The Panzer IV poster is not painted by Ottomar Anton. I have an original of this poster in my collection at All the other posters shown are by Anton.