«A completely new means of agitation»: the German «national postcard» in Austria-Hungary at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries Cover Image

«Совершенно новое средство агитации»: немецкая «национальная открытка» в Австро-Венгрии рубежа XIX–XX веков
«A completely new means of agitation»: the German «national postcard» in Austria-Hungary at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries

Author(s): Alexander Sergeevich Medyakov
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Political history, Recent History (1900 till today), Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Nationalism Studies, Sociology of Culture
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: postcards; Austria-Hungary; Völkisch movement; national problem; nationalism; propaganda;

Summary/Abstract: The article explores the role and functions of postcards in Austria-Hungary at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The content of visual messages of «German-national» postcards, their socio-cultural existence and associated practices, and the reaction of users to them are studied. The German national symbols used in postcards (Germany, German Michel, Archangel Michael, Bismarck, German Oak, etc.), as well as their instrumentalization in the national struggle, in particular against the language laws of Badeni, 1897, are analyzed. The role of nationalist organizations in the publication, distribution and propaganda use of postcards is revealed. The problem of cooperation between the Völkisch organizations of Austria-Hungary and Germany is posed, in which postcards used as a means of propaganda took a prominent place. There are conclusions about the socio-cultural environment of consumers of such postcards. They were, first of all, educated Germans, mainly Protestant faith. A significant proportion were students, as well as members of various non-political associations ― gymnasts, singers, shooters, etc. The pronounced national and propaganda nature of postcards caused a clearer and more frequent reaction to them in the texts of written messages compared to postcards of other genres. At the same time, the aggressiveness and categoricity of such visual messages made the circle of their addressees narrow enough, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, encouraged the sides affected by criticism, especially Catholics and Czechs, to respond.

  • Issue Year: 24/2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 80-97
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Russian