POSTER AGAINST THE DUTCH REVOLUTIONARY TURMOILS OF 1918
“Steunt het wettig gezag voordat het te laat is!” (Support the legitimate authority before it’s too late!) Colour lithograph designed by M. Thomassen, published in 1918 by the Nederlandse Bond van Vrijwillige Burgerwachten (Dutch association of voluntary civic guards). Size: 112.5 x 80 cm.
During World War I, the Netherlands remained neutral. The intense war posters, common in countries like Germany, France, and England, were entirely absent in The Netherlands. The government hardly conducted any propaganda campaigns.
Peace groups like the Nederlandse Anti-oorlog Raad (Dutch anti-war council) attempted to build international relations to bring the war to an end. Right after the war, the social democrat Pieter Jelles Troelstra called for a revolution. Although no posters were made for the revolution, posters were created for the voluntary supprt troops and civic guards that emerged everywhere to keep an eye on the socialists.
These civic guards were formed in 1918 to counteract the revolutionary upheavals. The Dutch authorities were deeply alarmed by the Russian Revolution and the uprisings in Germany and Austria. In Amsterdam, there were repeated threats of uprising among the poorly housed and poorly fed population. Citizens in the uniform of the Vrijwillige Burgerwacht (voluntary civic guard) practiced handling weapons.
The local associations were united in the Dutch association of voluntary civic guards, which also distributed this poster. Unprecedentedly aggressive for a conservative country like The Netherlands.