Herbert Rothgaengel was a German graphic artist and illustrator, who illustrated several national-socialist children's books and picture stories during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.

Illustrator
Virtually nothing is known about the artist's life. He was already active as a graphic artist prior to World War I. Between 1920 and 1940, he illustrated several children's books, many of which were used as national-socialist propaganda. One of them was an edition of 'Der Wehrwolf' by journalist Hermann Löns, about resistance warriors during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Even though the first edition was published in 1910, it became a bestseller in the 1930s, when it was compulsory reading for the Hitler Jugend because of its nationalist theme. Rothgaengel also illustrated the picture books 'Deutschland siegt!' (1941) and 'Wenn die Soldaten durch die Stadt marschieren...' (1942) for publisher Josef Scholz, which glorified the war efforts of the Wehrmacht.


Poster art for the 1929 referendum against the German post-World War I reparation payments. It attempted to renounce the Treaty of Versailles and introduce a "Law against the Enslavement of the German People".

Bilderbogen
In the period 1940-1943, he was a prominent illustrator of the so-called 'Bilderbogen vom Kriege', a series of propaganda prints published by Gustav Kühn in Neuruppin. The stories "informed" readers about the successes of the German military in four or five sequential images with text captions in rhyme. This Nazi propaganda wanted to inspire German youth with virtues like bravery, companionship and resourcefulness, all to prepare them for being recruited in the army, of course. Some Bilderbogen emphasized on the invincibility of Germany, others detailed about specific victories of the Wehrmacht or focused on individual heroics of ordinary soldiers. About eighty Bilderbogen were available as loose prints, or in sets of twelve. Rothgaengel was the main and most talented illustrator, but Leo Bothas also drew several installments.

Herbert Rothgaengel is believed to have died during the Battle of Berlin in 1945.

Series and books by Herbert Rothgaengel in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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