laphamsquarterly: The Bormann decree, written by Hitler’s…


The Bormann decree, written by Hitler’s private secretary Martin Bormann, altered the look of the Nazi party by changing the official font from Fraktur (a traditional Gothic blackletter) to Antiqua (a standard serif).

Fraktur, he explains, contains Schwabacher-Jewish letters. Schwabacher was the most used German typeface since 1530, and was derived directly from Textura, designed by Johannes Gutenberg.


National Socialist German Workers Party [Nazis]
Deputy to the Führer
Munich 33, on [date – empty space], Brown House [Nazi headquarters]

Stabsleiter (Chief of Staff)

currently in Obersalzberg, 3 January 1941

C i r c u l a r L e t t e r
(Not for publication)

For general notice I announce the following by order of the Führer:

It is false to regard or describe the so-called Gothic typeface as a German typeface. In reality the so-called Gothic typeface consists of Schwabacher-Jewish letters. Just as they later came to own the newspapers, the Jews living in Germany also owned the printing presses when the printing of books was introduced and thus came about the strong influx into Germany of Schwabacher-Jewish letters.

Today the Führer, in a discussion with Herr Reichsleiter Amann [Reich Leader for the Press] and the printing company owner Herr Adolf Müller, decided that Antiqua [Roman] type is henceforth to be designated as the standard typeface. Gradually, all printed matter should be converted to this standard typeface. As soon as possible in regard to school textbooks, only the standard script will be taught in village and elementary schools.

The use of Schwabacher-Jewish letters by authorities will in future cease; certificates of appointment for officials, street signs, and the like, will in future only be produced in standard lettering.

By order of the Führer, Herr Reichsleiter Amann will first change over to the standard script those newspapers and magazines that already have foreign circulation or whose foreign circulation is desired.

sgd. M. Bormann

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