Hans Schweitzer

Biographical information

Full nameHans Herbert•Schweitzer
Used nameHans•Schweitzer
Other namesMjölnir
Born25 July 1901 in Berlin, Berlin (GER)
Died15 September 1980 in Landstuhl, Rheinland-Pfalz (GER)
NOC Germany


As an illegitimate son of a doctor, Hans Schweitzer grew up with his grandmother. In his youth, he joined the “Freikorps” after the end of World War I. In 1918-23, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. He then worked as a press artist and political cartoonist for the national-conservative Hugenberg group. In 1924 he designed the so-called “Stab-in-the-back” election poster of the German National People’s Party, which was intended to blame the defeat in World War I on the German Social Democrats.

In 1926, Schweitzer became a member of the National Socialist Party (NSDAP) and choose as a pseudonym the name Mjölnir, which denotes the war hammer of the god Thor in Nordic mythology. He was a regular contributor to various Nazi publications and designed other propaganda material. As a supporter of the social-revolutionary wing of the NSDAP, he left the party in 1930, but shortly thereafter was persuaded by the Berlin Gauleiter and later Propaganda Minister Goebbels to continue his collaboration. In 1932, he designed the highly successful election poster with the slogan “Our last hope: Hitler”.

After the Nazis came to power, Schweitzer was appointed “Draftsman of the Movement” in 1933 and became Reich Commissioner for Artistic Design in 1935. In this capacity, he designed coins, banknotes, and postage stamps of the German Reich. In 1936, he was appointed member of the Presidential Council of the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts and professor the following year. He was also a member of the commission for the confiscation of “degenerate art”. During World War II, he organized art exhibitions and became a draftsman for a propaganda company as an SS-Oberführer.

After the end of the war, Schweitzer was interned in the former Neuengamme concentration camp and fined 500 marks in 1948 in the frame of denazification. He then continued to work as an illustrator for conservative and right-wing publications, but also as a poster designer for splinter parties and even for the Press and Information Office of the federal government.

Schweitzer/Mjölnir is considered one of the most important Nazi propaganda illustrators. However, he did not limit his work to the field of anti-Semitic caricature. In the design of posters, illustrations, and book decorations, he used naturalistic-expressive, sometimes drastic-violent, and mostly pathetic-heroic depictions of workers, SA men, or soldiers, consciously adopting stylistic devices of Expressionist art and contemporary Socialist propaganda.


Games Sport (Discipline) / Event NOC / Team Phase Unit Role As
1936 Summer Olympics Art Competitions GER Hans Schweitzer
Architecture, Designs For Town Planning, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Architecture, Architectural Designs, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Painting, Applied Arts, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Painting, Paintings, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Painting, Graphic Arts, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Painting, Drawings And Water Colors, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Sculpturing, Medals, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Sculpturing, Reliefs, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge
Sculpturing, Statues, Open (Olympic) Final Standings Judge