Germany, The Beautiful Travel Country


A mendacious prewar pictorial map of Nazi Germany.

A high-resolution image is available for purchase. Email me for inquiries.

With the benefit of hindsight, this map presents a startling picture of Germany prior to the land annexations that would ultimately ignite the conflagration of the Second World War. Brownshirts marching in Nuremberg, swastikas, and references to the country’s rapid industrialization provoke an instinctive reaction in a modern audience; but in 1937, these symbols were reflective of the country’s political accomplishments and economic development. The world was still recovering from the wounds from an earlier great war, and the idea of another conflict seemed out of reach to many in English speaking countries. Rather, they saw Germany largely as it’s illustrated on this map – a friendly place filled with rich history, welcoming inhabitants, and of course, wagons of beer.

That was the goal of the publishing organizations, the Reichsbahn Center for German Tourist Traffic (Reichbahnzentrale für den Deutschen Reiseverkehr) and the German Railways Information Bureau. In addition to charming pictorial vignettes, the map also shows an inset map of Europe and Germany’s central location within (the shape would soon be used to justify annexations of Austria and Czechoslovakia). A border repeating the phrase “Beautiful Germany” and a compass rose highlighting the country’s economic diversity completes the propagandist view. Text on the verso of the image informs the reader that the map is available in bureau locations in London, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Toronto.

Additional transportation tips and information on Germany is also available on the verso, including chilling references to the industrial giants I.G. Farben, Krupps, and “new industrial areas” in the Ruhr basin. The entire package presents a haunting image of the dissonance that was pervasive in much of European and American society prior to Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

Map Details

Publication Date: c. 1937

Author: Walter Reimar

Sheet Width (in): 32.00

Sheet Height (in): 23.00

Condition: B

Condition Description: Wear and minor separation along originally issued fold lines. Several chips in the sheet around the outer edges which have been reinforced with Japanese paper. A few small holes along fold intersections, but very good overall.