The elections which were held throughout Germany on May 20, 1928, are of considerable interest and importance not only to Germany but also to the rest of the world. These elections, to be sure, did not have the dramatic interest which attended the Reichstag elections of December, 1924. But they deserve attention for a number of reasons: first, because they are the first elections to be held in the Reich under what may be called normal conditions; second, because elections for five Landtags and several city councils were held at the same time; and third, because the elections gave a further test, and supplied additional evidence of the operation, of the German system of proportional representation.
Despite the intensive work of the political parties, the people were not aroused to much enthusiasm during the campaign. The old Reichstag was dissolved before Easter, but not until the last week of the campaign could one detect any excitement. Never before had the electors been bombarded with so much printed matter, posters, and, last but not least, loud-speakers and films. All the modern methods of appealing to the voters were tried by the numerous political parties. There were lacking, however, the overpowering issues and the battlecries which were so effective in 1924. Parades, demonstrations, meetings, and all the rest were carried through successfully on the whole, but they were quite dull and uninteresting. Only the two extreme parties, the National Socialists or Hitlerites on the right, and the Communists on the left, could appear enthusiastic. Nevertheless, the lack of what the Germans call a “grosse Parole” and the lack of excitement are not to be deplored; their absence probably indicates progress toward social and political consolidation.