Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)


Chronology of the War


Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


Milicianos! No desperdicieis municiones, víveres ni energías

[Militiamen! Do not waste munitions, supplies or energy]. Signed: Mauricio Amster. Ministerio de Instrucción P£blica. Dirección Gral. de Bellas Artes. Asociación de obreros litógrafos. Rivadeneyra S.A. Madrid. Lithograph, 7 colors; 100 x 70 cm.

At the beginning of the war, the Republican zone covered nearly two-thirds of Spain and contained sixty-six percent of the Spanish population. However, most of the country's grazing land and two-thirds of its wheat-producing area was in Nationalist hands. Although feeding the population was not an immediate problem, the Republican government realized that it needed to be frugal with its food resources. Furthermore, the signing of the non-intervention treaty in August 1936, prohibiting the sale of arms to the two belligerents, meant that the Republic also needed to conserve its munitions.

This poster specifically targets the militias for their prodigality-observe the bullet used by the militiaman as an adornment to his cap. Ad-hoc fighting units formed by the anarchist and socialist trade unions at the beginning of the war, the militias had fared well in the early streetfighting forays against the military insurrectionists. However, the Republican government soon concluded that they were too undisciplined and inefficient to be used under regular combat conditions, and on September 15, 1936, ordered them to become fully militarized units operating within the popular army.

This poster was probably printed in the early months of the war, before the anti-militia decree took effect. It was issued by the Ministerio de Instrucción Pública (Ministry of Public Instruction), through its Dirección General de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts section). In September 1936, the photomontage artist Josep Renau became the director of this department and transformed it into one of the Republic's most active agencies in the production of poster propaganda. The artist who designed this poster, Mauricio Amster, is undocumented.

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