Thoughts on Advertising – Of the Cannabis, Tech, and German Kind

New archival records of my family’s store in Mainz, one of the first department stores in Germany, are coming to light, rather ironically as Google announces that it will allow limited CBD advertising. What is the link and significance?

Advertising is actually a rather strange part of the business world. When it crosses with cannabis and online tech, it gets even stranger.

Given Google’s new announcement that they will allow limited (medical) advertising for CBD on the platform, which is, in its own watershed way a good development for the industry (although let’s see how this plays out, including internationally), I thought I would also share a blast from the past.

As I have written before, both Jews and cannabis became “illegal” in Germany about the same time, namely during the 1930s with the rise of Hitler and the establishment of the Third Reich.

Even more ironically, German Jews who were victims of the Shoah, and their descendants, have also, thanks to my immigration case (see 2BvR 2628/18), also been given additional rights to return right at the time that cannabis is becoming legal. The connection is easy at least for me to see. If not to live.

In the spirit of the same, I thought I would share some very old advertisements from my family’s department store in Mainz, dating from 1925.

Kaufhaus Lahnstein at 13 Gutenberg Platz was so iconic in its day that it made its way onto postcards.

Postcard of Kaufhaus Lahnstein, circa late 1920s

The store (bottom left of the picture above) was located right across from the Cathedral, in the middle of town, and was known for several things, including being open on Sundays (which is still very unusual in Germany).

This is what the building looked like in 1933, when my father, then 12 years old, fled Germany a week after Hitler came to power, which was also several days after his birthday.

Front view of the store, 1933

Sadly, the building was destroyed during the war, and like a great many other Jewish enterprises, was never rebuilt or reconstituted afterward.

Regardless, I thought I would share a few advertisements from 1925 a colleague just unearthed from the archives. They were also ground-breaking in their day. Mainz, for those who do not know, is the hometown of Johannes Gutenburg, the inventor of the world’s first moveable type printing press.

Julius Lahnstein, my great-grandfather was still alive, and my father was a four-year-old boy.

Carnival Advertisement
Special sale announcement
Women’s clothing sale
Household goods sale
New Year’s Eve sale

Archival images courtesy of the City of Mainz archives


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