Thousands of posters created by Rand & Hartmann in 1919 were put up by the health ministry stating, “Berlin, stop and think, your dance partner is death” a line taken from a Paul Zech poem. The poster is commenting on the fact the after World War I half of the cities population was starving, while the other elite half entertained themselves with dancing and music, thus ignoring what was happening around them.
“For Germany the period after the First World War was a time of of deepest despair, hysteria, poverty existed alongside swollen new wealth. At that time, Berlin coined the word ‘Raffke,’ from the raking up of money. ‘Raffke‘ was applied to the nouveau riche. Dr. Mabuse is the prototype of this time. He is a gambler. He plays cards. He plays roulette. He plays with people and their fates. Because he does not believe in deep feelings, he tells a woman he loves: ‘There is no love; there is only desire.’ He plays with the lives of these people, and he plays with death,”