In November 1918 the First World War ended in defeat for the German Reich. Germany was crushed militarily, shattered politically and faced with far-reaching economic and social problems. Radical parties and sect-like organizations incited inordinate expectations for the future, while others prophesied the imminent downfall of the world. In art, works of political propaganda and agitation predominated, particularly in the years after the war. They can be interpreted as warnings and admonitions against authoritarian forms of rule and war, but they also aimed to bolster the hope of a better society.