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    Blackletter types were still common in turn-of-the-century central Europe. To 21st century eyes, these letters usually carry strong associations with German culture. This national identity of blackletter had an interesting history under the most infamously nationalistic of 20th century groups, the National Socialists who ruled Germany under Adolf Hitler in the '30s and '40s.

    The Nazis used blackletter types extensively in their promotional and official materials, proclaiming that those were true German letters. But bizarrely, in 1941, Nazi leaders mandated a total reversal: blackletter characters were declared "Jewish writing" and forbidden from National-Socialist printing. As the Nazis envisioned incorporating more of Europe into the Third Reich, they may have anticipated difficulties in communicating with those in lands where blackletter was less familiar.

    Despite this official about-face, the Nazis' earlier reinforcement of ultranationalist associations with blackletter lingered after their defeat in World War II, and has hastened the decline of blackletter's use in postwar Germany.