Tuesday, March 16, 2010
World War II Propaganda Posters
Here They Come!
In war and in peace -- but especially in war -- governments everywhere resort to propaganda, which at its simplest and starkest often takes the form of outrageous posters: occasionally beautiful, sometimes racist, and often brutally jarring. This, for example, is how the Nazis wanted occupied Holland to see America and Americans in 1944 -- as a Frankenstein' s monster of warmongering racists, jazz-crazed degenerates, and money-mad gangsters.
Bombs Over Berlin
Propaganda posters obviously weren't limited to the Axis powers. This 1941 Soviet poster shows a Russian and British pilot celebrating their alliance during a bombing raid over Berlin.
A 1943 German poster exhorting citizens to keep their lights off at night to hinder Allied bombings reads: "The enemy sees your light! Blackout!"
Above and Beyond
A 1942 U.S. poster shows Naval Mess Attendant 3rd Class Doris "Dorie" Miller, wearing a Navy Cross pinned to his sailor's uniform. Miller was stationed on the USS West Virginia when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He rescued wounded men and shot down four enemy aircraft.
A 1942 Soviet poster reads: "The Big Three will tie the enemy in knots."
While You Are Away
This 1944 German poster aimed at British troops seeks to raise fears of cuckolding by Americans stationed in the U.K. with a caption that reads: "The Yanks are 'lease-lending' your women. Their pockets full of cash and no work to do ...."
A 1942 Canadian poster.
Hitler as an Insatiable Cannibal
We Can Do It
The women of America are urged get to work on the homefront in one the most famous posters -- of any sort -- ever printed.
This Is Your War
A poster urging American workers to remain productive in the face of barely human "Huns" and "Japs."
This Is the Enemy
This 1945 poster won a competition organized by the Museum of Modern Art. It was designed by Duane Bryers.
A 1930 Nazi propaganda poster offers work, freedom, and bread, as opposed to the "empty promises" of their opponents.
Dutchmen for Hitler
This 1943 posters reads, "Dutchmen, for your honor and conscience! The Waffen SS summons you to fight Bolshevism!"
"Partisans Beat the Enemy Without Mercy," 1941.
Blinded by the Light
Soviet anti-aircraft fire destroys a Nazi bomber.
Danger From the Sky
A 1938 Finnish poster reads: "Danger Threatens From the Sky! All Citizens to Civil Defense Work!"
Women Love a Submariner
Anti-Semitism as Weapon
A 1940 poster for a Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda film.
We've Beaten Them Before
A 1942 Soviet poster reminds Russian soldiers of Russia's successes in 1242 against the Teutonic Order.
A 1944 Italian poster reads, "Behold the liberators!"
Guns of Russia
A 1941 Soviet poster reads: "Our heavy weapons are trained on the enemy."
All in the Army Now