Ss recruitment posters

Ss recruitment posters DEFAULT

Waffen-SS Recruiting Poster
A local estate find, no history except the veteran was AAF/AF.
A generic recruiting poster for the Waffen-SS. The red space at the base was for individual SS recruiting offices to stamp or print their addresses. The artist is H'o'ch.
According to ssrelics.net, which has an excellent section on posters, a small numberof these were found a few years ago and using those, a fake version has now been produced with a recruitment office in France printed in the blank space at the bottom. One can also find originals with SS Recrffices offices  added. While the outright fakes are easy to spot, it is difficult to be 100% certain the recruiting office text was pre-1945 on the altered originals.

The poster is unmounted and presently is in shrink wrap for protection. It will be shipped flat USA or rolled for Airmail. 
$300.00 SOLD

Photo from the web


Sours: https://www.wartimecollectables.com/waffen-ss-recruiting-poster.html

Waffen SS Recruiting Poster ( Belgian ) # 851

Designed by T. Bertauin 1944 this Belgian recruiting poster for the Waffen SS is one of the rarest and certainly one of the most dynamic that I have seen in all the years I have been collecting Third Reich artifacts.

Advancing into new territories meant recruiting efforts would require the use of various languages, in this case Belgian. While the language is noteworthy, the artwork itself is the true message and the artists who developed these posters were masters in their given field. While some of the designs are simple and usually depict typical Aryan photos within SS uniform and runic symbols denoting the SS. This go's much further.

The red dragon representing Bolshevism with a chain bearing the Star of David indicating the power of Judaism over the communist state place both as a common enemy, one and the same.

The dragon is slain by the SS lightning bolts while the outline of the German soldier to the rear seems to represent the target of the recruiting with the message to join this elite organization, fill the outline of the SS soldier depicted and take part in the destruction of the dragon that has fed upon the people of Europe.

A very rare and bold poster that manages to send all the messages without having to say anything at all, and when taken in context with the time, quite exceptional.

Photo Credit: www.ssrelics.net

Waffen SS Recruiting Poster ( Belgian )

Product Id: #851
Sours: https://www.thirdreicharts.com/
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Waffen Ss Recruitment

Waffen Ss Recruitment

18" x 24"

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This product is reproduced from a publication advertisement or vintage print In an effort to maintain the artistic accuracy of the original image this final product has not been retouched

Sours: https://www.allposters.com/-sp/Waffen-Ss-Recruitment-Posters_i2916081_.htm
Designing a recruitment poster for medical research
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Sours: https://www.militaryimages.net/media/german-ss-recruitment-poster.106916/

Recruitment posters ss

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DUTCH SS RECRUITMENT POSTER

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Sold:

$4,500.00

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000

February 8, 2021

Chesapeake City, MD, US


Description:
Extremely rare German recruitment poster, 34.5 x 45.5 in. (sight), bearing an intense bust portrait of an SS soldier overlooking an armada of tanks and warplanes, with anti-Russian captions in Dutch at top and bottom: 'DUTCH...For Your Honor and Conscience! - Against Bolshevism the WAFFEN-SS CALL YOU!'. The lower-right corner bears a label in German, indicating the poster is a 'public notice approved by the Office of the Reich Commissioner', and the lower-left corner bears the designation 'K1300'. Professionally matted and framed. Very fine condition. Ex: Wolfe-Hardin.

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$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
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$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
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Sours: https://www.alexautographs.com/auction-lot/dutch-ss-recruitment-poster_06D467CB41
Starship Troopers Propaganda

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St. Louis und Milwaukee

St. Louis und Milwaukee

Object

German advertisement poster for the Hamburg-America Line’s transatlantic liners, St. Louis and Milwaukee. On May 13, 1939, the St. Louis set sail from Hamburg, Germany with 937 passengers, almost all of whom were Jews fleeing the Third Reich. The majority of the passengers had applied for US visas, and planned to stay in Cuba until they could enter the United States. However, shortly before the ship set sail, Cuba invalidated the landing permits and transit visas of the Jewish refugee passengers. When the St. Louis arrived in Cuba on May 27, the Cuban government only allowed 28 passengers into the country. On June 2, the ship was ordered to leave Cuba. With 908 passengers still aboard, the St. Louis sailed to Miami, Florida where the Jewish refugees were again refused entry due to strict quota limits and isolationist sentiment. The St. Louis sailed back to Europe on June 6, 1939. Jewish organizations were able to secure entry visas for the passengers in Great Britain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands rather than return to Germany. Of the 620 passengers who returned to continental Europe, 254 died in the Holocaust. Gustav Schroeder, the captain of the St Louis was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations on March 11, 1993 in acknowledgement of his efforts to find safe passage for his Jewish passengers.

Der Feind steht rechts wählt Sozialdemokraten

Der Feind steht rechts wählt Sozialdemokraten

Object

German, anti-Nazi political propaganda poster promoting the Social Democratic Party for the elections of 1932. The figure on the poster wears the brown garb of a Sturmabteilung (SA or Storm Trooper), a paramilitary organization that had a reputation for violence and intimidation against Jews and Nazi opponents. By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression, with six million unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party who along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. The Social Democrats ran on a platform of maintaining freedom, democracy and the Republic, honoring Germany’s political and financial obligations, job creation, governmental expenditure cuts to lower taxes, and free speech. When Germany held parliamentary elections in July of that year, the Nazi party won almost 40 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag to become the largest party in German parliament. However, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat incumbent Social Democratic President Paul von Hindenburg in the presidential election. With the backing of his majority party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933.

Wählt Sozialdemokraten

Wählt Sozialdemokraten

Object

German anti-Nazi political propaganda poster promoting the Social Democratic Party for the elections of 1932. The poster features a man smashing a swastika, the most recognizable icon of Nazi Party. By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression, with six million unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party who along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. The Social Democrats ran on a platform of maintaining freedom, democracy and the Republic, honoring Germany’s political and financial obligations, job creation, governmental expenditure cuts to lower taxes, and free speech. When Germany held parliamentary elections in July of that year, the Nazi party won almost 40 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag to become the largest party in German parliament. However Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat incumbent Social Democratic President Paul von Hindenburg in the presidential election. With the backing of his majority party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933.

Das Dritte Reich!

Das Dritte Reich!

Object

Anti-Nazi political poster from the 1932 German federal elections. The poster depicts Germany bleeding and covered in crosses, implying if the Nazis gained power, their systems of violence and intimidation would cause Germany and its people to suffer. By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression, with six million unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party who along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. The Social Democrats ran on a platform of maintaining freedom, democracy and the Republic, honoring Germany’s political and financial obligations, job creation, governmental expenditure cuts to lower taxes, and free speech. When Germany held parliamentary elections in July of that year, the Nazi party won almost 40 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag to become the largest party in German parliament. However Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat incumbent Social Democratic President Paul von Hindenburg in the presidential election. With the backing of his majority party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933.

Zerschmettert den Weltfeind!

Zerschmettert den Weltfeind!

Object

Political poster promoting the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler for the German elections of 1932. By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression, with six million unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party who along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. The Nazis supported economic nationalism and distrusted international capital, preferring domestic production with the elimination of foreign competition. When Germany held parliamentary elections in July of that year, the Nazi party won almost 40 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag, becoming the largest party in German parliament. However Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat incumbent Social Democratic President Paul von Hindenburg in the presidential election. With the backing of his majority party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933.

Einheitliche Stellungnahme der Bischöfe Österreichs zur Wahl

Einheitliche Stellungnahme der Bischöfe Österreichs zur Wahl

Object

Poster displaying three typed letters written by Austrian Bishops and other Catholic clergy members expressing support for Anschluss, the German annexation of Austria in 1938. The letters are marked with the signature and seal of Theodore Innitzer, Archbishop of Vienna. Austria had experienced a prolonged period of economic stagnation, political dictatorship, and intense Nazi propaganda. When German troops entered the country on March 12, 1938 they received the enthusiastic support of most of the population, including the clergy, and Austria was incorporated into Germany the next day. The poster is an attempt to curry support for a referendum that would legitimize the annexation. In April, the German annexation was retroactively approved in a referendum that was manipulated by the Germans to indicate that about 99 percent of the Austrian people wanted the union.

Mit Adolf Hitler Ja für Gleichberechtigung und Frieden

Mit Adolf Hitler Ja für Gleichberechtigung und Frieden

Object

Nazi political poster from the 1930s with a quote from Adolf Hitler calling for equality and peace. The same phrase was used in Nazi election propaganda leading up to Germany’s November 12, 1933 parliamentary elections. The demand for equality refers to the vote on whether Germany would withdrawal from the League of Nations, which it would do in October of that year. The quote may have been reused after Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss, when the Nazis held a referendum to legitimize their annexation.

Das neue Europa ist unschlagbar

Das neue Europa ist unschlagbar

Object

Propaganda map of Europe showing German territorial gains and offensive movements of its army, navy and air force against its enemies in 1942. By 1942 Germany had made alliances with Finland, Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary and had conquered France, Norway, and every European nation in Eastern Europe. The German invasion of the Soviet Union had pushed nearly into Moscow, Britain was fighting to maintain its presence in Africa and the Middle East, and the United States, who just entered the war in December 1941, had made no real impact as of yet. The map depicts Nazi Germany at the height of its domination over Europe.

Wir Bauern misten aus

Wir Bauern misten aus

Object

Political campaign poster for the Reichstag elections of July 31, 1932, showing a muscular Aryan farmer with a swastika belt buckle, using a pitchfork to remove dwarfish caricatures of Nazi Party enemies. These parties are represented by former Chancellor of Germany Herman Müller, a caricature of a stereotypical Jewish businessman with a newspaper (the press) in his pocket, a businessman, and a communist. The Nazis blamed these groups for Germany’s loss in World War I, the failure of the Weimar Republic, and the economic depression that Germany was going through. The poster depicts the Nazis’ target demographic, a young, working class, Aryan man, disposing of the Nazis’ enemies, in essence, empowering the people to take Germany from the rich and powerful and return it to the hands of the farmers and working men.

Grossausstellung 1918

Grossausstellung 1918

Object

Poster showing a figure shaded in red with stereotypical Jewish features setting fire to the numbers 1918. It is a propaganda advertisement for the 1944 Grossausstellung 1918 Exhibition, which was designed to show Germans why they were fighting World War II. The Exhibition was title 1918 in order to emphasize that Germany surrendered that year and showed how horrible the conditions in Germany were at the conclusion of World War I. The imagery of a man with Jewish features, with both the year and him presented in red, strongly implies the Nazi belief that Jewish Communists sabotaged the German war effort and brought forth the inevitable consequences for Germany.

An’s Gewehr! Hinein in die Wehrmannschaften der SA

An’s Gewehr! Hinein in die Wehrmannschaften der SA

Object

German recruitment poster for the Sturmabteilung (SA), a Nazi paramilitary organization responsible for protecting party meetings, voter intimidation, and physically assaulting opponents. The wreath and sword symbol at the lower right are also featured on the SA sport badge and armband which were given out for physical accomplishment. As a result of the Great Depression and the growing popularity of the Nazi Party, SA membership swelled to 400,000 by 1932, and by 1933 membership was at approximately two million. On The Night of Long Knives, June 30, 1934, Hitler and the Schutzstaffel (SS) carried out a purge, murdering dozens of SA leaders including its cofounder and commander Ernst Röhm. Afterwards, the SA ceased to play a major role in Nazi affairs.

Text only poster declaring the Anschluss as a German Austria homecoming

Text only poster declaring the Anschluss as a German Austria homecoming

Object

German text only poster declaring the German annexation of Austria, the Anschluss, as a long overdue homecoming for Austria. The poster highlights several important years and events in Austrian and German history. In 1806, France and Napoleon dissolved the Germanic Holy Roman Empire which had stood for nearly a thousand years, and created a French puppet state from the German kingdoms. The Revolutions of 1848 were a series of revolts against European monarchies that spread from France into Austria and the other German states. The revolts all ended in failure with the monarchies retaining their power. World War I ended in 1918 and the Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain were signed. The Allies placed the blame for the war on Germany and the Kingdom of Austria-Hungary and levied massive reparations against the two nations, forced them to cede territory, and broke up Austria Hungary into several smaller independent nations. Finally, in 1938, Germany annexed Austria, uniting the two German speaking peoples for the first time since the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.

Nimmer wird das Reich zerstöret wenn ihr einig seid und treu

Nimmer wird das Reich zerstöret wenn ihr einig seid und treu

Object

National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) campaign poster featuring a black and white image of the heads of Adolf Hitler and Paul von Hindenburg. The quote below them is from poet Max von Schenkendorf and is inscribed on an 1897 monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I. The monument commemorates the founding of the German Empire and affirms German unity. The reuse of this quote, with its allusions to the monument and the German Empire, reaffirms the Nazi party platform of a union of all Germans. Forming a greater Germany through the abolition of the Treaty of Versailles and the return of lands lost in World War I was part of the Nazi Party platform. The image of Hitler’s face in front of Hindenburg’s and the text on the poster communicates that a reunion of German peoples and restoration of German national pride can only be accomplished through voting for Hitler and other Nazi Party candidates.

Wir Arbeiter sind erwacht

Wir Arbeiter sind erwacht

Object

German poster for the 1932 Reichstag election showing a giant, muscular Aryan man looking down on dwarfish caricatures of the opposition candidates and German enemies. The poster features caricatures of former German chancellors Hermann Müller and Heinrich Brüning, as well as a figure wielding a bloody knife representing the threat of communism. A figure with stereotypical Jewish features and a newspaper in his pocket, denoting that the press is in the pocket of the Jews, is whispering in Müller’s ear, influencing his actions. Heinrich Brüning is holding a sign that references his use of emergency decrees and reliance on Section 48 of the Weimar Constitution during his term as chancellor from 1930-1932. The sign that the communist is holding shows their party’s interests are decidedly non-German, aligning with Russia and China. Müller’s sign implies that he and his Social Democratic Party work for the interest of the rich while the common man suffers.

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer!

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer!

Object

Color poster of an iconic painting of Adolf Hitler printed in Germany during the Third Reich, 1933-1945. The original painting was created by Heinrich Knirr in 1935-1936, and was based on a photograph taken by Heinrich Hoffman in 1935. Hitler approved the image and it became popular as it was widely used on Nazi propaganda pieces. The slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer (One People, One Country, One Leader) was one of the central slogans used by Hitler and the Nazi Party. Nazi propaganda portrayed their leader (Fuhrer) as the living embodiment of the German nation and people. This slogan reinforced the cult of Hitler and the sense of destiny that the Party claimed made him the savior of Germany and father of the German people.

Unsere letzte Hoffnung: Hitler

Unsere letzte Hoffnung: Hitler

Object

Poster for Adolf Hitler’s 1932 presidential campaign as the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) Presidential candidate against incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. This poster was designed by Hans Schweitzer, who went by the pseudonym Mjölnir (the hammer of Thor) and initially preserved by the FJM Rehse Archive and Museum of Contemporary History in Munich, a museum operated by the Nazi Party that preserved much of their early propaganda. By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression with six million unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party who, along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. This poster was designed to appeal to the unemployed and destitute and claimed that Hitler was their only hope. When Germany held parliamentary elections in July of that year, the Nazi party won almost 40 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag, becoming the largest party in German parliament. However, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat Hindenburg in the presidential election. With the support of his majority party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg on January 30, 1933.

Das Volk Wählt Liste 1 Nationalsozialisten

Das Volk Wählt Liste 1 Nationalsozialisten

Object

Political poster promoting the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler for the German elections of 1932. The image shows how, with the people’s support, the Nazi Party became the most popular political party in Germany. This poster was initially preserved by the FJM Rehse Archive and Museum of Contemporary History in Munich, a museum operated by the Nazi Party that preserved much of their early propaganda. By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression, with six million unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party who along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. When Germany held parliamentary elections in July of that year, the Nazi party won almost 40 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag, becoming the largest party in German parliament. However Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat incumbent Social Democratic President Paul von Hindenburg in the presidential election. With the support of his majority party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg on January 30, 1933.

Mit Unseren Fahnen is der Sieg

Mit Unseren Fahnen is der Sieg

Object

German World War II propaganda poster featuring a golden eagle soaring in front of a series of Nazi flags created by artist Hans Schweitzer, who went by the pseudonym Mjölnir (Thor’s Hammer). The flag in the image is an interpretation of the Reichskriegflagge (German War Flag). It was designed personally by Hitler and was flown by all military forces of Nazi Germany. In 1943, the tide of the war had begun to turn against the Germans. The early progress of the invasion of the Soviet Union had stalled and the American and British armies had virtually pushed the German armies out of Africa. The Nazis used Nationalistic symbols such as the ones depicted on this poster to inspire the public and army to fight on.

Konrad henlein einte uns! Der Führer befreite uns!

Konrad henlein einte uns! Der Führer befreite uns!

Object

Poster depicting Adolf Hitler and Konrad Henlein shaking hands and promoting the German annexation of the Sudetenland. This image is a reproduction of a photograph of Hitler and Henlein’s meeting. In the original, Herman Goering is in the background but he has been edited out of this image. Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian state at the end of World War I. Within its borders was the Sudetenland, an area with a predominantly German ethnic population. Konrad Henlein founded the Sudeten German Party, whose goal was to achieve autonomy for the Sudeten community so that they could unite their region with Germany. As the Nazi party gained power in Germany, Henlein and the Sudetenland reunification movement aligned with the party and transitioned from the fringes to a mainstream, and sometimes violent, political force. The Sudeten Nazis’ activities included hostile outbreaks and provocative incidents, and in September 1938 extreme violence erupted requiring international intervention. On September 30, representatives of France, Britain, Italy, and Germany met in Munich and issued an ultimatum to Czechoslovakia to cede the Sudetenland to Germany in exchange for a pledge of peace from Hitler. This poster was initially preserved by the FJM Rehse Archive and Museum of Contemporary History in Munich, a museum operated by the Nazi Party that preserved much of their early propaganda.

Schluss jetzt wählt Hitler

Schluss jetzt wählt Hitler

Object

Political poster promoting Adolf Hitler for the German presidential elections of 1932. The poster features a man breaking chians on his wrists, implying that a vote for Hitler will stop the oppression that shackles the common man. Hitler ran as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party candidate against incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. This poster was designed by Hans Schweitzer, who went by the pseudonym Mjölnir (the hammer of Thor). By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression, with six million unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party, who along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. The Nazis supported economic nationalism and distrusted international capital, preferring domestic production with the elimination of foreign competition. When Germany held parliamentary elections in July of that year, the Nazi party won almost 40 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag, becoming the largest party in German parliament. However, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat incumbent Social Democratic President Paul von Hindenburg in the presidential election. With the support of his majority party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933.

Großdeutschland Ja! Am 10. April

Großdeutschland Ja! Am 10. April

Object

Anschluss poster displaying several arms raised for the Nazi salute in support of the Anschluss, the German annexation of Austria in 1938. Austria had experienced a prolonged period of economic stagnation, political dictatorship, and intense Nazi propaganda. When German troops entered the country on March 12, 1938 they received the enthusiastic support of most of the population, and Austria was incorporated into Germany the next day. The poster is an attempt to curry support for a referendum that would legitimize the annexation. On April 10, the German annexation was retroactively approved in a referendum that was manipulated by the Germans to indicate that about 99 percent of the Austrian people wanted the union. This poster was initially preserved by the FJM Rehse Archive and Museum of Contemporary History Munich, a museum operated by the Nazi Party that preserved much of their early propaganda.

That’s how the Waffen SS is fighting

That’s how the Waffen SS is fighting

Object

German recruitment poster for the Waffen SS featuring photographs of high ranking SS officers and soldiers participating in their wartime activities. The Waffen SS was the armed military division of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi paramilitary organization that was responsible for security, intelligence gathering and analysis, and enforcing Nazi racial policies. The SS controlled the concentration camp system and planned and coordinated the Final Solution. The SS was originally formed in 1925 to protect Hitler along with other Nazi leaders and provide security at political meetings. In 1929, Heinrich Himmler was appointed Reichsführer-SS (Reich Leader of the SS) and turned the organization into an elite corps based on visions of racial purity and absolute loyalty to Hitler. The Waffen SS was established in 1939 to strengthen the position of the SS relative to the army and German elites, eventually fielding more than twenty divisions and half a million men at its peak. Members of the Waffen SS were selected based on “racial” ancestry. Selected individuals were expected to have an Aryan Nordic lineage and volunteers were accepted from Germany, and later Norway, Denmark and Holland.

Waffen- SS Eintritt mit vollendetem 17. Lebensjahr

Waffen- SS Eintritt mit vollendetem 17. Lebensjahr

Object

Recruitment poster for the Waffen SS featuring an image of a uniformed soldier and a Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler flag. The Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler was Hitler’s personal bodyguard regiment. The Waffen SS was the armed military division of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi paramilitary organization that was responsible for security, intelligence gathering and analysis, and enforcing Nazi racial policies. They controlled the concentration camp system and planned and coordinated the Final Solution. The SS was originally formed in 1925 to protect Hitler along with other Nazi leaders and provide security at political meetings. In 1929, Heinrich Himmler was appointed Reichsführer-SS (Reich Leader of the SS) and turned the organization into an elite corps based on visions of racial purity and absolute loyalty to Hitler. The Waffen SS was established in 1939 to strengthen the position of the SS relative to the army and German elites, eventually fielding more than twenty divisions and half a million men at its peak. Members of the Waffen SS were selected based on “racial” ancestry. Selected individuals were expected to have an Aryan Nordic lineage and volunteers were accepted from Germany, and later Norway, Denmark and Holland.

SS recruitment poster with photos depicting SS soldiers’ activities

SS recruitment poster with photos depicting SS soldiers’ activities

Object

Recruitment poster for the Waffen SS featuring photographs of soldiers participating in their wartime duties. The Waffen SS was the armed military division of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi paramilitary organization that was responsible for security, intelligence gathering and analysis, and enforcing Nazi racial policies. They controlled the concentration camp system and planned and coordinated the Final Solution. The SS was originally formed in 1925 to protect Hitler along with other Nazi leaders and provide security at political meetings. In 1929, Heinrich Himmler was appointed Reichsführer-SS (Reich Leader of the SS) and turned the organization into an elite corps based on visions of racial purity with absolute loyalty to Hitler. The Waffen SS was established in 1939 to strengthen the position of the SS relative to the army and German elites, eventually fielding more than twenty divisions and half a million men at its peak. Members of the Waffen SS were selected based on “racial” ancestry. Selected individuals were expected to have an Aryan Nordic lineage and volunteers were accepted from Germany, and later Austria, Norway, Denmark and Holland.

Ja!  Fuehrer wir folgen Dir!

Ja! Fuehrer wir folgen Dir!

Object

German political poster encouraging public support for Adolf Hitler’s usurpation of power after the death of German President, Paul von Hindenburg, in 1934. The poster features a photographic image that shows the public saluting and cheering Hitler, and text exclaiming their adoration, implying Germans’ united support for his assumption of power as sole leader of Germany. After Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, he began laying the foundations for the Nazi state, worked to secure his power, and eliminate his opposition. In February 1933, after an attack on the Reichstag, the government passed the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended individual rights and due process of law. In March, 1933, the German Parliament passed the enabling act, which allowed Hitler to create and sign legislation into law without parliamentary consent. To eliminate their opposition, Hitler and the Nazis abolished trade unions, replaced elected officials with Nazi appointees, and outlawed other political parties. On June 30, 1934, the Schutzstaffel (SS), acting on orders from Hitler, executed the party’s political enemies and rival members who threatened Hitler’s rule. On August 2, the last barrier to Hitler’s total control of Germany, President Paul Von Hindenburg, died. Hitler ordered the government to merge his position of Chancellor with the office of the President. To legitimize his position, the Nazis declared a referendum take place on August 19. The Nazis campaigned heavily for public support of the referendum and 89 percent of voters supported the merger, approving Hitler’s absolute control of Germany.

Am.19.August wird deutschen Volke folgende Frage vorgelegt

Am.19.August wird deutschen Volke folgende Frage vorgelegt

Object

German political broadside encouraging public support for Adolf Hitler’s usurpation of power after the death of German President, Paul von Hindenburg, in 1934. The broadside features an image of the ballot used in the referendum with the affirmative box brightly marked with a large X. After Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, he began laying the foundations for the Nazi state, worked to secure his power, and eliminate his opposition. In February 1933, after an attack on the Reichstag, the government passed the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended individual rights and due process of law. In March of 1933, the German Parliament passed the enabling act, which allowed Hitler to create and sign legislation into law without parliamentary consent. To eliminate their opposition, Hitler and the Nazis abolished trade unions, replaced elected officials with Nazi appointees, and outlawed other political parties. On June 30, 1934, the Schutzstaffel (SS), acting on orders from Hitler, executed the party’s political enemies and rival members who threatened Hitler’s rule, in what would later be called, the Night of the Long Knives. On August 2, the last barrier to Hitler’s total control of Germany, President Paul Von Hindenburg, died. Hitler ordered the government to merge his position of Chancellor with the office of the President. To legitimize his position, the Nazis declared a referendum take place on August 19. The Nazis campaigned heavily for public support of the referendum, and 89 percent of voters supported the merger, approving Hitler’s absolute control of Germany.

Destroy Free Business And You Destroy Free Labor

Destroy Free Business And You Destroy Free Labor

Object

Anti-dictatorship, pro-free business poster featuring a man chained to a post, designed by Chester Raymond Miller in 1944, for the Think American Institute as part of the Think American Poster Series. The Think American Institute was formed by a group of industrialists from Rochester, New York, to combat subversive propaganda they felt was infiltrating American business. The group aimed to preserve the social order, boost American morale, extend the institutions of American freedom, and aid the war effort after the U.S. entry into World War II. The group was led by William G. Bromley, president of Kelly-Read & Company, and the lead designer Miller, who also served as the Art Director for Kelly-Read & Company. The Think American Series ran from 1939 to the early 1960s, and produced weekly posters with illustrated messages that were placed in financial, business, and educational organizations across America. The series produced over 300 poster designs during the war and more than 1,000 overall, with the majority conceived by Miller. A main theme of the series was the association of individual freedom with freedom of industry. During the war, this subtext was used to link Axis dictatorships to the subjugation of their citizens through the nationalization of business. The success of American private industry not only provided the tools to fight the war, but it also was an antithesis to Axis ideology. The Think American Institute repackaged and reused these themes after the war, in response to the Cold War and the threat of communism.

Le Socialisme contre le Bolchevisme

Le Socialisme contre le Bolchevisme

Object

French propaganda poster, published and distributed by the Centre d'études antibolcheviques (CEA, Center for anti-Bolshevik Studies) and the Office de répartition de l’affichage (ORAFF, Display Distribution Office) in German-occupied France between 1942 and 1944. The poster shows an image of two men fighting each other. One man, a physical manifestation of communist Bolsheviks, is bathed in red, a color traditionally associated with communism. The man also has stereotypically antisemitic Jewish features; a large, hooked nose, full lips, and pointed ears, which associate Jews with communists, both considered enemies by the Nazis. He wields a chain, a symbol of oppression, and attempts to wrap his opponent in it. The opponent is a shirtless man symbolizing Germany, struggling against communist Bolshevik subjugation. He (Germany) fights, according to the French caption, “for a free Europe.” In September 1939, following the German invasion of Poland, France and Britain declared war on Germany. In May 1940, Germany invaded and quickly overwhelmed French forces. In June, Marshal Henri Phillippe Petain signed an armistice agreement, granting Germany control of northern and western France, including Paris. After the armistice and occupation, German authorities and French collaborators began releasing propaganda to fuel resentment among the French public toward the Nazi’s enemies. The CEA was a French collaborationist organization created in 1942 to distribute propaganda vilifying the French Resistance, Communists, the British, and Jews. ORAFF was created by German authorities in 1941 to control and censor posters that did not comply with Nazi policy, and publicly display propaganda posters that conformed to Nazi ideals.

Schluss damit! Arbeiten! Nicht Schwaetzen!

Schluss damit! Arbeiten! Nicht Schwaetzen!

Object

German propaganda poster designed by Künstlerbund, Karlsruhe A.G. and published by Gaupropagandaleitung Baden der NSDAP (District Baden Propaganda Line of the NSDAP) in 1934. The poster was designed O. Rinne, possibly a pseudonym for German Art Deco artist, Felix Rinne. The poster shows an oversized man wearing the shirt, jodhpurs, and armband from a Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA) uniform preparing to confront a group of affluent men at a table decorated with a Nazi banner. He is rolling up his sleeves and getting ready to work, while the men are leisurely talking at the table instead of working. In addition to printing posters during World War II, Künstlerbund, Karlsruhe A.G. printed maps for the German military.

Ja!

Ja!

Object

German poster featuring a photorealistic, black and white image of Adolf Hitler wearing a Sturmabteilung (SA) uniform. The Sturmabteilung (SA) was a Nazi paramilitary organization responsible for protecting party meetings, voter intimidation, and physically assaulting opponents. As a result of the Great Depression and the growing popularity of the Nazi Party, SA membership swelled to 400,000 by 1932, and by 1933, membership was at approximately two million. On The Night of Long Knives, June 30, 1934, Hitler and the Schutzstaffel (SS) carried out a purge, murdering dozens of SA leaders including its cofounder and commander Ernst Röhm. Afterwards, the SA ceased to play a major role in Nazi affairs. The image is from a portrait of Hitler taken by his personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann. Images of Hitler from this photo session appeared in multiple forms of print media. Hoffmann joined the Nazi Party in 1920, and convinced an initially camera-shy Hitler of photography's political value. Hoffmann orchestrated and took photos of Hitler in public and private, and used the images to craft Hitler’s public image as a benevolent leader. Hoffmann’s photographs were published throughout Germany on postcards, stamps, posters, and books. Both Hitler and Hoffman profited financially from the royalties of the photos, and made millions of Reich marks. Hoffman’s assistant, Eva Braun, became Hitler’s mistress in 1930.

United States anti-Nazi poster of Joseph Goebbels reciting a speech

United States anti-Nazi poster of Joseph Goebbels reciting a speech

Object

Anti-Nazi poster using a supposed quotation from Joseph Goebbels to justify American involvement in World War II, designed by Chester Raymond Miller in 1944, for the Think American Institute (TAI) as part of the Think American Poster Series. The Think American Institute was formed by a group of industrialists from Rochester, New York, to combat subversive propaganda they felt was infiltrating American business. The group aimed to preserve the social order, boost American morale, extend the institutions of American freedom, and aid the war effort after the U.S. entry into World War II. The group was led by William G. Bromley, president of Kelly-Read & Company, and the lead designer, Miller, who also served as the Art Director for Kelly-Read & Company. The Think American Series ran from 1939 to the early 1960s, and produced weekly posters with illustrated messages that were placed in financial, business, and educational organizations across America. The series produced over 300 poster designs during the war and over 1,000 overall, with the majority conceived by Miller. Joseph Goebbels was a National Socialist politician and propagandist. He joined the Nazi Party in 1924 and rose swiftly through the ranks. When Hitler and the Nazis ascended to power in 1933, Goebbels took over the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. The ministry exerted control over film, radio, theater, and the press, and was responsible for promoting Nazi ideology and antisemitism.

Don't fall for Enemy Propaganda

Don't fall for Enemy Propaganda

Object

American propaganda poster urging the public to be alert for enemy propaganda, designed by Jack Betts and distributed in 1943 by Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW). The poster uses the caricatured faces of Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, and Japanese emperor, Hirohito, whispering into a man’s ear as symbols of enemy propaganda reaching the American public. The poster warns the reader that enemy propaganda attempts to divide Americans and turn them against their government and each other. During the war, the government was concerned about the effects of German and Japanese propaganda on the American public. Radio was an important tool, and Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany used native English speakers to broadcast radio messages to the soldiers and the public, spreading disinformation and creating fear. Like the Avoid Careless Talk poster series created by the Office of War Information, it reminds the public of the vital part they play in the war effort. The VFW supported the war effort at home by creating posters, encouraging enlistments, raising money, and establishing an Aviation Cadet program to train and educate young pilots. Jack Betts was an American illustrator and artist who created advertising comics, and illustrations for magazines.

Wanted For Murder

Wanted For Murder

Object

Anti-Nazi propaganda poster distributed in the United States during World War II. The poster falsely claims that Adolf Hitler’s real name is Adolf Schicklgruber. An assertion which was originated by Hans Habe, a Viennese Jewish writer. The claim was based on the last name of Hitler’s father, who was born Alois Shicklgruber. Before Hitler was born, Alois changed his name and it became Alois Hitler. The motif of Hitler’s “real” name was likely an attempt to ridicule the leader and belittle him to the public. The Adolf Schicklgruber and Hitler "wanted for murder" motifs were also used on other ephemera, such as buttons. The poster was distributed by Fight for Freedom (FFF), an interventionist organization founded in April 1941. The FFF called for the United States to enter the war against Germany, and frequently coordinated with President Roosevelt’s aides, British propagandists, and other interventionist organizations to rally public support. The FFF told Americans the Axis powers were murdering civilians in the countries they occupied, and sponsored rallies to protest mass murders. After the United States entered the war, a wave of American patriotism and anti-Axis sentiment swept through the country. Much of this was manifested through pieces of ephemera such as posters, buttons, pins, cards, toys, and decals. This sentiment continued in America until the end of the war.

Wenn Juden lachen

Wenn Juden lachen

Object

Antisemitic, advertising flier for the Der Stürmer newspaper showing photographic images of the “devilish grins” of Jews. The text claims that Jews are born criminals, who are incapable of laughter, and can only smile nefariously, which implies their untrustworthy nature. Two versions of the flier were published: this one with red lettering and an advertisment on the bottom, and one with black-and-white text without a bottom advertisement. The antisemitic newspaper was founded by Julius Streicher and published from 1923 to 1945. Striecher used the paper as a platform to foment public hatred of the Jewish race. The paper blamed Jews for the depression, unemployment, and inflation in Germany as well as rape and other crimes against the German people. Der Stürmer also accused Jews of "blood libel" or "Jewish ritual murder" antisemitic fabrications that were common in the Middle Ages. They claimed that Jews used Christian blood, usually from children, obtained from a torturous ritual sacrifice to perform religious ceremonies. The paper often featured crude and distasteful cartoons that showed Jewish people as ugly, with exaggerated features and misshapen bodies. The paper became very popular, eventually reaching a circulation of 800,000. After the war ended, Streicher was arrested by the US Army in May 1945. He was tried by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, convicted, and executed per the ruling that his repeated publication of articles calling for the annihilation of the Jewish race were a direct indictment to murder and a crime against humanity.

Das wahre Porträt des ewigen Juden

Das wahre Porträt des ewigen Juden

Object

Nineteenth century antisemitic poster printed by C. Burckardt in Weissenburg, Germany (now Wissembourg, France) featuring an image and a poem by Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart about the Wandering Jew. Christian Schubart was an 18th century German poet and musician. The poster references the story of the Wandering Jew, a Jewish man (in some versions named Ahasuerus) who taunted Jesus on his way to be crucified. In response, Jesus said “I stand and rest, but you will go on,” dooming him to live until the end of the world or the second coming of Christ. The origin of the story is uncertain, although parts may have been inspired by biblical passages. Some versions name the wanderer Cartaphilus, and claim he was Pontius Pilate’s doorkeeper, who struck Jesus, urging him to go faster on the path to his crucifixion. The Ahasuerus version can be traced back to a German pamphlet published in 1602 which was translated into several languages and widely distributed. The story of the Wandering Jew has been portrayed and depicted in works of art, poetry, literature, plays, and films. In Schubart’s poem, the Jew is named Ahasver and he denies Jesus’ request for rest on the way to his crucifixion. As a result Ahasver is cursed to never die by an angel. Ahasver lives to see his loved ones die, cities and nations rise and fall, and bears mortal wounds that only cause him pain and suffering. In the end, the angel returns, and allows Ahasver to die, showing God’s mercy.

Zerhaut den schwarzroten Block!

Zerhaut den schwarzroten Block!

Object

Political poster published by Hermann Esser and printed in Munich, Germany, promoting the Nazi Party candidates for a national election held between 1924 and 1933. The poster features an image of a tradesman smashing a black and red block with a hammer, while a swastika within a sun-like circle hovers over the horizon. The image implies that the people will smash the previous government, represented by the block depicted in two traditional colors of the German flag, while the Nazi party rises. Herman Esser, was a co-founder of the German Worker’s Party, and a prominent early Nazi Party member. He was the first chief of Nazi Party propaganda, however, his role in the party diminished, in part due to his unscrupulous personal life and antagonistic relationships with other prominent party members. The Nazis first entered candidates in German elections in 1924. However, they, did not have much success until 1930, when the party won 107 seats in Germany’s parliament, the Reichstag. In July 1932, the Nazi Party won 230 seats, and became the largest political party in the Reichstag. With the support of his majority party, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933. In March, the final free election was held in the Weimar republic, and the Nazi Party won 288 seats in the Reichstag. Later that month, the cornerstone of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Enabling Act was passed. It allowed Hitler to enact laws, including ones that violated the Weimar Constitution, without approval of parliament or President von Hindenburg.

An Gottes Segen ist alles gelegen

An Gottes Segen ist alles gelegen

Object

German poster with an image of barley stalks overlaid on a swastika, and a religious-themed message, “Everything is due to God's blessing”. By 1934, when this poster was distributed, Germany was struggling to cope with the consequences of the Great Depression. Six million Germans were unemployed and struggled to obtain food. Organized religion, specifically the Protestant Church, was one of the main pillars of German society. The country had approximately 45 million Protestant Christians, 22 million Catholic Christians, 500,000 Jews, and 25,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses. The quotation on the poster exemplifies Germany’s religious and cultural values, while the imagery of the growing barley overlaid on the swastika implies the coming abundance the Nazi government would provide. The religious quote combined with the large swastika may also be an attempt to imply that Nazi rule and power is derived from God, which would absolve the party leadership from adhering to any man-made authority. The relationship between the Nazi party and religion was complex. Initially, the Party was not openly hostile to the Protestant and Catholic Churches; however, the Party believed that Christianity and Nazism were ideologically incompatible. In 1933, the Reich Church was established to advocate a form of Nazi Christianity that excluded the Old Testament, which was considered a Jewish document. The Nazi government also signed a Concordat with the Vatican, stating it would recognize the Nazi regime, which would in turn would not interfere in the Catholic Church. However, the Concordat was broken by the Nazis in 1935, with the passage of anti-religious policies, to undermine the church’s influence.

Die Götter des Stadions

Die Götter des Stadions

Object

Poster for the German propaganda sports film, “Olympia” (The Gods of the Stadium), about the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, released in April, 1938. The poster features a photographic image of German Olympic athlete Erwin Huber in a discus throwing stance. Huber participated in the 1928 and the 1936 games. The poster image is reproduced from a scene in the opening of the film. The stance is reminiscent of the Discobolus, an ancient Greek statue of a discus thrower, which symbolizes the Olympics and the athletic ideal. Nazi authorities used the games to promote an image of a new, strong, and united Germany to foreign spectators and journalists while masking the regime’s targeting of Jews and Roma (Gypsies), as well as Germany’s growing militarism. Germany fielded the largest team, 348 athletes, and won the most medals. The games were used to promote the myth of “Aryan” racial superiority, physical prowess, and symbolize that "Aryan" culture was the rightful heir of classical antiquity. Leni Riefenstahl, who directed “Triumph des Willens” (“Triumph of the Will”), shot at the 1934 Nuremberg Rally, was commissioned by the Nazis to produce a film about the Berlin games, which would also promote all these ideals. Riefenstahl made two films, “Olympia Part I: Festival of the Nations” and “Part II: Festival of Beauty" and combined them to create “Olympia.” Riefenstahl’s work pioneered numerous cinematographic techniques and won Best Foreign Film honors at the Venice Film Festival and a special award from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for depicting the joy of sport.

Befehl Nr. 201

Befehl Nr. 201

Object

Poster announcing Military Order Number 201, issued by the Sowjetisch Militärverwaltung in Deutschland (Soviet Military Administration in Germany, SMAD) in August 1947. Order 201 announced the implementation of new guidelines for denazification policy in the Soviet occupied zone (SBZ). After the German surrender on May 8, 1945, Germany was divided into zones of occupation by the Allies. The Soviet zone encompassed the eastern part of Germany. On June 6, SMAD was established to administer and carry out military, political, and economic tasks in the SBZ. One of the principal tasks undertaken in every occupation zone was denazification. After the conclusion of the war, the Allies worked to cleanse Germany of all traces of Nazi ideology, institutions, and laws. Additionally, they removed Nazi party members from office or positions of responsibility in an effort to wipe out the Nazi party and its influence. In the SBZ, this process was carried out by several commissions and committees, and was also used as a means to consolidate Communist rule, nationalize industry and confiscate property for land reforms. Denazification was used to purge public officials and fill the positions with members of Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which later became the Socialist Unity Party (SED), the ruling party of East Germany. However, many former Nazis were allowed to keep their positions so long as they conformed to Communism. By the 1950s, denazification efforts ended and many former Nazis were able to return to their former roles in industries and government in both East and West Germany.

Ja Volksentscheid gegen Kriegs- und Naziverbrecher zur Sicherung des Friedens

Ja Volksentscheid gegen Kriegs- und Naziverbrecher zur Sicherung des Friedens

Object

Poster encouraging the German public of the Soviet-occupied region of Saxony to vote "yes" on a referendum to expropriate factories and companies owned by Nazis. The poster was designed by Wilhelm Schubert, who worked with the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and distributed in May 1946. The poster implies that voting "yes" to the referendum will help to ensure peace in occupied East Germany. On June 30, the referendum passed, with 82.9 percent voting in favor. After the German surrender on May 8, 1945, Germany was divided into zones of occupation by the Allies. The Soviet zone encompassed the eastern part of Germany. On June 6, SMAD was established to administer and carry out military, political, and economic tasks in the Soviet occupied zone (SBZ). One of the principal tasks undertaken in every occupation zone was denazification. After the conclusion of the war, the Allies worked to cleanse Germany of all traces of Nazi ideology, institutions, and laws. Additionally, they removed Nazi party members from office or positions of responsibility in an effort to wipe out the Nazi party and its influence. In the SBZ, this process was carried out by several commissions and committees, and was also used as a means to consolidate Communist rule, nationalize industry and confiscate property for land reforms. Denazification was used to purge public officials and fill the positions with members of Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which later became the Socialist Unity Party (SED), the ruling party of East Germany. However, many former Nazis were allowed to keep their positions so long as they conformed to Communism. By the 1950s, denazification efforts ended and many former Nazis were able to return to their former roles in industries and government in both East and West Germany.

Nur das Nur das Hakenkreuz ablegen das ist noch kein Beweis! Beweise Dich am 30. Juni mit Deinem

Nur das Nur das Hakenkreuz ablegen das ist noch kein Beweis! Beweise Dich am 30. Juni mit Deinem

Object

Poster encouraging Germans to vote on June 30, designed by Barlog in 1946. The vote on June 30 is likely referring to the Bavarian state election in June 1946, to choose members of the Bavarian Constituent Assembly. After the German surrender on May 8, 1945, Germany was divided into zones of occupation by the Allies. The American-occupied zone encompassed the southeastern part of Germany, including Bavaria. The American goals during the occupation included denazification and the reintroduction of democratic values into German society. Denazification was a postwar Allied initiative to cleanse Germany of all traces of Nazi ideology, institutions, and laws. They also sought to remove Nazi party members from office or positions of responsibility in an effort to wipe out the Nazi party and its influence. In the American zone, anyone who had been an active Nazi, and individuals who held key positions in the regime were fired. In the summer if 1945, German political parties were reformed, and the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democratic Party, SPD) and the Kommunistiche Partei Deutschlands (German Communist Party, KPD), left-leaning parties that existed during the Weimar Republic reemerged. They were joined by the new Christlich-Demokratische Union (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) a more moderate party. These three parties became the largest in Germany. The Bavarian Constituent Assembly election on June 30, 1946, was the first free election held in Bavaria since 1932. Although denazification was labeled as a success, by the 1950s, many former Nazis were able to return to their roles in industries and government in both East and West Germany.

Jüd Abraham schreibt aus Amerika

Jüd Abraham schreibt aus Amerika

Object

German propaganda poster likely issued the week of December 8, 1938, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster depicts letters allegedly written by a German-Jewish émigré in America, Abraham Reis, to his father, Simon Reis in Germany. The poster asserts that the letters reveal that Jews are lying about German persecution. The poster also claims that American Jews proposed plots to kill Adolf Hitler. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), the first of which was distributed on March 16, 1936. Each week, approximately 125,000 posters were strategically placed in public places and businesses such as: market squares, metro stations, bus stops, payroll offices, hospital waiting rooms, factory cafeterias, schools, hotels, restaurants, post offices, train stations, and street kiosks so that they would be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondence. The posters used colorful, often derogatory caricatures, and photorealistic images with vibrant language to target the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Ein merkwürdiger katholischer Bischof...

Ein merkwürdiger katholischer Bischof...

Object

German propaganda poster, likely issued the week of January 19 to January 25, 1939, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. This poster depicts a picture of Bishop Stephan Donahue, an auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. Donahue was one of several American religious leaders to openly rebuke the Nazis for their persecution of Jews and other groups. The German text criticizes the United States for its discrimination against African and Asian Americans, and implies that Donahue is a hypocrite for not rebuking these policies as well. The text also reminds the reader of the antisemitic myth of Jewish deicide, the belief that Jews are collectively responsible for Christ’s death, and implies that the views of Donahue and the American Catholic leaders may be influenced by Jews. The relationship between the Nazi party and religion was complex. Initially, the Party was not openly hostile to the Protestant and Catholic Churches; however, the Party believed that Christianity and Nazism were ideologically incompatible. The Nazi government signed a Concordat with the Vatican, stating it would recognize the Nazi regime, which would in turn would not interfere in the Catholic Church. However, the Concordat was broken by the Nazis with the passage of anti-religious policies to undermine the church’s influence in 1935. The first Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), were distributed on March 16, 1936. The series used colorful, often derogatory caricatures, and photorealistic images with vibrant language to target political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Vor 150 Jahren: “Ich warne Sie meine Herren ...!” Hat der große Franklin Amerika vergeblich gewarnt?

Vor 150 Jahren: “Ich warne Sie meine Herren ...!” Hat der große Franklin Amerika vergeblich gewarnt?

Object

German propaganda poster issued in 1939 from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. This poster shows excerpts from the Franklin Prophecy, an antisemitic speech falsely attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Franklin is one of the most respected historical figures in the US, who helped write the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. The first publication of the speech was on February 3, 1934, in “Liberation,” a paper published by William Dudley Pelley, a Nazi sympathizer and founder of The Silver Shirts. The group was aligned with the German-American Bund. According to the speech, Franklin believed that Jews were morally and commercially corrupt, and if allowed, would stream into the country and do nothing but leach off society. The speech was quickly debunked as a fraud by the Franklin Institute, the International Benjamin Franklin Society, and distinguished American historian, Charles Beard. However, the speech paralleled Nazi beliefs and was widely distributed over the radio, in writing, and was cited in speeches by Nazi leaders. The first Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), were distributed on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets which could be plastered on the back of correspondence, were also produced. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Jawohl, in Roosevelt-Amerika herrscht Meinungsfreiheit...

Jawohl, in Roosevelt-Amerika herrscht Meinungsfreiheit...

Object

German propaganda poster issued in 1939, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster references America’s Freedom of Speech and accuses the United States of censuring voices critical of Jews. As proof, the poster claims that Father Charles Coughlin, an extremist, antisemitic radio personality during the 1930s was unfairly censured for his broadcasts attacking Jews. The text then compares father Coughlin to George Mundelein, the Archbishop of Chicago, and a critic of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, saying that he is allowed to speak because he is subservient to the Jews. The poster also falsely implies that US President Franklin Roosevelt is being influenced by Jews. In reality, Coughlin was ordered off the air by his superiors within the church, and was being investigated for denouncing America’s entry into World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets which could be plastered on the back of correspondence, were also produced. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Juda-ganz gross !!

Juda-ganz gross !!

Object

German propaganda poster issued in 1940, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster references Jews fighting for the British army and frames it as an act of desperation by the British. The yellow background color is a similar shade as the Star of David badges Jews were forced to wear in Germany. The poster shows an image of a captured Polish-Jewish soldier, attempting to make Jews appear inept as soldiers. Approximately 100,000 Jews fought in the Polish army against the invading German Army. At the outbreak of the war, Jewish leaders in Britain and Palestine campaigned for an official Jewish unit in the British Army. Meanwhile, approximately 30,000 Jews volunteered for service in the army. The Jewish Brigade formed in September 1944, and fought German forces in Italy. Overall, approximately 1.5 million Jews fought in Allied armies, and hundreds of thousands received citations for combat and bravery. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Das werden wir uns merken!!

Das werden wir uns merken!!

Object

German propaganda poster issued in 1940, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster references British politician Duff Cooper, who was Secretary of State for War in Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s administration. Cooper believed that Hitler and Nazi Germany were a threat to European peace, and used his position to fight for increased military budgets and rearmament. His views went against those of Chamberlain’s administration and public sentiment at the time. He was viewed by many as increasingly hawkish, and along with Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden, Cooper was called a warmonger by Hitler. Cooper disagreed with Chamberlain’s appeasement policy toward Hitler. After Chamberlain conceded Czechoslovakia to Germany in the Munich Agreement, Cooper resigned from office in protest. When Winston Churchill became Prime Minister, Cooper served as Minister of Information and as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The poster also references British defeats during the battles of France and Norway in 1940. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Nazi propaganda poster criticizing Franklin Roosevelt and American interventionist efforts

Nazi propaganda poster criticizing Franklin Roosevelt and American interventionist efforts

Object

German propaganda poster issued in 1941 from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster references United States Secretary of the Navy, William Franklin "Frank" Knox, calling him a warmonger, likely because he advocated for support of the Allies before the U.S. entry into World War II (1939-1945). Knox, a former political rival of Roosevelt, was appointed as Secretary of the Navy in 1940, to encourage bipartisan support. The poster attempts to frame U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, as a power hungry leader by using a supposed quote about the President by Knox. The text claims that President Roosevelt is a servant of the Jews, and American intervention in the war would lead to disaster for the U.S. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

German propaganda poster claiming Hitler and the Nazis are not against religion

German propaganda poster claiming Hitler and the Nazis are not against religion

Object

German propaganda poster, likely issued the week of December 3 to December 9, 1941, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster shows an unflattering picture of United States President Franklin Roosevelt. The German text claims that Roosevelt is a Jewish puppet that said that the Nazis wish to destroy all religion. To refute this, the poster quotes a speech Adolf Hitler gave on November 8, 1941, at Löwenbräukeller in Munich, Germany, to commemorate the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch. In the speech, Hitler claims that he does not care what religion a person is. He goes on to falsely claim that religious leaders in the U.S. are barred from speaking out against the state, and that soldiers cannot attend religious ceremonies. The relationship between the Nazi party and religion was complex. Initially, the Party was not openly hostile to the Protestant and Catholic Churches; however, the Party believed that Christianity and Nazism were ideologically incompatible. The Nazi government signed a Concordat with the Vatican, stating it would recognize the Nazi regime, which would in turn would not interfere in the Catholic Church. However, the Concordat was broken by the Nazis with the passage of anti-religious policies to undermine the church’s influence in 1935. The first Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), were distributed on March 16, 1936. The series used colorful, often derogatory caricatures, and photorealistic images with vibrant language to target political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Nazi propaganda poster exposing the Jewish conspiracy links to the Allied Nations

Nazi propaganda poster exposing the Jewish conspiracy links to the Allied Nations

Object

German propaganda poster issued during the week of December 10 to December 16, 1941, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster contains a diagram that maps out the alleged power structure and key Jewish figures that controlled the Nazi’s enemies. The accompanying text elaborates on the diagram. It gives brief backgrounds of the key figures, and shows their interconnectedness as well as their familial relationships with world leaders. The antisemitic myth that Jews use their power and influence to manipulate and control world governments is one of the most prevalent and long-lasting antisemitic conspiracy theories. Popularized with the widespread publication of the fabricated, antisemitic text, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the canard was a key component in Nazi ideology. Propaganda propagating the hoax was widely distributed throughout German territories. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Verbrecher

Verbrecher

Object

German propaganda poster issued during the week of June 17 to June 23, 1942, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster depicts pictures of American criminals from the recent past, including: Al Capone, Thomas Pendergast, Robert Emmet O'Malley, Robert J. Boltz, and William P. Buckner. The text purports that United States President Franklin Roosevelt recruited criminals to serve in the American armed forces against Germany. It also accuses Roosevelt of being a money launderer, and claims he has a rapport with the criminal elements. The Nazis use this unfounded appraoch as evidence that America’s war on Germany is unjust and ignoring that Germany declared war on the U.S. The poster also attempts to justify the Nazi’s treatment of Jews by showing a captioned picture of a man called, “Louis the rabbi” along with the criminals, and claims that Jews are in league with organized crime. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht!

Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht!

Object

German propaganda poster issued during the week of July 1 to July 7, 1942, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The yellow background color is a similar shade as the Star of David badges Jews were forced to wear in Germany and German-occupied nations. This poster calls Jews enemies of the people and claims that Joseph Hertz, Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, declared that Jews were committing crimes against England’s war economy. The poster then accuses Jews of pushing nations into wars, and profiting from them at their nation’s expense. These new antisemitic stereotypes were proliferated in a defeated Germany after World War I (1914-1918). At the end of the war, the German public was unaware of the country’s faltering position and many believed Germany was winning. After surrender, it was said that the war was started and sabotaged by Jews with the goals of enriching themselves and creating a political climate more susceptible to Jewish control. These myths were seized- upon and distributed widely in Nazi ideology and propaganda, and used as a justification for Jewish persecution. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Der Jude Kaufman übertrumpft!

Der Jude Kaufman übertrumpft!

Object

German propaganda poster issued during the week of August 19 to August 25, 1942, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. This poster uses a quote from Theodore Kaufman’s book, “Germany Must Die,” and claims that the Jews and their allies are fighting to exterminate the German people. Theodore Kaufman was a fringe, Jewish-American extremist writer who advocated for the sterilization of German men and women as a means to eliminate the German people, and the partition of German territory among neighboring nations. Although his writings were not popular in America, the Nazis used them heavily in their propaganda to advocate for public support for the war. They falsely claimed that Kaufman’s ideas were popular opinion in America, and that Kaufman was an associate of President Roosevelt. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), the first of which was distributed on March 16, 1936. Each week, approximately 125,000 posters were strategically placed in public places and businesses so that they would be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. The posters used colorful, often derogatory caricatures, and photorealistic images with vibrant language to target the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Die Maske fällt!

Die Maske fällt!

Object

German propaganda poster issued during the week of September 30 to October 6, 1942, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster claims that United States President Franklin Roosevelt set up a committee of advisors dubbed “the Brain Trust,” comprised of Jews and Jewish sympathizers. The poster then shows photos of Roosevelt’s supposed advisory committee: Bernard M. Baruch, Henry Morgenthau, Felix Frankfurt, Sol Bloom, Fiorello La Guardia, Cordell Hull, and claims that they are the real rulers in the U.S. In reality, Roosevelt’s “Brain Trust” was established in 1932, during his presidential campaign. The group’s key members were Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and Adolph Berle. Other advisors worked with the group as needed. The men on the poster were all high-ranking state or federal officials, but were not necessarily a part of the “Brain Trust,” and had varying degrees of influence over U.S. policy. Their presence on this poster is a reflection of their ties to Judaism being misused to fit the Nazi narrative of the “Jewish Enemy.” The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Das Lachen wird ihnen vergehen!!!

Das Lachen wird ihnen vergehen!!!

Object

German propaganda poster issued during the week of October 28 to November 3, 1942, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster includes a photo depicting a farcical image of United States President Franklin Roosevelt’s face, among several Jewish men, implying that he is under their influence. The text is a quote taken from Adolf Hitler’s address at the Opening of the 1942 Nazi Winter Relief Campaign in the Berlin Sportpalast on September 30, 1942. The Winter Relief Campaign was an annual drive held by the Nazi Party to raise donations for charitable work. In the quote, Hitler claims that war was forced upon Germany in September 1939 (ignoring the fact that the German invasion of Poland started World War II). He also prophesied that a wave of antisemitism would sweep through every nation that enters the war, and that if Jews instigate a world war against the Aryan people, the Jews would be exterminated. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution on March 16, 1936. Each week, new posters were placed in public places and businesses to be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. The posters targeted the Nazis’ early political adversaries, Jews, Communists, and Germany’s enemies during the war. The series was discontinued in 1943.

Hitler

Object

Poster for Adolf Hitler’s 1932 campaign as the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) presidential candidate against incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. The poster features a photorealistic black and white image of the disembodied head of Adolf Hitler against a black background, with his name printed below in large white capital letters. The black and white coloring helped to make the poster conspicuous, and stand out against the often multicolored designs of contemporary advertisements and posters. The image of Hitler stares out at the viewer confidently, giving the impression that he is the only thing Germany needs. By June 1932, Germany was deep in the throes of the Great Depression, with six million people unemployed. This economic distress contributed to a rise in the popularity of the Nazi Party, who along with the Communist Party and the Social Democrats, were the most popular political parties in Germany. When Germany held presidential and parliamentary elections in November 1932, the Nazi party won 33 percent of the electorate in the Reichstag to become the largest party in the German parliament. However, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party failed to defeat incumbent President Paul von Hindenburg in the presidential election. Unable to gain an absolute majority, a coalition government was formed by Hindenburg, the Social Democrats, and the Nazi Party. The Nazis only joined under the condition that Hitler be appointed chancellor. With the backing of his party, Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933.

German Word of the Week propaganda poster supporting the Nazi-organized Berlin Summer Olympics

Object

German propaganda poster issued from July 30 to August 5, 1936, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series, promoting the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin. Germany was chosen to host the 1936 Olympics in 1931, two years before Adolf Hitler came to power. Nazi authorities used the games to promote an image of a new, strong, and united Germany to foreign spectators and journalists while masking the regime’s targeting of Jews and Roma (Gypsies), as well as Germany’s growing militarism. Germany fielded the largest team, with 348 athletes, and won the most medals. The games were used to promote the myth of “Aryan” racial superiority and physical prowess, and draw a link to symbolize that "Aryan" culture was the rightful heir of classical antiquity. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis used an installment of their Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), to promote the games. The Word of the Week was used to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. The posters were strategically placed in public places and businesses such as: market squares, metro stations, bus stops, payroll offices, hospital waiting rooms, factory cafeterias, schools, hotels, restaurants, post offices, train stations, and street kiosks so that they would be viewed by as many people as possible. Posters were the primary medium for the series, but smaller pamphlets were also produced. The posters used colorful, often derogatory caricatures, and photorealistic images with vibrant language. The series was discontinued in 1943.

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SS Recruiting Posters


German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Belgian recruiting for the replacement army. Waffen SS recruiting poster circulated in Belgium. The Waffen SS "swords" slay the Jewish Bolshevik dragon surrounded by human remains. Standard demonization image of the enemy and his thirst for killing.

Each country in World War II issued recruiting posters. The German posters were often quite artistic, with the Propaganda Ministry under Josef Goebbels taking great pride in its work.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Meine ehre heißt treue" was a classic Waffen SS slogan. This translates roughly to My Honor Is Loyalty - meaning, the individual member will do everything and anything for the good of the whole.

The SS recruiting posterswere the most radical of all German recruiting and propaganda posters. They often were quite colorful and clever in their themes.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com


Several dominant themes are evident in this sample of recruitment posters for Heinrich Himmler's SS. They appeal to the rawest emotions of the viewer.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com


That is what is most distinctive about Axis posters - their appeal to raw emotion that resonated with people consumed with fear and hatred of the enemy rather than rationality.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
In this poster, note the uniquely American symbolism - the KKK hood, the jazz record being held high, the sack of money, the American Indian "leading the charge," the Jewish banker in the foreground (that was the typical racist way of representing them, with the big ears), the Star of David hanging from the advancing figure. There are all sorts of underlying messages, but the primary one is the imposition of an alien, corrupt American culture on elegant, refined German culture. Everything about this counters the idea that barbaric, savage, degenerate US culture is in any way superior to the German way of life.

The "Liberators" poster above uses the English word for the American bombers and uses it to apply all sorts of double meanings and crude references to standard German propaganda targets. However, the themes are given in a scattershot fashion that you will likely miss at first glance. Using the word "Liberators" - it was extremely rare in German posters to use English words - in a German propaganda poster is a sure sign of how far the US bombers had intruded into the German national consciousness.

Let's go through the major themes in these types of posters.

First, what is emphasized is defense of the homeland - who can argue with that? That is what people want today, not just during World War II.

Silence you put me in danger worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Quiet! You put me in danger." The Allies had similar posters and slogans such as "Loose lips sink ships," of course, but the Germans add that special little air of menace via the foreboding, grim portrait. Allied posters of a similar bent played on the viewer's guilt, this one evokes fear and even terror. Interesting way that the cultures differed, as both messages resonated with their respective audiences.

Naturally, the posters don't go into the details of whythe homeland had to be defended because of who started the war, which of course was a bone of contention all its own. But everyone in Germany realized the extent of Allied bombing raids and how destructive they were.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
An Italian propaganda poster (very well crafted) insinuating that the Americans were baby killers.There are a number of interesting aspects to this poster that are rather subtle: the top hat and elegant suit worn by the American, replete with ascot-resembling American flag, echoing the late-war theme that Germany was fighting a bunch of plutocrats, especially as compared to the child's simple attire; the tommy gun in the man's hands and stogie in his mouth, jibing with the 'inhuman gangsters' theme; the man's swarthy looks - is he a Sicilian gangster? With Sicily occupied and La Cosa Nostra having supposedly found a congenial home in the U.S., the propagandist may have been playing on ancient regional hatreds of the northern region still under Fascist control as well as more contemporary fears.

Second, nationalism is evoked with references to ancient archetypes and national symbols. There are pictures of medieval knights and castles interspersed among modern SS soldiers, with the clear implication that contemporary service is as honorable and noble as that of Prusian Knights of old. There are very subtle racial appeals that fuse with this theme.

panzer your weapon worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Tank, your weapon!" 

Naturally, the nationalist appeals had to be tailored to the particular nation where the poster was being shown. Posters designed for the Nordic countries were vastly different than those used in Italy.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com


Third, the clarion call of fighting Bolshevism appears over and over. This was one of Hitler's preoccupations, of course, and dovetailed with the "defending the homeland" theme. Hitler hated communism, and he knew that many other Germans did, too. It was a clever way to turn a war started for imperialistic reasons into a war of more fundamental ideologies and ways of life. The Italians were not too worried about the Russians, but the people of Germany and its allies closer to the Soviets - the Finns, the Hungarians, the Romanians, the Bulgarians - had great reason to fear the imposition of Soviet Communist rule (and with good reason, given post-war events).

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Germany is Truly Your Friend" was the catchphrase associated with this poster, which was used in Italy to keep the Italians at their guns.

For these reasons, different posters were issued for different nationalities. These posters were more successful than one might think. Not everyone in every conquered nation harbored a grudge against the conquerors. Among the last defenders of Hitler in burning Berlin were the Belgian Rexist Léon Degrelle and the French Charlemagne Division. Hitler considered Degrelle something akin to the son he never had, and Degrelle somehow managed to survive the war despite numerous close calls and was proud of his fascist associations until the day he died in 1994.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com


There is another reason some of the German posters were successful: they contained a grain - just a grain - of truth. Posters depicting the war in Russia as a merciless struggle of ideologies were accurate - if you filtered out the reasons why the war was originally waged, the horrible depradations of the Germans themselves in Russia, and you were willing to unquestioningly accept a revisionist rationale which pretty much everyone knew was nothing but an argument of convenience. The posters depicting the Allied airmen as babykillers were accurate to an extent, because there undeniably were babies being killed (along with everyone else) by the indiscriminate Allied air raids. Many people would have known of someone who lost someone near and dear, that's just a fact of war.

Italian poster world war two worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A 1940 Italian poster supporting the Wehrmacht. The Wehrmacht soldiers are seen attacking John Bull, the venerable symbol of England on the Continent. This poster accomplishes the dual goal of whipping up support against the enemy and reinforcing the somewhat tenuous notion in Italy that German soldiers were their friends.

Once again, though, you had to filter out that the raids were completely legal according to the rules of war, that the Germans had institutionalized the terror raid as part of what became known as their 'blitzkrieg,' that the Germans themselves were launching air and eventually even missile raids, and that German leaders who allowed these raids to continue because of their uncompromising war aims were at least equally culpable. However, even in England there was a substantial body of opinion during the warthat mass raids on poorly defended civilian targets of any nation were detestable and immoral. "We should not take the devil as our example" is the way it was put, and it is hard to argue with that line of argument. The posters thus raised legitimate moral questions that had just enough truth to be somewhat effective, especially in the absence of any rebuttal. That makes for the most effective type of propaganda.

The Germans ramped up their recruiting efforts after Stalingrad, when Goebbels instituted the "Total War" strategy. By 1945, pretty much everyone was being taken into the armed forces, with the Home Army ("Volksturm") composed of older men, often practically unarmed and in street clothes.

By war's end, because of this extensive recruiting, the SS had divisions of Muslims, French, Belgians and other nationalities and ethnic groups.


German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Danish recruiting poster

Another underlying message is that the Allies were not the moral paragons which they liked to portray themselves as. This theme became prevalent in the closing days of the war, when everyone could see the destruction caused by Allied bombs.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"Your country is in danger - sign up!"

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The League of German Maidens was part of the Hitler Youth.

Bund Deutscher Mädel: at first, the League consisted of two sections: the Jungmädel, or Young Girls League, for girls ages 10 to 14, and the League proper for girls ages 14 to 18. In 1938, a third section was introduced, the Belief and Beauty Society (BDM-Werk Glaube und Schönheit), which was voluntary and open to girls between the ages of 17 and 21.

Nazi SS British recruitment worldwartwo.filminspector.com
There actually was a handful of British citizens who joined the SS.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The 12th SS "Hitler Youth" Division, composed mostly of kids of 16 and 17 years of age, fought ferociously in Normandy and suffered immense casualties, but kept open a line of retreat for others

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The Italian recruiting poster.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The Dutch poster emphasized the fight against Communism

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The Norwegian recruiting poster recalled the Vikings

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
This Norwegian recruiting poster also harkened back to national symbols

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
From the posters, you'd never think there was a Western Front

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"The Battle of Stalingrad - the Army needs you to help defend the country."

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
And you?

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A 1941 recruiting poster.

German SS recruiting posters worldwartwo.filminspector.com
"The Waffen-SS calls on you to protect the Fatherland"






2014


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