German Propaganda Posters – Foreign Policy

Tad found a great collection of Nazi Propaganda that has been collected by a college professor in Michigan, Randall Bytwerk. I’ve shown plenty of WW2 propaganda posters but the majority have been from the Allied side of the war and I’m using this opportunity to showcase the types of propaganda used by the Germans and will be highlighting some of these posters over the next few months.

A series of posters used by the Nazi’s during World War Two to gain support focused on the foreign policy issues surrounding the German people during this time. Here are Randall’s posters and comments regarding some posters that deal with foreign policy prominently:

The Reich Colonial League was a Nazi Party affiliate propagandizing for the return of Germany’s former African colonies. the caption translates as: “The Reich Colonial League Calls to You Too!” The poster probably dates to the 1930’s.

This visual from the mid-1930’s shows Germany in white, with the 100,000-man army permitted by the Treaty of Versailles, surrounded by heavily armed neighbors.

This poster was released in summer 1940. German morale reports found that it was effective. The text translates as: “Smash the Enemies of Greater Germany!” A literal translation would be:” Into Dust with All Enemies of Greater Germany.” This is a reference to Heinrich von Kleist’s The Prince of Homburg. In that play, a desperate Brandenburg, progenitor of Prussia, is saved from overwhelming threat from invading Swedes by the virtue of its campaigners, as well as its ruler. The final line of the play: “Into the dust with all enemies of Brandenburg.” This information was provided by Andreas Ehlers of Hamburg. The poster is courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.

This poster is from late 1942. The text at the bottom: The New Europe cannot be defeated.” The rest of the text explains that the plans of British plutocrats and their American allies, as well as the Jews behind them, have failed.

This poster is probably from 1941. It’s a rather interesting one. The top translates as “Germany Must Die!” It exploits a 1941 book published in the U.S. by Theodore N. Kaufman titled Germany Must Perish, which advocated, among other things, the sterilization of the entire German population and the dismemberment of Germany as a nation. The map shown in the poster is in fact Kaufman’s proposal to distribute German territory to its neighbors. Although Kaufman was insignificant (he published his book himself), the Nazis presented it as official Allied policy, and claimed Kaufman was an influential advisor to Roosevelt. For more information (in German), follow this link.

[Images courtesy of Randall Bytwerk at Calvin College.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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