Examples of Nazi Posters

Today you will be taking notes.
Please take out your copybooks.
Nazi Propaganda
• Propaganda is the use of
the Media to aggressively
promote one point of view.
• The Nazis created
propaganda as a way of
‘brainwashing’ the public
and convincing them of an
ideological viewpoint.
• Basically, what this means
is that they used
propaganda to make the
German people believe the
same thing they did.
Nazi War Propaganda
• Nazi Germany was noted for its psychologically
powerful propaganda, much of which was
centered around the Jews.
• The Jews were the “scapegoat” for Germany
economic woes. In other words, they were to
blame for Germany’s lack of economic progress
and poverty.
Nazi Propaganda
• The Nazi’s quickly recognised the value of
the media. From the early days of the
party they used aggressive advertising to
promote the nazi ideology.
• Goebbels was in charge of ‘enlightening’
the German public.
Nazi War Posters
• Josef Goebbels was the
“Minister of Public
Enlightenment and
• His main responsibilities
were the creation and
distribution of AntiSemitic and Pro-Nazi
material for the party.
• Anti-Semitic: Beliefs
against the Jews and the
Jewish faith.
Nazi War Posters: Target Audience
• Nazi Propaganda before the start of World
War II had several distinct audiences:
(1) German audiences: who were
continually reminded of the struggle of the
Nazi Party and Germany against foreign
and internal enemies, especially Jews.
Nazi War Posters – Target Audience
(2) Ethnic Germans (i.e. Germans living in
other countries): were told that their bond with
Germany was stronger than to their new country.
(3) Potential Enemies: Like France and Britain
who were told that Germany had no quarrel with
them. It was their government that wanted to
start a war with Germany.
Nazi Propaganda – Target Audience
(4) All Citizens: were reminded of the greatness
of German culture, scientific and military
• The Nazis targeted these four groups to gather
up support for what was to come, the “cleansing”
of Germany.
• Look at your package of German posters. Which
ones do you think were used before the war?
Nazi Propaganda: Methods
Nazi War Posters – During the War
• German propaganda emphasized the
power of German arms and humanity
German soldiers had shown to the people
living in the countries the conquered.
• The Allies were portrayed as cowardly
murderers. The Allies included the USA,
Britain and The Soviet Union.
• Posters are cheap and
easy to distribute
• Placed in prominent
positions they act as a
constant reminder of
• Can be used for many
Examples of Nazi Posters
Radio and Film
• Hitler’s Speeches: Hitler is considered to
have been one of the greatest public
speakers of all time.
• Film was used to show Hitler in a positive
light as often as possible.
• The Nazi’s commissioned several films,
each carefully portraying a certain image –
try to think what this may have been.
• Censoring newspapers ensures that only
the news you want people to read is
available to the public.
• Nazi party members wrote many articles
for the press, ensuring that the message
was always positive.
• Many publications were banned.
Nazi War Posters - Analysis
Look at the package of German war posters.
Using the answer sheet, indicate what it was
used for:
The struggle against the Jews and the allies.
The strength of a united German population.
Blaming other countries for starting a war.
The greatness of the German culture and military.
American War Posters
• In World War II, one of the main goals of
American propaganda was to show the
Germans and the Japanese as anything
but human.
• They did this by giving them animalistic
and demonic characteristics to their
American War Posters - Themes
American war posters had four (4)
distinct themes.
(1) Dehumanization: The enemy is shown
as animals with devil-like intentions.
(2) Preying on the weak: Images of
Americans that include helpless women
and innocent babies at the mercy of the
Germans and the Japanese.
American War Posters - Themes
(3) Straightforward: Images and message
is direct. Words communicate a sense of
urgency and need for defense.
(4) Good Vs Evil: Includes a portrayal of the
Germans and Japanese as the “evil” and
the Americans as “good”. The Americans
are portrayed this way through the use of
women, children and American homes.
American War Posters - Analysis
• Now, go back to your package of American war
posters. On the answer sheet, figure out which
of the following themes are being shown:
(1)Dehumanization – Enemies as creatures.
(2)Preying on the weak – Helpless women/babies
(3)Straightforward – Direct messages of defense
(4)Good Vs Evil – Japanese/Germans are evil
while the Americans are good.
British War Posters
British War Posters
• The British, similar to the USA and the
Nazis had very distinct purposes for their
• Three things were always needed if they
wanted to win the war: Soldiers, Money
(for weapons) and Bare Necessities (food
and fuels).
British War Posters
• The British also had other concerns. The
morale of the people and soldiers was low,
the government was in fear of German
spies and maintaining the safety of the
• These issues were what British
propagandists targeted in the war posters.
British War Posters - Themes
So, in total, the British war posters had six
(1) Specialist Recruiting:
• The British started recruiting soldiers long
before the war started and therefore had little
recruiting once it started.
• Recruiting posters were nevertheless all over
but in the case of the British were targeted
towards women and the services they could
British War Posters - Themes
(2) Industrial Production:
• World War II placed great emphasis on
sophisticated weapons of war.
• Tanks, aircrafts, ships and ammunitions
were in need of being manufactured
• Thus, the British propaganda sometimes
targeted factory workers to increase the
production of these things.
British War Posters - Themes
(3) Maintaining Morale:
• World War II involved not only the armed
forces, but also civilians who were
threatened by the bombing of the
populated parts of the countries.
• Therefore, an effort was made by British
propagandists to keep people’s spirits up.
British War Posters - Themes
(4) Security Concerns:
• During a war there was always a concern that
military secrets would be leaked out in a casual
conversation soldiers would have in bars
between each other or any “entertainment” the
would be spending their money on.
• They were made to believe that German spies
could be anywhere, even dressed as women,
and would take the information back to the
German army.
British War Posters - Themes
(5) Savings:
• The cost of waging war was and still is very
expensive. This put big strains on the already
weak British economy.
• This resulted in posters focusing on people
giving money through war bonds, saving food
and not wasting resources.
• People were actually encouraged to grow their
own food in a garden and not go to the stores.
British War Posters - Themes
(6) Health and Safety:
• The hazards of enemy attack or the
consequences of a potential attack was a
realistic situation faced by all British citizens.
• Posters depicting the destruction of British
building and what cities would look like after an
attack by the enemy were found all over the city.
• This reminded citizens to continue do all they
could to help the war effort.
British War Posters - Analysis
Look at the your package of British war posters. Using
the answer sheet, indicate what type of propaganda
was used for each one.
Then, figure out which one of the six themes it is
Specialist Recruiting – Getting soldiers and women to work
Industrial Production – Encouraging factory workers
Maintaining Morale – Cheering up the British people
Security Concerns – The fear of German spies
Savings – Saving money, food and supplies
Health and Safety – Showing potential destruction.
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