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Anti-British propaganda poster showing Churchill’s tentacles cut out of Africa and the Middle East

Object | Accession Number: 1998.136.3

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    Anti-British propaganda poster showing Churchill’s tentacles cut out of Africa and the Middle East


    Brief Narrative
    Propaganda poster in French showing German global victories against the British Empire. The poster depicts Winston Churchill’s caricatured, disembodied head with 12 tentacles, several bloody and truncated, reaching out over Africa and the Middle East, and extending past the border toward America and Asia. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. On June 22, 1940, France signed an armistice agreement by which the Germans would occupy the northern half of France. After the armistice and occupation, German authorities began releasing propaganda to fuel the resentment many French people held towards the British. The bloody tentacles represent Britain’s military failures against Germany. In Norway, a combined French and British force failed to stop the German invasion and in Germany, where British armies were forced out of continental Europe. In Mers El Kebir, Algeria, the British navy attacked a neutral French fleet killing nearly 1,300 sailors and in Dakar, a combined British and Free French force failed to take the colonial outpost. In Libya-Egypt, the British were forced to withdraw and were besieged at Tobruk in Somalia, where the British Protectorate was taken by the Italians and Syria, and German forces briefly took control of the region.
    Artwork Title
    Alternate Title
    Confidence …
    publication:  approximately 1942
    depiction: Great Britain
    depiction: Middle East
    depiction: Africa
    distribution: France
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    front, top, printed, white : CONFIANCE... [Confidence]
    front, top right, printed, black ink : SPK
    front, top right, printed white : NORWEGE / ALLEMAGNE [Norway / Germany]
    front, center, printed, white : DAKAR / MERS EL KÉBIR / LYBIE-EGYPTE / SOMALIE SYRIE [Dakar / Mers El Kébir / Lybia-Egypt / Somalia / Syria]
    front, bottom, printed, white : SES AMPUTATIONS SE POURSUIVENT MÉTHODIQUEMENT [its amputation continues methodically]
    Artist: SPK

    Physical Details

    War propaganda
    Physical Description
    French propaganda poster on white, medium weight paper depicting a map of Africa and the Middle East in brown with the caricatured head of Winston Churchill on England, in red, with 12 octopus like tentacles extending from him. The background is blue representing the ocean. His skin is a sickly green, he is balding with white hair, blood red lips, and a cigar in his mouth. Several tentacles have enveloped Ireland, Southern Africa, and part of Syria. Two tentacles reach beyond the borders towards the United States and Europe. The remaining tentacles reach out to labeled regions but are cut and bleeding, representing German victories over Britain in: Norway, Germany, Dakar, Mers El Kèebir, Libia-Egypt, Somalia, and Syria. The artist’s monogram is in the top right corner. For another copy of this poster, see 2001.349.3.
    overall: Height: 46.500 inches (118.11 cm) | Width: 31.375 inches (79.693 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The poster was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1998.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:23:35
    This page:

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