Leave us in Peace!
- Artwork Title
- Laissez-nous tranquilles!
- Object Type
Posters, French (lcsh)
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Allegorical pro-German propaganda poster depicting France under attack by hostile, foreign elements allied with the Françaises Libres [Free French] movement. France is symbolized by a couple caring for the land, representing the safety and stability of France. They are threatened by three wolves labelled Freemasonry, Jews, and de Gaulle, supported by Lies, a three-headed snake, who seek to stop the regeneration of France. France was occupied by Nazi Germany from June 1940- fall 1944. The Free French were those who sought to continue the war against Germany even though France had surrendered. Most of these resistance forces were eventually united under General Charles de Gaulle. Paris was liberated on August 25, 1944, and de Gaulle entered in triumph the next day.
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:58:26
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn12688
Also in World War II French poster collection
The collection consists of posters depicting anti-Semitic, anti-British, and anti-American propaganda created in German occupied France during World War II.
Anti-British propaganda poster showing a hungry, pregnant mother and child in France while Winston Churchill stands idly by. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. In response Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. Germany invaded France in May 1940. In June, Marshal Henri Phillippe Petain signed an armistice which gave the Germans control of northern and western France, including Paris. The Germans used the industrial and agricultural areas of the occupied zone to produce goods primarily for Germany and the war effort, with the remainder going to the French public. In response to the French armistice, Britain began a blockade against France. The combination of the blockade and the priority production of goods for Germany, prompted France to institute strict rationing which left many people hungry and suffering. Many French people blamed the British blockade rather than the German occupational policies for their situation and German propaganda was quick to capitalize on their resentment.
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.
Propaganda poster in French stating how Britain created its Empire by taking French territories. 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 poster lists, in chronological order, French colonial losses to Britain by year. In 1704, as part of the war of the Spanish Succession Britain captured Gibraltar from Spain, France’s ally. At the subsequent treaty of Utrecht, Britain’s possession of Gibraltar was formalized and France ceded Newfoundland. In 1763, the Treaty of Paris concluded the Seven Years War between France and Britain. As part of the terms of the treaty, France relinquished Canada and all conquests in India since 1749. In 1801, the British foiled Napoleon’s military campaign in Egypt. In the Entente Cordiale, signed in 1904, France recognized Britain’s sphere of influence over Egypt. The poster implies that the British Empire was formed from these victories, however, the poster fails to inform the reader of the concessions that Britain made to France over the same period.
Propaganda poster in French with a chart showing the number of warships that the United States had lost between October 27 and December 5, 1943, in the war with Japan. The poster was meant to show that the Pacific War was going badly for the Americans. It references two battles specifically, Bougainville and Gilbert and Marshall Islands, which were two campaigns that resulted in American victories over Japan. The poster claims that 50% of the US war fleet had been destroyed in a period of 39 days. The chart shows that 56 ships had been sunk and a further 41 had been damaged. The poster uses the 1939 ship force levels to inflate the percentage of US losses. In reality, the US navy in 1943 was 9 times larger than in 1939. Additionally, the information provided on the chart is inaccurate when compared with US reported losses, showing the poster to be disingenuous.
French announcement poster blaming Jews for the problems of farmers and peasants published by Centre Payson in September 1942. The text claims that Jews unfairly benefit from the peasant’s labor, manipulate the black market for their benefit, and are to blame for the war. After the occupation of France, German authorities began releasing propaganda to provoke antiemetic sentiment among the public. Germany invaded France in May 1940. In June France signed an armistice which gave the Germans control of northern and western France, including Paris. The unoccupied territory was governed from the city of Vichy by a collaborationist regime under Marshal Henri Philippe Petain. Petain’s administration came to be known as the Vichy government. In 1940 the Vichy government passed anti-Semitic legislation that excluded Jews from public life, dismissed them from positions in the civil service and military and barred them from occupations in industry, commerce, law, medicine, and teaching. In July 1941 the Vichy regime instituted a program of “Aryanization” seizing Jewish owned property for the French state. In June 1942 Jews in occupied France were required to wear Star of David badges. German officials and French police conducted roundups of Jews in the occupied and unoccupied regions. Some were taken to detention camps in Gurs, Les Miles, Saint-Cyprien and others while most were deported to killing centers in the east. In November German and allied Italian troops occupied the region under Vichy control. France was liberated on August 25, 1944. During the occupation, 77,000 Jews living in French territory were murdered.