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

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.48

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.

Alternate Title
150 years ago, I warn you gentlemen ... Has the great Franklin warned America in vain?
Word of the Week
Series Title
Parole der Woche
publication/distribution:  1939
publication: Munich (Germany)
distribution: Germany
Political posters.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:21:29
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