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German propaganda poster claiming the United States Army is using criminals to fight in Germany

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.55

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    German propaganda poster claiming the United States Army is using criminals to fight in Germany


    Brief Narrative
    German propaganda poster issued during the week of June 17 to June 23, 1942, from the Parole der Woche (Word of the Week) series. The poster depicts pictures of American criminals from the recent past, including: Al Capone, Thomas Pendergast, Robert Emmet O'Malley, Robert J. Boltz, and William P. Buckner. The text purports that United States President Franklin Roosevelt recruited criminals to serve in the American armed forces against Germany. It also accuses Roosevelt of being a money launderer, and claims he has a rapport with the criminal elements. The Nazis use this unfounded appraoch as evidence that America’s war on Germany is unjust and ignoring that Germany declared war on the U.S. The poster also attempts to justify the Nazi’s treatment of Jews by showing a captioned picture of a man called, “Louis the rabbi” along with the criminals, and claims that Jews are in league with organized crime. The Nazis used propaganda to buttress public support for the war effort, shape public opinion, and reinforce antisemitic ideas. As part of their propaganda campaign, the Nazis created the Word of the Week Series of posters (also referred to as Wandzeitung, or wall newspapers), which began distribution 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 were also produced, which could be plastered on the back of correspondences. 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
    Word of the Week
    Series Title
    Parole der Woche
    publication/distribution:  1942 June 17-1942 June 23
    publication: Munich (Germany)
    distribution: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    front, top, printed, black ink : Verbrecher / wie Mörder, Urkundenfälscher, Bank- / räuber und ähnliches Gesindel / werden jetzt zu besonderen Bataillonen zum Dienst in der USA[...] [Criminals such as murderers, forgers, bank robbers and similar rabble are now special battalions for service in the United States…]
    front, bottom, printed, black ink : Die Vernichtung dieser Verbrecher an der Menschheit! [The destruction of these criminals against humanity!]
    front, lower right, center of logo, black ink : No. 35 / PdW / 1942 / 17. 6 / 23.6 [Number 35 / Word of the Week / 1942 / June 17 to June 23]
    front, lower center, printed, perimeter of logo, black ink : Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: W. Wächter, Berlin / Verlag franz Eher Nachf., München [Responsible for the content: / W. Wächter, Berlin / Publisher Franz. Eher Nachf., Munich]
    Publisher: Zentralverlag der NSDAP
    Issuer: Reichspropagandaleitung der N.S.D.A.P.

    Physical Details

    Nazi propaganda
    Political posters.
    Physical Description
    Offset lithographic poster printed on off-white paper, adhered to a white linen backing. On the right third of the poster is a black-and-white image of Franklin Roosevelt. He is wearing a white, wide-brimmed hat, and is scratching his head with his right hand while holding a sign in front of him with the other. The sign depicts two rows of black-and-white pictures, each with a short caption below. In the top row are three mugshots, and in the bottom row are three candid photos of men in black suits. To the left is a title in large, bold text, and several paragraphs of text, all in German. One paragraph is printed in a narrow, white rectangle, the rest are against the red background. Along the bottom of the poster is a line of large underlined text. Below the image of the sign is a small logo consisting of a line of text arranged in a circle around three larger letters.
    overall: Height: 33.250 inches (84.455 cm) | Width: 47.750 inches (121.285 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, adhesive, linen

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The poster was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1990.
    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:
    2023-06-08 08:57:23
    This page:

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