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Trade advertisement for the “This is America” film series that includes “Women at Arms” (1943)

Object | Accession Number: 2018.590.100

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    Trade advertisement for the “This is America” film series that includes “Women at Arms” (1943)

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Double-page trade advertisement for the film series, “This Is America,” including the short film “Women at Arms,” removed from a British trade publication. “This Is America” was a series of nonfiction, patriotic short films released by RKO. The second of the series, “Women at Arms” contrasted the wartime roles of women in the United States and Germany. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Nazi government idealized German women who focused on the domestic sphere and raising children, and were often compelled to leave the workplace. The government offered public support for families, and awarded the Cross of Honor of the German Mother to women who bore four or more children. Despite the plethora of propaganda on the role of the ideal German woman, wartime needs led to a different reality. All school-age girls attended summer labor camps, and single women were obliged to participate in the Duty Year of compulsory-service. By 1945, the German army included almost 500,000 auxiliaries. In contrast to the ideal German woman, “Women at Arms” shows American women taking over a large number of manufacturing jobs vacated by men who joined, or were drafted into, the armed forces. After the United States entered World War II in December 1941, over 2 million women joined the workforce. The need in manufacturing was so great that a federal agency, the War Manpower Commission, began actively recruiting women. As men returned from the war, however, many women were forced out of their jobs despite their desire to continue working. This object is one of more than 1,200 objects in the Cinema Judaica Collection of materials related to films about World War II and the Holocaust as well as Jewish, Israeli, and biblical themes.
    Date
    Cinematic Release:  1942 November
    publication:  1943 February 11
    Geography
    creation: United States
    distribution: United States
    distribution: Great Britain
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ken Sutak and Sherri Venokur
    Markings
    top, within image, printed, black ink and white : This / is / AMERICA
    bottom, left corner, within box, printed, brown ink : And this is RKO RADIO announcing a Vital New Series. / Sparkling—Entertaining—Informative / The message of the English-speaking Peoples—Colossus of energy—drive and ideal—now engaging in / a death struggle with the forces of Evil. / In engrossing style will be presented cross sections of the United Nations’ tremendous efforts and the great / human story behind them. Every episode will show a thrilling factual story against its natural locale. / The first to be released is / “WOMEN AT ARMS” / which will be Trade Shown in the Provinces preceding / “SEVEN MILES FROM ALCATRAZ” / See it and get busy—It’s going to be the new / TWO-REEL SENSATION / Issue No. 2 will be “PRIVATE SMITH” / No. 3 “ARMY CHAPLAIN”
    bottom, left corner, bottom corners within box, printed, brown ink : RKO / RADIO / PICTURES / RECORDED BY RCA / PHOTOPHONE SYSTEM
    bottom, right corner, outer ring of compass rose, printed, brown ink : THE GOOD NEIGHBOURS
    Contributor
    Compiler: Ken Sutak
    Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures
    Biography
    The Cinema Judaica Collection consists of more than 1,200 objects relating to films about World War II and the Holocaust as well as Jewish, Israeli, and biblical subjects, from 1923 to 2000, from the United States, Europe, Israel, Canada, Mexico, and Argentina. The collection was amassed by film memorabilia collector Ken Sutak, to document Holocaust-and Jewish-themed movies of the World War II era and the postwar years. The collection includes posters, lobby and photo cards, scene stills, pressbooks, trade ads, programs, magazines, books, VHS tapes, DVDS, and 78 rpm records.

    Sutak organized these materials into two groups, “Cinema Judaica: The War Years, 1939–1949” and “Cinema Judaica: The Epic Cycle, 1950–1972” and, in conjunction with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum (now the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum in New York), organized exhibitions on these two themes in 2007 and 2008. Sutak subsequently authored companion books with the same titles.

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Physical Description
    Double-page advertisement, removed from a trade publication and printed on a bifold sheet of off-white paper. The front has an unrelated single-page advertisement, featuring a man’s large face smoking a thin cigar. The back page has three columns of text. The double-page advertisement spans the center leaves when opened. It features a large illustration of a white building, speckled in light green. The building is drawn from a bottom-up perspective, giving it a looming appearance. The front is comprised of four large, rectangular, fluted columns and a stepped cornice that wraps around the building. The building is topped with the word “America” in large block letters, which forms part of the series title. The rest of the title is printed in a script-style font inside of a large, stylized, light green, rayed sun, which is peeking out from behind the building. Overlaying the bottom part of the building is a black, composite silhouette of an elephant with riders, a row of marching soldiers carrying a tattered flag, a figure on horseback, a figure on camelback, and a line of figures holding spears. The final silhouette, in the bottom right corner of the advertisement, is the Statue of Liberty. Layered between the Statue of Liberty and the building columns is a large compass rose, printed in black and light green with brown text. In the lower left corner of the advertisement is an inset white rectangle, outlined in black, and containing advertising copy printed in brown. On the front page, there is a line of adhesive residue from where it was removed from the publication. The edges of the paper are creased and worn from use.
    Dimensions
    Overall: Height: 11.000 inches (27.94 cm) | Width: 17.000 inches (43.18 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink, adhesive

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    Restrictions on use. Copyright status is unknown.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Germany. United States.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The advertisement was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2018 by Ken Sutak and Sherri Venokur.
    Record last modified:
    2023-05-24 13:28:11
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn692915

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