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US propaganda poster reminding Americans of the urgent need to support the war

Object | Accession Number: 2014.504.2

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    US propaganda poster reminding Americans of the urgent need to support the war

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    Brief Narrative
    Propaganda poster A-25 designed by Ben Shahn for the US War Production Drive to promote popular support for World War II. The colorful lithograph has an image of men with their hands raised in the air. The poster protests the oppression of worker's by the Vichy government in unoccupied France, and warns, one worker to another, of even more terrible things to come. The workers stand before a broadside of the Official Vichy Decree which forced French workers to perform any work which served the interest of the nation. The US government originally supported this regime, established in 1940 under Marshal Petain after the June 1940 surrender of France to Nazi Germany. Vichy then passed anti-Jewish laws similar to those in Germany and collaborated with the Nazi occupiers. In November 1942, Germany extended their occupation to this southern and eastern region of France.
    Artwork Title
    We French workers warn you - defeat means slavery, starvation, death
    publication/distribution:  1942
    publication: Washington (D.C.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection. The acquisition of this collection was made possible by the Crown Family.
    bottom left corner, black ink : U.S. Government Printing Office : 1942 -0 - 491777
    bottom right corner, black ink : Poster A-25. War Production Drive Headquarters, WPB, Washington, D.C.
    Designer: Ben Shahn
    Publisher: United States. War Production Board
    Printer: United States Government Printing Office
    Ben Shahn was born in Kovno,(Kaunus) Lithuania, on September 12, 1898. Shahn immigrated to Brooklyn, New York, in 1906. He first worked as a lithographer's apprentice until 1930 and was formally educated at NYU and the National Academy of Design in New York City. He was associated with the Social Realist movement and his work often joined striking visual images with compassionate and powerful political commentary. During World War II (1939-1945) he designed posters the Office of War Information. Shahn, age 71, died on March 14, 1969.

    Physical Details

    War propaganda
    Physical Description
    Color offset lithograph depicting 3 men in white and black laborer's shirts and caps, from the shoulders up, with their hands raised above their heads in surrender, below the caption: "We French workers warn you... defeat means slavery, starvation, death." Behind them is a small section of blue sky on the left, and a brown-red brick wall on which is posted a bright red broadside with truncated text in bold black font: OFFICIAL VICHY DECREE. Ben Shahn is printed in red in the lower right corner. There are small holes in the corners and fold creases.
    overall: Height: 28.500 inches (72.39 cm) | Width: 39.875 inches (101.283 cm)
    overall : paper, ink
    back, cursive, : Captain Strom Weddleburg(?)

    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 2014.
    Funding Note
    The acquisition of this artifact was made possible by the Crown Family.
    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 21:51:15
    This page:

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