WW2 Propaganda

Alwin Wen and Mayank Raj

Long Live Germany

The Nazi regime, in their poster that translates into Long Live Germany, illustrates the strength of the regime and country in order to boost morale within Germany and its citizens for the war against the Allies. During this time period, the world was at turmoil as European powers clashed and dragged other countries like the United States, China, and Japan into the fray of the war. These countries needed strong economies in order to produce weapons and recruit soldiers. As a result, propaganda became a very important part of providing support and morale for both soldiers and citizens to keep fighting in the war. This was especially true in Germany, which was facing a two front war with the United States and Britain coming from the West while the Soviets threatened the East. Hitler saw the importance of propaganda in gaining support and appointed one of his close associates, Joseph Goebbels, as Minister of Propaganda. As such, Goebbels oversaw practically all media in Germany, making sure they all supported the Nazi regime. Goebbels also had the responsibility of distributing posters, films, and other types of propaganda in order to boost morale in Germany. Thus, this poster that translates into Long Live Germany is a prime example of the propaganda that was often seen in Germany. In the poster, Adolf Hitler is depicted holding a Nazi flag in front of an army of Nazis some of whom are holding their own flags. Whilst Hitler is holding the flag, the shadow of a bird is flying in the air with the sky behind it opening up and shining down on the Nazis. The use of the shining sky is meant to allude to a higher being that controls the world, as in many religions there is a belief that a higher being helps control the world. Through the use of the shining light, this higher being is seen as approving the Nazi regime, giving the illusion that if those above approve of what Hitler is doing, then why should a German citizen disapprove? The use of bright light is also subconsciously making the audience think of the Nazi regime in a more positive light, as people naturally associate bright colors with good and dark colors with bad. The many people gathered in the background behind Hitler are displaying the bandwagon technique, are all fellow Nazis that follow him, giving the audience the impression that an infinite amount of people are Nazis and that they should join too in order to help support the Wehrmacht and Nazi regime in the war. The massive crowd is also used to say that by supporting the country in the war together, the Germans can overpower the Allies and achieve victory over their enemies.

Together

The British government, in their British propaganda titled Together, promotes greater support for the British military in order to try and gain more enlistees to fight the war against Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. During this time period, World War II was brewing and Britain was struggling after France had fallen to the Germans and Italians. As a result, they were desperate to keep morale up in the country lest they be invaded by Germany. Propaganda became essential to give the image that the country was strong and invulnerable to an Axis invasion. A prime example of this was the poster titled Together. In this poster, a group of British soldiers are lined up together with rifles over their shoulders while a British flag flies in the background. The poster here makes use of several techniques, an important one being bandwagon as the British soldiers in a group together give the impression that day by day British men and boys are signing up to enlist in the military to fight for the country’s freedom. In displaying such an impression, others are influenced more to follow everyone else and help fight for Britain in the war since they know that everyone else is doing the same. This was important for the cause as much of the British Empire was overseas and fighting their own theaters of the war, meaning it was especially imperative for Britain to gain a large military from its mainland. In addition, an appeal to pride is also being used. In the image, the British soldiers are not small and slouched over in defeat as depicted in many opposing propaganda. In fact, they are standing tall and strong with confident looks, with their rifles over their shoulder ready to march into battle with the British flag flying above them. That flag illustrates their willingness to fight for their country in war, and is used to symbolize the will of the British Army to fight for her.

Rise of Asia

Imperial Japan, in its propaganda poster titled Rise of Asia, demonstrates its power and statues as a world power in order to improve the level of productivity within its nation. This poster, which is pro Japanese tries to convince its audience of the power of the country. The date that this poster was printed was in 1942, which was right after they had won a major battle at the town of, Balikpapan. The timing of the poster lined up with the increase of production throughout Japan. The illustrator of this poster portrays a giant Japanese soldier who is stepping over every other person. This part of imagery tries to glorify the existence of the Japanese imperial viewpoints by not only showing it as powerful but as superior to everything else. The citizens of Japan at this point time were getting discouraged because of the results of the ongoing war. By showing how glorious their country is the in turn get the morale of the country to significantly increase. The soldier can be seen tearing apart a chain link which signifies the trade and supply routes used by the allied power countries during this time. The Japanese soldier is towering over the other countries and this is used to convince the Japanese people not to worry about anything because of how powerful their army is. In fact, the title, "Rise of Asia", is a reference to how the Japanese were rising to serve as a challenge to European powers and serve as an image to the Japanese people that Japan was truly a world power capable of defeating even the European powers at the time (ironic considering their allies were Germany and Italy, both European powers of the Axis). The battle that came right before the printing of this poster was a turning point for the Japanese. They combined the win with the confidence this poster displays to convince the common people in Japan to not worry about the war effort and to help their country succeed.

Fishy Friends

The US government, in this anti-communist propaganda titled Fishy Friends, tries to convey unity within the people and tries to convince the citizens to help stop communism by telling on their friends. In the United States everything went downhill when senator McCarthy announced to the US people that he had a list of people working for the US government that were also communists. The phenomenon was later referred to as the Red Scare. The main objective of this poster is to try and convince the common citizens of the United States to tell the government if they think someone is a communist. The idea of turning on one another was very common at the time and the poster takes advantage of that by stating , “ fishy friends? Turn them in.” The threat of communism caused many people to be skeptical of not only the government but one another. This poster is trying to exploit that weakness. The person in the poster can be seen whispering into the phone which the author uses to show the secretive nature of ratting out your neighbors. The bland colors used in the poster try to nullify any emotions. By being so basic the poster is trying to relate itself to the people in the way that they should not feel bad for hurting their friends. This was important because if the people realized what they were really doing them no one would participate. The look on the man's face is a form is imagery that displays the fear and craziness that was going on in the United States because of the fear of communism, which further intensifies the motivation for people to turn in suspicious communists.