Propaganda of World War II

By: Allison Davis & Alex Smith

An inside look to Propaganda from Germany, The United States of America, The Soviet Union, and Japan during the war times of World War II

-Germany-

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German Propaganda in 1944

  • In the brutally honest and famous German Propaganda pieces entitled Kultur- terror, artist Harald Damsleth depicts the Americans to be a monster of hypocrisy and contradictions.
  • This cartoon was released in the Nazi magazine called "Storm SS" with the intentions of the Germans to see it or anyone involved with the World War II and despise America and to not trust their intentions. It was illustrated by Harald Damsleth who has published many other successful German propaganda pieces (Scott 81).
  • The German government feared that the Americans were going to take over and become dominate and control all of the nations so they needed to create a piece to turn the world America and to expose the Americans to be hypocritical of their claims to liberate when they actually oppress.
  • Became highly published and widely accepted.
  • In the image, it displays the different negative characteristics of the "American way of Life" such as being racist, overally-sexualized, greedy, and overly dominate.
Rhetorical Devices Spotted


  • Contradictions: Contractions are used by entitling the piece "Liberators" yet the image is full of oppression, slavery, and social confinements
  • Satire: Parody is used because the monster illustrated is used to create an exaggerated and comical version of America, Mocking the American people.
  • Symbolism: The monster illustrated is covered with symbols such as Beauty Queens, bombs, and a KKK sign in order to symbolize the true morals of the American people.

-The United States of America-

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American Propaganda in 1944

  • In this propaganda poster, the creator, which was the American Government, justifies why workers should shorted breaks, work longer hours, and produce as many weapons and tools in order to increase the supplies of the military.
  • In the image you see a two headed monster which stereotypically represents a German and a Japanese official, knocking down the statue of liberty. Next to it you see a strong hand with a wrench entitled "Production" in it.
  • There was a strong lack of workers and this poster was created in order to help inspire citizens to step up and help make tools as their participation in the was for it was their war too.
  • Eventually this worked because the "U.S. industry produced ships, planes, and submarines at record rates" (6 World War II).
Rhetorical Devices Spotted
  • Satire: The monster pictured is an exaggeration of the German and Japanese official in order to make it appear far more evil than what they actually look like.
  • Pathos: In the picture you can see that the monster is ripping off the Statue of Liberty. This action is extremely offending to the citizens of the U.S. which makes them angry and want to do something to help, which is to build.
  • Slogan: "This is YOUR War" is a slogan that is used in order to make everyone read it feel included and passionate about helping as much as the person next to them.
  • Symbolism: The glowing hand is supposed to represent the importance of all of the workers. Without them the city would have been continued to be destroyed by the monster. The monster symbolizes the evil nature of Germany and Japan.

-The Soviet Union-

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Soviet Union Propaganda in 1941

  • In the painting entitled "Motherland is Calling", on of the most famous and important pieces of propaganda from WWII, the artist Irakli Toidze embodies the inspiration the people need to have to fight for the liberation war in order to protect the women and children.
  • Irakli Toidze was a famous painter and was highly recognized and used by Joseph Stalin. He released this for the people in the Soviet Union, especially the men for it is there duty to have the same urgency to protect as his wife did in the painting.
  • In the image, a woman is pictured looking the viewer straight in the eyes. In her right hand she holds the "Oath Of Loyalty" and her left hand is stretched up high above a group of bayonets.
  • When war was announced in the Soviet Union the painters wife ran into his studio yelling "War!". Toidze had her freeze and he sketched her pose. When the wife was asked what urged her intensity she replied with, “When the War was declared, I got mortally feared for my children."
  • The painting was created to spark a sense of intensity and passion to fight in order to protect the children.
Rhetorical Devices Spotted:
  • Symbolism: The woman is holding the "Oath Of loyalty" which symbolizes the allegiance that the citizens should have towards fighting. It reminds people that they should be loyal to their country and fight. The woman illustrated is generic which makes more people feel connected to this brave character. This woman symbolizes every mother at the battle line ready to fight. It represents to bravery that the soldiers should have.
  • Pathos: Each soldier feels emotionally connected to this image because they will want to do whatever it takes to protect the children. It grows a desire in each man to fight.
  • Realism: Realism is used because there is mo exaggeration to the piece. It is brutally honest and a truth that all men will have to face. They must fight to save the children.

-Japan-

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Japanese Propaganda from 1943

  • In one of the most famous and acknowledged propaganda political cartoons entitled "Rise of Asia", the illustrator, the Japanese government, displays the concept that the Japanese race is superior to all other nations in order to rally up the citizens of Japan into uniting and to declare the leadership of the Japanese.
  • This piece was designed by the Japanese Government with the Japanese citizens as the intended audience. At this time, Pearl Harbor (the bombing of America by the Japanese) had already occurred and the Japanese were apart of the Axis powers and were fighting against the Allies. The Japanese government needed to make their citizens fell powerful enough to fight back against the Allies and so this cartoon was created.
  • The Japanese soldier appears to be breaking through chains which consists of different letters from the Latin Alphabet, which is used by the Western Cultures. It also shows the Japanese soldier to be stepping on top of the fallen European and American forces.
Rhetorical Devices Spotted:
  • Symbolism: The Japanese used broken chains intertwined with English letters in order to symbolize the idea that Japan is powerful enough to break away from being confined by the Western Cultures for they believe they are inferior.
  • Juxtaposition: Juxtaposition is used when they placed the Japanese soldier standing strong and powerful on top of the crumpled up bodies of the men from America and other Western Countries. This causes the audience to envision the nations that aren't Japan to be weak.
  • Appeals to the Known Desires of the Audience: At the time, the Japanese wanted to defeat the Allies in WW2 and this cartoon clearly shows the Japanese in triumph which only fuels the desire to win even more.