Nazi Propaganda

The Reversal of Power
The Big Lie

Here are three examples of Nazi propaganda posters which illustrate the reversal of the power dynamic characteristic of the Big Lie.

In each poster, Germans are presented as victims.

In reality, the Germans were the victimizers.

In this first image, the Jew (German: Der Jude) is portrayed as the warmonger who has through his machinations ravished the German homeland.

The captions read "Kriegsanstifter" = "War instigator"; and "Kriegsverlangerer" = "War prolonger."

In reality, it was the Nazis who had started World War II by invading Poland in 1939, followed by Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and France in 1940; and had then prolonged the war by invading Russia in 1941 and six months later declaring war on the United States.

Victory or Bolshevism

Here the choice is between "Victory" (Sieg) or "Bolshevism."

Although Stalin had throughout the 1930s purged Jews from the Communist party, the Bolshevik is portrayed with what Nazi propaganda considered "Jewish" facial features.

In a classic power reversal, the Jewish Bolshevik's German victims are depicted as emaciated.

In reality, at this point in the war, it was the Germans who, having invaded Poland and Russia, were killing Eastern European Jews by systematically starving them to death.

And, of course, gassing them and incinerating their bodies.

Germany Must Die!

According to the German Propaganda Archive at Calvin College, this poster "exploits a 1941 book published in the U.S. by Theodore N. Kaufman titled Germany Must Perish, which advocated, among other things, the sterilization of the entire German population and the dismemberment of Germany as a nation. ... Although Kaufman was insignificant (he published his book himself), the Nazis presented it as official Allied policy, and claimed Kaufman was an influential advisor to Roosevelt."

Notice how the propagandist has given Kaufman, Roosevelt, and Churchill stereotypically "Jewish" noses.

So although one man had independently published a book calling for the dismemberment of Germany, in reality, it was the Germans who had invaded Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the USSR, and were, in 1941, as a matter of national policy, in the process of dismembering these states and destroying them.

And the Nazis fully intended to physically exterminate not just the Jews, but the Slavs and other "inferior races."

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