Archive for April, 2010

British Propaganda During WWII

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by clc5406

from 1942 campaign

This image is the best known image from a campaign that originated in 1940 with the catchphrase “Be like Dad, Keep Mum”, this image came from the campaign in 1942 and the poster “Keep Mum, She’s Not so Dumb” by the artist Gerald Lacoste is remembered more famously. It depicts a glamorous blonde woman reclining, and the officers from each branch of the Armed forces are surrounding her talking to one another as if she was not in the room. It is implied that the officers are talking military secrets, on the assumption, as wrongful as it is, that the woman is only a “dumb blonde” and will not pass these secrets onto the enemy.

One of the techniques used in this poster is beautiful people, it shows a very attractive and happy woman sitting in a room filled with powerful men and implies that she is too stupid to know what they are saying, but the poster makes it clear that this assumption is wrong. The attractive women being in the center is what draws the audience in and then unintentionally for the audience forces them to look at the whole image. Another technique used in this poster that was not yet used is labeling. This is when a euphemism is used when the propagandist attempts to increase the perceived quality, credibility, or credence of a particular ideal. A dysphemism is used when the intent of the propagandist is to discredit, diminish the perceived quality, or hurt the perceived righteousness of the mark. By creating a ‘label’ or ‘category’ of a certain group it is easier to make an example of such group because they can compliment or diminish the group legally. Meaning that the woman, who is the certain group that is labeled, is portrayed as a dumb female who can’t understand the “man talk” going on around her, the priority that she has is to look pretty and be a sex object, the label given to her.

This image is interesting because it makes these implications against women, but underlying implies that they are incorrect and it is in fact the men that are being careless, this is a technique known as unstated assumption. This technique is used when the message that the propagandist intends to transmit would seem less credible if explicitly stated. The concept is instead repeatedly assumed or implied. In other words, it is more believable that the woman is assumed to be stupid but in fact is listening and willing to share war secrets, rather then the men just being careless, that has to be an image that is assumed after looking, reading, and analyzing the propaganda.

Another technique used in this image is the usage of slogans, a slogan is known as a brief, striking phrase that may include labeling and stereotyping. Although slogans may be enlisted to support reasoned ideas, in practice they tend to act only as emotional pleas. The two slogans used in this poster are “Keep Mum, She’s Not so Dumb”, meaning a woman can be helpful in finding out important information because she is assumed to be not listening or not intelligent. Also the main slogan of this entire campaign was “Careless Talk Costs Lives”, this was used during the time that women spies were used to gain information, and government officials were caught speaking about official business when on leave. The slogan is meant to evoke an emotional feeling of guilt to military and government officials who speak freely about war secrets; because of this the deaths of soldiers and civilians was the result.


United States WWII Propaganda

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by clc5406

Buy the New Victory Bonds

This image portrays the Germans and Japanese as evil and Americans as angelic. The image of the innocent woman holding her defenseless baby appeals highly to the growing American population. The black claws reaching for the woman and child are identified as Japanese and German through the usage of war symbols. The message sent is that through buying war bonds you are helping to protect the valued women and children of America.  During this time it is very common to see women portrayed as helpless creatures only used for sympathy points to support a stance in the war.

Earlier I analyzed a war bond poster and the war bonds were referred to as “Liberty Bonds” during WWI and now during WWII they are referred to as “Victory Bonds” and advertised as being a new product when in face they are the same thing, and hold the same value. The purpose is to support the war by buying into it and reassuring your financial stability during the war. The difference in using Liberty as opposed to Victory is a large difference and has other meaning behind it as well. “Liberty Bonds” is referring to you are buying the war bond to ensure your freedom, and civil rights. When switched and the term “Victory Bonds” is used it gives a whole other meaning, that you are buying into the war to ensure the United States victory of the Second World War.

One of the techniques used in this poster are glittering generalities, with the usage of the mother and child, especially since they are depicted defenseless and the security of family values is at risk. The technique of the common man or plain folks is also used; the woman appears to be just any average American woman at that time, more then likely meant to represent a woman from a middle class, hard working family, the typical American family that represents the American dream that is in danger from Nazi Germany and the Japanese.

Also the direct order technique is used, meant to simplify the decision making process, by using images and words that tell the audience exactly what to do. “Keep these Hands Away! Buy the New Victory Bonds” straight and to the point. Protect your family and support your country and ensure the victory of the United States, buy purchasing these bonds of course.

Another technique used that was not yet mentioned is obtain disapproval, this technique is used to persuade a target audience to disapprove of an action or idea by suggesting that the idea is popular with groups hated, feared, or held in contempt by the target audience. With this technique the target audience is Americans who support the war, and the disapproved action or idea is the harming of American families, specifically the valued women and children of America while so many American men were fighting in the war. The feared group is the Nazi’s and Japanese, they depict these groups with the war symbols on black claws coming after the American women and children. The purpose of this technique is to make people that are unknown  or on the outside aware of the danger of thus said feared or hated group.

Nazi Poster for Poverty

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by clc5406

This image is meant to tug at the heart strings of all people that appreciate family values. Only the words “Mother and Child” are relevant, the image is of a woman breastfeeding her child, in the background is the German countryside included a man working on his crops. In the sky is a swastika, almost angelic like, referring to the Nazi government being the answer to end poverty in Germany, especially for the white race, Hitler set out to preserve.

One of the propaganda techniques used in this poster is glittering generalities, where the propagandists employ vague statements, the statement “mother and child” is simple language that is associated with values and beliefs that are held closely to the audience and provides no supporting information or reason. The notion of family values is being used in this image. The idea that children are starving and the only chance of survival is to give to a charity supporting the Nazi government.

Also another technique used that we have not mentioned yet is the Plain Folks technique, propagandists use this approach to convince the audience that the spokesperson is from humble origins; a working class, white, German mother and child, this person is meant to be someone the audience can trust and has their interests at heart, such as stopping starvation and poverty among the German population.

I found that another technique used is the beautiful people technique, which is a type of propaganda that deals with famous people or depicts attractive, happy people. This makes other people think that if they bus a product or follow a certain ideology; they too will be happy or successful. Usually this is used more in advertising products instead of political reasons. Although when I was analyzing the poster I found that since the woman shown is very beautiful, but still appears to be an ordinary person it is ultimately effective to evoke sympathy from the audience.

Nazi Posters During WWII

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by clc5406

Nazi Poster depicting American "liberators" as monster.

This image is an example of Nazi propaganda during WWII, most of the propaganda in Germany was produced by the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. All journalists, writers, and artists were required to register with one of the Ministry’s subordinate chambers and the broadcasters and journalists required approval before their works were able to be distributed.. The Nazis believed in propaganda as a vital tool in achieving their goals. Adolf Hitler believed that propaganda had been the primary cause of the destruction of morale and revolts in the German home front

This image is a 1944 Nazi propaganda poster titled “LIBERATORS”, which perfectly symbolizes many reoccurring themes of anti-Americanism. There is many statements contained in the image such as “Miss America”, “Miss Victory”, “Ku Klux Klan”, and “World’s Most Beautiful Leg”. Also alongside the text are symbols with anti-Americanism context in the image such as reverse side of 48-star United States flad, WW2-era Army Air Corps roundel, dollar sign, Star of David. Along the bottom is a Dutch caption with reads: “De USA zullen de Europeesche Kultuur van den ondergang redden” meaning when translated something similar to “The USA will save European culture from decline”.

There are certain meanings depicted from the images and captions used in this poster to support the anti-Americanism theme presented by the Nazis. For example the immorality of beauty pageants with the captions “Miss America”, “Miss Victory”, and “The Worlds Most Beautiful Leg”, and more generally the alleged sexual laxness of American women, a theme which is present today. Also the poster shows gun violence in America with the monster having the arm of an escaped convict holding a machine gun. America’s issue with anti-black violence is also present in the lynching noose and a Ku Klux Klan hood.  Even the general violence of the American Society, with the boxing-glove that is grasping the money bag, meaning America is focused on money and violence. The poster is depicting every negative incident of America as if they still exist and the United States is a monster terrorizing the world, with its pure materialism or commercialism and to damage any spirit or soul. The image strongly shows the presence of African Americans in the U.S. population, and suggests its constituting a potential danger to the white race, this is present in the center of the monster is a black couple dancing in a bird cage, a degrading animalistic image. The more obvious images are the haphazard images of U.S. military violence, the bloodied bomb for foot, metal legs, military aircraft wings, the threatening of the cultural landmarks in the lower right hand corner; hence the falsity of American claims to be “Liberators”.

This poster holds a lot of hidden meaning but the techniques used are very specific. The first is the poster appeal to fear of the audience, to seek to build support by instilling anxieties and panic of America destroying all livelihoods in Europe. Another technique used is known as Big Lie, which is the representing of a complex of events that justify some sort of action. The Nazi’s released this image to justify their corruption of Germany and misrepresent the United States role during WWII. The descriptions of these events have elements of truth, and this specific technique’s generalizations merge and replace the public’s accurate perception of the events. Also a more obvious technique used by the Nazi’s is the demonizing the enemy, because the propaganda is formed by the Nazi’s the enemy in the poster is America, the image of the US is a monstrous machine that is destroying Europe and its culture, included in the image is specific examples of how the US is destroying culture, that are previously discussed.

American Liberty

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by clc5406

WWI poster urging Americans to buy Liberty Bonds

This image and form of propaganda was very popular during World War I, to encourage people to buy liberty bonds.  A liberty bond was a war bond that was sold in the United States to support the allied cause in WWI. Investing in these bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the US and began the idea of having financial security as a citizen for the first time. This poster utilizes many forms and techniques of propaganda to evoke a sense of responsibility in purchasing the liberty bonds.

One of the most obvious forms of propaganda used is the Glittering Generalities technique, which propagandists use vague, sweeping statements or slogans, including language that is commonly associated with personal values and beliefs that are held close to the audience. This propaganda technique appeals to the concepts of honor, glory, patriotism, the common goal of peace, freedom and family values. This technique is very obvious in the bottom slogan saying “Defend Your Country with Your Dollars”, giving the audience a sense of self responsibility to do their part in the war.

Also in the image on the poster, the technique known as demonizing the enemy is used.  In this technique the strategy is to make the individuals from the opposing nation, different ethnic group, or those who don’t support the opposing viewpoint appear subhuman. In the image America is depicted as a god like hero, a tall, muscular, white male, with a sword, ready to guard and protect “America” from demon like, figures of death and evil looking to destroy America, these figures are labeled devastation, starvation, war, and death. During the time period of WWI these labels represent the nations against the United States and their stance in the war.

Another technique used in this image is the direct order technique, which is used in hopes to simplify the decision making process by using images and words to tell the audience exactly what actions to take, eliminating any other possible choices. The direct statement or order in this technique is “If you can’t enlist-invest: Buy a Liberty Bond”, giving you two options to defend your country, if you can’t fight alongside then buy a bond and support the war. Propaganda like this left people during this time feeling as if they have a choice to make but the choice to not support the cause was not an option.

WW1 Anti-German Propaganda

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by clc5406

Edith Cavell Execution

This image was frequently used during World War I as anti-German propaganda; the postcard depicts the execution of a British Nurse, Edith Cavell, by the German army in 1915.

After Cavell’s death, in the following months and years, there were endless newspaper articles, pamphlets, images, and books that publicized her story. She quickly became an iconic propaganda figure for military recruitment in Britain to help increase favorable American sentiment towards the allies.

Cavell became such a popular icon because of her sex, her nursing profession, and her apparently heroic approach to death. In the image shown her execution is represented as an act of German barbarism and moral corruption.

Because of the British government’s decision to use her story as propaganda, Cavell became the most prominent British female casualty of World War I. The combination of heroic appeal and a significant act of violence narrative made Cavell’s case one of the most effective in British propaganda of World War I.

This image of propaganda appeals to fear and emotion of the viewers. The British government built support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population, by depicting the brutal intentions and actions of the German government, specifically towards a woman nurse.

Also another technique used is black and white fallacy, meaning there are only two choices, either you side with us or the enemy. Although the only words in this image say “Miss Edith Cavell, murdered, remember” because of her story there only leaves two sides, you feel sympathy and side with the Brits, or you are for the German side, making yourself the enemy.

Another type of technique I found was the bandwagon technique, with the attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that “everyone else is taking”. This form of propaganda is very specific and not normally used today with a certain individuals murder as the poster child for a stance, but it was very effective in the overall mission of getting people to join alongside the British military.