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"Times Are Hard Your Majesty - You Leave Us Nothing to Do"
This U.S. World War I propaganda poster shows a devil, accompanied by two smaller devils, telling Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany that he was leaving them with no work to do. On the left is shown the home of the devils, a cave with its opening covered with cobwebs, over which hangs a sign, “To Let.” Using a word from the Hebrew Bible identified with Hell, the cave is called the “Gehenna Apartments.” The Kaiser has a bloody sword extending from beneath his cape. Also shown is the Kaiser ...
1914! The Murderers!
This poster, designed by the graphic artist Maurice Louis Henri Neumont (1868–1930) and produced in Paris in 1914 by Maison d’édition, depicts Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859–1941), emperor of Germany during World War I, and Franz Joseph I (1830–1916), emperor of Austria-Hungary until the third year of the war, as “murderers.” Each carries a knife, and behind them is a looming image of the imperial eagle of Germany, dripping blood. The papers on the ground show the international agreements and principles of international law that the emperors ...
4 Reasons for Buying Victory Bonds
This World War I poster, produced in Canada in 1917, depicts “4 reasons for buying Victory Bonds.” The “reasons” are the four most important German civilian and military leaders, whose faces would have been familiar to many Canadians from news reports: Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German emperor; Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, the chief of the German General Staff; Crown Prince Wilhelm, the son of the emperor and heir to the throne; and Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, commander of the German Navy. Canada, a dominion within the British Empire ...
Peace on the Enemy's Terms
This World War I poster from France shows Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany pointing a dagger at a woman (representing Romania), while he shows her the Traité de Paix (peace treaty) and simultaneously steps on a man (representing Russia). In late 1917, after the Russian army had all but collapsed and the communists had taken power, the new Russian government signed an armistice favorable to Germany. Defeated and isolated on the eastern front, Russia’s erstwhile ally Romania had no choice but to conclude a similar armistice with the Germans ...
This World War I poster, published in London by the Central Committee for National Patriotic Organisations, shows Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and King Ferdinand I of Romania arguing while examining a map. The caption reads: “The two forces. Kaiser: ‘So you, too, are against me! Remember, Hindenburg fights on my side.’ King of Roumania: ‘Yes, but freedom and justice fight on mine.’” Romania was at first a neutral non-belligerent, but on August 27, 1916, it declared war on Germany’s main ally, Austria-Hungary. Under a secret treaty signed earlier ...
The $3,000,000,000 Punch
This World War I poster shows Uncle Sam, a personification of the United States, in a coat labeled "Liberty Bond," punching the German ruler, Kaiser Wilhelm II. The intended message is that Americans can deal a blow to the enemy by purchasing bonds to finance the war effort. The U.S. government issued bonds, also called Liberty Bonds, in 1917 and 1918, raising a total of $21.5 billion. Many of the bonds were bought by banks and financial institutions as investments, but a massive public relations campaign was mounted ...
Wilhelm's Merry-Go-Round: "Outside of Paris My Army Is Being Defeated…"
This World War I propaganda poster, designed by Kazimir Malevich (1878–1935), depicts the German army defeated by the Allies on the outskirts of Paris in the fall of 1914. On the right, German soldiers are seen dying under a barrage of artillery. Gunfire belches from behind the city walls of Paris, visible in the top-left corner. In the center the figure of Kaiser Wilhelm II helplessly observes the collapse of the German offensive. The verse under the picture by Vladimir Mayakovsky reads: “Outside of Paris my army is being ...