Plant Oils! Plant Sunflowers and Poppies, and You Then Create German Oils and Serve the Fatherland!


This World War I poster shows a sign, with a songbird perched on it, in a bed of poppies and sunflowers. The text on the sign encourages the planting of sunflowers and poppies to produce oil and provides the address in Berlin of the War Committee for Oils and Fats, where seeds and instructions for planting can be obtained. Germany suffered severe shortages of food during the war because of the British blockade, which sharply cut imports of food and fertilizers. Efforts were made to increase domestic production to make up for the shortages. The poster is by Julius E.F. Gipkens (1883–1968), a German illustrator, painter, and graphic artist who made many propaganda posters for the German authorities during World War I. Largely self-taught as an artist, in peacetime Gipkens produced illustrations for various newspapers and advertisements and designs for commercial firms. He immigrated to the United States in 1933 and died in New York.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Hollerbaum & Schmidt, Berlin


Title in Original Language

Pflanzt Öl! Pflanzt Sonneblumen und Mohn, ihr schafft dann Deutsches Öl und dient dem Vaterland!


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 88 x 58 centimeters



  1. Alain Weill, The Poster: A Worldwide Survey and History (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1985).

Last updated: November 14, 2017