Britain Expects Every Son of Israel to do His Duty


This 1918 World War I recruiting poster was designed to encourage Jewish immigrants to Canada to enlist in the Canadian armed forces to help the Allied war effort against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Underlining British sympathy for the oppressed Jewish populations of central and eastern Europe, the poster shows a soldier cutting the bonds from a Jewish man, who strains to join a group of soldiers running in the distance and says, "You have cut my bonds and set me free—now let me help you set others free!" The message is reinforced by three portraits at the top of the poster depicting Herbert Samuel, Viscount Reading, and Edwin S. Montagu, all members of the British parliament who were Jewish. The text, in Yiddish, continues, “Enlist with the infantry reinforcements for overseas under the command of Captain [Isidor] Freedman, Headquarters, 786 Saint Lawrence Boulevard, Montreal.”

Last updated: October 25, 2013