British Propaganda Poster Intended for Chinese Muslim Audience


This rare World War I poster, issued by the British in China, was intended to discredit Germany among Chinese Muslims. It shows a portrait of German Imperial Governor Heinrich Schnee and a copy of a letter by him, written in German, directing the suppression of Islam in Africa. The poster also shows two photographs of Fort Moshi (in present-day Tanzania; at that time, German East Africa) where the letter was said to have been found by the British. The Chinese text of the poster explains the anti-Islamic activities of the Germans. A letter from the American Vice Consul in Nanking is attached to the poster, explaining that the poster was distributed by a "British Propaganda Committee" and was intended to alert Chinese Muslims to German "lying and treachery." Schnee was a career official in the Colonial Department of the German Foreign Office and its successor organization, the Imperial Colonial Office. He served as governor of German East Africa from 1912 to 1919. The letter attributed to Schnee on the poster is possibly a forgery.

Date Created

Subject Date

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print (poster) : halftone ; 101 x 66 centimeters



  1. Ralph Erbar, “Schnee, Albert Hermann Heinrich,” Neue Deutsche Biographie (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1952–2008).

Last updated: November 14, 2017