Polish Victims' Relief Fund. Most Holy Virgin of Częstochowa Help Us


This World War I poster, published in Britain in 1915, shows refugees outside a devastated town, gazing up at an apparition of Our Lady of Częstochowa. The text appeals for donations to help victims of the fighting in Poland. When the war broke out, Poland was part of the Russian Empire. Russia, at war with Germany, invaded the German enclave of East Prussia from Polish territory in August 1914, but after initial successes, was defeated at the August 26–30 Battle of Tannenberg. Germany and its ally Austria-Hungary launched an offensive of their own in May 1915, and on August 5, 1915, German forces entered Warsaw. Polish civilians were caught up in the fighting and victimized by the scorched-earth strategies used by both sides. The plight of Polish civilians elicited much sympathy in Britain and other allied countries. Our Lady of Częstochowa is the famous “Black Madonna” named for an icon of the Virgin Mary at the Jasna Góra Monastery of Częstochowa in southern Poland. She is considered the traditional Queen and Protector of Poland, and is credited with saving the country from an invasion by Sweden in the winter of 1655.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Johnson, Riddle & Company, Limited, London


Title in Original Language

Polish Victims' Relief Fund. Most Holy Virgin of Czenstochowa Help Us


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 76 x 51 centimeters



  1. John Keegan, The First World War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999).

Last updated: February 10, 2014