We Must Fight to the End!
This World War I poster shows German men working in a field. One of them is being threatened by an African soldier as a French officer looks on. The text at the bottom of the poster proclaims that if Britain and France were to win the war, the Germans would lose not only their property and prosperity but their personal freedom. The text goes on to explain that French senators had stated in parliament that the Germans would work as slaves after the war. Germany, the poster concludes, had to fight to the last, since everything was at stake: national independence; the right to work, prosperity, and happiness; and “the future of our children.” As in other countries, propaganda in Germany urged the population to keep fighting, even after enduring millions of casualties, with the argument that to lose the war would be an even worse fate. France and Great Britain possessed large overseas empires and were able to import troops from Africa and Asia to fight on the Western front. The Germans, who had no comparable empire and relied entirely on their own manpower, bitterly resented the use of non-European soldiers. Racist images such as the one used in this poster both reflected and further stoked this resentment. This poster is from the Rehse-Archiv für Zeitgeschichte und Publizistik, a collection of posters, pamphlets, and all types of German propaganda material that was assembled in Munich by Friedrich J.M. Rehse (1870–1952). The collection was confiscated by U.S. military intelligence authorities in 1945–46, after Germany’s defeat in World War II, and transferred to the Library of Congress.
Title in Original Language
Zum Kampf auf's Letzte sind wir herausgefordert!
Type of Item
1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 131 x 96 centimeters
Last updated: February 10, 2014