The Polish Victims' Relief Fund


This World War I poster, published in Britain in 1915, shows refugees with children, carrying their possessions as they flee past a burning village. The text appeals for contributions to the Polish Victims' Relief Fund with the words: “The homeless women and children of Poland are far, but need they be far from your hearts? Pray help us to help them!” The honorary secretary of the fund is listed as Miss Laurence Alma Tadema, the daughter of the painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836–1912). Poland was part of the Russian Empire when the war began. 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 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 employed by both sides. The plight of the Poles elicited much sympathy in Britain and other allied countries and led to fundraising campaigns such as the one advertised in this poster.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Miles & Company, Limited Lithography


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 76 x 49 centimeters



  1. Johannes Kamps, “Rudi Feld,”  in UFA Film Posters, 1918–1943, edited by Peter Mänz and Christian Maryška (Heidelberg: Umschau Braus, 1998).

Last updated: July 3, 2014