There are two main categories of World War 2 posters; those depicting a war scene (like an airplane or ship in action), and those that were used for propaganda or recruitment purposes.
During the Second World War (and during any conflict for that matter), posters and leaflets were used by every nations to recruit soldiers and influence public opinion.
Some of the images shown here are reproductions; some are vintage prints – meaning it is the actual artwork that was produced 60 years ago. Those, of course, sell at a premium compared to original posters reproductions.
The recurrent themes are the war effort, the government propaganda, the call to patriotism and civilism, the need to clearly identify friends and foes, and to be aware that “walls” do really have ears.
American and British poster designers would not hesitate to give a humorist twist to serious matters like death, destruction and even deportation, in order to de-dramtize them, because the population would find a “relief valve” in laughing.
In Germany and in the occupied territories of the Third Reich, World War 2 posters celebrate values that are presented as a universal model. Recent studies of Nazi official artworks have shown that they are based on a system of historic, social and moral values that are taught by the regime to the German people.
The Nazi propaganda commander was Joseph Goebbels. As the president of the Reichskulturkammer (Chamber of Culture), he overlooked the production of all the Nazi regime World War 2 posters and controlled the press.