WWII Propaganda

This site provides a basic history of propaganda during WWII.   Propaganda has been used to change the way people see different races and culture. Propaganda is a form of art that sends a message to people visually, silently, and also in an auditory form. Propaganda has spurred hatred against Blacks, Jews, Japanese, and Germans. Propaganda was an influential force throughout WWII.  It was a powerful force in all countries during this time. Not only did it impact different races and cultures, it was also geared toward different genders. Various types of propaganda have played a role in different events throughout history.While, textbooks do mention propaganda they present a fairly limited portrait, generally onlyhighlighting WWII posters.

Propaganda does not necessarily have to be a propaganda poster, but it can be expressed in many forms such as documents, songs, cartoons, artwork, and movies that have triggered different perspectives on issues. Many events throughout history have changed the way people think, and it then changes future perspectives that can be beneficial or hurtful to society.  Propaganda can be beneficial because it may boost moral, which was very important during WWII.  It can be hurtful because it may create invalid assumptions on different races, gender, and cultures. There were  various forms of propaganda during WWII, and you will be able to explore three of them on this site.. These include Walt Disney’s WWII cartoons targeting the Nazi Regime and Japanese; WWII posters, and the career of Dr. Seuss before he became known for his children’s books.

Walt Disney played an influential role when it came to propaganda during WWII.  Many of the cartoons that were created were meant to change the way people see  Hitler, Hirohito, and Mussolini. Not only did they make a mockery of the Axis powers, but they showed how people lived or worked under these regimes. For example, in the Walt Disney cartoon Education for Death, Walt Disney shows how Hitler came to power and how the German people were being brain washed.  For the American audience, the cartoon are meant to boost morale for why America was at war, but it also showed sympathy for those women and children who lived in fear against the Nazi Regime.

Posters are generally represented in textbooks, and I have included them in this website. This is usually the only form of WWII propaganda that people are generally familiar with. Familiar names such as Rosie the Riveter come to mind when people think of WWII propaganda. I have included posters that reflect gender and the working industry.

Another Walt Disney WWII propaganda cartoon is “Der Furher’s Face.” This animated cartoon depicts Donald Duck as a Nazi Soldier. Donald Duck is dreaming in the cartoon, and he is dreaming of the harsh conditions and treatment Nazi Soldiers had to endure. Once Donald Duck wakes up from his dream, he announces his American Patriotism.

Before Dr. Seuss was best known for his children’s books such as The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss played an influential role during WWII. He created editorial cartoons that mocked and insulted the Nazis and Japanese. Not only did he portray the terrible regimes, but he also created cartoon that sent a message to business owners who refused to give work to Blacks and Jews. His cartoons were aimed at increasing the war effort, and he wanted to send a message to these people to put their beliefs aside for the good of America.

Propaganda is a powerful force that changes people’s perspective. Today the media portrays all people from the Middle East as terrorist, just like propaganda during the early nineteen hundreds portrayed every black as the typical poor cotton farmer, and every person living in Germany or Japan as a terrible person. As you explore this website, think about how your perspective changed about different cultures. Think about the following questions:

  • How did WWII propaganda depict other cultures, races, and gender?
  • How did propaganda change the way people felt about America?

Through this website, you can explore various forms of WWII propaganda and their messages to the American public.

Also provide are additional resources and links containing more information about propaganda during WWII.