Once the War began, propaganda was directed at German soldiers, especially those fighting on the Eastern front. This poster is from October 1941, just three and a half months after the invasion of Russia began. It begins with an attack on the Jews. The booklet was distributed to the troops in 1944.
On the home front, publishers were instructed to pursue antisemitic themes and otherwise insure that every article in their publications was written with an anti-Jewish slant. A remarkable summary of these guidelines, together with a detailed compendium of traditional and contemporary accusations against the Jews, was distributed to German magazine editors for their immediate use:
Propaganda was also aimed at the civilian populations of occupied Europe.
The Jew – Your Eternal Enemy
- Who brought you famine, tears, and mass murder? The Jew!
- Who supported Stalin the executioner? The Jew!
- Who seized and raped your wives and daughters? The Jew!
- Who drained your last drop of sweat? The Jew!
- Who denounced capitalists the most but has an insatiable lust for money himself? The Jew!
- Who wrecked your homesteads on Stalin’s order? The Jew!
- Who tortured millions of people in NKVD cellars? The Jew!
- Who started the war? The Jew!
- Who imprisoned millions in labor camps? The Jew!
- Who destroyed your food supplies on Stalin’s order? The Jew!
- Who developed the parasitic system to drain you? The Jew!
- Who promised you paradise but gave you hell? The Jew!
- Who always chose the easy task for himself, leaving the hard work for others? The Jew!
- Who, on Stalin’s order, destroyed the workshops and factories where you earned your bread? The Jew!
- Who had all the best apartments? The Jew!
- Who destroyed your fields and made you destitute? The Jew!
- Who egged the nation on to war, hiding his own role? The Jew!
- Who profited from Bolshevik terrorism? The Jew!
- Who worked least and ate best? The Jew!
- Who, on Stalin’s order, destroyed your tractors and tools? The Jew!
- Who, on Stalin’s order, destroyed your harvest and livestock? The Jew!
- Who, on Stalin’s order, wrecked your road networks, cutting off your food supplies? The Jew!
- Who devised the worst NKVD torture methods and sadistically tortured your brothers? The Jew!
Stalin and the Jews – One Evil Gang!
Allied landings in France and Italy were portrayed as Jewish invasions of Europe.
Propaganda leaflets were dropped on enemy troops by all sides. Some encouraged soldiers to surrender and doubled as safe-conduct passes:
These were aimed at American GIs in Italy:
The refusal of England, Russia, and America to stop fighting was blamed on the undue influence of the Jews in those countries:
From Serbia, 1943:
The Jewish Question in Switzerland would be resolved once Switzerland became part of the Reich:
Decrees requiring Jews to publicly identify themselves and restricting their ability to buy, sell, and congregate were issued immediately following German occupation:
Governor General for the Occupied Polish Territories Warsaw/25.November.1939
Head of the Warsaw District
on the Identification of Jewish Businesses
in the Warsaw District
On the basis of Section 5, Paragraph 1 of the Governor General’s First Ordinance on the Establishment of the Administration of the Occupied Polish Territories of 26 October 1939, the following ordinance is imposed:
1. All Jewish businesses are to be identified as Jewish. The identification is to be made by placing a special poster with a blue Zion-star on a white background in a visible place.
2. The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the city president in the City of Warsaw, and the district captains in the districts.
3. A company or warehouse is considered Jewish if the owner is a Jew. Anyone who descends from two Jewish parents is considered a Jew. Mischlings are not considered Jews within the meaning of this ordinance if they did not belong to the Jewish religious community on 1.October 1939. Companies and legal entities, especially commercial enterprises, are considered to be Jewish if there is a Jew on the board of directors or supervisory board, or if more than 25% of capital shares are in Jewish possession, or if there is other significant Jewish influence.
4. Anyone who neglects or prevents the identification of Jewish businesses, or removes the appropriate signs in a willful or negligent manner, will be fined or imprisoned.
5. This Ordinance shall be effective upon publication.
In 1940, Jewish ghettos were established in major Polish cities and towns under German rule:
The Lodz Ghetto was intended to be temporary, so its boundaries were not shown on maps. Streets were given German names but ghetto streets were renamed with numbers or letters.
Reports of mass killings of Jews in Poland began to surface in 1942, sporadically thereafter.
This remarkable brochure is one of the few surviving government publications that refers directly to the extermination of the Jews:
Antisemitism featured prominently in government statements until the end of the War. Goebbels’ last published article on the Jews (The Authors of the World’s Misfortunes) continues to blame them for Europe’s unfolding catastrophe: