Title: Propaganda poster The Jewish Plot against Europe!
Creation date : 1942
Dimensions: Height 110.4 - Width 80.5
Storage location: Museum of Art and History of Judaism website
Contact copyright: © MAHJ
Propaganda poster The Jewish Plot against Europe!
Publication date: September 2016
Professor of modern history at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis.
The turning point of 1942
This Nazi propaganda poster can be dated to 1942. Indeed, the German-Soviet non-aggression pact was broken by the invasion of the USSR by the Wehrmacht in the summer of 1941 under the name Operation Barbarossa. The Balkans also fell into the hands of the IIIe Reich. To do this, it needs to mobilize the resources of the whole of occupied Europe.
The enemies are now clearly identified: it is the alliance between the power of Anglo-Saxon money - here, the City of London and its international banks - and the Communist International. But this is only an appearance, because it is the Jews, present both in English banks - the Rothschilds are directly targeted by Nazi and European anti-Semitic propaganda - and in the Bolshevik revolution, notably through the figure of Leon Trotsky, who was however assassinated on Stalin's orders in 1940, who are pulling the strings of the global conspiracy. From the "Jewish peril" against the Aryan race, we thus pass to the "Jewish plot" against Europe. It is therefore necessary, according to the Nazi leaders, to take advantage of the conquest of Europe to eradicate the internal Jewish threat by the final solution - that is to say the systematic extermination, decided at the Wannsee conference in January 1942 - , crush the Soviet Union, before turning against England and forcing her to peace.
This poster is part of a set of iconographic propaganda productions aimed at promoting the recruitment, particularly in the Waffen SS, of foreign soldiers who will fight Bolshevism on the Eastern Front. It is for this reason that it is translated into different languages and distributed throughout occupied Europe.
A diabolical pact
In the center of the poster is the caricature of an old Jew, which contrasts sharply in the use of black and white with the very colorful character of the rest of the poster. Looks straight out of the movie The Jew Süss, which Nazi propaganda then disseminated in Germany and throughout occupied Europe, with a large number of posters and exhibitions. The use of the usual Nazi propaganda stereotypes of the Jew (wavy hair, hooked nose) stigmatizes the enemy within under whose auspices enemies outside have sealed their evil alliance.
On both sides of Europe, two other enemies of German Europe are indeed shaking hands. The first, whose plump belly is stamped with the Union Jack colors, is none other than John Bull, who traditionally personifies England. The second is a Bolshevik, recognizable by his uniform and his red star. Drawn as in the caricatures of the 1920s, it must be immediately recognized by the public. Indeed, apart from the mention of the Jewish plot, no explicit identification appears on the poster. It is up to the observer to identify the plotters himself. However, the task is made easier for him. Their respective states, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, are indeed well identified and represented by the same color, blood red. On the other hand, if John Bull does not have the Churchill cigar but his usual pipe, he is overweight. As for the Communist, he clearly resembles Stalin. They surround Europe, which the Jews have infiltrated from within. The slogan is revealing. Nazi Germany is not the target; it doesn’t stand out graphically from the rest of Europe on the poster, which should get some attention. It is indeed all of Europe that is threatened. The final exclamation mark calls for his mobilization.
United against the Bolshevik peril and the international plutocracy
This poster fits perfectly in the defense and illustration of the thesis then supported by the Nazi propaganda, according to which occupied Europe did not come under the German yoke but, on the contrary, that it was liberated from its enemies from within - here, the Jew - and protected from his enemies from the outside - Anglo-Saxon international finance and Soviet communism by “Fortress Europe”.
Under these conditions, it is legitimate, on the one hand, for the occupied states to collaborate with Germany and, on the other hand, for the populations to provide both ever higher requisitions to fuel the war machine of the III.e Reich and above all men. This is the principle of "they [the German soldiers] donate blood, donate your work to save Europe from Bolshevism". When voluntary departures are not enough, forced labor will take over within the framework of the compulsory labor service (STO). But there is another dimension underlying the poster. In the center, Europe is presented with a uniform color code. It is not a question of a German Europe, but of a Europe which must unite against the double threat, external and internal.
- jewish plot
- Churchill (Winston)
- Stalin (Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, said)
- Trotsky (Leon)
AFOUMADO Diane, The anti-Semitic poster in France under the Occupation, Paris, Berg International Publishers, 2008.
HERF Jeffrey, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda (1939-1945), Paris, Calmann-Lévy, coll. “Shoah Memorial”, 2011.
To cite this article
Pierre-Yves BEAUREPAIRE, "The Jewish plot against Europe"