Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Museum of propaganda: WWII anniversary

Today is the 70th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland, which happened in the early hours of Sept. 1, 1939; two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany, and World War II began.

To mark the occasion, the website of Life magazine has put together 37 “intense” propaganda posters, all from the European theater. (None from Japan; come to think of it, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Japanese war propaganda posters, though maybe I’m just blanking.) Most are American, but there are also plenty of German and Soviet posters, and some Finnish, Dutch and Italian ones I’ve not seen.

The images are all credited to Getty, and I’m disappointed that their perennial problem — “rounding off” dates, as some angry newspaper photo editors I know have discovered — has not been fixed. So an image from 1943 is dated Jan. 01, 1943; another from 1942 is Jan. 01, 1942, etc. It’s a serious problem in any case, but it’s especially ridiculous with a World War II survey by Life.

Also, Life: the “sexy or sleazy” thing? Sleazy.

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