Wartime Posters

No historical event has inspired as many textbooks, novels and films as World War II. Now you have the opportunity to see more than 100 propaganda posters from World War II at the Danish Poster Museum in Den Gamle By. The exhibition will add yet another dimension the account of World War II. The distinctive attitudes of the posters, as expressed in their text and imagery, represented a crucial and widespread weapon during the war.

The posters in the exhibition come from a number of countries involved in World War II, featuring the propaganda of both the Allies and the Axis powers. Whether a Nazi or a communist poster, whether a defense of, or attack on Nazism, the same imagery is often used: an idolization of the hero and of the strong man or woman. The posters are predominantly realistic-heroic in their expression, and the majority of them come across as rather bombastic and stereotypical.

Looking at the posters provides us with a real sense of the style, the mood, the opinions and attitudes of the time in which they were produced and pasted up in street after street.  The exhibition sheds light on everyday life during the war and on the precautions that people had to take. The posters focus on the role of women, not only as mothers and caregivers, but also as an important resource in agriculture and industry, while the men were away at war. They also leave us in no doubt as to the manipulative nature of propaganda.