WW2 Propaganda Poster of the Month- July

1943 America was all about supporting our war efforts overseas, and to that end the government employed various types of propaganda to rally the common citizen into helping. “Helping” usually meant either joining the fight in Europe by enlisting, or, as this poster suggests, conserving resources for military use. This particular example urges people on the homefront to start car-pooling, or joining a “car-sharing club” in an effort to save gasoline to fuel US tanks and planes on the battlefield.

One of the great things about World War 2 propaganda was the “if you’re not helping us, you’re helping the enemy” messages they usually conveyed, and this one does a great job of throwing that in the viewer’s face. Like many of the posters during the middle years of the war, this one specifically mentions Hitler by name rather than just saying “Nazis”, personifying him as the evil enemy and giving people a face to hate. This was in direct contrast to the Nazi propaganda of the time which used Hitler as a heroic icon for young German soldiers to rally behind.

I found this particular poster by Weimer Pursell really interesting because the driver is decked out in some pretty bright colors- specifically the purple and green that was often used in comic books to denote the villain. Granted that color scheme wasn’t really used in that effect until long after the war had ended, and the colors in this poster may have simply been chosen to avoid using the red, white, and blue associated with patriotism, but it really carries the same message here- being an uniformed driver makes you the bad guy.

Let’s talk about that driver for a minute while we’re on the subject. That look on his face can be either ignorance- maybe he doesn’t know Ghost-Hitler is sitting with him, or it could be indifference- he simply doesn’t care. Either way, this poster is trying to tell you that you don’t want to be this guy, and it’s got me so boiled that if I saw a man that even had a passing resemblance to him, I’d knock that Nazi-loving chump into next Tuesday. Clearly this is one poster that’s doing it’s job.

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