SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)

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This short article will discuss and depict the use of anti-Semitic propaganda as a PSYOP theme. I have been warned against writing a story like this and told that in the past when I mentioned Nazi propaganda in the light of German historical activities before and during WWII this website was called a hate site. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have over 170 articles on the Psywarrior site recording the history of psychological operations since WWI. We have discussed numerous themes that were used in psychological warfare campaigns and religion, like race, is just another theme that should be recorded for posterity. We discuss this theme not to give it merit, but to expose readers who have no idea of how it was used in the last Great War to the way hate can be used to mold minds and attempt to justify the murder of six million people.

I am a researcher and author in the field of psychological operations (PSYOP). I have written well over 200 articles on the subject for newspapers, magazines and the Internet and have been interviewed numerous times on both the radio and television. Sometimes I write about different wars or battles, other times I write about themes like race, malingering, or sex. All of these themes have been used numerous times by various protagonists in wars and battles. The same is true of anti-Semitism. This is mostly true during WWII when German philosophy called for the extermination of the Jews and much of their propaganda was in the form of anti-Semitic cartoons or diatribes.

In fact, a good deal of this article was written about 2007 when my friend, author Klaus Kirchner was preparing a German-language book entitled Antisemitsche Flugblatter aus Deutschland 1939-1945 (“German Anti-Semitic Aerial Leaflets 1939-1945.”). At the time I started to write an introduction to his book. The book was published in 2008 (without the introduction) and it just remained idle in the article file until recently when I thought that maybe I could do a short story on the general subject, not to exceed 5000 words. This is that story.

The problem with a subject like this is that there is far too much material. A dozen books already exist on the subject and some scholars have dedicated their lives to the subject. My intention is to just lightly touch on the subject, mention some anti-Semitic items prepared in the form of stamps, postcards, bank notes and propaganda leaflets. I could easily show hundreds of the latter, but I will edit myself and just show a few of those that seem most virulent and filled with hate.

I am not an expert in anti-Semitism. If the reader is looking for an in-depth study of the holocaust or the thousand years of religious and economic attacks on the Jew, this is the wrong story.

Anti-Semitic Postage Stamps

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German WWII Anti-Semitic Propaganda Postage Stamp

I wrote about the German use of anti-Semitic symbols on postage stamps as early as February, 1974, in an article entitled “The German Parodies of Great Britain” for the Society of Philatelic Americans Journal. This German parody of the Great Britain 1935 1/2 pence dark green Silver Jubilee stamp has a bust of Stalin in place of King George VI, and the misspelled English text “This war is a / Jewsh war” replacing “Silver Jubilee / Half Penny.” The dates have been altered to read 1939-1944 instead of 1910-1935. The Star of David and the hammer and sickle appear prominently in several places.

There has always been a question about the misspelling of the word “Jewsh” for “Jewish,” and if this was an attempt by the Concentration Camp prisoners who produced the stamp under German supervision to embarrass their SS masters. I interviewed the operation leader, Nazi SS Major Bernhard Kruger for my article “Conversation with a Master Forger,” in the January, 1980 issue of Scott's Monthly Stamp Journal, and he said it was all a terrible mistake. The Jewish prisoners understood clearly that any attempt at sabotage would have led to their immediate execution.

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“World Judaism” Overprint on Propaganda Postage Stamp

In this large series of Overprinted propaganda stamps, the Germans have produced a parody of the King George stamp and overprinted it with various PSYOP themes. These stamps were first intended to be dropped over Great Britain as propaganda. Later the Nazis found out that philatelists would pay for such stamps so they were sold around the world for hard currency. These stamps were heavily overprinted with a number of different propaganda slogans. The first is “Bombs” with "MURDER" and "RUIN" between two bombs, with various place names below (6 varieties). The second is “Extremes in World Politics” with various Allied, Jewish, and Bolshevik events and legends (6 varieties). The third is “Invasion” with an “AAA-O” symbol at top with various slogans below (6 varieties). The fourth and fifth series are “Liquidation of Empire” with a border containing the “Liquidation of empire” legend at top, with various British possessions at bottom (14 varieties in all). If my math is correct, one would need to collect 192 overprinted parodies to complete the series.

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An Anti-Semitic Donation Stamp

During WWII, the Boy Scouts of America collected newspapers, aluminum pans and other products that could be used to help support the war effort. The Germans did the same thing. These IDEPE collector stamps for donations were part of the very popular propaganda campaign for collecting material for the war effort. Children were expected to collect things like bones, grease, potato peels, metal, fabric, etc. They received prizes such as the collector label above. They received special prizes such as books, toys, etc. for accumulating 1000 or 2000 such stamps.

The stamps generally were printed in sheets of 12, in a number of different series that depicted such patriotic themes as war medals, propaganda posters, Knight’s Cross Holders, women at work in the war, Navy battleships, etc. The stamp above was given to children as a way to convince them hate the Jews. It depicts a 1943 poster by the artist “Mjolnir”" intended to persuade Germans that Jews were responsible for starting the war. This was the pen name of the artist Hans Schweitzer who created many of the most popular Nazi propaganda posters. The text is:

He is to blame for the War

Many young people today probably believe that anti-Semitism began with the Nazi Party. Nothing could be further from the truth. For instance, in New York City’s borough of Brooklyn there is an area called “Little Odessa.” They joke in New York City that there are more Jews in Little Odessa than there are in Tel Aviv, Israel. Yet, few of these Jews are German. The vast majority of them are Russian Jews that left the Soviet Union to escape continual pogroms and persecution.

Wikopedia tells us that the Russian word “pogrom” means:

To wreak havoc, to demolish violently. It is a form of riot, a massive violent attack on a particular group; ethnic, religious or other, primarily characterized by destruction of their environment and religious centers. Usually pogroms are accompanied with physical violence against the targeted people and even murders, in some cases to the degree of massacre. The term has historically been used to denote massive acts of violence, either spontaneous or premeditated, against Jews….

Anti-Semitic Propaganda Postcards

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Austrian Propaganda Postcard attacking Composer Oscar Strauss

Germany is often considered the center of post-WWI anti-Semitism, but Austria can contest that title and produced hundreds of anti-Semitic postcards and other items. For instant, the Jewish-owned Bruder Kohen Wiener Institut (B.K.W.I.) produced countless cards depicting tongue-in-cheek caricatures illustrating various aspects of Jewish life. With the rise of the Nazi Party, the Germans reprinted selected cards that portrayed Jews in an especially unfavorable light. For example, for the Der ewige Jude (Eternal Jew Exposition), an anti-Semitic side-show depicting Jews as everything from rapists to child molesters, one card depicted a very unflattering caricature of composer Oscar Strauss.

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The Eternal Jew

Perhaps the most iconic image from the Der Ewige Jude is this postcard showing an orthodox Jew with the Soviet Union under his left arm and gold coins in his right hand representing the greed and capitalism of the United States. The image seems to clearly show that the Nazis believed it was world Jewry that controlled both the Soviet Union and the United States. The Jew holds a whip in his left hand, perhaps to punish all that do not follow his orders.This same image was on the cover of an anti-Semitic booklet sold at the exposition. The show visited at least 5 cities: Munich; Vienna; Berlin; Bremen and Magdeburg. The card above was sold at the Vienna show, which ran from 2 August 1938 to 23 August 1938.

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The Eternal Jew Exhibition Hall

The Germans were so proud of their exhibition that they also sold postcards showing the exhibition hall and the large poster showing their iconic view of the Jew facing the street. I should point out that there were similar exhibitions attacking the Russians and their “Soviet Paradise.”

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Men, it's time!

Perhaps one of the most pictorial of all the Austrian anti-Semitic postcards is the one entitled Mander s'ischt Zeit! The card depicts five people, three of whom have a distinctly Jewish look, fleeing an array of Nazi flags. The title is a quote from Andreas Hofer, a 19th Century Tyrolean freedom fighter. The title on the address side is Abzug des Herrn Schuschnigg und seiner Verbundeten (“The Departure of Herr Schuschnigg and his allies”). This refers to Kurt von Schuschnigg, the mildly fascist but anti-Nazi Austrian chancellor just prior to the Anschluss, (the German annexation of Austria) who appears in the central position of the group of five. The other four are a monk, representing the Catholic Church, an aristocrat, a boy wearing an Austrian armband, and a Jew carrying his moneybox. The card was designed by Artist is F. Kock.

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Bolshevism without its Mask

This remarkable German postcard depicts the Earth, marked with a Star of David and a Communist Star on fire. A soldier with a skull for a face sits atop the burning planet. The implication is that he is a Soviet soldier secretly ruled by the Jews. Strangely, his military helmet is French in style. These cards were quite popular during the Great Anti-Bolshevik Exhibition. The exposition was held in Berlin from 6 November 1937 to 9 January 1938, in Hamburg from 12 March to 18 April 1938, and in Vienna from 10 December 1938 to 18 February 1939, with a smaller scale exposition being held in Wilhelmshaven from 22 April to 14 May 1939. About seven different propaganda postcards are known from this exhibition.

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The Grand Mufti meets Der Führer

The German propaganda services produced a number of very interesting propaganda postcards targeting the Arab nations of North Africa in an attempt to ally them with Germany through their mutual hatred of the Jews. I first wrote about and illustrated these cards in “Postcards to the Enemy,” Society of Philatelic Americans Journal, July 1971.

This postcard illustrates Muhammad Amin al Husaini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, with German leader Adolf Hitler in Berlin. The postcard is captioned on the right margin:

Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German people, and His Eminence, the honorable Amin al Husaini, the Grand Mufti, at their second meeting in Berlin

The Nazis considered the Arabs Untermensch (sub-human), but because they needed him, the Mufti was medically examined and determined to be not an Arab, but a Caucasian. He was appointed a Gruppenführer-SS (Lieutenant General) by Himmler with Hitler's approval and helped raised an SS Division of 30,000 Bosnian Muslims.

Tony Hickey wrote about this meeting in The Third Reich Study Group News Sheet No. 187, December 2021. He said in part:

At the meeting, the Grand Mufti asked for a public declaration that recognized and sympathized with Arab struggles for independence, liberation, and to support the elimination of a National Jewish homeland. Hitler refused to make such a public announcement saying that this would strengthen the Gaullists against Vichy France. Hitler stated that “Germany was resolved to ask European nations to solve their Jewish problems and at the proper time direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well. After the defeat of Russia and the breakthrough the Caucasus into the Middle East, he would support Arab liberation.”

The relations of Muslims with National Socialist Germany are quite complex. In 1941-42, as Hitler’s troops marched into Muslim-populated territories in North Africa, the Balkans, the Crimea, and the Caucasus and approached the Middle East and Central Asia, officials in Berlin began to see Islam as politically significant…The courtship of Muslims was to pacify the occupied Muslim-populated territories and to mobilize the faithful to fight on the side of Hitler’s armies. Germany made significant attempts to promote an alliance with the ‘Muslim world’ against their alleged common enemies – the British Empire, the Soviet Union, America, and Jews.

Anti-Semitic Posters


This German 1940 World War Two antisemitic poster depicts the German people pulling back a curtain and discovering that the war was started and is being financed by the Jews. I suspect the Czechs and the Poles will be surprised to hear that. The text is:

The Jew - War Instigator - War Perpetrator

Anti-Semitic Overprints on German mail

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An Envelope overprinted “Juden Weg”

We have seen German postcards that featured anti-Semitic images. The regular German mail was also used to attack the Jews. Post offices would often add anti-Semitic overprints to the envelopes as part of the official government attack on Jews. The two most common are Juden Weg and Juden Raus; similar comments that can be translated as “Jews go away” or “Jews Get out.”

There were pogroms in Central and Eastern Europe and throughout the rest of the world. There were terrible anti-Jewish riots in Poland in 1918 and throughout the 1930s. There were anti-Jewish riots in Romania in 1927. The Poles turned on their own Jews again in 1941 and in the Ukraine thousands of Jews were murdered that same year. Attacks on Jews in Arab nations such as Tunisia and Iraq forced many to immigrate to the land that would later become Israel. Curiously, at the end of World War II after the German defeat, Poles in the city of Kielce attacked and murdered Jews attempting to return to their old homes.

Looking back into ancient history we find that as early as 19 AD the Roman Emperor Tiberius expelled Jews from Rome. Less than 20 years later Egyptian mobs attacked and killed Jews in Alexandria. By 167 AD the Jews had been blamed for killing Christ. In 306 AD Jews were forbidden to marry Christians. Curiously, this law would be passed again in Nazi Germany 1600 years later. In 682 the Visigoth King Erwig enacted 28 anti-Jewish laws and called for the “utter extirpation of the pest of the Jews.” In 1012 Jews were expelled from Mainz, Germany. In 1096 Crusaders on the way to the Holy Land massacred Jews using the slogan, “Why fight Christ's enemies abroad when they are living among us?” In 1180 Philip Augustus of France imprisoned all the Jews in his lands and demanded a ransom for their release. A 1267 Vienna law forced Jews to wear a yellow badge. This will be seen again 700 years later when the Nazis demand that Jews wear a yellow Star of David. Jews in Britain also had to wear a yellow badge starting in 1275. In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain. In 1762 the colony of Rhode Island in the young United States refused to grant Jews citizenship. In 1819 there were anti-Jewish riots in Germany, Denmark, Poland, Latvia and Bohemia. In 1878, Adolf Stoecker, the court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm founded the Christian Social Workers’ Party which marks the beginning of the political anti-Semitic movement in Germany. In 1920 Henry Ford printed 500,000 copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic book written by a Russian claiming that their Revolution was part of a Jewish plot to rule the world. This claim was quite amazing considering that the Jews had been robbed, murdered and forced to leave Russia on dozens of occasions over the past thousand years.

Anti-Semitic Banknotes

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Amstetten Notgeld

During and following the German hyperinflation of 1923, the worthless large-denomination Reichsbank currency was widely overprinted with various anti-Semitic, anti-Communist, anti-capitalist, anti-inflation, Nazi-inspired, and political slogans. In many towns, special notgeld were issued, often with racist or militant propaganda in their design.

Amstetten, Austria issued currency-like receipts for contributions to the Amstetten German-Austrian Association Anti-Semitic Bund. The front shows burning newspapers; the back has various anti-Semitic propaganda messages. One of the propaganda messages on the notes is:

The aversion of the German people for the Semitic people does not have its cause in the difference of religion and dogma, but rather in the differences of blood, race, ancestry, culture and traditions…

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A Surprise

The Austrians and Germans often placed anti-Semitic symbols, caricatures or overprints on their banknotes. I wrote about this in an article entitled “Anti-Semitism on Notgeld” in the International Banknote Society Journal, Vol. 25, No. 3, 1986, and another entitled “Anti-Semitic Overprints on Currency” Vol. 25, No. 4, 1986. Since currency is handed from hand to hand, it is a great media for propaganda. Anyone holding one of these banknotes could read the virulent anti-Semitic propaganda on the front or back.

The leaflet above shows a caricature of a Jew being shocked and frightened by a glowing sun with a swastika at center. The text is:

Hitler – National Socialism

A surprise: God the Righteous! Once again a new coming!
Friends! Come to Hitler and National Socialism.

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Soviet Jew Radeck

Here the Germans attack Karl Radeck. As they so often did, they insinuated that all the Communists were Jews, an interesting concept since the Russians probably killed more Jews before WWII than the Germans did during WWII. There are several different texts, but they all have the same general propaganda:

Soviet Jew Radeck.
Railroad robber and murderer of workers.
The greatest capitalist in Russia. Worker: should this be your leader?
Friends, come to National Socialism. Read the People’s Observer of Munich

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Das Gold…

Sometimes the Germans placed text on their banknotes rather than images. The message Das Gold has been seen on at least 14 different banknotes. Although the text changes somewhat, the basic message is:

The gold, the silver and bacon
the Jew has taken from us
and left us with this filth.
Friends. How long are you going to stand by and be plundered by the
golden international Jewry?
Come to Hitler. Become National Socialists.
Read the People’s Observer of Munich.

Judaism is Organized Gangsterism

This 1000 Reichsmark banknote was a favorite to be overprinted. We find many such overprints on this note. This is one of the more virulent ones showing an evil looking Jew and all the symbols that the Germans used to vilify Judaism: Communism, the Masons, and death. The text is:

Judaism is Organized Gangsterism

Elect National Socialists List 1

The “list 1 on this note and the next one would be the line on the election ballot where the Nazi candidates were listed. Both these overprints were used as election propaganda during the German elections of 1932.

A Nazi election poster that mentions List 1
The people elect list 1
National Socialism

Marxism is the Guardian Angel…

This one is not as somber as usual. It is almost silly. A tall Communist carrying a club and with Angel’s wings holds the hand of a smiling little caricature of a Jew.

Marxism is the Guardian Angel of Capitalism
Elect National Socialists, list 1

The riots and murders go on and on. There are actually hundreds of such anti-Jewish attacks in the history books of the world, including forced Baptism, mass murders and robberies. I selected just a few to show that anti-Semitism has been around for a very long time and has been practiced just about everywhere that the Jew has set foot.

There is anti-Semitism in the United States but it is less overt. In general, Jews are simply not invited into clubs or allowed to join some organizations. There is an old American joke that Jews were not allowed into the better hotels in Florida, so they bought the state. Among the American Ku Klux Klan, Jews are at the apex of the pyramid of hate. Blacks and Hispanics are looked down on and despised, but the Jew is the “Devil,” and should be dealt with harshly at every opportunity.

The German Slogan of the Week

During WWII, Germany produced a weekly Parole der Woche (“Slogan of the Week”) from September 1939 to December 1942. This was an internal propaganda for the German people. They were small gummed label with propaganda images and text that could be used to seal an envelope or placed on a table or wall. The stickers were printed by the Zentralverlag der NSDAP in Munich. A total of 173 gummed labels were produced. Curiously, the British produced a number of propaganda parodies of these labels. I wrote about them in an article entitled “British Black Parodies of the German WWII Parole der Woche” for the website. The two Parolen I depict below are the most anti-Semitic of the series. The first shows the American Barnard Baruch and his alleged family tree:

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N0. 50, 1941 – The Jew Baruch

Behind the scenes of plutocracy:

The Jew Baruch. Creator of the tributary clauses of Versailles, friend of Roosevelt and Churchill, and uncounted Jewish agitators. Behind the Soviet Russian scenes: The Jew Son-of-Moses. Father-in-law of Stalin, and 406 Jewish members of the parliament!!

The Jewish plot

Close friends and leading employees of Roosevelt: Morgenthau ….. are Jews! The majority of the people´s commissioners of the Soviet Union are Jews! 406 of the 503 members of the parliament are Jews!

In the British House of Commons there are 19 Full-Jews, and over 90 Half-Jews.

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No. 27, 1942 - Jude

The second gummed label simply shows the Star of David, the symbol Jews were forced to wear so they could be identified. The text is short and to the point:


Whoever bears this sign is an enemy of our people

Anti-Semitic Movies

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Suss the Jew

The Nazis sponsored many anti-Semitic movies. Suss the Jew is a 1940 Nazi propaganda film produced at the behest of Joseph Goebbels, and considered one of the most notorious and successful pieces of anti-Semitic film propaganda produced in Nazi Germany. It was a financial success in Germany, with some 20 million viewers. The film cost 2 million Reichsmarks but took in box office receipts of 6.5 million Reichsmarks. Heinrich Himmler urged members of the SS and police to watch the movie.

In the movie, the Jew Suss ingratiates himself to the Duke of Württemberg and slowly takes over his dukedom, one sly step after another. At the end he has almost achieved full power turning the Duke into a dictator and being the power behind the throne. At the last moment he is foiled by the Christian Germans and the Jews he brought into the city are thrown out while a citizen of Württemberg observing the Jews leaving says:

May the citizens of other states never forget this lesson.

Anti-Semitic Propaganda Leaflets

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This November 1944 German leaflet to American troops in Italy has no text but the image says it all. A giant smiling Jew controls U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt with puppet’s strings while a crippled American soldier is depicted below on crutches.

The history of the propaganda leaflet is lost in antiquity. For Americans, the first use was during the Revolutionary War when leaflets promised defecting Hessians “freedom, land and money.” In World War I the leaflets were dropped from aircraft. Six billion leaflets were dropped just on Western Europe during World War II. One billion leaflets were dropped during the Korean War. In every war recent conflict leaflets were produced and disseminated to the enemy by aircraft, leaflet bomb, leaflet box, balloon, artillery shell, rocket, waterborne, or just handed from person to person. The leaflet is usually small and can easily be hidden or destroyed in an emergency. When properly dropped over the enemy from aircraft they have the potential of reaching thousands of the target audience in just seconds. However, they are not the perfect form of media. Some individuals in the target audience might be illiterate, making the leaflet worthless unless prepared in a cartoon or pictorial format. Leaflets can also be altered or imitated by the enemy. During WWII, both sides imitated enemy leaflets with some success. For instance, the Allies imitated German Skorpion leaflets and the Germans parodied an American safe conduct pass (Passierschein).

The leaflets we will display were produced during WWII so are considered psychological warfare. A brief official description of “Psywar” is:

The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes and behavior of hostile groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives, Psywar is directed at hostile groups only.

What is propaganda? When I used to lecture in the U.S. Army and in universities I would ask for a definition of propaganda. Most of the students were surprised to hear that the term originated early in the 17th century and was derived from an organization set up within the Catholic Church in 1622; the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Founded by Pope Gregory XV, the body was charged with fostering the spread of Catholicism and with the regulation of Catholic ecclesiastical affairs in non-Catholic countries.

We should point out that these days there is a great debate over the use of the word propaganda. There is a feeling that the connotation of the word is “evil” and “untruthful.” In recent years we have seen new terms like “psychological operations,” “PSYOP” “Information Operations” and “I/O.” No matter what term you use, it is an attempt by one government to control the actions of another by the use of various forms of written, electronic or broadcast media.

There are numerous current definitions of propaganda, but I usually taught a simplified one that stated:

Propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of public or mass-produced communication designed to affect the minds, emotions, and action of a given group for a specific purpose, whether military, economic or political.

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Why Die for Stalin? Why Die for the Jews?

The German leaflet to Allied troops in Italy was disseminated in June of 1944. The image depicts John Avery, a British Fascist who proposed to the Wehrmacht the formation of a British volunteer force (the British Free Corps) and made recruitment efforts and propaganda broadcasts for Nazi Germany. The text conveniently forgets that Germany attacked Poland to start the war and later declared war on the United States after Pearl Harbor. Instead, it is Stalin and the Jews that are to blame for it all.

What is a propaganda leaflet? One of the finest books ever written on the subject of propaganda is Psychological Warfare, by Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, Infantry Journal Press, Washington DC, 1948. I have his first edition, and his later 1954 updated book of the same title that included discussions of Korean War propaganda. Although leafleting is far more complex now and there are additional categories, during WWII there were just three types of leaflets; White, black and grey.

Linebarger explains that white propaganda is issued from an acknowledged source, usually a government or an agency of a government, including military commands at various levels. This type of propaganda is associated with overt psychological operations.

Grey propaganda does not clearly identify any source. The reader may suspect the source, but it is never stated. The sender conceals his identity.

Black propaganda purports to emanate from a source other than the true one. This type of propaganda is associated with covert psychological operations.

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The Kikes expect every Joe to do his Duty

This January 1945 German leaflet to Allied troops shows two men drinking with attractive women. Their faces are caricatures of Jews. In case there is any doubt in the reader’s mind, the Germans use the word “Kikes,” a derogatory term for Jew. The text on the back is 14-line poem ending with:

So I’ll work like hell and never stop,
I will stay on the job until I drop.
I’ll piss in my pants, I’ll shit in my shoes,
And save the world for the God Damn Jews.

The anti-Semitic leaflets we will display are mostly white. In many you will see comments like “We Germans…” and the very fact that the text is so blatantly anti-Semitic immediately points to the Germans as the source of the leaflets.

There are three types of psychological operations where leaflets are used. Of course, there are actually more types of operations at present, especially in this time of “low intensity conflict” and the “War on Terror.” During WWII the categories were just tactical, strategic, and consolidation.

Tactical leaflets are addressed to a specific enemy combat group, to induce them to perform a specific action that will affect the current or short-range combat situation. In general, tactical leaflets might be thought of as the leaflets that are dropped on the enemy directly in front of you. They sometimes call units or soldiers by name. They are designed to weaken the enemy soldier’s will to fight, thereby reducing his combat effectiveness. They are planned and executed for specific operations. Targets or opportunity are exploited as they arise.

Strategic leaflets are part of a carefully planned campaign against a much larger target audience. We think of Strategic leaflets as those dropped on the enemy’s homeland in an attempt to propagandize the government or the population. They support national objectives. They are directed at large segments of the target nations’ population and are designed to exploit economic, sociological, military, psychological and political vulnerabilities.

Consolidation leaflets assist the civil and military authorities in consolidating their gains, by establishing and maintaining law and order. They are directed toward populations in either liberated or occupied areas to facilitate military operations and promote maximum cooperation with the occupying or liberating power. In modern wars when the actual attack and victory might occur in 100 hours or 6 days, consolidation leaflets might be dropped for months afterwards as the victorious nation attempts to place a new friendlier government in place of its old enemy.

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Sun Tsu

The Chinese general Sun Tsu, recognized as one of the greatest military tacticians of all times, strongly advocated the use of psychological warfare. He said:

To capture the enemy's entire army is better than to destroy it; to take intact a regiment, a company, or a squad is better than to destroy them. For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy. Next best is to disrupt his alliances by diplomacy. The next best is to attack his army. And the worst policy is to attack cities.

Sun Tsu would have been in favor of propaganda leaflets. He was in favor of anything that might give him an advantage in battle. And, leaflets are proven effective. It is extremely difficult to tell with great accuracy if an individual surrendered or deserted because of a leaflet or because of some other reason. However, interviews and evaluations of enemy prisoners of war have indicated that as high as 95% of the individuals have seen or read the leaflets. They are almost always the number one source of Propaganda seen by an enemy.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

This leaflet was prepared by the Germans and disseminated on Allied troops in Italy in July 1944. It shows what appears to be a Jewish serviceman sitting in a supply depot talking to a sergeant. In general, German propaganda claimed that Jews never went into battle, but instead stayed home and made money. In this case they imply that perhaps you might find a Jew in the military, but if so, he will be in some soft non-combat job. Some of the text is:

He and his kind you always find
In depots, kitchens, quartermaster units, finance departments, doing front services.

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AI-072-8-44 - What's wrong with this picture?

Here is another German antisemitic leaflet for Allied troops in Italy that uses the same general propaganda theme. Three combat scenes are depicted. The first shows a caricatured Jewish private leading an infantry charge. The second has a Jewish airman as a tail-gunner, probably for an American B-17 bomber. The final picture depicts a Jewish tanker among destroyed buildings. The text is the same next to each image, implying that you will never see a Jewish soldier in a combat situation.

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Jewish War – American Fight

This German leaflet depicts a military cemetery with hundreds of graves marked with crosses. There is one Star of David grave and the Germans point it out with a bright red arrow. The back is all text and says in part:

1000 and 1 Graves

Take a good look at this photograph published in the New York Daily Mirror on December 11, 1944. It shows a thousand crosses on an American Soldier’s Cemetery at Nettuno, south of Rome.

When you look very close you will find among the 1000 crosses the grave on one Jewish soldier. What does it mean that there is one Star of David among a 1000 Christian Crosses? The significance lies in the fact that there is only ONE…


Of course, there are many that hate the leaflets. During WWII, British Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris was very protective of his bomber command and did not want to waste pilots and aircraft on leaflet missions. He once said:

Whitley’s and Wellingtons were put to the questionable employ of dropping pamphlets all over Europe, a game in which we never had the slightest faith. My personal view is that the only thing achieved was largely to supply the Continent's requirements of toilet paper for the five long years of the war.

Bill Mauldin, the American artist who worked for Stars and Stripes drew a famous cartoon that depicted the American artilleryman’s feeling about leaflet missions. Four soldiers are in the midst of a firing mission and they have obviously been asked if they have sent any leaflets over German lines. The text is:

Tell them leaflet people th' krauts ain't got time fer readin' today.

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German Leaflet AW48 – They’re feeling O.K.

This German leaflet was disseminated over American and British soldiers in Western Europe in August 1944. The AW leaflets are usually very vile and often are pornographic. The leaflet depicts an Allied soldier, perhaps dead, while two caricatured Jews relax with liquor and cigars. There is a long text on the back that says in part:

In the Muck for Moses?

Did you imagine that war was otherwise than bloody, beastly, blasting and deadly? No one likes it but the Jew. He thrives on war. We soldiers know that it is not our war, but the Jews’ war, who fatten while the youth of the world bleeds…Those Broadway swivel-chair news demons would sing a different tune if they were right in the trenches with you.

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On, and Behind the Stage…


This strange uncoded German leaflet dropped over Italy in September 1944 at first glance depicts Roosevelt and Churchill watching Josef Stalin embracing the Leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. It appears to shows that Stalin is an honorable man who respects Christianity. The antisemitic theme appears when you turn the leaflet over. On the back you see that it is nothing but a puppet show and Stalin and a caricatured Jew are holding up the figures and laughing at the stupidity of the western leaders.


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Poor Little Joan…

The Germans prepared a set of four anti-Semitic sexually themed leaflets entitled “The girl you left behind” for use against the Americans in Italy. These leaflets told the story of the mythical Sam Levy; a Jew who was growing rich and enjoying the favors of a Christian girl while her boyfriend was fighting on the front lines. In the third leaflet, Sam has seduced Joan. He is on a bed reading the Stock Exchange page of his local newspaper. Joan seems very unhappy, one breast exposed from her negligee. This leaflet was disseminated in November 1944. Some of the text on the back is:

Joan always used to look up to Bob as the guiding star of her life, and she was still a good girl when she started working for Sam Levy. But she often got the blues thinking of Bob, whom she hadn’t seen for over two years. Her boss had an understanding heart and was always very kind to her, so kind indeed, that he often invited her up to his place. He had always wanted to show her his “etchings”. Besides, Sam wasn’t stingy and each time Joan came to see him, he gave her the nicest presents. Now, all women like beautiful and expensive things. But Sam wasn’t the man you could play for a sucker. He wanted something, wanted it very definitely… Poor little Joan!

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What about Calling up Sam Levy?

The Germans loved the character Sam Levy that they made up; a rich Jewish draft dodger that made his fortune as rag picker and loved to seduce Christian women. Here they use him again telling American soldiers that while they fight at the front guys like Sam are regularly having sex with their wives and girlfriends. At least two versions of this leaflet exist, one dropped in August 1944 and the second in January of 1945. Some of the text on the back is:

You have a date with death; your girl has a date with Sam Levy.

You’ll have to be in uniform for God knows how long. Your life is pretty well smashed up. So don’t think the worst of your girl if she likes to have a good time every now and then. Don’t grudge her to that bright draft dodger Sam levy.

This photo of Joe Lorenc depicts him holding two German propaganda leaflets, one the Same Levy specimen we show above. In his other hand he holds some German banknotes. The picture is believed to have been taken in late 1944 or early 1945, by Captain W. E. Williamson of the 308th Airdrome Squadron, 5th Air Force, at Pitoe Airfield, Morotai, Netherlands East Indies.

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German Propaganda Leaflets

This historical souvenir booklet was prepared by the Intelligence Section (G2) of the Chief of Staff, United States Army VI Corps in November 1945 in Eslingen, Germany. The cover depicts a Nazi propagandist, perhaps Goebbels, spouting lies which fall into the American garbage bin. It contains 24 pages, each showing Various German battlefield propaganda leaflets used against the Allies. Almost all of the leaflets selected for the book are anti-Semitic or sexual in nature. For instance, it depicts all four of the anti-Semitic "Sam Levy" series. The forward explains:

Much of the propaganda was anti-Semitic, which was a favorite Nazi theme, while a good deal of it appealed directly to the individual soldier in telling him that "Death awaited him as long as he continued to fight."

The Sixth Corps landed at Salerno on 9 September 1943 during the Allied invasion of Italy. It later fought in France, the Bulge, and Germany. The booklet was apparently prepared as a souvenir of the campaign to show what the Germans had thrown against it in the way of propaganda. After fighting in six campaigns and participating in three assault landings, the Corps was assigned occupation duties in Germany until May of 1946 as part of the "United States Army Reserve - Europe" and the booklet was probably prepared at this time.

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“V” Pins the Jew

I don’t know exactly what to call this antisemitic leaflet. The back is blank so it could be airdropped or it could be a hand-out. The Germans often prepared leaflets and postcards similar to this one usually gloating about their V1 missile, with a “V” falling on a person or landscape. The difference is that there was usually a “1” inside the “V” so it was clear that the image implied “Vengeance weapon 1.”

Early in WWII Churchill started using the letter “V” in British propaganda to indicate the eventual victory of the Allies. The Germans were embarrassed by its use by partisans so then claimed that the “V” meant “Viktoria” and was painted on walls by their supporters. Here, the “V” which I assume means “Viktoria” pins a Jew clearly marked by the Star of David to the ground. The Jew wears a Roman military uniform, and that is hard to understand, unless the Germans are telling the target audience that the evil Jews killed Christ. Although the back of this leaflet is blank, someone has handwritten “August 1941,” which indicates that it was disseminated at that time.

The United States Army trains soldiers to produce powerful propaganda leaflets at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. The lesson entitled Propaganda Dissemination discusses the aerial leaflet. In regard to the standard leaflet it says:

A standard leaflet includes a general propaganda message intended for repeated use. Standard leaflets may be used for all sorts of psychological operations (PSYOP) and against a variety of targets in each level of war and spectrum of conflict.

Some of the leaflet recommendations found in the lesson Psychological Operations Media are:

Typography: The type must be large enough to be perfectly legible and familiar to the audience.

Color: A judicious use of color is important in the appearance of the leaflet. The number of colors available will be limited by the type of printing equipment available. Favorite colors of the enemy should be used frequently. Colors included in the national flags of the enemy are usually safe to use.

Photographs; Photographs are often used as documentary proof of particular incidents or events. Pictures of bombed cities showing well-known landmarks are proof to enemy soldiers that their homeland is in fact being subjected to devastating air raids.

Cartoons and Drawings: Cartoons and drawings, when done in a manner appealing to the target audience, are invaluable assets in supporting the theme of the leaflet. They attract the eye; they help to present a more attractive format; they tend to leave lasting impressions; they may interpret the message for illiterates who cannot read the accompanying message; and they may be used with a slogan and without printed messages.

And what of the leaflet writer? He should have a good practical knowledge of the target audience. He should be familiar with recent happenings in the target area and understand the politics, the culture and the vernacular of the language. He should be familiar with the enemy order of battle and should understand the ambitions, prejudices, likes and dislikes of the enemy soldier. This last sentence is very important. We will see when we come to the leaflet illustrations that the German propagandist seldom understood his audience. Leaflets were prepared in an attempt to foster a division between Christian and Jew and they missed their target. The Germans probably had better luck in their divisive leaflets that attempted to split the French and British, the British and American, The British and Indian colonial troops, black and white soldiers, and officers and enlisted men. The Germans constantly tried to break the unity of the Allies, but they were seldom successful.

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Polish Friends…

It was not only the Allies that received German anti-Semitic leaflets. Almost all of the nations of Europe involved in WWII received German propaganda. The Germans prepared a number of leaflets for use against the Free Polish Army fighting with the Allies in Italy. The leaflet above depicts a Caricatured Jew with tuxedo and white spats reading a newspaper with a Star of David at the top. A beautiful nude female sits on his lap drinking a cocktail. This leaflet manages to be anti-Semitic and sexual at the same time. The text is:

Polish Friends! Do you want to die for these?

The back is all text. In it, the Germans seem to have forgotten that they invaded Poland without a declaration of war and killed most of its Jews. They blame the Jews for the war, an amazing leap of logic. Some of the text is:


You are wandering far from your close ones, in a far-away country. The swindlers and imposers of the war are away from the front, enjoying every comfort, surrounded by their families…

There are many ways to collect and categorize propaganda leaflets. It can be done by theme, wars, chronologically, or even nations. I have always found themes an interesting way to study the leaflets and have written articles on leaflets in the form of stamps, currency, safe conduct passes and those that offer rewards. The subject is endless since leaflets have been dropped in the billions during mankind’s many war and conflicts.

Themes are mentioned in the PSYOP lesson Propaganda Development:

Potential themes should be continuously developed during the target analysis process. Three categories of themes are particularly prominent. Awareness of these categories may assist in recognizing issue around which themes may be developed. The first of these categories is In-Group/Out-Group. These themes should be designed to create an In-Group awareness within the target audience and thereby encourage hostility to ward the Out-Group.

Although the above recommendation was written for US Army propagandists, it could have just as well been written for the German leaflet writers. In this article we have depicted those leaflets produced by Nazi Germany and dropped on Allied troops during World War II that featured the In-Group/Out-Group theme of anti-Semitism. It is a large field and there are over one hundred such leaflets known. We make no attempt to show them all; just a sampling of the more interesting ones.

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Adolph Hitler

Adolf Hitler published Mein Kampf (My Struggle) in 1925. In many ways this book would be the Bible of Nazi anti-Semitism. He told the world exactly what he planned to do and it has always surprised me that the world was so shocked when they found out what crimes the German government had perpetrated at the end of WWII.

Some of Hitler’s comments in regard to the Jews in Mein Kampf are:

If we consider how greatly he has sinned against the masses in the course of the centuries, how he has squeezed and sucked the blood again and again…The black-haired Jewish youth lies in wait for hours on end, satanically glaring at and spying on the unsuspicious girl whom he plans to seduce, adulterating her blood and removing her from the bosom of her own people. The Jew uses every possible means to undermine the racial foundations of a subjugated people…The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew…Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

Hitler says in Mein Kampf that propaganda must be written for the lowest intellect:

All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be…The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.

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This April 1940 German leaflet to France depicts French soldiers and civilians carrying the weight of a gigantic money bag behind a white burial cross. A Jew and a raven sit atop the bag. The implication is that Frenchmen will die so that the Jews can get rich. The text seems to be a quote from a French Catholic Newspaper, La Croix, known in earlier times as anti-Semitic and anti-Republican.It seems to imply that although France is ruled by the Jews, Christian purity awaits right across the border in Nazi Germany. The text is:

The Christian Border is on the Rhine

The Cross – 5 December 1939

In 1935, Germany introduced the Nuremberg Laws. Some of the sections of this law were:

1. Marriages between Jews and citizens of German or kindred blood are forbidden. Marriages concluded in defiance of this law are void, even if, for the purpose of evading this law, they were concluded abroad.

2. Sexual relations outside marriage between Jews and nationals of German or kindred blood are forbidden.

3. Jews will not be permitted to employ female citizens of German or kindred blood as domestic servants under the age of 45.

4. Jews are forbidden to display the Reich and national flag or the national colors. On the other hand they are permitted to display the Jewish colors.

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It was not only the Germans that produced antisemetic propaganda for France. Many French fascists had allied themselves with the Germans after their occupation and were perfectly willing to send their Jewish citizens off to the concentration camps and even produce their own anti-Jewish literature. This 16-page booklet was produced by G. Mazeyrie, imprimeur-editeur, Paris. It depicts a Jew named Isaac who is poor and seems to be homeless. He cheats the Christians and finds a French partner who he also cheats. His workers labor tirelessly for low wages and Isaac grows richer and buys into various companies. He becomes a Frenchman and then starts to build faulty aircraft which fall to the ground. To make more money on commissions, Isaac pushes France into the war. He becomes a Masonic Grand Master and receives the French Legion of Honor. Isaac leads France to ruins. Then when the British are routed, he runs away being sure to take his ill-gotten gains. At the end, the French sweep the Jews into the sewers. This is pretty strong stuff and I love the fact that they made the Jew a Mason. The Nazis hated the Masons too, so here they get two for one.

Mortal enemy of Christianity

The Germans also wanted to feed and encourage the Polish anti-Jewish feelings, so produced a 64-page highly illustrated booklet in Warsaw in 1943 for occupied Poland. It used the usual propaganda of the Jews killing Christ and secretly plotting to rule the world. It was also produced as a Polish poster that advertised the antisemitic booklet written by Zbigniew Kowalewski in 1943. The image is based on an illustration by Philipp Rupprecht which was published in the antisemitic German newspaper, Der Stürmer, in 1937.

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The Jews are your Eternal Enemies

In these final leaflets the Germans have tried to convince the Russians that they are ruled by the Jews. A smiling Jew is depicted winking in front of a Star of David with the text:

The Jews are your eternal enemies
Stalin and the Jews
are a gang of criminals
Down with the Jewish rule

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Jews are like Rats…

This German leaflet coded “ASd 005” was aimed at the Soviet Army in the Southern Russian Front in 1942. It depicts a rat in front of a Star of David. The Germans often used the image of a rat to attack the Jews. In some of their propaganda movies they would show hundreds of rats running down an alley and then cut to a scene of a crowded street in the Jewish Ghetto. The back of the leaflet was left blank. The text says in part:

Jews are like rats, they eat the goods of your people!

Expel the Jews from the land, for this is the only way to put their senseless creed to an end


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Sir Oswald Mosley

Prior to and during WWII there were many Allied Collaborators that followed the Nazi propaganda line and attacked the Jews as being the cause for all the grief in the world.

Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley of Ancoats, 6th Baronet, was a British politician who rose to fame in the 1920s as a Member of Parliament and later in the 1930s became leader of the British Union of Fascists. Mosley was never knighted, inheriting the title ‘Sir’ as the sixth Baronet of a title that was in his family for centuries. In January 1914 Mosley entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, but was expelled in June for a "riotous act of retaliation" against a fellow student. During the First World War he was commissioned into the British cavalry unit the 16th The Queen's Lancers and fought in France on the Western Front.

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The British Union of Fascist’s Flag

After military Mosley was one of the youngest Members of Parliament, representing Harrow from 1918 to 1924. He founded the New Party. The New Party became the British Union of Fascists in 1932. It claimed membership as high as 50,000, and had the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror among its earliest (though short-lived) supporters. Mosley was imprisoned in May 1940 and the British Union of Fascists was banned. He was released in 1943, politically disgraced by his association with fascism.

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A Propaganda Leaflet from Mosley’s British Union of Fascists

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SHAEF Message from Eisenhower

Since the end of WWII many historical revisionists and pseudo-Nazis have claimed that there never was a holocaust and everything written about 6 million dead Jews is a myth and part of a Zionist plot. Interestingly enough, American Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower visited one of these camps in 1945 and was so shocked that he wanted to press to come and see for themselves so there would be no way to ever refute the charges of torture and murder. Here is his secret telegram to General Marshall in Washington D.C.

This has been just a brief look at the use of anti-Semitic propaganda during WWII. Readers who wish to discuss the subject are encouraged to write to the author at