German, Japanese, Allied and Soviet propaganda posters

Propaganda has been a common human activity as far back as reliable recorded evidence exists.  This is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view”. It is often associated with the psychological mechanisms of influencing and altering the attitude of a population toward a specific cause, position or political agenda in an effort to form a consensus to a standard set of belief patterns.

The Behistun Inscription (c. 515 BC) detailing the rise of Darius I to the Persian throne is viewed by most historians as an early example of propaganda. Another striking example is during Ancient History is the last Roman civil wars during which Octavian and Mark Antony blame each other for obscure and degrading origins, cruelty, cowardice, oratorical and literary incompetence, debaucheries, luxury, drunkenness and other slanders.

World War II saw continued and extensive use of propaganda as a weapon of war, both by Hitler’s minister Joseph Goebbels (the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda / Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, RMVP or Propagandaministerium) and the Japanese empire. The same applied also to the Allied and Soviet war efforts, where it was important for military recruitment, getting workers for the industry and supplying with war bonds, also for fighting the enemy espionage.

Leave a Reply