Monday, October 13, 2008

Hail the Hatchet

Zbynek Zeman mentions this image in Selling the War - Art and Propaganda in World War II, Exeter Books, New York, 1978. He says, "After Hitler's attack on the USSR on 22 June 1941, there was no need for the Soviets to make new organizational arrangements for the conduct of their propaganda. As before, the agitprop department of the central committee was responsible for propaganda at home: it kept in touch with the 7th Department of Political Administration of the Red Army in Moscow, which was responsible, together with the lower-level political organs of the army, for the conduct of propaganda to the enemy.

The political detachments of the Red Army were equipped with stationary and mobile printing presses; they concentrated on leaflet propaganda aimed at the enemy and his morale. With the establishment of the front-line organization 'Free Germany,' Soviet propaganda to the enemy moved into a higher gear. For instance the picture postcard entitled 'Heil Beil', which depicted Hitler's face as an axe, was effective and, in a gruesome way, funny. This was 'black propaganda,' since the provenance of the postcard purported to have been OKW Offsetdruck Leipzig."


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