by: Herbert A. Friedman
Warning! These historical wartime images
are sexually explicit.
This is a military reference site for adults only.
Note: Portions of this article on wartime sexual propaganda first appeared in the magazines: Sir - September 1967; Soldier of Fortune - May 1981 and Oui - September 1983. At the time, many publishers were seeking articles about the use of sex in war propaganda. I turned down a half-dozen others because I got tired of writing articles on the same subject. I was later interviewed and my material was depicted in the long-running British Channel Four television documentary series Secret History on two occasions. In 1999, it broadcast Sex and the Swastika, and in 2004, Sex Bomb . In 2006 I took part in the Canadian Chum Limited TV documentary Sex and PSYOPs. In 2013, parts of the article were used for reference by the Talkback Company on the popular BBC quiz show QI (Quite Interesting). In addition, the information in this article has been used as source material in a number of books such as Professor Dagmar Herzogs Brutality and Desire: War and Sexuality in Europe's Twentieth Century. In 2015, I was contacted by Zagreb Pride, an NGO based in Croatia that wanted to publish Sexuality in Europe in Croatian. Permission was granted to use my data.
To the average person, the connotations of the word "Pornography" have always brought forth a mental picture of a depraved person leering at filthy pictures. To the scholar, the word meant simply "The description of prostitutes and their trade". Later, other definitions were added, attempting to encompass the term "obscene". We now consider Webster's "Writing and pictures intended to arouse sexual desire" as an appropriate statement of meaning. Would it surprise you to know that all the major combatants involved in World War II used pornography as part of their psychological operations (PSYOP) strategy?
Professor Paul M. A. Linebarger stated the justification for this effort in his book Psychological Warfare (Infantry Journal Press, Washington D.C., 1948).
Young human beings, especially young males, are apt to give considerable attention to sex. In areas of military operations, they are removed from the stimuli of secondary sex references, which are (in America) an accepted part of everyones daily life: bathing beauty photos, magazine covers, semi-nudes in advertising, etc. Our enemies tried to use the resulting pin-up craze for propaganda purposes, hoping that a vain arousal of oestrum would diminish morale.
In German Psychological Warfare (Arno Press, New York, 1972) Ladislas Farago states:
Since young soldiers are in a state of hyperactive bodily development, their immediate problems are related to appetite and sex....Sexual deprivation may be a motive for a soldiers suicide attempt.
Both the Axis and the Allies printed aerial propaganda leaflets using sexual themes in an attempt to demoralize enemy soldiers at the front. Did these leaflets work? Did the finders become emotionally crippled and unable to carry on their duties and responsibilities? Just the opposite occurred. The "pin-up" pictures became collectors items sought after by the troops who greedily collected and swapped them. If anything, the leaflets raised morale. There is no doubt that they were the most heartily appreciated propaganda leaflets used in World War 2. We can probably state that they were the most widely read and circulated enemy documents of any war.
A member of the 10th Mountain Division points out the reason that the sex leaflets increase rather than decrease morale. They clearly fail in their mission. The comment is found in Climb to Conquer, Peter Shelton. Simon and
, 2003. Bud Winter, who had returned to his outfit, wounds healed, in late March, noted in a letter to his mother that at least some of the enemy doggerel was appreciated: Schuster, NY
The Jerries shell us with leaflets with a picture of a beautiful girl on one side and a skull and cross bones on the other. One side says Life and the other Death Well, anyway, it seems to raise the morale of most of the fellows because they hang the side up with the beautiful girl for a pinup say to Hell with the other side.
More evidence is found in Beyond the Beachhead the 29th Infantry Division in Normandy, Joseph Balkoski, Stackpole Books,
, 1989: Mechanicsburg, PA
The enemys leaflets were nothing more than appeals to the American soldiers sexual instincts. A typical leaflet featured a sketch of an attractive and scantily clad woman in the arms of a happy male civilian. The caption asked what the G.I.s though they would be doing if they were home instead of in the army. The 29ers chuckled and hoped the Germans would send more over the lines. The leaflets were a lot safer than real artillery shells, and the sketches were fairly interesting.
The same sort of things was happening on the Japanese front where sex leaflets were being dropped by the enemy on Allied troops. Some comments from Prisoners of the Japanese, Gavan Daws, William Morrow and Company, NY, 1994, on the subject:
The Japanese were dropping propaganda leaflets And for the friendliest of friendly persuasion, pictures of a beautiful blonde stripper, private parts and all: You too can enjoy this is you surrender. The propaganda bombers came droning over every day. It was like having the paper delivered. Some of the troops started trading the leaflets like baseball cards.
So, why were they used? Edward Donnerstein says in The Journal of Personality and Social Behavior (Vol. 39, 1980, p. 269-277) :
When males have not been angered or have been exposed to mild erotica, aggressive behavior has been reduced In summary, the present results suggest that highly arousing nonaggressive-erotic stimuli can be a mediator of aggressive behavior by males toward other males under certain condition.
Could it be that our enemies believed that the sexual leaflets would take the "fight" out of the American soldier?
I once interviewed the top British forger of the war. He was the man in charge of printing the black British leaflets. He said about the sex leaflets:
They did nothing to the enemy, but they were popular among the "adolescents" working for me. They did not demoralize the enemy, but they were excellent for the morale of the British agents who handled and distributed them.
An American propagandist once told me that he did not like to disapprove these strange and exotic concepts because it tended to stifle the creativity of his artists. It seems that on the Allied side at least, sex leaflets were produced mostly because the bosses thought it was a good way for their people to stretch their imaginations and remain creative.
For the purposes of this article, we are interested only in the propaganda leaflets built around a sexual message. Of course, they only make up a small percentage of the millions of leaflets that were dropped during the Second World War. Probably less than one percent of all the leaflets produced by the opposing powers were of a sexual nature. For that reason they are scarce today, highly collectable, and only rarely seen at auction.
Professor Linebarger noted that obscene pictures showing naked women, designed to make the celibate troops so desirous of women that they surrendered was a Japanese idea that did not work.
The troops kept the pornography and despised the Japanese as queer little people for having sent it.
One American soldier assigned to the 35th Infantry Division in February of 1945 told of receiving pornographic leaflets in an artillery barrage. He told me:
We used the leaflets for toilet paper.
This is a telling statement and seems to bolster a comment once made by Sir Arthur Harris, Air Marshall of the Royal Air Force during WWII.
My personal opinion is that the only thing achieved (by dropping leaflets) was largely to supply the continents requirement of toilet paper for the five long years of the war.
Who first used sexually themed leaflets in WW2? Author Leo J. Margolin says in Paper Bullets (Frozen Press, New York, 1946):
In the briskness of the winter air on 1939-1940, the French soldiers will to fight evaporated like his breath. The Germans asked, "Where are the British troops?" Millions of leaflets showing a vivid drawing of tired and dirty French soldiers in forward positions while a French woman lay in the arms of a British soldier was the answer that Goebbels provided.
He points out that German loudspeakers constantly repeated that message that The British troops were not in the Maginot Line and that they were instead back in Paris with French women.
Sefton Delmer, a reporter with the French Army who would later become an official of the British wartime propaganda agency, recalls his visit to the French front in 1939. He was shown a leaflet:
...Which consisted of a small picture on a thin piece of paper showing a French soldier doing his duty at the front. However, if one held the picture to the light, the scene underwent a complete change. In place of the Brave poilu one now saw in minute salacious detail, a British Tommy fornicating with what the caption told us was the Frenchmans fiancée.
The Germans loved these "divide and conquer" themes. They often attempted to drive a wedge between the American and British troops, soldiers and civilian "slackers" at home, Christians and Jews, and even African-Americans and Caucasians.
We find many written references of these campaigns. John Baker White tells us in The Big Lie (Pan Books Ltd., London, 1958) that:
Goebbels had a wonderful theme for the bitter winter of 1939-1940. The British forces were back, well away from the Germans, on the Franco-Belgian frontier. He was not slow to paint to the French a picture of drunken soldiery living in comfort, seducing their wives and daughters. Many French soldiers were found to be passing from hand-to-hand a postcard which was the photograph of the then Secretary of State for War, sitting between two scantily-clad cabaret artistes in a Paris nightclub. Actually it had been taken months before the war started, but all the Germans had to do was print on the back: While you sit in the line this is what the British are doing with your wives.
German Sexual PSYOP
Where is Tommy Staying? First Type
We will first discuss and illustrate German sexual propaganda leaflets. There are a number of different variations of the see-through type leaflet. The best-known types are a series produced on cardboard about the same size as a postcard (11 x 15 cm).
All of these see-through cards were produced by German military propagandists. I first wrote about these cards in an article entitled Postcards to the Enemy, the Society of Philatelic Americans Journal, July 1971.
In April 1940, French soldiers along the Maginot Line received a German airdrop of thousands of colorful cardboard leaflets, which showed brave troops fighting and dying in front of a barbed-wire emplacement. Above the men is a clear area of the sky and the words "Ou le Tommy est-il Reste?" ("Where is Tommy staying?"). When one holds this card to the light, a second scene appears. It shows British officers and soldiers cavorting behind the lines with French women. There are six known varieties of this card. The see-through sexual scenes depict a soldier and woman in a salon; three women and 5 soldiers on a street (all fully clothed); four women and 4 men in a cabaret; four women and 3 soldiers on a staircase; four women and 3 soldiers in a cabaret; and five women and 5 soldiers in a cabaret. The initial printing at the beginning of April 1940 was about 133,000 of each card. On 5 April 1940, an additional 1,000,000 of each were ordered. The cards were airdropped on the French troops from early April to early June 1940.
Bernard Wilkin and Maude Williams say in German Wartime Anglophobic Propaganda in France, 1914–1945 published in Wartime History:
On 3 September 1939 France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. The following eight months would see no major offensive on the Western Front, a period known as the phony war. There was little violence but German propaganda aimed at French soldiers and civilians was in full swing, using radio broadcasts and launching more than 90 million leaflets. German psychological warfare was produced by various military and civilian units competing against each other: the Reichsministerium fur Volkserklarung und Propaganda (the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda), the Auswartiges Amt (the German Foreign Office) and the Propagandakompanien (propaganda companies inside the German army). For the next eight months, Anglophobia would feature prominently in German psychological warfare. Sexual references were also extremely common in 1939–40. The ‘Tommies’ sought out married French women, especially those who had a husband in the army.
Where is Tommy Staying? - Second Set
A second set of six see-through cards depicts French soldiers dying of wounds, with one soldier holding a photo of a woman. The initial printing was about 400,000 of each card and they were dropped from early May to early June 1940. The see-through sexual scenes depict a soldier and a nude woman sitting on a bed; a soldier and nude woman lying on a bed; a smiling soldier and a crying woman sitting on a bed, both partially clothed; a soldier sitting on a couch with a woman on his lap; a soldier standing and nude woman sitting in a salon; and a soldier, nude girl, and angry mother standing in a room.
A third set of six German propaganda see-through cards for French troops were inscribed Les mylords a letape (Gentlemen at rest ), and depicted dead or dying French soldiers on the ground, with hidden pictures showing nude or partially nude women when held to the light. These cards were prepared but never disseminated.
A fourth set of five Les mylords a letape see-through cards depicted three French soldiers crushed under rubble and the usual scenes of French women with British soldiers when held to the light. These cards were prepared but never disseminated. A sixth card might exist but has not been found as yet.
In Sefton Delmers article HMG's Secret Pornographer, published in The Times Literary Supplement, 21 February 1972, Delmer, head of a special section of the British Political Warfare Executive suspects these leaflets might have been a waste of time. He points out that:
The walls in the underground corridors of the Maginot forts were covered with so many erotic graffiti that I unkindly denounced the Maginot line as "a fortified urinal Unquestionably the morale of the troops in most of the Maginot forts I visited was poor They just lounged and sulked But I would not put this sulkiness down to the effect of the German transparencies. The German propaganda pornography, as I saw it, was merely exploiting a situation which already existed, not creating it. I therefore doubted whether the transparencies prepared with such zeal by Dr. Goebbels pornographers repaid in subversive effectiveness the substantial production costs involved .
Another divide and conquer leaflet depicts a British Army officer holding the breast of a semi-naked French woman while her husband is shown in a front-line trench peeping out from behind barbed wire. These leaflets were produced during the Phony War of 1940 in an attempt to convince the French that they were being sacrificed at the Front while the British vacationed with their women behind the lines.
Frenchmen! Distrust the enemy who claims to be your friend!
Colored Soldiers! Throw down your Weapons!
Courtesy of Klaus Kirchner: Erotic Leaflets in
Europein the 20th Century
The Germans also prepared sexual-themed leaflets for the French territories of
North Africa. The uncoded leaflet above was dropped about June 1940. It depicts French colonial troops marching off to war closely watched by a French soldier. In the next panel a soldiers wife or girlfriend watches the ship sail away. In the third panel she is grabbed by the French soldier and dragged into a building to be raped. In the final panel the soldier is shown in the middle of an enemy bombardment. The text is:
Colored soldiers! Throw down your weapons!
You are being shipped as cannonfodder
They take you away from your beautiful country, to the slaughter house!
Your wives are at your oppressors mercy, who
To save their blood, will poor out yours!
The Germans produced another two sets of see-through leaflets in 1940. The first consisted of seven cards and the text "Les mylords a letape," ("Gentlemen at rest."). Once again, the cards show dying French troops and British soldiers with French women. A second set of five cards shows three French soldiers crushed under rubble while the British officers play with the French women.
Two ways of spending the war see-through leaflets
The Germans produced similar see-through leaflets by rocket for use against the Americans advancing near the Siegfried Line about December 1944. The front of the 10 x 14cm leaflet depicts a dead American corporal in the foreground and a second soldier draped over the barbed wire in the background. The text at the top of the leaflet is Two ways of spending the war and at the bottom, Fighting. The back of the leaflet is blank except for text at the lower left which reads and? and the series number, for instance; No. 1 Series: Rich mans war, poor mans fight. Only four numbers have surfaced in the past 50 years. We know that number 1, 3, 4 and 9 exist. There may be others that have never been found, or the Germans may have just used some random numbers hoping to confuse the Americans and make them search for leaflets that were never printed.
The use of the propaganda slogan Rich mans war, poor mans fight by the Germans is very interesting because it was first used by the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. At that time, any southerner with 20 slaves or more was allowed to return to the plantation while those with less than twenty or none at all had to stay and fight. The poor southerners who were forced to remain on the front lines were the first to say Rich mans war, poor mans fight.
There are two major differences between the leaflets aimed at the Americans and those aimed at the French. The American leaflets are much cruder and the pictures not nearly as well drawn. The second difference is that while the leaflet to the French showed British soldiers with the women, thus attacking an ally, the leaflet aimed at the GIs showed American civilians with the wives and girlfriends, so the propaganda theme might be considered more anti-slacker or anti-draft-dodger.
The Germans also produced see-through pornographic leaflets for use in Poland to reinforce anti-Bolshevik feelings. Considering the German treatment of the occupied Poles, the success of these leaflets is doubtful. Could the Russians mistreat or murder the Poles to a greater extent than the Germans?
"Carefree youth or cruel fate?"
Two leaflets are known. The first shows a beautiful smiling polish girl, lying on her stomach in an open field with a flower in her mouth. Text at the top of the leaflet is, "Carefree youth or cruel fate?" When held to the light a beast-like Russian soldier is shown ravishing the nearly naked girl.
"Beginning of success - or forbidden future?"
The second leaflet depicts a wedding scene with a bride and groom kneeling at the altar in church before a priest. Text at the top of the leaflet is, "Beginning of success - or forbidden future?" When held to the light, an ape-like Russian soldier is seen tearing the young bride's clothes off.
A Small Donation
Courtesy of Klaus Kirchner: Erotic Leaflets in
Europein the 20th Century
Off course, the Poles retaliated in kind. Klaus Kirchner says in Erotic Leaflets in Europe in the 20th Century that the Polish Underground produced several leaflets using sex in their anti-Nazi propaganda campaign. This uncoded leaflet believed to have been produced sometime in 1942 depicts a semi nude woman sitting on the lap of a man I assume is a Nazi official. A poor widow is begging for alms and the Nazi is very annoyed at the disturbance. The widow says:
I beg for a small donation. My husband fell in the World War, my son near
The Nazi answers:
Damned, Kätchen, these old women should be sent to the factories; then they will not bother us any longer.
Card AW-33d front Card AW-33d back
German See-through Card AW-33d
German See-through Leaflet AW-35b
The Germans used the same see-through propaganda once again in 1944 to divide the British from their American allies. The method was cruder. While in the earlier full-color cards they had cleverly placed one sheet on top of another to make a very clear picture when the light came through, this time they simply printed the front and the back so that when the light came through the two sides were combined. The cards were on a cheap paper sized about 4 x 6-inches. They printed four series of leaflets on a very thin paper with crude see-through images and text. They are AW33 through AW36, each we believe with additional leaflets with an added a-e. This would seem to indicate 24 leaflets in all, though we cannot be sure that the Germans used all the available codes. The leaflets of the first three series show a dead Tommy lying on his back, lying face down in barbed wire, or in the barbed wire staring wide-eyed at the viewer. The secret images show an American soldier raping a girl, fondling partially undressed women, or having sex with a nude woman on a bed. The messages are short. Examples are, “Your fight / his warfare,” “While you face death,” “Die! / to keep him living,” “Your allies are assisting you / on all fronts” and Where are your Yanks?” These leaflets were designed for Allied troops on the Western Front by the German Skorpion West propaganda organization. It is believed they were printed by the German propaganda company in Paris.
The AW36 series is a bit different. One shows a dead soldier with the words, "White plays." When held to the light, a black man is raping a white woman from behind, and the additional text "Black wins."
German Leaflet S.415
On the subject of
Poland, the Germans prepared a number of leaflets for use against the Free Polish Army fighting with the Allies in . The Psywar Society booklet German Aerial Propaganda Leaflets to Allied Soldiers and Italian Civilians in Italy 1943-1945 states that the propaganda section Sudstern (Southern Star) of the Skorpion Sud (Scorpion South) organization of the German 10th Army did an entire 1600 series that were in the Polish language. A second series coded S with a numeric in the 400s were also all Polish language leaflets. The leaflet above is illustrated in Paper War - Nazi Propaganda in one Italy Battle, on a single day, , May 11, 1944, by Peter Batty. It 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: Cassino, Italy
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
and killed most of its Jews. They blame the Jews for the war, an amazing leap of logic. Some of the text is: Poland
THE JEWS ARE GETTING THE BEST OF IT
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 Would you like to know how your nearest and dearest are, what they think of the war, and how they are yearning for you? If you do, come to us. We assure you an instant return to your Fatherland. Your wives, children and beloved Fatherland await you!
SLOGAN: GO HOME!
The Italian campaign found the German Army well prepared, both from a military and PSYOP Standpoint. The allies cautious advance allowed the Germans to build up a strong defensive force. Once the advance was halted, thousands of leaflets were showered on the American and British troops from aircraft, artillery, rockets and rifle-grenades. Many of these leaflets were sexual, and extremely effective.
The Germans did more than just produce see-through leaflets. One large series consisted of 16 leaflets that appeared to be the cover of Life Magazine on the front along with a sexy picture of a female, but on the back, the title Death, along with a skull wearing a helmet. The dates on the Life side all read November 1944 while the dates on the Death side all read Doomsday 1944. In some of the leaflets, the girl wears an American helmet; in others, she wears a British helmet. The leaflets with the British helmet are coded AI-138-10-44F to AI-145-10-44F. Those with the American helmet are coded AI-146-10-44F to AI-153-10-44F. The coded leaflets above are the smaller size, about 10.5 x 15 cm. There is also a larger uncoded version, about 20.3 x 15.25 cm. Among the poses is a nude sitting on a chair, with a fur coat, kneeling, holding Life Magazine, squatting on a chair, toweling, saluting or in full frontal pose.
The German Propaganda-Abschnitts-Offizier Italien organization printed the AI leaflets for use in Italy. Some were printed in Berlin, others in Italy.
[Authors note: Warning. In 2018, reproductions of these leaflets were offered on EBay for $9.99. Several other German leaflets to the Allies with a sexual theme were also offered].
Letter sent home mentioning the leaflets
As I said above, the Germans believed they were destroying morale with these leaflets, but instead they were increasing the morale of Allied troops and giving them something to talk about and pass around on the cold and damp winter nights. A letter from the front that also contained some of the German Life-Death leaflets says in part:
The enclosed leaflets were dropped by the Germans on the Italian Front in the winter 1944-45. They were very popular among our boys as souvenirs
The Life-Death Leaflet Package covers.
The various leaflets in this series were placed in packages by German propaganda troops to be hand distributed to the enemy. A diagonal gummed label was attached to the package with instructions for the troops in the field that would disseminate the leaflets near the Allied front lines. Some said Only for the English, others said Only for the Americans and some said Only for the English and Americans. Apparently many of the leaflets were "classified" and the Germans did not want their own soldiers reading what was being sent to the enemy. The above lable says:
Only for English speaking opponents. Open in the vicinity of the enemy and then disseminate.
Perhaps we should briefly mention German military propaganda. It is discussed in Black Propaganda in the Second World War,
StanleyNewcourt-Nowodwoski, Sutton Publishing, , 2005. The author tells of Chancellor Hitler forming a propaganda organization under Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, the Ministry for National Enlightenment and Propaganda, abbreviated to Promi. He goes on: UK
But Goebbels was not granted a monopoly in this field. The Reichskriegsministerium, RKM War Office) and its successor, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW High Command of the Armed Forces) jealously guarded their right to conduct propaganda in military manners. In 1938, they concluded an agreement with Goebbels, allowing them to set up Propagandatruppen (Propaganda units). Waffen-SS (the militarized SS) joined the fray in 1940: its propaganda units were steadily expanded and in 1943, received the status of an independent regiment: SS Standarte Kurt Eggers. By 1944, Kurt Eggers took over the imitative from the propagandatruppen in battlefield propaganda.
The author does not mention it but it was Hitlers lack of trust in the loyalty of his army and complete faith in the loyalty of the SS that caused the change in the propaganda hierarchy.
The German military wanted to control their propaganda troops. They formed the Wehrmacht Propaganda Department (Wehrmachtpropaganda-Abteilung - WPr.). During the course of the war, the size of the propaganda troops increased to about division strength (some 15,000 troops) in 1942. There were dozens of unit scattered all over occupied Europe. Some of the units were; Army Command Southeast (Propaganda-Abteilung Südost), Propagandastaffel Kroatien, Propaganda-Abteilung Frankreich (PAF) and from the Air Force Luftwaffe Kriegsberichterkompanie (KBK).
To go into greater detail, the German Propaganda Kompanie Einheiten (PK Units) was comprised of two light reporting teams consisting of a few writers and photographers, and one heavy team with additional movie and radio personnel. Prior to the German invasion of the Sudetenland, eleven propaganda companies were set up: five in the army, four in the Luftwaffe, and two in the navy.
Starting about 1938 they were appointed by propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels Das Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (The Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda - RMVP), but when at the front they came under the command of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces High Command OKW). The arrangement that was agreed upon in 1939 said:
Propaganda is recognized as an essential means of war, equal to armed struggle. The Wehrmacht is responsible for conducting the armed struggle: the propaganda war will be conducted by the RMVP. In the home district, the RMVP carries it out completely independently; in the operations area, in coordination with the OKW.
All of the film shot by the PK was for the exclusive use of the Propaganda Ministry. Adolf Hitler always worried about the loyalty of the Army and eventually moved all of the propaganda sections to the Schutzstaffeln (Protection Squads SS).
In January of 1940 an SS-Kriegsberichter-Kompanie (Waffen-SS war Reporters Company) was established, each equipped with still and movie cameras, and its platoons were attached to the four main Waffen-SS combat formations that fought in the Western Campaign of May and June, 1940. These platoons remained with their respective divisions for the Balkans Campaign in the spring of 1941. During August 1941, the SS-Kriegsberichter-Kompanie was expanded to Abteilung (battalion) strength. Waffen-SS expansion continued to grow throughout the war, and in December 1943 the reporters unit again expanded, this time to regimental size. It also received an honor title at this point, becoming known as SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers. It also received a cuff-title bearing the same name. Kurt Eggers was the former editor of the SS magazine Das Schwarz Korps (The Black Corps). He was killed in action west of
while serving as a tank commander with the 5th SS-Division on 13 August 1943 Kharkov
The chain of command of the Propaganda organization was on a direct line from Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler, to SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, to Kurt Eggers Commander Standartenführer Gunterd Alquen to units such as the German Skorpion propaganda group. The Skorpion units were supplied by regular Army commands but not supervised by them. All guidance came down through the SS.
A brief word about the commander of SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers, SS-Standartenführer Günther d'Alquen. He was interviewed after WWII and asked about the German sex leaflets. When American propagandists were asked about these leaflets they usually said that it was just a way to get the enemy to pick up the propaganda. Günther d'Alquen had a different answer. He had been convinced by the High Command that super V-weapons were just 2-3 months away and told that if he could just slow the Allied advance,
could still win the war. He stated that the sex leaflets (in 1944 and 1945) were used in an attempt to convince the Allies to slow down and not get killed in the last months of the war so that Germany would have time to put the new weapons into use. His interviewer, the author Ortwin Buchbender said that the SS were victims of their own propaganda. Germany
The Skorpion units operated on all fronts; Skorpion East (East Front), Südstern (
Italy), Skorpion-Adria (Balkans) and Skorpion West ( Western Europe). They all produced propaganda for the enemy under the command of the SS Standarte Kurt Eggers. Skorpion West not only produced propaganda for the enemy, it was also tasked with boosting the morale of German troops. It regularly produced leaflets and newspapers for German forces, and the Allies quickly produced black editions of the leaflets with defeatist propaganda cleverly hidden among the news stories.
The Germans also tried to take advantage of the alleged latent anti-Semitic feelings of the Allies. One item dropped during the early stages of the war shows a lovely nude blond holding a copy of the Times. She is wearing a British Army helmet and looking into a full-length mirror. Her image, as shown in the mirror, is that of a dark-haired obviously Jewish woman. She is in an ape-like crouched position with a sinister smirk on her face. In her hand, the mirror image of the Times is reversed and now reads Semit. This is a very imaginative piece of propaganda. It has a sexual image and yet sends the message that the British are fighting the war for the Jews. This particular leaflet was dropped in a number of different versions. The most interesting variety is an 18-piece puzzle dropped in an envelope. The finder put the puzzle together to see the image.
War - Time Postcard
The same vignette also appeared on postcards mailed to the United States by way of the Siberian-Japan mail route in 1940 before America officially entered the war. There were actually three postcards in this set, all anti-British in nature. The German propaganda described the British government as corrupt and controlled by Jews who had held power for many years. These postcards were meant to convince America to stay out of a Jewish-inspired European war. This is rather ironic considering that Hitler will eventually declare war on the United States.
The Germans prepared a set of four anti-Semitic sexually themed leaflets entitled The girl you left behind for use against the Allies in
. They Germans fired a smaller version from artillery in March 1944 and dropped a larger sized leaflet from aircraft in November 1944. They are AI-161-11-44 to AI-164-11-44. The AI code tells us that they were from the organization SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers for use against Allied troops in Italy . There were numerous codes used by this organization, and also some uncoded leaflets. Nobody seems sure of the meaning of all the codes, but in the March 1971 issue of the Psywar Society's journal Falling Leaf and attempt was made to identify the codes. The codes are AF (Amerikaner Farbige - American colored), AI (Abschnittsoffizier Italian), PAI (Propaganda Abteilung Italien), Kr (meaning unknown), and LwP (Werhmachtpropagandaabetilung or perhaps more likely Luftwaffen Propagandaabteilung). Another code is an asterisk or star which has been identified as Südstern (Southern Star) although Klaus Kirchner, the German specialist says that this is incorrect because that was the name of the entire organization in Italy . There is also a triangle which has been identified as Propaganda Einsatz Fuehrer, but again, Kirchner says that all of the Südstern units bore that title. So, there is a lot of confusion about the codes. The SS documents were carefully destroyed at the end of the war so there are few references to the meaning of these codes. We do know that the smaller sized leaflets fired by rockets sometimes has a letter "a" at the end of the code. Italy
All "The Girl you Left Behind" leaflets are crude drawing in a monotone. 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.
The first leaflet shows Sam helping a young girl put on a pair of precious nylon stockings and the text:
Today she is getting sixty dollars
The back is all text:
Sam knows what he wants. Two years ago, comely Joan Hopkins was still a salesgirl behind the ribbon counter in a New York 5 & 10 cents store getting 12 dollars a week. Today she is getting $60 as the private secretary of Sam Levy. Business is excellent and Sam is making a pile of dough on war contracts. FOR HIM THE SLAUGHTER CAN'T LAST LONG ENOUGH. Sam has no scruples about getting a bit intimate with Joan. And why should he have any? Tall and handsome Bob Harrison, Joan's fiancé is at the front, thousands of miles away, fighting for guys like Sam Levy. Joan loves Bob, but she doesn't know WHEN HE WILL COME BACK. Have you seen the other pictures of "The Girl You Left Behind?" AI-161-11-44
The second leaflet shows Sam with his hand on the leg of young Joan while a sleazy butler peeks at the activities. Text on the front is:
Joan is feeling so lonely anyway
Text on the back is:
SAM AT WORK. After his arrival in New York City, cigar-chewing Sam Levy, a steerage passenger from eastern Europe, used to live on the lower East Side not far from the Bowery. Soon he was able to move to upper Broadway. When President Roosevelt took those steps "short of war", Sam had already leased a ten-room apartment on Riverside Drive. Slick-haired home-front warrior Abe Cohen, boss of a government department in Washington, saw to it that his chum Sam would be on the earning end of the war. Rich profits on war contracts let Sam climb up the social ladder, taking two steps at one time. He is now residing in a duplex deluxe apartment on swanky Park Avenue. Why shouldn't Sam invite beautiful Joan Hopkins, his private secretary, former 5 & 10 cents salesgirl, up to his place to have dinner with him and cocktails. Joan is feeling so lonely anyway. More than two years ago, Bob Harrison, the man she wanted to marry, had to leave her for the battlefields of Europe, thousands of miles away. He is fighting there for Sam Levy and his kind. Joan is hoping that Bob will return to her safe and sound. But she knows that many of her girl friends have waited in vain for men who did not return. Sam knows her predicament and he is trying his darndest to cheer her up.
Why, Bob wouldn't know it anyway! And what's a little kiss among friends?" Have you seen the other pictures of "The Girl You Left Behind"? AI-162-11-44
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. The text on the front is:
Poor little Joan! She is still thinking of Bob
Text on the back is:
The way of all flesh. When pretty Joan Hopkins was still standing behind the ribbon counter of a 5 & 10 cents store on 3rd Avenue in New York City, she never dreamed of ever seeing the interior of a duplex Park Avenue apartment. Neither did young Bob Harrison, the man she loves. Bob was drafted and sent to the battlefields in Europe thousands of miles away from her. Through Lazare's Employment Agency Joan got a job as private secretary with wily Sam Levy. Sam is piling up big money on war contracts. Should the slaughter end very soon, he would have an apoplectic fit. NOW JOAN KNOWS WHAT BOB AND HIS PALS ARE FIGHTING FOR. 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 ! She is still thinking of Bob, yet she is almost hoping that he'll never return. Have you seen the other pictures of "The Girl You Left Behind" ? AI-163-11-44
[Authors note: Warning. In 2018, reproductions of this leaflet were offered on EBay for $9.99. Several other German leaflets to the Allies with a sexual theme were also offered].
In the fourth and final leaflet, Joan runs into Bob who has lost a leg at the front and is now on crutches. Text on the front is:
It was a rude awakening for her
Text on the back is:
The moment she dreaded. Forgotten are the days when shapely Joan Hopkins was still selling ribbons in a 5 and 10 cents store in New York City. As private secretary to slick Sam Levy, big money maker in the war business, she rose to be a sugar daddy's darling.
Sam didn't have any cash when he got started. and he doesn't like to be reminded of his early days on the lower East Side. The war was just the right thing for him. Like many other home-warriors, he made the grade piling up dough and growing fat on the sacrifices of those young American boys fighting on foreign battlefields. At heart, Joan is not a bad woman. For over two years, she has not seen her fiancé, clean-cut Bob Harrison, whom she cares for very much. Bob was shipped to Europe to fight for the cause of Sam Levy and his kind. Two years is a long time for any girl. For more than half a year, she had not heard from Bob. He seemed to be among the missing. One sunny afternoon, however, just when Joan and Sam were stepping out of fashionable Bonwit Teller's shop on Fifth Avenue, she was struck speechless by the sight of a man in uniform. It was a rude awakening for her. And it was also a dreadful blow to Bob, for it was he who suddenly stood opposite her - on crutches, one leg amputated. Two lives - lost to one another forever. Have you seen the other pictures of "The Girl You Left Behind"? AI-164-11-44.
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 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.
There was a second set that was similar in many ways. Like the Sam Levy leaflets, they were monotone drawings.. This series of three leaflets was entitled Home Front Warriors and told the story of a draft-dodger who was enjoying the home front while the fighting men suffered at the front. This series deals with voyeurism and temptation. A file stamp on the top of several of these leaflets indicates that they were prepared by the Propaganda Einsatzfuhrer 614 of the Sudstern organization.
The first leaflet shows a female on a ladder reaching for a book. A little flesh appears above her nylon and her skirt is high on her thigh. A man sitting at a desk looks up at exposed her bottom. Text on the front is:
A thought crossed his mind....
Text on the back is:
BILL THE SLACKER. "My mother didn't raise me to be a soldier," said Bill turner to himself as he was called up to appear before the Draft Board. Being the son of a well-to-do father it wasn't difficult for him to get a certificate from sly old Don Ginsburg, the family physician, who willingly stated that Bill had always suffered from "severe heart attacks." A few pills from the corner drugstore helped to put him in the right condition so that the Draft Board simply had to pronounce him unfit for military service. Bill's trump card, however, was his stepping right into the job of Frank Merritt, "honest Frank" his friends called him, as assistant to the manager of a war production plant piling up profits sky-high. Frank had been drafted and sent to the battlefields in Europe thousands of miles away to fight in the RICH MAN'S WAR and perhaps lose his life. He was engaged to pretty Vivian Hope, one of the stenographers in the accounting department, and his leaving for the overseas fighting was a hard blow to the vivacious girl. During the first few weeks in his new job, Bill Turner was so wrapped up in his duties that he hardly noticed the girl. One morning, however, when she came into his office for a reference book, he suddenly realized how beautiful she was. A thought crossed his mind. He made inquiries and found out about the girl and Frank Merritt. But "honest Frank" was fighting in another continent and who knew if he would ever return. Have you seen the other pictures of HOME FRONT WARRIORS? AI-157-11-44.
The next leaflet shows a man at a picnic with a woman. Her legs are open giving him a view. Text on the front is:
It was a memorable day for Bill
Text on the back is:
BILL THE SHEIK. Bill Turner, well-paid assistant to the manager of a war production plant, was one of those many strong young fellows who had made up their minds not to don a soldier's uniform at any cost. Having the right connections, he not only succeeded in that but was now sitting tight in the job that rightfully belonged to Frank Merritt, tall and handsome college football hero. Frank had been sent to Europe to fight for the cause o f Big Business, war profiteers and Wall Street sharks. His fiancée, shapely Vivian Hope, who was working as stenographer in the same plant, had not seen him for over two years. She was lonely and often had the blues. When smartly dressed Bill Turner, who had that definite come-hither look in his eyes, asked her one day in a casual way to go with him to the movies, she didn't mind joining him. That night they saw a picture of a romantic love affair that affected them deeply. It became now a habit for the two to go off somewhere together after work and occasionally they went to a dinner-dance. Vivian did, however, think much of her soldier boy Frank and she wished he would come back soon. She didn't realize, though, that Bill had made up his mind not to let her slip out of his hands. With him, everything was going hunky-dory. When he bought that new roadster he coveted so much, he invited her to go with him on a trip into the country. They went swimming in the lake and then had a free and easy picnic under the trees. It was a memorable day for Bill. What a contrast between the beauty and peace of their surroundings and the mud, dirt and ever present danger of death Frank it-as now facing with so many of his countrymen. When parting in the evening both agreed that they had never enjoyed a day so much in their lives. Have you seen the other pictures of "HOME FRONT WARRIORS"? AI-158-11-44.
[Authors note: Warning. In 2018, reproductions of this leaflet were offered on EBay for $9.99. Several other German leaflets to the Allies with a sexual theme were also offered].
The final leaflet depicts seems to be the final one in the set. Vivian and Bill are in bed and Frank enters, cane in hand. Text on the front is:
In walked a man in a soldiers uniform
Text on the back is:
BILL THE CONQUEROR. "It is better to have a high-paving defense job than to be torn to piece by an enemy shell," thought home front warrior Bill Turner when he jauntily pocketed his fat paycheck. He couldn't help laughing at how he had fooled the Draft Board. Besides, he had another good reason to be in a happy mood. Lovely Vivian Hope, the girl he adored, had hinted that she might accept him, when the other day he had asked her out of a clear sky to marry him. Vivian was working in the same plant as stenographer. and she and Bill Turner had been much together for some time. But between her and Bill stood Frank Merritt to whom she had promised herself. Two years ago - it seemed ages to Vivian - Frank had been shipped overseas to face shells and bullets and perhaps die for the cause of ambitious politicians and war profiteers. For over eight months, Vivian had not heard from Frank. Could he be among the missing? So many young chaps would never return. Perhaps it was a bit reckless of her to ask Bill up to her furnished room on her twenty-fourth birthday to a dainty little dinner she prepared herself. Bill was in good form that night. He had been reading so much in the papers about reconnoitering patrols, shock action, assaulting parties and combined operations that he felt the urge to vie with the best soldier at the front. And "his war" in the seclusion of a scented bedroom was so easy to conduct compared with the hardships and constant danger of death hundreds of thousands of his countrymen were facing every day. However, even the greatest strategists sometimes overlook a trifling but decisive precautionary measure. Bill had forgotten to lock the door. Suddenly it burst open and in walked a man in a soldier's uniform. It was Frank Merritt, who badly wounded had been taken prisoner-of-war. For months, he had been lying in a hospital between life and death before being finally exchanged when his condition had improved. Frank came rushing home to surprise Vivian on her birthday - only to find all his happiness shattered to pieces by a draft dodger. have you seen the other pictures of "HOME FRONT WARRIORS"? AI-159-11-44.
One of the more common German sex leaflets is known as Sagacity Sam. The German philosophy behind this leaflet confuses me somewhat since Sagacity implies a soundness of judgment and might be considered a complement. In fact, none of the text on the front makes much sense. It was dropped on Allied troops in Western Europe in December 1944 and depicts a civilian (The Germans gave him a hooked nose so are probably implying that he is a Jewish war profiteer) drinking champagne while three girls sit on his lap in various stages of nudity. Behind him a line of British soldiers marches off to war. The text is:
You dont have this: the slacker for whom we fight and leave our girls.
Look here: This is the man who stands between you and me.
The back is all text:
SAGACITY SAM SAYS
In our far off land,
Where allsmat hard,
And theres nothing that they need
Life carries on
In that same old song
Of war they give no heed
And far from here,
With wine and beer,
And the luxuries of life.
Sits the business bug
With girls to hug
Or in bed with anothers wife.
Another Propaganda-Abschnitts-Offizier leaflet depicts a smiling naked British girl rolling up her stocking while a U.S. Army Staff-sergeant fixes his tie nearby. Text on the front is:
While you are away.
The back depicts a disfigured British soldier dead on the battlefield. The text is:
The Yanks are 'lend-leasing' your women. Their pockets full of cash and no work to do, the boys from overseas are having the time of their lives in Merry Old England. And what young woman, single or married, could resist such "handsome brute from the wide open spaces" to have dinner with, a cocktail at some nightclub, and afterwards.... Anyway, so numerous have become the scandals that all England is talking about them now. Most of you are convinced that the war will be over in four months. Too bad if it should hit you in the last minute.
This leaflet is actually rather clever. It mentions "Lend-lease," a program where the United States sent weapons and materiel to Great Britain to be paid for after the war. It talks about pockets full of money, which would remind the British of their saying about the Yanks, "overpaid. oversexed, and over here." Finally, the term wide open spaces reminds us that many Europeans believed that America was still the land where the Cowboys and Indians rode the open plains. The leaflet is coded AI-046-8-44.
[Authors note: Warning. In 2018, reproductions of this leaflet were offered on EBay for $9.99. Several other German leaflets to the Allies with a sexual theme were also offered].
At one point in the writing of this article we had to make a decision about what constitutes a sex leaflet. My own opinion was that the leaflet had to use some form of nudity in an attempt to actually arouse the reader. However, it is clear that the enemy used a number of leaflets that simply showed women in attractive poses or used text that was meant to make the reader feel homesick and lower his morale. An example of this is the October 1944 German leaflet above. There is no nudity or any attempt to arouse the soldier by exposing a breast, but the cheerleader is shown with her leg fully raised and the soldier was certainly expected to think about what was covered. The text on the front is:
Have a Good Look at This!
Maybe it is the last good look youll have in your life!
The back is all text:
What are your prospects for the future?
First: You may be killed outright.
Second: You may be totally disabled.
Third: You may wind up in a German P.O.W. Camp.
In the last case you have a chance of having another good look.
We add a few more sex leaflets that make no attempt at pornography below.
Some of theThe Sudstern (Southern Star) leaflets to Allied troops in Italy have codes that start with a five-pointed star (asterisk). One of the more attractive ones disseminated in February 1945 shows a beautiful blond being kissed on the shoulder by a man with slicked-back dark hair. The text is:
Gentlemen prefer blondes.
The back of the leaflet shows a one-legged soldier on crutches and the text:
but blondes dont like cripples.
The leaflet is coded * 1309-2-45.
A similar leaflet probably from the same artist coded 1322-3-45 depicts a man and woman on the front with the text:
To Live for Her
The back depicts Josef Stalin and the text:
Or To Die for Him?
The Sudstern also prepared six very handsome sexual leaflets entitled "The Georgia Series." The leaflets were prepared for use in Italy against the Allies and were disseminated in late 1944. Each of these leaflets is coded with a star and numeric series showing the leaflet number, month and year. The known specimens are "Broadway melody" (*182-10-44), "A puzzle game" (*183-10-44), "His questions remain unanswered" (*329-11-44), "Winter weather ahead" (*330-11-44), "Jolly good time back home" (*331-11-44), and "War ballyhoo at home" (*358-12-44). The last two leaflets (numbers five and six) are known in both large and small format.
Georgia Series No. 1
Georgia No.1 depicts a bare-breasted woman on the front with a big-city skyscraper design in the background. Some of the text is:
Will you ever hear it again?
Keep smiling my boy - such sweet girls as this one you can only have on paper. Cut her out and pin her to the wall, so that at least your tired eyes may have something to feast on .Keep smiling my boy - the "gold-bricks" are doing all this for you. While you are listening to the roar of shells, old Broadway is singing its melody - also without you...While you are fighting and bleeding over here, more than one back home is hoping that you may never come back.
Georgia Series No. 2
Georgia No. 2 depicts a bare-breasted woman in a fancy nightclub. Some of the text is:
A PUZZLE GAME
When have you last been home on furlough? What is the distance between this damn place in Italy and your place back home expressed in kilometers? When have you last had a real Manhattan cocktail at a swell bar Why are you fighting in Italy? (But this you will have to ask the Jewish jobbers in Wall Street, they can surely tell you why!)
Georgia Series No. 3
Georgia No. 3 depicts an attractive woman on a yacht wearing a bathing suit. The back has a 4-stanza poem allegedly found on the dead body of an American soldier. Some of the text is:
His questions remain unanswered
Some politicians, a handful of capitalists and professional warmongers got you into this mess. Thats the situation in a nutshell. Why die for their profit? Better slip over to us some dark night and wait for the end of this damned war in a decent camp .
Georgia Series No. 4
Georgia No. 4 depicts a topless woman holding a camera and wearing a U.S. Army helmet. Behind her a soldier has been hit on the battlefield. Some of the propaganda text is:
WINTER WEATHER AHEAD!
The days are shortening and you are still here. "Beautiful Italy" has changed. That bit of sun during the day cannot warm you any more after you have been lying for days and days in your foxholes perhaps knee deep in water Has it never occurred to you how senseless all this is, and that nobody will give you thanks afterwards?
Georgia Series No. 5
Georgia No. 5 depicts a woman wearing a slip and thinking about the New York City nightlife. Some of the text is:
Jolly good times back home
MONEY FUN DANCING GIRLS
War or no war, the gold-bricks are having their fun. The gold-bricks at home have completely forgotten the war and all its horrors, if they ever gave them a thought. They are not interested in your sufferings and dont care what happen to your families You are wasting your best years in Europe! You are FORGOTTEN AMERICANS.
Georgia Series No. 6
Georgia No. 6 depicts a bare-breasted woman holding a pistol and wearing a U.S. Army helmet. Behind her is a wild party. Some of the text is:
War - ballyhoo at home
Listen pal! Back home the lucky chances are waiting for you around the corner. But you arent there Back in the states they are making hay while the sun shines and HOW! They spend it lavishly, too The schemers in Washington still have big plans in their minds: Jungle war against Japan in India, Burma and China and a Third World War against Soviet Russia WAR BALLYHOO OVER THERE FIGHTING AND DYING OVER HERE.
I always thought that the Georgia series was one of the better German propaganda productions and the photography and artwork appears to have been done by professionals.
A Girl Can Dream Can't She?
The Loretta Young Leaflet Mentioned Below
However, U.S. Fifth Army combat artist Edward Reep does not agree. He says in A Combat Artist in World War II, University Press of Kentucky; 1987:
The German propagandists turned out predictably consistent pornography and outright lies in an attempt to terrorize Allied soldiers to turn one against another...The German leaflets were suffused with sex, bigotry and deceit; all Allied leaders were corrupt Jews, notably politicians and bankers; Negroes at home were sleeping with our sweethearts and wives while we were engaged in a useless, futile war where we would die in battle They used current film stars such as Loretta Young to symbolize our wives and girlfriends, the ideal American beauty, whose portrait had obviously been spirited from a Chevrolet advertisement
The Georgia series consisted of six separate leaflets which revealed a showgirl, unquestionably taken from a German cabaret, in various stages of undress. By the time she had been maneuvered about, retouched, and reconstructed, she bore little resemblance to an American woman; nevertheless, she was supposed to agonize our boys by making them homesick and hungry for female companionship and a warm bed. But instead of causing the deep suffering the Germans contemplated, the leaflets entertained and amused us. Also, they gave us something to do No sooner did the Georgia leaflets flutter to earth than we were running about gleefully yelling, Ive got two Georgia number 5s, anyone got an extra number 3?
Another German full-color leaflet depicts a handsome man fondling a beautiful blond woman in a pink negligee. She stands before a mirror and the reflection shows a caricature of death strangling her husband. Text on the back is:
MIRROR WISE. A precarious story. Joan was in her room and just about to change because she intended to go to the cinema with Bob. She had done that quite often since John, her husband had left for the front. Why shouldnt she? Bob is a good friend of Johns and he certainly wouldnt object. Everybody understands that Joan cannot always sit at home alone for years, without any companionship. Yesterday Bob came a little earlier than usual and entered Joans room just as she was adding the last touch of her rouge. She didnt mind his staying for they were really good friends, and so accustomed to each other. As she rolled her stockings, Bon told her all that he had done during business hours that day; and then she noticed that the elbow of his jacket had a little grease spot; so, she took it and cleaned it. What could anybody think wrong about that among friends? An then, neither knew how it happened, she felt his strong body leaning gently against her, and then, they kissed for a long, long while. Joan was in a dream. She was feeling that marvelous something that she had missed for so long. It was so wonderful. Then she opened her eyes and there was that horror before her. Was it a dream, or was it reality? She looked in the mirror and saw John! John in the arms of another! In the arms of death! But no, it was not John embraced by Death, it was YOU, and it was not Joan looking in the mirror but YOUR wife. Joan is still alone. And so are the millions of other wives and girls. But war goes on.
A pair of crude monotone leaflets depicted a crippled soldier talking to a smug boss and the same boss fixing his tie after having sex with a young lady who seems sad and pensive. In both cases the text on the front is:
Its your job to fight!
Both leaflets are all text on the back. The first is coded A127. The text on the back is:
Hallo Boys from the States.
You did not make big money before the war.
Or else you would not be soldiers now.
Think your going to make a nickel more
When and IF you get out of it?
But those guys who had millions when it started
Will have many more millions when it is over.
Its YOU who takes all the chances.
Its THEY who take all the profit.
What a lovely deal.
Or did Wallstreet-bigwigs Messrs. Morgan & Baruch & Co.
Offer you a share - profit - bargain?
Your jolly juiceless jews
Ever see one in your unit?
But sure they fight:
For bigger and bigger profits.
There is something decidedly wrong
When this sort of thing continues indefinitely
DONT you think?
The second leaflet showing the girl in bed is coded A-129. The text on the back is:
You remember the veterans that took part in the starvation parade to the capital and got treated like bums?
They had been fair and brave fighters in 1918, but they were cheated and their blood only made millions for others.
What is it you want in
Europe? Want to be suckers like those veterans? And yet they were better off, because they had starving German soldiers opposing them with the Reich in a greatly advanced stage of disintegration. And ready to fall apart. Today YOU are opposing fresh well fed and experienced armies outfitted with the best of material.
Do you want to die for jewish jobbers of Wallstreet?
You are defending WHAT? Your country that has not been attacked by anybody?
You want to die for WHOM? For those guys back home who make all the money now and laugh at you later? For Old
that expects every American to do his duty? England
Did you talk to the boys who have been in
? Then you will know what awaits you. Italy
Only there is this difference.
On the Western Front you'll have to try luck against many armies and not only a few divisions as in Italy
If you are lucky enough to get that far, for most of you won't see this side of the West wall.
Go home boys and make sure that grafters and war-boomsters keep away from your women.
Go home boys, for the time has come to get things straight back home.
No use throwing away your life for a business without prospects; for a business that is none of yours after all.
The Germans leaflets coded "A" were prepared for Allied troops in
Italyand in Northern Europe in 1944-1945. Leaflet A-129 was dropped in December 1944.
Leaflet SW-1 depicts a caricature of a Jewish man about to have sex with a semi-naked woman. The text on the front is:
All quiet on the homefront, because your blood pays for their easy life.
The back is all text. Some of the message is:
You have to fight now in
While Messrs. Morgan and Co. Junior give swell parties, maybe with your girl.
While Messrs. Cohn Rabi Moises and Co. grab big profits;
While Messrs. Roosevelt and Co. Junior way back in the rear, boast and show off brand new uniforms.
If youre lucky youll get back home one day.
Youll join the bread lines,
Youll be treated like a bum,
Youll starve job hunting,
as it happened to World War No. 1 fighters in 1918.
The German SW series was produced by their Skorpion propaganda organization and aimed at Allied troops and French civilians in
in late 1944. SW-1 was dropped in October 1944. Normandy
This leaflet is more anti-Semitic than sexual, but the use of the red color is similar to All quiet on the home front above, so I thought we should add it here. The leaflet depicts two caricatured Jews celebrating with semi-dressed women while a black bartender mixes a drink in the background. The leaflet was dropped on Allied troops in
Western Europein January 1945 by the German Skorpion propaganda organization. The text on the front is:
The Kikes expect every Joe to do his duty.
There is a poem on the back that was used on several German leaflets. It says:
If I stop to take a crap,
They say Im helping a Jap.
If I take time off to take a drink,
They say Im cheating a chink.
If I slow down because Im ailin
They say Im robbing Joseph Stalin.
If I dont pay my income taxes,
They say Im helping the whole damn Axis.
So Ill work like Hell and never stop,
I will stay on the job until I drop.
Ill piss in my pants,
Ill shit in my shoes,
And save the world
For the God damn Jews
The German Wehrmacht (armed Forces) used the leaflet code LwP. Later, when Hitler gave the propaganda function to the SS, some army personnel transferred to the SS to continue producing propaganda. Those who chose not to, or were not wanted by the SS were sent to the front lines. The SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers continued to use the LwP code on some of their leaflets in
even after they replaced the army units about December 1943. The LwP code is found on several leaflets with the same title. One depicts an American soldier grappling with a British girl and the text: Italy
Indeed, and amusing war for the Americans.
This title is on five leaflets, each in two sizes. The codes are LwP-122/2 44, LwP-122/4 44, LwP-124/4 44, LwP-125/4-44 and LwP-126/4 44.The sizes are 15 x 21cm and 9 x 15cm. The smaller size was probably for the German propaganda rocket Propaganda Geschoss 41. In all cases, the text uses a divide and conquer theme and implies that while the British are at the front, the Americans are back in Great Britain with their wives and girl friends.
To the British Forces, anti-American leaflets were used in another attempt to drive a wedge between the allied forces. Leaflet A1037a-2-44 shown above is an example of this type of leaflet. The a usually indicates a smaller sized leaflet for rocket delivery. The leaflet depicts an American Sergeant in bed with a British girl, and the words:
You Americans are so different.
On the reverse is a brief propaganda message stating:
The Yanks are putting up their tents in merry old England. They've got lots of money and loads of time to chase after your women.
Another German leaflet produced in April 1944 for use against British troops in Italy depicts a lovely bare-breasted girl wearing panties and nylons looking into a large vanity mirror while her American boyfriend stands by dressed only in a bathrobe. The text at the bottom of the leaflet is "Indeed, an amusing war - FOR THE AMERICANS." The leaflet is coded with a small triangle and the numbers 126/4 44. The triangle shows that the leaflet is a "delta" product, printed by the Propaganda-Einsatz-Führer organization of the German 14th Army.
The back is all text. It is too long and repetitious to translate in full, but attacks the Americans and claims that 70% of the GIs are still training in England while the British Tommies are fighting and dying at the front. It tells the story of a girl named Dorothy and her meeting with an American officer. The text is in part:
The young American turned out to be a very nice chap. He was entertaining, he played tennis and danced marvelously. And Dorothy learnt to laugh again.
And she learnt to live again. But in order to live, a young woman needs more than a letter now and again and three weeks a year of being together with the man she loves.
It did not take long until the incidence shown in our picture had taken place.
You don't believe it, you think this is only German propaganda? Surely - but the Americans help us in making the propaganda. They furnish us with the facts, and we only need to write the corresponding texts.
Ask your pals, and you will be astonished to learn how many happy marriages in England have been wrecked, thanks to the Americans.
Still another anti-American leaflet to the British forces coded * 341-12-44 was one that depicted a pair of men's shoes on the floor next to a chair with a man's uniform piled on it. The implication was that the Americans were in England sleeping with the wives or girlfriends of the British soldiers while they were away fighting the war. The short poem on the leaflet reads:
He's fighting on the Battlefield
His room he does not use
So tell me, tell me if you can
To whom belong the shoes?
The British also received their share of pornographic leaflets at Normandy. One item shows a happy "slacker" surrounded by three semi-nude girls. In the background are British soldiers marching off to war led by a grinning helmeted symbol of death. The text is:
Poor Jerry. You don't have this: The slacker for whom we fight and to whom we leave our girls. Look here: This is the man who stands between you and me.
Do I know Americans?
This small uncoded Black WWII divide-and-conquer cardboard leaflet was disseminated by the Germans in August 1944. Curiously, the Germans hoped that British would think that it was an Allied product and ordered that it not be disseminated with other German leaflets. It was targeted at British troops and the Propaganda-Zug Panzerarmee West specifically stated that it was not to be dropped on Canadians and should only be disseminated very sparingly. The leaflet depicts a British girl meeting an American who quickly seduces her and leaves her crying in the park. Text on the back in part is:
DO I KNOW AMERICANS?
Two women met on a
street. One said to the other, Do you know American soldiers? The other replied, Do I know American soldiers? Why just the other day the old man said to me, Go down and get me a bucket of ale. So I goes down the street with me bucket and who do I meet but an American soldier. Before I could say Trafalgar Square, he grabs me by the ass, shoves me under a tree, strips me bloomers off, downs me, ins me, outs me, wipes his tallywacker on me bloomers, drinks me old mans ale, pisses in the bucket and stalks off whistling God Save the King. And you ask me if I know American soldiers. London
All of the Indeed an Amusing War - for the Americans leaflets depict American soldiers and British women standing, as does the above leaflet which seems to imply that the American had sex with the girl standing up against a tree. John Costello talks about this position in Love, Sex and War: Changing Values, 1939-45, William Collins,
, 1985. London
The American servicemen also discovered from the streetwalkers that The English had a curious custom of fucking on foot, fully clothed. It became a trademark of the Piccadilly Warriors to call Hey Yank, quick Marble Arch style! But there were also many girls who were not prostitutes who believed that you couldn't get pregnant standing up, and wall jobs soon became part of every GI's wartime vocabulary. One Jewish chaplain, puzzled to see so many of his men wearing their greatcoats in Birmingham on a June evening, was shocked to discover that they were wrapped around girls during alfresco couplings in parks and dark side-streets The blackout, it appears, made the British policeman even more of a friendly bobby who could be relied on to turn a blind eye to couples making-out in the dark sanctuary of a convenient telephone box or doorway and US military police were more concerned with rowdy drunken GIs than with breaking up the trysting couples.
For Officers Only vs For Men Only
In December of 1944 the Germans dropped another leaflet on American troops in both Italy and Western Europe. The leaflet was produced by the German propaganda organization Skorpion West. The leaflet is uncoded. This time, they tried to create friction between officers and the enlisted men. The front of the leaflet depicts a wounded soldier being treated by a medic. Just behind the pair, a third soldier is shown in the process of being hit by enemy fire. The text is:
For Men Only
On the back, a couple shares a passionate embrace on a couch. The text is:
For Officers Only
This leaflet has a crinkled appearance, indication that it was delivered by either an artillery shell or a rifle-grenade.
Another German leaflet series bearing sexual images is the Skorpion West newspaper "Lightning News." The Germans dropped this one-page newsletter over Allied troops on the western front during late 1944. Each issue had a pin-up photo at the upper right hand corner. The issue of 24 October 1944 depicts an attractive brunette in black bra and panties looking at a bird in a cage. The text is:
The lonesome beauty. Certainly, she would be only too glad to tell you about her sexual desires. Sorry, the canary is the only available companion.
The 31 October issue depicted a bare-breasted female mixing a drink in a cocktail shaker. The text is:
Gee, it would be swell to be back home and mix a few cocktails with her.
By January 1945, the newspaper expanded to four pages. The pin-up now appeared at the upper right of page four. It showed a nude woman in bed and the word "remember?"
Toward the end of the war in November 1944, the Germans became more desperate. The Allies were breaching their Festung Europa and Germany was retreating on all fronts. The leaflets became more pornographic in a last-ditched attempt to somehow slow the Allied forces. The German propagandists of Skorpion West prepared and dropped an anti-morale leaflet coded "E." on British troops in northwest Europe. The front of the leaflet depicts Death, in a British Army helmet, caressing a beautiful naked woman. The text is "Tommy, your next leave." The back is in the form of a poem:
This war is simply lovely
A paradise on earth
A perfect seventh heaven
Creating endless mirth.
The blood and countless murder
Which happens every day
Is lifes sweet entertainment
Lets hope "one comes" our way.
Our sad distressed dependents
Our Margerys and our Joans
Will have no rending heartaches
Theyll never even moan.
Then as a fallen hero
Theyll write a touching theme
Of war and death delightful
Oh war a perfect dream.
Another late leaflet code number 982144/26, was disseminated by the Germans Skorpion West Organization starting in December 1944. This air dropped, and artillery shell disseminated leaflet was used at Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge as well as other fronts in Europe known to be occupied by U.S. Soldiers, to include the Rhine Crossing Battle and Remagen during the attack on Germany. The leaflet depicts a half naked woman laying on a couch, holding a cigarette and daydreaming of her evening out. The text on the front of the leaflet reads:
It was a nice evening with drinks, kisses - and then the gorgeous night... Isn't this...
The reverse of the leaflet is all text and reads:
Yes, it is the wife of Joe Jones or of one of your other boys. She dreams of last night. In her thoughts she is enjoying the wonderful hours again which she has just spent with her new friend.
Don't grudge her these nights. She is young and beautiful. The human body and its desires are powerful. At first she tried very hard to remain faithful but she lost this battle against herself as thousands of wives and girls back home did before her. It all started with an evening out, with going to the movies and to some bar, but soon it became real love.
Only by the picture at her side she is occasionally reminded of her husband who is - for months now - somewhere in Western Europe, fighting a stubborn enemy, freezing and suffering in a muddy foxhole. But as time passes she thinks of him more and more seldom. Now she does not even turn his picture to the wall when another man is staying with her and holding her in her arms.
Leaflet 12 AG-20 - My Name is Joe Jones
Curiously, this German leaflet might have been in answer to an Allied leaflet. The 12th Army Group after-action report mentions some special leaflet operations:
As occasion demanded, Group asked for and sometimes produced leaflets for special occasions. On the request of the field commander a leaflet was written and produced by group to serve as an advance calling card for the imminent arrival of American troops. This was printed in color (The American flag) and with the picture of a typical American combat soldier. It was just called, "My Name is Joe Jones" and presented the thoughts of Joe Jones in the first person. Joe told the Germans that Americans had not changed since occupying Germany in the last war; that Americans were out after a lasting peace and were smashing the German Army for that purpose; that Germans who behaved themselves and had clear records had nothing to fear, but that Nazi criminals and those who resisted would be crushed.
Another German Sudstern propaganda leaflet coded AI-177-12-44 depicts four nude chorus girls holding signs that spell out 1945. This leaflet was for both American and British troops in Italy. Beneath the bare-breasted girls is the text:
Happy New Year!..
The back of the leaflet depicts a parade of injured veterans walking wearing sandwich-boards reading:
Wanted: Any job!
Lost left eye for Uncle Sam. Want job as watchman.
Lost one arm for
. Must support a wife and 2 children! America
Disabled in action! Education: High School. Take job as Bus Boy, Dishwasher, Clerk.
Text at the bottom of the leaflet is:
Your 1945 Prospects if you should return at all
Slave Trade 1944
The Germans also produced political and anti-Semitic leaflets for the Russian that used sex as part of the theme. This leaflet depicts Stalin sitting on a skull-topped throne with a Jewish Menorah in the background and bags of money marked for traitors services at his side. The dictators boots are being licked by the King of England, while two other leaders pay homage and three nude women, probably representing the Three Graces who presided over Beauty, Charm and Joy are depicted chained in the background. These good qualities are enslaved, offered for sale on the slave market by the Russians. Curiously, the two stanza poem beneath the image is in German, not Russian. I assume it was first produced for Nazi readers, and later reproduced for the Russians. The text is:
Slave trade 1944
Here rests with all its parts the
British Empire. It died of its own ideas. Is Rooseveltthe heir? No Stalin
Atlantic Charter is written on this tombstone. It covers the most rotten bones that politics has ever created The wise man reads it, turns around and laughs.
The cartoon is signed Lindloff, and is most likely Hans-Maria Lindloff (1878-1960). Lindloff was political cartoonist who worked for a number of magazines including the Kladderadatsch, a famous German satirical magazine.
The Government of Japan attempted many times to alienate the allied forces protecting Australia. The Japanese aimed their "Divide and conquer" tactics at the Aussie Troops fighting in New Guinea and Papua.
Their attitude toward this subject is mentioned by Lieutenant Colonel Mahmood Kan Durrani in The Sixth Column, Cassell and Company, 1955. The LTC was a prisoner of the Japanese and quotes a lecture given by a Japanese officer on how leaflets should be prepared. One of his six recommendations was:
The leaflet should have, if possible, the picture of a beautiful woman, after the method used by the Germans in the First World War. This device would insure that the soldier would be attracted and would be unable to resist looking at the picture over and over again. This would rouse his passion, and his heart would be inclined for love and to hate fighting.
On one full-color anti-American leaflet, we find a slick American officer holding a young semi-exposed lady who is in the process of struggling for her freedom. We see some buttocks and cleavage. A ragged Australian soldier stands on a depiction of New Guinea. Text over him is, "Australia screams." The Aussie: "What was that scream. Something up?" Meanwhile the American officer tries to quiet his victim and says, "The Yank: "Sh..Sh..Quiet Girlie, Calm yourself. He'll be on the next casualty list. No worry."
The Japanese might have desired something more to the point. A much more graphic leaflet was prepared and dropped over the Australian troops fighting in the jungles of New Guinea. In this leaflet, the glorified American now appears in civilian dress with slicked-downed hair and a moustache. The caricature is right out of a Grade B Movie. He is making love to a beautiful Australian girl. The text is:
That goes double. The slick Yank (In Melbourne): Take your sweet time at the front Aussie-- I got my hands full right now-- with your sweet toots at home.
Below the picture of the happy couple the Australian soldier runs through the jungle with his pants down, chasing a leaf-covered native girl through the jungle.
This leaflet dropped on New Guinea by the Japanese is one of a number of folding or trick leaflets that the Japanese created. When fully folded on the ground it seems to be just a regular leaflet, but when unfolded it has an anti-morale, anti-American message. The leaflet is 7 1/8-inches by 3 3/8-inches folded and 7 1/8-inches by 10-inches unfolded. At first glance we see just an Australian soldier and his wife in bed. The text is:
Your happiness at home in Australia
After some manipulation of the folds we see the bare-breasted Australian wife waving at her husband on the battlefield with explosions and a burial cross nearby. The text is simply:
After further manipulation the Australian soldier is depicted again in battle at the top and his wife is now apparently being assaulted by an American soldier below. The text in the center of the vignette with a background of helmets and skulls is:
That American war mongers may indulge in this!
We were the Happiest of Couples
This leaflet depicts a man and a woman meeting, and then saying goodbye to each other, he now in uniform. As in most anti-morale leaflets, the next time we see the wife she is in the arms of another man. What is a bit odd in this leaflet is that the Japanese seem to have taken a theme from the Germans and the civilian slacker has the look of the caricatured big-nosed Jew. Death is watching in the background so we assume her true love has been killed at the front. As in most Japanese leaflets, the back is blank. The text is:
We were the happiest of couples
Until our tearful parting, Oh, how she wept!
But no sooner had I left, my wife was told that Id never come back.
This Japanese leaflet is very interesting because it uses almost a Vargas Girl kind of pin-up. The girl is painted in a very colorful and artistic pose with one breast revealed. The Japanese used this same kind of pin-up in a number of Christmas cards to American soldiers of
Guadalcanal. She reads a letter and yawns. The finder of the leaflet is reminded that she is bored and is craving company:
Ho hum I cant help yawning, reading the same old letter. Will he never know that a healthy and normal girl like me craves something more than a dry letter to keep her from getting bored?
A Gift for a Captor
Collector Benjamin Craig had this unusual painting done by a Japanese Prisoner-of-war named Ko Kin Rai who apparently drew it for one of his U.S. Army guards, Technical Sergeant Homer Austin, in 1945. It is painted on a cotton and is based on a January 1944 Vargas calendar pinup. The signature says “Taiwan” so the prisoner was probably a colonial Taiwanese drafted into the Japanese army.
In this full-color one-sided Japanese leaflet the Aussie soldier finds himself entwined with the feminine figure of Death. It is not really a sexual leaflet, but I notice Death has a bare breast behind his right shoulder. The message is short and straight-forward.
Beware young man! The lady will get you if yo dont watch out. Youll never see those green hills at home again once her clutches tighten on you .and shes got a fairly good grip right now .there is only one way out .
Here I am
This is one of the strangest Japanese sex leaflets that I have seen. It depicts a naked woman looking at a banana and apparently about to use it as a sex toy. The text is:
HERE I AM IN PERSON!
Honey, look in the back for my love call
The back shows two hands holding the leaflet. Notice that on the front there is a blank space around the vaginal area (a white square). On the back the lower hand has placed a finger through that blank space. Apparently the soldier is expected to cut that blank space out and then have sex with the picture with his finger. Oh, those tricky Japanese!
This Japanese leaflet looks almost German. The Germans produced a number of leaflets with slick Jews and slackers taking advantage of the soldiers girlfriends back home. This leaflet depicts a rich and handsome civilian enjoying a drink with an attractive girl on his lap and the bed just peeking out from the background. He winks and says:
Yes, we thank you for all this and Heaven knows for more.
Although not sexually explicit, what makes this item particularly interesting is this is a very intricate Japanese trick leaflet for New Guinea and quite well done. The folded leaflet is 5 5/8-inches by 9-inches folded and 5 5/8-inches by 14 1/16-inches unfolded. At first it appears to show just an Australian soldier and his wife embracing. The text is:
The unforgettable embrace under the beautiful moon with the warmth of HER shapely body nestled against yours: that blood-tingling kiss: that over powering sense of passion that sweeps over you These and many other pleasant youll be able to live again if you throw down your arms, surrender and prepare to get out of this hell-hole.
We should mention that the Allies were very careful not to use the word surrender to the Japanese because it was known that the term I cease resistance was preferable and caused no loss of face within the enemy ranks. However, the Japanese were not so courteous and had no trepidation about using the word surrender in leaflets for Allied soldiers.
When the folded leaflet is manipulated you still see the soldier s undamaged legs, but now he is dead on the battlefield near barbed wire. The new text at the top is:
BUT if you continue to resist - Then under the beautiful tropical moon, only DEATH awaits you. Bullet holes in your guts - agonizing death! You have two alternatives. Take your choice.