Looking Back at Classic WWII Posters

Most may not be familiar with the images above, but for some, these classic WWII posters were the sight they always would see in between the years 1939 to 1945. While a number of these classic WII posters and their unforgettable memes have enjoyed a resurrection these past years, some have been confined in between the pages of history.

The world had just commemorated the Second World War’s 75th anniversary. Looking back, it’s very difficult to imagine what everyday life was like – beyond the attacks – in those times. How would the people living in today’s indulgent materialistic lifestyle would have dealt with the deprivations that war brought especially in the countries involved and affected by it? How would have they dealt with going through one day of ‘digging for victory’ then go home and have a dinner of spam and eggs?

In a world where there’s internet service, TV and the likes with groceries bursting at the seams with food items found from all over the world, grim realities such as how it was during WWII would seem unthinkable.

Way back in those days, there were over hundreds of classic WWII posters made and produced to boost the morale of the public as the war raged on. These classic WWII posters also acted as sources of information since in those times, the radio and newspapers were the primary to-go-to for news. Other classic WWII posters, like the “Don’t do it, Mother — leave your children in safe places”, served as apt reminders to the public.

One of the most famous classic WWII posters is the 1939 motivational quote “Keep Calm and Carry On”. It was issued in the face of inescapable bombing attacks of the Luftwaffe. These past years, this classic quote saw a revival in memes that say “Keep Calm and Drink Coffee” or “Now Panic and Freak Out”.

No matter what memes evolve from these classic WWII posters, let us all look back and see that these have contributed greatly and were important propaganda tools to keep the home front going.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE