War posters 1940-1945 > The first year of the war

After the Dutch army's swift capitulation in May 1940, all the necessary ingredients for a German propaganda offensive seemed to be present. The Dutch population, still in shock, was receptive to indoctrination in the first months of the occupation. But contrary to expectations, the Germans did not produce an endless stream of National Socialist propaganda. They wanted to let the Dutch discover the blessings of National Socialism by themselves, and exercised restraint in their efforts. Hardly any propaganda posters were therefore printed in the Netherlands in 1940.

A notable exception is a German poster from the summer of 1940 bearing the text: 'English fliers know no mercy for peaceful civilians. Therefore, stay home.' This placard brought forth many reactions and thus served its purpose completely: to offer food for thought about the English air-raids on the Netherlands.

Examples from this collection War posters 1940-1945

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