Guide to the World War II Propaganda Collection, 1939-1945


The collection includes pro-Allied, anti-Allied, pro-Axis, and anti-Axis propaganda leaflets and broadsides that were distributed in Europe and the Pacific war zones with the aim of damaging enemy morale and sustaining the morale of the occupied countries. Also includes a set of Special Service I.B.S. posters warning soldiers against venereal disease.

Collection Details

Collection Number
World War II propaganda collection
0.5 Linear Feet, 400 items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English, German, Japanese, French, Tok Pisin, Russian, Finnish, Burmese

Collection Overview

The collection includes pro-Allied, pro-Axis, and anti-Allie and anti-Axis propaganda in the form of flyers, broadsides, and leaflets that were distributed or dropped in the United States, England, Germany, occupied France, and the Pacific arena from 1939 and 1945. The majority of the leaflets are in German and were dropped by the Political Warfare Executive (PWE) over Germany. There is also a significant run of anti-Semitic, anti-Bolshevik, pro-German broadsides published by Theodor Kasse and the Deutscher Fichte-Bund of Hamburg, Germany, in English and intended for Allied audiences. The collection also contains propaganda leaflets from the Psychological Warfare Branch, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Area, APO 500, most of which are in Japanese (most with English translations), some of them in Tok Pisin. There are also leaflets from the French exile government dropped over occupied France (in French, most accompanied by English translations); some propaganda newsletters, magazines and newspapers from France and the Netherlands (in English translation); German propaganda in English intended for dropping over Great Britain; some examples of Japanese propaganda (in Japanese); and a few single leaflets in Finnish, Russian, and Burmese. One notable portion of the collection is a set of broadsides illustrated by Pvt. Franklyn, printed by Special Service I.B.S., targeting American soldiers and warning them against loose women who may be infected with venereal disease. These posters often include the campaign's catchphrase, "Leave 'Em Alone! Don't be a Dope with a Dose."

More Biographical / Historical Info

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], in the World War II Propaganda Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Propaganda leaflets by Allies for Europe (in German), 1940-1945
(6 folders)

Includes propaganda leaflets in German dropped by British intelligence "Political Warfare Executive" (PWE) over Germany (many with accompanying English translations). Includes an issue of the "Sternenbanner" from Jan. 25, 1944 (in Folder 1).

Box 1
Propaganda leaflets by Germany (in English), undated
(2 folders)

Includes propaganda leaflets in English, mainly anti-American and anti-Bolshevist.

Box 1
Deutscher Fichte-Bund broadsides (largely in English, some German), 1940s

Scattered issues, numbers range from 312-1352. Pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic, anti-Bolshevik broadsides, printed in Hamburg.

Box 1
Deutscher Fichte-Bund press releases, issued by Theodor Kessemeier (in English), 1930s-1940s
Box 1
German political cartoons (with English translations), 1940s
Box 1
Propaganda leaflets for the Pacific Area (in Japanese, Tok Pisin; with English translations), 1941-1945
(3 folders)

Includes mainly propaganda leaflets in Japanese dropped by the Psychological Warfare Branch, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Area, APO 500 over the Pacific area (with English translations) as well as some leaflets in Tok Pisi (Folder 1) and some examples of Japanese propaganda (Folder 1).

Box 1
Propaganda leaflets by the French Exile Government for Occupied France (in French; with English translations), 1940-1945

Includes propaganda leaflets in French dropped by the French exile government over French occupied territory (some with English translations), some aimed at the French population, some at the German soldiers.

Box 1
Miscellaneous propaganda newsletters, magazines, and leaflets (in English and other languages), 1944-1945 and undated

Includes German (Frontpost), English (The Harbinger of Freedom, The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Army Talks), Dutch (The Flying Dutchman), and French (Voir) propaganda newletters and magazines, some in English translations; a Red Cross leaflet for the registration of prisoners of wars; as well as one Finnish, one Russian, and one Burmese leaflet.

Box 1
Special Service I.B.S. broadsides warning U.S. soldiers against transmission of venereal disease, 1940s

Scattered numbers from a series (contains numbers 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13). Authored/illustrated by Pvt. Franklyn. Includes some color illustrations as well as the catchphrase: "Leave 'Em Alone! Don't be a Dope with a Dose."

Box 1

Historical Note

Biographical / Historical Note

During World War II, the Political Warfare Executive (PWE) was a British clandestine body created to produce and disseminate both pro-Allied and anti-Axis propaganda, with the aim of damaging enemy morale and sustaining the morale of the occupied countries.

The Psychological Warfare Division was a joint effort between the United States and Great Britain, and conducted similar operations during and following D-Day, 1944.

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Purchase, 2007 (2008-0161), 0.1 lin. ft.

Gift, 2008 (2008-0316), 0.1 lin. ft.

Purchase, 2015 (2015-0161), 0.1 lin. ft.

Purchase, 2016 (2016-0257), 0.1 lin. ft.

Portions of this collection were acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture and the History of Medicine Collections (Duke University). Other portions of this collection were acquired as a transfer from the Perkins Library collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Sandra Niethardt and Meghan Lyon, October 2015

Encoded by: Meghan Lyon, October 2015

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2008-0161, 2008-0316, 2015-0161, 2016-0257.