German Propaganda Archive Calvin University

Background: The Nazis viewed England, France, and the United States as degenerate nations with, however, some good points. The Soviet Union and its leader Joseph Stalin, on the other hand, were evil incarnate (save for the interregnum of the German-Soviet alliance). Cartoons during the 1930’s presented Stalin as the butcher of his own people. Once the Germans attacked he became the butcher of Europe, even the world.

The source: Taken from my own collection or from the University of Heidelberg’s on-line collections. Theirs are available under a Creative Commons License.

Nazi Caricatures of Joseph Stalin

Stalin caricature

Caption: “The Comrade...” The caption says: “‘Under’ the Red father!”

With the exception of the period from August 1939 - June 1941 Stalin was a regular feature of Nazi caricature. He made a rather easy target, since his list of victims was long.

Source: Brennessel, #22/1936. My collection.

Nazi caricature of Stalin

Caption: “Soviet elections are approaching.” Stalin is about to introduce two thugs to beat up the Soviet citizen in the background.

Source: Brennessel, #36/1937. My collection.

Nazi caricature

Caption: “Council of war in the Kremlin.” At the bottom: “Stalin amid his generals.” The Great Purges were in progress and made excellent propaganda from the Nazi perspective.


Source: Brennessel, #37/1937. My collection.

Nazi caricature

Caption: “Triumph of technology.” Stalin watches with satisfaction as Soviet citizens are murdered on the assembly line.

Source: Brennessel, #38/1937. My collection.

Nazi caricature

This is one of the few Nazi cartoons that presented Stalin favorably. In the first three frames Stalin listens as Britain and France propose to encircle Germany. The French will attack from the West, the British will attack on the seas. In the final frame, Stalin walks off to the distress of France and England, saying: “...and we won’t be coming from anywhere!” Since the treaty with the Soviet Union was awkward from the Nazi perspective, the Soviet Union and Stalin were largely ignored until the invasion of the Soviet Union began in 1941.

Source: Freiburger Zeitung (Abendausgabe), 25 August 1939.

Nazi caricature

Stalin had ordered that Soviet troops who surrendered to the Germans were to be shot if recaptured. His son was either captured or surrendered shortly after the German invasion. Stalin allededly refused to trade him for Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, remarking: “I will not trade a Marshal for a Lieutenant.” Recent scholarship doubts that the accuracy of the story.

Source: Kladderadatsch, #32/1941. Heidelberg collection.

Nazi caricature

After stunning initial successes, the German offensive faltered as winter arrived. The Soviets staged some alarming counterattacks. In this cartoon from late winter, Stalin charges in vain against on-coming German boots.

Source: Lustige Blätter, #9/1942. My collection.

Nazi caricature

Caption: “They believe they are the puppeteers, but in fact they are the real puppets.”

After Stalingrad, Stalin was often presented as the real power within the Allied coalition — although he was in turn a puppet of the Jews. Here, Roosevelt and Churchill play with smaller countries, but Stalin directs them.

Source: Kladderadatsch, #15/1944. Heidelberg collection.

Nazi caricature

Caption: “March!”

Published a month after D-Day, Stalin orders Roosevelt and Churchill to march into Europe.

Source: Kladderadatsch, #37/1944. Heidelberg collection.


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