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Vintage Ads: American Advertisers Take on Hitler

Published: May 30, 2018

As the United States began to realize the significant threat of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party to Europe and the world, the importance of the need to defeat him grew. This urgency was reflected in the advertisements of the era, whether they were appealing to fear of the Nazis, pride in American troops, or bravery in the face of danger.

 

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The Saturday Evening Post
Memo to Adolf Hitler
August 8, 1942
(Click to Enlarge)

“The spirit of America, made great and strong by the sacrifices and lessons and achievements of the past, goes on to a brilliant new future.”

 

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Alcoa Aluminum
How Do You Like ‘em, Mr. Hitler?
August 15, 1942
(Click to Enlarge)

“You never figured, did you, Mister Hitler and Mister Yamamoto, that just this one outfit, sixty thousand Americans with an awful lot of know-how, would be able to push out so much metal to make so many planes so soon?”

 

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North American Aviation, Inc.
3 Reasons Why These 3 Can’t Win!
August 29, 1942
(Click to Enlarge)

“Hitler and Hirohito are the real suckers. They actually kid themselves into believing we are not the United States. Here are three facts of the kind they hate to learn.”

 

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RCA Victor
Mr. Hitler, Take a Look at This!
November 28, 1942
(Click to Enlarge)

“Take a good look. Because this little group is symbolic of a larger group of over 130,000,000 who are going to lick the stuffing out of you.”

 

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American Electric Companies
Don’t Say I Didn’t Tell You!
January 23, 1943
(Click to Enlarge)

“And back of it all, of course, is the American way of life at work—where free men are encouraged to invent, invest, produce, and everybody benefits—a way of life the little rabble-rousing, rug-biting dictator will never understand—until, perhaps, in some shadowy hereafter, he hears his old commander mutter: “I told you so.””

 

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American Locomotive
A High Honor for Your Daughter
February 20, 1943
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“You they may cast aside and put to some ignominious task, such as scrubbing the sidewalks or sweeping the streets. But your daughter…well, if she’s young and healthy and strong, a Gauleiter with an eye for beauty may decide she is a perfect specimen for one of their experimental camps.”

 

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Texaco
Mommy…who was Hitler?
February 20, 1943
(Click to Enlarge)

“We as individuals must conserve our cars . . .our gasoline . . . our tires . . . buy war bonds and stamps. . . and help in every way we can. There must come a day when children will ask . . .”Mommy, who was Hitler?”

 

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Vultee Aircraft, Inc.
Hitler Came the Closest…by Using the Air
March 6, 1943
(Click to Enlarge)

“This, the first global-war, is the birth pain of the human race entering its greatest era, the Air Age. To hasten victory, our entire aviation industry continues to perform miracles of war-plane production. But the ocean-of-air will remain after this war, and we must remain dominant in it. To that end too Vultee labors, because the Air Age has just begun.”

 

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Cutler-Hammer Motor Control
Cradle of Conflict
March 27, 1943
(Click to Enlarge)

“Either the oppressed must be raised to a decent level of living or we must sink to theirs. The wonders of the “American Way” of making things by machine to get low costs without low wages must be victorious now or Hitler’s substitute is the pattern for your future and your children’s future for generations to come.”

 

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General Electric
Lamps without Light
July 17, 1943
(Click to Enlarge)

Hitler’s plants today are ablaze with darkness…Because no wizardry of lamp-making can put the light of hope into a worker’s eyes. The kind of light you’ll find in the eyes of American men and women who man our plants. This inner light which is the driving force behind the greatest production job in all history.”

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  • These are all very dramatic ads that don’t pull any punches, weren’t afraid to depict Hitler (and/or) the swastika in most of the ads.

    Americans of that time were ‘on the same page’ with a common goal of the common good, which at this critical time was defeating Hitler and all others from taking over the world by any means necessary.

    These ads were viewed with pride by the companies putting them out at the time, and by the Post readers at home in their own copies. Today, in a comparable situation Americans (excluding our military) would fall into 2 categories: those who wouldn’t care at all, and worse still, those who would be upset crybabies having meltdowns of ‘You can’t say that!’ ‘That’s offensive to some people!’ ‘I have issues* with ads like that!’ This is the wussed-out, weak stick mentality we have today, and where we’re at as a nation because of it speaks for itself.

    (* A word SOOOO inappropriately overused instead of the real word, PROBLEM, that it’s come to mean nothing at all, AND as a result we have A LOT MORE PROBLEMS!)