“HALT THE HUN!“ screams this 1918 poster in red capital letters. Beneath this headline is a drawing sketched in black of an American soldier pushing back a German soldier who has a bloody hand on the shoulder of a terrified woman holding a small child. Flames lick at objects behind them, and the yellow/gold background color suggests a smoky haze that comes from a world on fire.
This World War I poster printed by the U. S. Government was intended to stir up hatred for the Germans (“the Huns”) and motivate Americans to support the war effort by buying U.S. government bonds. The purpose of these bonds was to finance the war effort.
Henry Patrick Raleigh (1880-1944), a prominent American illustrator of the era, designed this poster.
Vintage posters which are visual accounts of historical events are often more powerful teachers of history than textbooks. The adage, “A picture is worth one thousand words,” is certainly true here, as words in a book could not possibly have the visceral impact that this illustration has.
This classic WWI poster would be a valuable addition to a collection of historical posters from the WWI era.