By Professor David Welch
Last updated 2011-02-17
After the failure to invade Britain in 1940, with Göring's Luftwaffe decisively checked in the Battle of Britain, Hitler switched his attack and invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.
The anti-Bolshevik motif was central to the Nazi Weltanschauung ('world view'). The movement had created an environment in which Communists, together with Jews, formed the main target of Nazi propaganda and violence. Russia figured not only as the centre of world Communism, but also as the repository of international Jewry.
The anti-Bolshevik poster above proclaims that Germany has destroyed Great Britain (depicted as one graveyard, with Churchill's grave symbolically prominent), and shows how the mailed fist of Germany is turning its attention to the east - threatening a knock-out blow for Stalin and the Soviet Union. The justification in the poster for the invasion of the USSR (in violation of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact, 1939) is security (baby in a cradle) and prosperity (living space for Germans).
In propaganda terms the message would return to haunt the Nazi leadership when, in 1943, an undefeated RAF began to bomb German cities.
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