Is the Nazi scare tactic being used against refugees in Europe?

Published: February 22, 2016
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The fascists made the threat much more explicit. The Italians printed posters showing American soldiers carrying off Italian women. PHOTO: DIGITALPOSTERCOLLECTION.COM

Warning: The images in the post may not be suitable for audiences under the age of 18 years. 

Billing itself as a ‘brave young Polish weekly’, W Sieci wasn’t particularly brave in their choice of cover: a blonde woman wearing the European Union flag as a toga, being groped by meaty, hairy arms. W Sieci’s cover story was titled ‘Islam’s rape of Europe’.

Photo: Twitter

It wasn’t too youthful, either. The title references Roman myth — Jupiter’s rape of princess Europa. But the creepy image of swarthy hands defiling a fair white maiden is a 20th-century scare tactic. The United States brought the myth into World War I, depicting a Germanic ape carrying a ravished chestnut-haired woman.

Photo: Library of Congress

During World War II, Japanese propagandists preyed on American racial fears (no, African Americans were not the bosses of any US town during World War II):

Photo: PsyWar.org

But it was fascists that made the threat much more explicit. The Italians printed these posters showing American soldiers carrying off Italian women:

Photo: digitalpostercollection.com

Occupied Poland was put under Bolshevik watch (the starvelings are a nice touch):

Photo: Twitter

And Nazi propagandists dropped leaflets on US soldiers depicting a rape scene near a dead body:

Photo: PsyWar.org

This sort of imagery peeks its ugly head out when people are at war. Or at least feel that they’re at war — the visual language of W Sieci tells its audience that there’s a sexualised threat to the nation’s women and the nation’s honour.

But it’s an old tactic used to attack an amorphous, animalistic ‘other’. The gruesome depictions were once a dirty way to fight a war. Now they’re just a desperate ploy to sell magazines.

This post originally appeared on Timeline.

Asher Kohn

Asher Kohn

He tweets at @AJKhn (twitter.com/AJKhn)

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