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HIST 202G/302G: Peoples, Armies, and Governments of the Second World War (Spring 2022)

By: Simon Ertz


Below is a list of the documents that were on display. The archival and library items are ordered more or less chronologically, the posters by country. Please bear in mind that you saw only a tiny sample of materials from the more than 1,500 archival collections and the tens of thousands of library items related to the Second World War that we have.

The hyperlinks bring you to the online collection descriptions/finding aids (for archival collections) or SearchWorks records (for library items), where you can find not only more information or bibliographic data but also request materials for use in our Reading Room.

Materials From Our Archival Collections

World War II Subject Collection (97 manuscript boxes, 4 card file boxes, 3 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 10 videotape cassettes, 2 phonorecords, memorabilia):

Box 4: Contains French propaganda leaflets (in German), including a pamphlet by Hermann Rauschning denouncing Hitler; British air raid leaflets (in English, French and German) dropped by the R.A.F., as well as other leaflets relating to the paper salvage campaign

Box 19: Contains extracts from letters written by an unidentified anti-Nazi German and other materials

Box 72: Contains, inter alia, French Resistance materials and publications.

Box 101: Contains, inter alia, US military/intelligence handbooks with information on the situation in a number of European countries

Noel Monod Papers (1 manuscript box)

Contains reports and printed matter relating to the French resistance movement and to the conscription of French workers for forced labor in Germany during World War II, as well as German propaganda materials in various languages.

John Knezevich Papers (1 album in oversize box)

Contains photographs and album pages on Yugoslav guerrilla war against German occupation forces.

Jürgen Stroop Typescript (1 folder)--NOTE: WAS NOT ON DISPLAY

Contains photocopies of the typescript of the report on the suppression of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, in German, includes photocopies of photographs with captions. Printed translation of typescript available at SAL. Cf. also Conversations with an Executioner at Green Library.

Great Britain. Ministry of Information propaganda (17 manuscript boxes, 1 card file box, 1 oversize folder):

Box 5: Contain British propaganda materials from the WW2 period, including brochures etc. (materials in English)

United States Office of War Information Psychological Warfare Division propaganda Collection (2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box):

Box 1: Contains propaganda leaflets prepared by the US during the last phase of WW2 for the populations in Europe. NOTE: The campaign to airdrop these materials over Germany was called “Operation Cornflakes.” This webpage gives a good account of the operation, including the sophisticated scheme of delivery, and this webpage shows pictures of some of the materials you can find in our collection. The materials in this box are in different languages--German, French, Italian, but some are also in English.

James Maddison Tinley Papers (1 manuscript box)

Contains writings, drawings, photographs, and reprints, relating to conditions in the Netherlands under German occupation during World War II, and to food relief at the end of the war. Includes copy of study “Wartime Food Problems of the Netherlands” (in English)

Materials From Our Library Collection

The Red Army and Navy -- Soviet propaganda album with photographs and collages in English language for international audiences from 1939. Compare this similar, Russian-language album from 1937.

Totentanz in Polen [Death Dance in Poland] -- Portfolio of plates with drawings of the war made during the first 18 days of the Polish campaign, published in Nazi Germany in 1940.

Vom Rhein zur Rhone. (Ein Bild-Rückblick auf den Vormarsch der 12. Armee) [From the Rhine to the Rhone (A pictorial retrospective on the advance of the 12th Army)] -- Illustrated special number of soldier's newspaper on the German campaign against France in 1940.

Die Sonderfahndungsliste G.B. -- Secret list prepared by German secret services of names & addresses of people to be arrested in UK in case of success of “Operation Sea Lion.” NOTE: WAS NOT ON DISPLAY. A DIGITAL VERSION IS AVAILABLE AT THE WORKSTATIONS IN OUR READING ROOM.

Der Aufbau der nationalsozialistischen Volkswohlfahrt: Leistungsbericht zur Zehnjahresfeier des Gaues Moselland -- Propaganda coffee table book from 1941 on social & welfare services in Gau (region) Moselland, showcasing the Nazi “welfare state.” Multiple photographs and illustrations.

Combat illustré -- Issues of an illustrated underground serial published by the French resistance movement during WW2 (issues from 1941-44). Includes comic strip, caricatures, reproductions of German propaganda materials.

Children and World War II: Pamphlet Collection -- Collection of 13 pamphlets on different aspects of this subject in different languages.

The following two WW2 sources were produced by German Propaganda Companies (PK). This 3+ min. silent video: “Propaganda Companies in Training” gives an impression of their work in the field (hosted by USHMM).

Unsere Wehrmacht im Kriege; Farbaufnahmen der Propaganda-Kompanien [Our Army in the War: Color Pictures by the Propaganda Companies] Volume with several dozens of color pictures. Captions in German.

Das Heer im grossdeutschen Freiheitskampf: Kunstblätter für die deutsche Jugend nach Farbaufnahmen von Kriegsberichtern des Heeres [The Army in the Greater German Freedom Struggle: Artistic Sheets for the German Youth on the Basis of Colored Pictures by Army War Correspondents] Portfolio of ca. three dozen color pictures, captions in German. DIGITIZED VERSION AVAILABLE ONLINE.

Ilustrowany kurjer Polski [Illustrated Polish Courier] -- an example of Polish language newspapers published during by the Germans during the German occupation. While the Polish underground called these publications  "reptile press” or “venal press” ("prasa gadzinowa;" prasa=press, gad=reptile), at times, esp. during the early period of the occupation, some of these titles, including the Kurjer Ilustrowany, were at least somewhat popular.

Extermination of Polish Jews, album of pictures -- Annotated photo album on the Holocaust in Poland, published by Central Jewish Historical Committee in Łódź (Lodz). The Polish Jewish Historical Committee began to collect documentation on the Holocaust already in late 1944. Includes disturbing pictures. All pictures with captions/identification. In five languages: Polish, Russian, French, English, Hebrew.

Yank --  US military journal for soldiers in theaters around the globe. On display was the China-Burma-India edition. A title-search for Yank for the Hoover Library shows that we have many other editions as well.

Physical Damage Division report (ETO) United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division -- Report on the effects of US bombing campaigns, includes multiple maps.

Destruction and pillage as a result of World War II: pamphlet collection -- collection of 34 pamphlets related to this subject in different languages.

Handbook of German Military Forces -- United States War Department Technical Manual (TM-E 30-451), prepared by Military Intelligence Division of the General Staff, published March 15, 1945 (use was restricted at the time). Comprehensive survey of the German Army, its structure, tactics, strategies, equipment, strengths, etc.

Human and material sacrifices of Yugoslavia in her war efforts 1941-1945 -- Report for the War Reparations Commission, with illustrations, in English.

Interrogation Reports. United States. Army. European Theater of Operations Military Intelligence Service Center. -- Interrogation Protocols of German War Criminals from 1945 (in English)

Prikkeldraad; Nederlandsche krijgsgevangenen spreken [Dutch POWs are talking] -- Collection of excerpts from diaries, letters, recollections etc. documenting the experiences of Dutch POWs in German POW camps during WW2, published in the Netherlands shortly after the liberation (in Dutch, but with many illustrations).


Our Poster Collection includes more than 120,000 posters, most of them with political content. More than 33,000 of these posters have been digitized, including most of our WW2-related posters.

To browse low-resolution images of our digitized posters, click here. You might also want to check out this guide on how to search our posters. High-resolution images of all digitized posters can be seen at the workstations in our Reading Room. On display were the following posters:

Poster US 6232 : "Another tanker torpedoed..."

Poster US 1687 : "Doing all you can, brother?"

Poster US 1768A : "And we talk about sacrifice..."

Poster US 6647 : "Every day you take off..."

Poster US 6577 : "For more than five years, we, the Chinese,..."

Poster GE 3730 : "Gut festnageln!" [Nail it down nice and tight]

Poster GE 1159 : "Auch du zu uns! " [You, too, come and join us!]

Poster GE 1196 : "So wie wir kämpfen, arbeite Du für den Sieg!" [Work for victory just as we are fighting for it!]

Poster RU/SU 1921.10 : "Voin Krasnoi Armii, spasi!" [Warrior of the Red Army, Save (us)!]