European crusade against Communism

Dutch Recruiting Poster
Scandinavian Recruiting Poster

The creation of the multi-national European front line combat organization Waffen-SS was an event unique in history. Their racial aspects and implications were especially unique. Men of many nations joined together in the military establishment of a foreign country. Its members hoped to eventually see all Germanic nations united into one body. The pan-European theme and the anti-Communist struggle became the strongest single element of the Waffen-SS recruitment message to the non-Germans. The recruiting posters displayed the Waffen-SS as a Western-European force and slogans like 'We fight for the culture and freedom of Europe' and 'Joint front against Communism' were common. First image: Dutch recruiting poster from 1941, the artist and professor SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer Ottomar Anton (1895 – 1976) used later Knight’s Cross holder SS-Obersturmbannf├╝hrer Klemens Behler as model. Behler was at the time only a recruit but went on to win the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on March 17 1945 as commander of SS-Artillerie-Regiment 54 (23.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Nederland). Klemens Behler (1921 – 1998) survived World War II and went on to serve in the Bundeswehr. Second image: A Scandinavian recruiting poster by the famous Norweigian artist Harald Damsleth. Damsleth did a number of outstanding recruitment posters for the Waffen-SS. He was imprisoned for several years after being tried for treason at the end of World War II. Nevertheless, he had a successful graphics art career. Harald Damsleth died in 1971. Source: Knights and steel. Public domain.

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