Pro-Nazi organizations in the United States used propaganda like the featured poster to improve the American public's opinion of Nazi Germany.1 By boosting Americans' perception of the Third Reich, these groups hoped to convince Americans to stay out of European affairs—and ultimately to remain neutral during World War II.
After Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor and the Nazi Party rose to power in 1933, the Nazi regime concluded that existing pro-Nazi groups in the United States were not doing enough to promote Germany's interests. The party responded by founding a new organization, the Friends of New Germany.2 Made up of German immigrants and Americans of German descent, the organization recruited about 5,000 members and was most active in New York and Chicago.3 The Third Reich did not direct the day-to-day operations of the group, but it exercised significant control over its leadership and messaging.
The Friends of New Germany spread propaganda that played on stereotypes already familiar to American audiences, particularly those rooted in antisemitism and anticommunism. They spread unfounded conspiracy theories about Jews secretly controlling world events with the goal of global communist revolution.4 The featured poster claims that Germany is being punished for escaping "from the influence of the Jewish-Bolshevist rulers in Moscow, and from Jewish domination."
This fear of Jewish/communist world domination was a central part of Nazi ideology and Nazi propagnada. It was also vague and broad enough to be applied to any number of things. Although this conspiracy theory was false and unfounded, it spoke to many Americans' fear of a "communist takeover" along the lines of the Russian Revolution of 1917. They were sponsored by the Nazi Party, the Friends of New Germany tried to portray themselves as defenders against communist revolution instead. They rejected the idea that they were trying "to Hitlerize America"—despite spreading antisemitic Nazi propaganda.