German Leaflets in World War II

Toward the end of World War II, Germany dropped millions of propaganda leaflets on enemy lines to encourage troops to surrender. Some of these leaflets were tailored to African American soldiers and suggested they would be treated better as German prisoners of war than as citizens in their own country.

Nazi Germany was not known for its fair treatment of people of African descent, or any persons who weren’t Aryan. Black people were frequently vilified and deemed uncivilized in Nazi propaganda. Yet, Germany was willing to use any tactics necessary to avoid defeat, including highlighting American racism, to exploit existing tensions within the U.S. military.

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German Leaflet, 1944, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,2014.536.1

Racism and Equality
German Leaflets in World War II