We’ve shared World War II propoganda posters from Allies in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and right here in the US, and for the most part, a common element is that they call for the nations to come together in an effort to bring freedom to others. The Soviet Union was also an Ally during World War II, but in typical Russian fashion, their posters are more…bleak. Instead of patriotic rallies for freedom, the Soviet Union posters aim to frighten the citizenry, painting fascists as the monsters they are who must be stopped at any cost.
In 1941, the Nazi German army breached the borders of the Soviet Union. With the war at their front door, a cadre of Moscow-based artists and writers formed a propaganda studio to unite the Soviet people against German and Italian forces. They became the propaganda wing of TASS, or the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, and over the next four years, produced some of the most powerful anti-fascist artwork during the war.
Many of the posters below were created by the TASS propagandists. Following a 2011 exhibition, the Art Institute of Chicago collected many of the posters in a hardcover, Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941-1945.