International Rescue — World War II US Propaganda Posters

In December 1939, the week after the outbreak of the Soviet-Finnish War, former President Herbert Hoover formed a group called the Finnish Relief Fund. By the end of 1939, there were 240 such groups in the United States.
World War II US Propaganda Posters International Rescue

In December 1939, the week after the outbreak of the Soviet-Finnish War, former President Herbert Hoover formed a group called the Finnish Relief Fund. By the end of 1939, there were 240 such groups in the United States. The real relief group in the United States was the Bundles For Britain, organized by Natalie Latham in New York in June 1940. The purpose of this organization was not to raise funds, but to provide clothing and warmth for British crew members on the Atlantic route through simple Manual labor. In just one year, they provided more than 50,000 sweaters, 50,000 pairs of socks, 30,000 scarves, 18,000 pairs of waterproof boots and 8,000 felt hats to these British seafarers, with a total value of more than $1.5 million.

Care enough to give enough for both (King County Public Foundation, Seattle,1943)
Victory begins at home (Public Foundation of Pajaro County, California,1942)

As the United States became involved in World War II, these relief groups became more active and active, and the fundamental repeal of the Neutrality Act not only removed their concerns, but also allowed them to openly reach out to the public to raise more money for relief. In order to maximize the effectiveness of these groups, an organization called the President’s Committee On War Relief Agencies was Established in February 1942. Subsequently, Each of these relief organizations complemented each other’s strengths and Gradually began to form a well-developed relief organization structure, from fundraising to supplying materials to promoting themes.

From the end of 1942, many Americans began to notice a marked increase in the number of posters requesting help for a particular country, most of which came from these relief groups. These groups eventually created more than 1,900 posters in a variety of styles and raised more than $5 billion for U.S. allies. It is interesting to note, however, that many Americans have a strong personal bias in their donations, preferring to give money to their ethnicity or country of origin.

Thank God you can give!(Hennepin County Public Foundation,1943)
All you need is give money (Wartime Relief Management Committee,1943)
The 1944 War Chest (National Wartime Foundation,1944)

In April 1943, the War Relief Administration also formed a subsidiary organization called the National War Fund, which was originally established to unify the work of over 700 social fund groups in the United States and to rationalize the distribution of the funds raised. The funds raised by this foundation were to be used to help 13 national relief societies in proportion to the amount of money raised, in addition to the United Service Organizations, and the remainder of the funds raised were to be transferred to five special societies such as the War Prisoners Aid and the United Seamen’s Service.

American’s generosity is on full display in many propaganda posters, the most famous of which remains “Refugee Thanksgiving” from the cover of the November 27, 1943 issue of the Saturday Evening Post by Rockville. In the picture, a small Italian refugee girl is facing the turkey meat sent by the U.S. Army and is praying reverently; but what makes this poster infinitely higher is not these scenes, nor is it Rockwell’s detailed depiction of his demeanor, but rather the ill-fitting U.S. Army uniform that is draped over the girl. From the details of the American wartime humanitarian spirit instantly magnified, but also let every reader see this poster deeply feel a certain warmth of the heart.

Rockwell’s masterpiece for the Saturday Evening Post: “Refugee Thanksgiving”
Another work of the same subject done by Rockwell in the inside of the magazine.

Another contribution of the Committee on Wartime Relief Administration was its establishment of the American Council of Voluntary Agencies For Foreign Service in October 1943 to work with the Foreign Economic Administration, part of the President’s Office of Emergency Management, to help improve the daily lives of people in areas liberated by the Allied forces. This partnership became even closer with the creation of the United Nations Relief And Rehabilitation Administration on November 9. Following the successful liberation of southern Italy by the Allied forces, the Council began asking relief groups to increase the recovery of relief supplies, i.e., clothing, bedding, canned goods, medicines and household items donated by the general public.

United Nations Relief And Rehabilitation Administration received funds and supplies, mainly from the United States, Great Britain and Canada, including food crops, industrial equipment, clothing and bedding, and medical supplies. Although the work of the Relief And Rehabilitation Administration was later criticized for the problems it revealed, the agency did bring some hope to many war-torn countries.

As European countries were liberated one by one by the Allies, by the end of the war in 1945, the National Wartime Foundation had raised nearly $6 billion for these countries, including $2.8 billion in 1945 alone. Although these funds paled in comparison to the wealth derived from American bonds, they still helped many European countries immensely. So it was the funds raised by the National Wartime Foundation in conjunction with U.S. bonds that enabled the U.S. government to fulfill the basic promise of aid to the Allies.

Helping people to help themselves (United Nations Relief And Rehabilitation Administration,1945)

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