Icon Feb 13, 2010

“La Guerre est l’Industrie Nationale de la Prusse”, 1917 translates as “War is Prussia’s National Industry”. This World War I French poster that shows the expansion of the German and Prussian military. The octopus – wearing a pickelhaube helmet – is superimposed on the map1 with its tentacles throughout Europe and Asia Minor. In addition there are three staggered soldiers in uniform representing the size of the military in 1715, 1815 and 19142 .

In a twist, there is advertising on the poster (in the blue wreath) for “La Conférence Au Village Contre La Propagande Ennemie En France” – “Village lectures countering enemy propaganda in France”.
The full title across the top of the poster is:

En 1788 MIRABEAU disait déjà: LA GUERRE est l’industrie Nationale de la PRUSSE

In 1788 Mirabeau was already saying ‘War is Prussia’s national industry’.

The rest of the text is (except country names and publisher etc):

Envahie Il Y A Quarante-Sept Ans L’alsace-Lorraine Ne Diffère Pas Des Départements Français Envahis Il Y A Trois Ans. Déclaration Du Gouvernement Français (Chambre Des Députés 25 Oct. 1917).

Alsace-Lorraine Arrachée A La France En 1871.

A la veille de la Guerre la puissante Association Pangermaniste ALLDEUTSCHER VERBAND déclarait partout: ‘il faut que le PEUPLE ALLEMAND s’élève comme un PEUPLE DE MAITRES au dessus des PEUPLES INFÉRIEURS D’EUROPE’

Attaqués, Nous ne faisons que nous défendre au nom de la Liberté et pour sauver notre Existence

Invaded 47 years ago, Alsace-Lorraine is no different from the French departments invaded three years ago – Declaration by the French government (Chamber of Deputies, 25 Oct. 1917).

Alsace-Lorraine seized from France in 1871.

On the eve of the War the powerful Pan-Germanist Association, the ‘Alldeutscher Verband’, declared on all sides: ‘The German people must rise as a nation of masters above the inferior nations of Europe’.

Village lectures countering enemy propaganda in France, 11 AVENUE DE L’OPÉRA PARIS.

Under attack, we are merely defending ourselves in the name of Liberty and to preserve our lives – General Pétain, June 19174.

In the top write corner in red writing:  TOUTE LA FRANCE DEBOUT POUR LA VICTOIRE DU DROIT or ‘All France stand up for the victory of right’.

The artist is Maurice Neumont, and the poster was sponsored by Conférence au Village Contre la Propagande Ennemie en France and printed as an offset lithograph by P J Gallais et Cie Imprimerie, Paris in December, 1917. The poster is ~ 60 cm x 80 cm.

Translation and image from VADS (http://tinyurl.com/coccmz). Image altered to correct colours.


  1. VADS Catalogue: http://tinyurl.com/coccmz
  2. ibid
  3. Text from VADS Catalogue
  4. Translation from VADS Catalogue