"GREECE FIGHTS ON": BOLD AMERICAN WORLD WAR II POSTER BY POSTER ARTIST EDWARD MCKNIGHT KAUFFER RELEASED BY THE GREEK OFFICE OF INFORMATION REMINDING AMERICANS OF THEIR GREEK ALLIES FIGHTING ABROAD
(WORLD WAR II). Poster: Greece Fights On. Washington: Greek Office of Information, 1942. Chromolithographic poster, linen backed, floated and framed, entire piece measures 26-1/2 by 34-1/2 inches.
Original World War II poster by poster artist Edward McKnight Kauffer depicting a Greek soldier and a Greek flag, with a Greek monument—likely the Parthenon—just visible in the background.
This original 1942 poster is by American poster artist Edward McKnight Kauffer, who began his career doing commercial work in Great Britain before World War II landed him back in America doing propaganda posters for the Allies, usually in modernist style. This striking poster features a Greek flag, a Greek soldier in silhouette meant to evoke classical sculpture, and a Greek monument, likely the Parthenon. While this poster was meant to remind Americans of Greece's place amongst the Allies, Greece remains one of the most underrecognized participants in World War II. Attacked by Mussolini's Italian forces in 1940, Greece was not fully occupied until the Germans, Bulgarians, and Hungarians attacked together in 1941. Their resistance was notable and they held large parts of the islands for some time after the official occupation. Nevertheless, the country was swiftly partitioned with Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria each seizing an occupation zone. Greeks again heavily resisted and many fled to the Italian zone, which was comparatively less lethal. When the Italians surrendered to the Allies, Germany seized control of their abandoned territory. The Final Solution was swiftly imposed all over Greece, with the Bulgarians delivering the Jews in their zone to the Germans. While nearly 72,000 Jews lived in Greece prior to the war, the vast majority did not survive it. They were sent by train to Auschwitz, a trip that was hard to survive on its face given the distance and the complete lack of provisions. Upon arrival, most were gassed. Those who survived the initial selection were confronted with an almost insurmountable language barrier that often prevented them from quickly understanding orders or making allies of their fellow prisoners. Overall, more than 400,000 Greeks of all religions died in World War II, one of the most brutal death tolls of the war in light of Greece's overall population. Copies of this poster are held by many distinguished institutions including the MoMA and the V&A.
Original creases, a few closed tears and a bit of wear to edges. Extremely good condition.