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Call to Russian Patriotism Poster

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Soviet WWII poster: "Who came to us with the sword, will be killed by the sword."

"Who came to us with the sword will be killed by the sword"

With Operation Barbarossa in full swing, Stalin began to change his political strategy in order to unite the Russian people and inspire them to fight against the Germans. Patriotism among the soldiers and citizens was promoted where worldwide communism had previously been forefront.

Churches were reopened. The order of Alexander Nevsky was reinstated to revive the memory of Alexander's struggle with the Germans. A new national anthem was written and introduced in 1944 with lyrics committed to the Soviet Union rather than a political movement. Posters and other propaganda promoted Russian patriotism, pride, and the ability to defeat the enemy.

This poster illustrates a 1942 connection to the 1242 battle of Lake Peipus (Battle of the Ice) against the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Knights. The quotation is reportedly from the Prince of Novgorod, Alexander Nevsky, who repelled this German invasion. In the background,  the Battle of Ice is depicted with Russians overcoming the Germans in the ancient encounter. In the foreground, a more current battle rages with the Russian soldiers on horseback engaging German tanks.

The Order was restored in 1942 as a reminder of Nevsky's struggle with the Germans and this status was awarded as a military honor to many Soviet servicemen during World War II. The Imperial Order of Alexander Nevsky was founded in 1725 in Russia, but was later abolished in 1917. Poster translation: "Who came to us with the sword, will be killed by the sword."

Pursuing a course to promote patriotism and increase moral, these appeals convinced the Russian soldiers and citizens to fight for their homeland - even those who didn't necessarily like Stalin or his communist agenda.

*Disclaimer: World War II posters, insignias and documents of Nazi Germany, Russia, Italy, and Japan, are displayed on this website as historical documents of the time period. They are not intended to promote or condone any political, racial, military, religious, or social views and/or actions. This website does not condone genecide.