Affiche Rouge

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The Affiche Rouge ("Red Poster") was a famous Nazi propaganda poster during the Occupation regime in France.

Background

The twenty-three members of an urban guerrilla group led by Missak Manouchian, a part of the communist Francs-Tireurs et Partisans de la Main d'Oeuvre Immigrée (FTP-MOI), were arrested by the French police on November 16, 1943 and executed by the Nazis on February 21, 1944.

The group was made of eight Poles, five Italians, three Hungarians, two Armenians, a Spaniard, a Roumanian and three French. Nine of them were Jews.

The Nazis created the Affiche Rouge in an effort to portray the French Resistance as terrorists and foreign criminals. Some sources estimate 150,000 Affiche were posted.

Content

The poster reads:

Des libérateurs?  La libération par l'armée du crime!
"Liberators?  A liberation by the army of crime!"

From left to right, and top to bottom, individual portaits are labeled:

  • GRZYWACZ: Juif polonais, 2 attentats (Polish Jew, 2 terrorist attacks)
  • ELEK: Juif hongrois, 5 déraillements (Hungarian Jew, 5 derailments)
  • WASJBROT: Juif polonais, 1 attentat, 1 déraillement (Polish Jew, 1 terrorist attack, 1 derailment)
  • WITCHITZ: Juif hongrois, 15 attentats (Hungarian Jew, 15 terrorist attacks)
  • FINGERCWAJG: Juif polonais, 3 attentats, 5 déraillements (Polish Jew, 3 terrorist attacks, 5 derailments)
  • BOCZOV: Juif hongrois, chef dérailleur, 20 attentats (Hungarian Jew, chief of derailment operations, 20 terrorist attacks)
  • FONTANOT: Communiste italien, 12 attentats (Italian Communist, 12 terrorist attacks)
  • ALFONSO: Espagnol rouge, 2 attentats (Red Spaniard, 2 terrorist attacks)
  • RAYMAN: Juif polonais, 13 attentats (Polish Jew, 13 terrorist attacks)
  • MANOUCHIAN: Arménien, chef de bande, 56 attentats, 150 morts, 600 blessés (Armenian, chief of gang, 56 terrorist attacks, 150 dead, 600 wounded)

At the bottom are featured photographs of:

  • a dead body torso featuring several bullet impacts
  • a dead body lying on the ground
  • a derailed locomotive
  • a derailed train
  • a table with small firearms
  • a derailed train

The poster became one of the symbols of French Resistance. In 1956, Louis Aragon wrote the eulogy L'affiche rouge in Le roman inachevé.

References