enter image description here


I found the anticlockwise swastikas strange.

The poster is supposed to be from 1938.

Some Reddit comments suggest this (or a very similar poster) is fake.

(The above poster appears in the movie One Life.)

  • 1
    Northern Spain, Greece, Eastern Turkey definitely look suspicious. Also not distinguishing between annexed (i.e. Austria, Sudetes, Danzig) and occupied territories.
    – Jan
    Commented May 24 at 7:33
  • Also timeline is wrong. Yugoslavia was occupied in 1941 and France, Denmark and Benelux (but not Switzerland) in 1940.
    – Jan
    Commented May 24 at 7:37
  • 1
    @Jan I imagine that discrepancies about the timeline could be explainable if the poster was from 1938 and displayed not realizations, but a plan for the future. Still looks like a forgery to me, but I will wait for an answer by someone more knowledgeable.
    – Evargalo
    Commented May 24 at 11:58
  • 2
    The linked source contains a letter signed by military intelligence komdiv A.G. Orlov to marshal Voroshilov dated April 7 1939, which the Yeltsin Presidential Library attests is genuine. It is part of this collection. Orlov says the Nazis distributed the leaflet in Prague and Transcarpathian Ruthenia - however there are no details on who specifically produced the leaflet, or why.
    – SPavel
    Commented May 24 at 13:43
  • 1
    France is interesting. It doesn't look exactly like Vichy France (summer 1940 onwards), but fairly close. Where did that come from, if the map is from 1938?
    – Tomas By
    Commented May 24 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


A CBS news article Inside Nicholas Winton's scrapbook has images from a scrapbook kept by Nicholas Winton. An image containing most of the information you see in the above poster can be seen here:

enter image description here

The news articles caption to that image:

Historians believe Nicholas Winton was closely following what the Nazis were planning. According to Dr. David Silberklang, senior historian at Yad Vashem's Research Institute, Winton collected maps while in Prague. This map seems to look ahead to what Germany saw as its future in the coming decade. It features the Nazi slogan, "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer." One people, one empire, one leader.

The original scrapbook is held in the Yad Vashem Archives . The same page there.

So, as noted in comments we can see that at least two of this document exist, both apparently dated between 1938 (Winton's book) and 1939 (the Russian library documentation). The likelihood of a forgery would seem quite low. @SPavels translation of the note connected to the Russian source indicates it was a leaflet and that 'the Nazis distributed the leaflet in Prague and Transcarpathian Ruthenia'

@nuffa has brought up a couple of links to another distinct version of this map, also purported to be from 1937. The Imperial War Museum has a copy of A British propaganda poster from 1939 which has as an inset another map similar to the one above, but with slight variations (yet another strange swastika). A copy is also found in The Cornell digital collections,which also has this poster dated at about 1939:

enter image description here The Cornell site does have a comment in its notes concerning the validity of this map as a Nazi publication:

The support for the poster is a "Secret Nazi Map - circulated in 1937" (not further identified). In fact, "it is highly unlikely that the Nazis would ever have allowed something as incendiary as this map to be printed or disseminated. It is more probably that it was invented by the anonymous propagandist to lend credibility to his message." Curtis 2016, 115.

(Unfortunately, so far, I have not located the Curtis source cited)

So we can see a consistent accepted dating of these items to 1937-1939. We also have at least one expert cited believing they are the product of anti-Nazi propaganda, not a product of the Nazis themselves.

As I mentioned above, they seem to be legitimately items produced between 1937 and 1939, but who made them and to what purpose we can only speculate on.

(To me it is not inconceivable that the second map in the British poster is a handmade copy of one of the other maps made for the sake of the propaganda poster, and the propaganda artist noted the incorrect swastikas and changed it to something he considered more correct. But that is pure speculation.)

  • 1
    +1, though it would also be interesting to know whether this map was created by the Nazis themselves.
    – Jan
    Commented May 24 at 12:25
  • Unknown at least at this point. I can place it to this scapbook, but where Winton found it would be the next step. The obious cut and paste (literally-scrapbook style) means it might have been a poster or pamphlet, or he found it in a newspaper article while in Prague.
    – justCal
    Commented May 24 at 12:28
  • The different qulity of the paper and the absence of handwritten words proves that this and the OP are two different occurence of a same poster. So it most probably has been printed in series (by whom is another qestion...) and isn't just an artefact of a prank.
    – Evargalo
    Commented May 24 at 12:52
  • 1
    @Jan According to OP's source, at least Red Army intelligence seemed to think so. But "the Nazis" covers everyone from Hitler and his squabbling cabinet on down to a random Hans with a printing press and an active imagination.
    – SPavel
    Commented May 24 at 13:49
  • "likelihood of a forgery quite low" - OTOH, they did not plan to attack UK (or Scandinavia), so that looks more like a Russian point-of-view. Also, France is suspicious, as noted in other comment.
    – Tomas By
    Commented May 24 at 16:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.