The “Don’t let that shadow touch them – Buy war bonds” poster was used during World War 2 in the U.S.A. It was used to encourage those at home to buy war bonds to protect their children from the Evils of the German Nazis. The poster was published by the United States Office of War Information.
War bonds were debt notes issued by the government to its citizens, they were sold to help raise money to fund the war effort and were usually heavily promoted by various different forms of propaganda. These were sold in the U.S., U.K. and Germany during World War 2.
The poster depicts three children with a Nazi shadow hovering over them, the caption states “Don’t let that shadow touch them”. The children are playing in a field and are surrounded by toys. The older of the three children is aware of the dangers of Nazism and protects what looks like his younger siblings, he looks up warily. The young boy innocently holds an American flag over his shoulder, while his older brother holds a U.S.A fighter plane.
The poster was clearly designed to strike fear into the hearts of adults, this can be seen from the Nazi symbol that is hovering out of frame and casting a threatening shadow over the children and even the child holding the bomber in his hand, reminding those at home that they are not immune to the possibilities of a bombing raid. The poster was designed with one goal in mind, it wants those at home to invest in war bonds to help the war effort.
The poster was designed by Lawrence Beall Smith, he was a well known lithographer and sculpture at the time. Apart from the War Bonds Posters he designed during World War 2 he was also sent to D-day to draw scenes from the Allied landings in France.