Culture War images – and their meanings Previous Next After Reims Cathedral in northern France was bombarded by the German army in September 1914, images of the damage were widely disseminated by the Allied Powers to neutral countries, including Switzerland. The cathedral became a symbol of German barbarism - 'Look! They don't even respect religion!' This card is bilingual - French and English - but there are few words: it is the powerful image that gets the message across. (www.14-18.ch) Nationalbibliothek,Bern Who cares about subtlety? German emperor Wilhelm II was portrayed as the Antichrist by Neuchâtel caricaturist Pierre Châtillon. He is disguised in white (innocence) and the point of his helmet is hidden by a dove (peace), but his intentions are clear from the bloody blade and torch (the buildings in the background are ablaze). Many of Châtillon’s postcards were confiscated by the Swiss authorities and in April 1915 he was fined CHF1,000 by a military tribunal. (www.14-18.ch) Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek In this 1914 etching, Neuchâtel artist Edmond Bille uses Swiss hero William Tell – often used by artists to symbolise national cohesion – to criticise the Swiss authorities’ closeness to the Central Powers. Tell and his son have turned their back on a mast featuring the flags of Germany and Austria and helmets of (from left to right) the German and Austrian forces and the kepi of Swiss general Ulrich Wille. Notice that the mountainous countryside normally associated with Tell has become a flat, deserted wasteland. (Fondation Ed. Bille)) Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek "Enlisting the neutrals" by Zurich graphic artist Karl Czerpien for the August 1915 edition of Zurich satirical magazine Nebelspalter. The symbolism is clear, but the image reminds one that Switzerland was far from the only neutral country during the war. (Nebelspalter Verlag) Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek Smile! A full-page image from the February 1918 edition of the Illustrierte Rundschau monthly, founded in 1917 by the British and printed in Zurich in German and French. "Manufacture and employment of British shells." (Swiss National Library) Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek Don't smile! A posed photo on the cover of the German-backed weekly Illustrierter Kriegs-Kurier from 1918, showing a German stealth patrol. It was printed in Zurich in multiple languages, usually German, French and Italian, but also occasionally Flemish, Russian and English. (Swiss National Library) Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek Good hosts: the March 1918 cover of the Illustrierte Rundschau. The picture is of a German soldier who had been captured by the British - and who appeared to be being treated in a civil manner. (Swiss National Library) Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4 Picture 5 Picture 6 Picture 7 This content was published on August 27, 2014 - 10:41 Other languages: 9 EN original Deutsch de Krieg der Bilder Read more: Krieg der Bilder Français fr La propagande en Suisse Read more: La propagande en Suisse Italiano it Propaganda attraverso le immagini Read more: Propaganda attraverso le immagini Español es La guerra de las imágenes Read more: La guerra de las imágenes Português pt A Propaganda da I Guerra Mundial na Suíça Read more: A Propaganda da I Guerra Mundial na Suíça 日本語 ja 展覧会「プロパガンダの砲火の中で スイスと第１次世界大戦」 Read more: 展覧会「プロパガンダの砲火の中で スイスと第１次世界大戦」 العربية ar الدعاية في سويسرا خلال الحرب العالمية الأولى Read more: الدعاية في سويسرا خلال الحرب العالمية الأولى 中文 zh 瑞士的一战宣传 Read more: 瑞士的一战宣传 Русский ru Визуальная пропаганда времен Первой Мировой Read more: Визуальная пропаганда времен Первой Мировой You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us! If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.