CLOSE
Nick Greene
Nick Greene

How Nazi Germany Advertised Itself to American Tourists

Nick Greene
Nick Greene

In 1935, just two years after the Nazi party seized power in Germany, Hitler was already at work shaping the country into his image. That year saw the passing of the Nuremberg Laws, a series of anti-Semitic measures to subjugate and abuse the Jewish population. 1935 also marked the first of five separate Neutrality Acts passed by U.S. Congress that barred any American involvement in overseas conflicts.

While the U.S.’s official stance was to turn a blind eye, Germany was actively courting American tourism dollars, as evidenced by these advertisements that appeared in the May 1935 issue of Fortune Magazine:

In the midst of perpetrating crimes against humanity, Germany marketed itself as "the healing country," full of rejuvenating resorts and spas. "Happy and gay is the life at these fashionable watering places," the ad copy reads, mentioning the inflation-free "Registered Travel Marks" offered to American tourists.

This other advertisement promises "proverbial German hospitality" aboard their steam ships, "Cherishing the welfare of every passenger whatever the class of accommodation":

Noticeably absent from these advertisements are any swastikas (which became Germany's official flag in 1935) or mention of the Nazi party or government. If one were to believe the ads he or she read in 1935, Germany would be a land of spa treatments, friendly cruises, healing health resorts, and nothing more.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images
arrow
This Just In
Flights Grounded After World War II Bomb Discovered Near London City Airport
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

London City Airport grounded all flights on the night of February 11, after a World War II bomb was found in the neighboring River Thames, The Guardian reports.

The half-ton bomb was revealed Sunday morning by development work taking place at the King George V Dock. Following its discovery, police set up a 702-foot exclusion zone around the area, closing local roads and shutting down the London City Airport until further notice. According to the BBC, 261 trips were scheduled to fly in and out of London City Airport on Monday. Some flights are being rerouted to nearby airports, while others have been canceled altogether.

The airport will reopen as soon as the explosive device has been safely removed. For that to happen, the Met police must first wait for the river's tide to recede. Then, once the bomb is exposed, they can dislodge it from the riverbed and tow it to a controlled explosion site.

The docks of London’s East End were some of the most heavily bombed points in the city during World War II. Germany’s Blitz lasted 76 nights, and as the latest unexpected discovery shows, bombs that never detonated are still being cleaned up from parks and rivers more than 75 years later.

[h/t The Guardian]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
J. Howard Miller, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
arrow
This Just In
Rosie the Riveter Inspiration Naomi Parker Fraley Dies at 96
J. Howard Miller, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
J. Howard Miller, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The real-life inspiration behind a timeless World War II image has died at age 96, CNN reports. Naomi Parker Fraley was a California native and a wartime factory worker, but most people knew her as the real Rosie the Riveter.

Her rise to icon status began in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941. Like thousands of women across the country, she took a job in a factory to aid the war effort. She was 20 years old when she was working in the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California, patching airplane wings and operating rivet machines. It was there that a photographer touring the station snapped the photograph that would launch countless imitations.

In the picture, Fraley is shown leaning over a machine in a jumpsuit with her hair pulled back by a red-and-white polka dot bandana. The photograph was shared in numerous newspapers and magazines and eventually adapted by artist J. Howard Miller in the famous 1943 Rosie the Riveter poster.

The image was originally used as a tool to boost wartime morale, but has since grown into a universal symbol for women’s empowerment. Rosie’s unmistakable look is still a popular source of inspiration for artists and celebrities, but until recently, no one knew the real woman behind the character.

For years, a woman named Geraldine Hoff Doyle was mistakenly identified as the woman in the Naval Air Station photograph. Only when a Seton Hall University professor named James J. Kimble unearthed the original photo with Fraley’s name in the caption was the true subject confirmed. When he reached out to Fraley with the news in 2016, it didn’t come as a total surprise to her. She had recognized herself in the photo when she saw it at a former wartime workers convention a few years earlier, even though the caption named a different woman.

According to her family, Fraley died in hospice care in Longview, Washington on January 20, the same day that hundred of thousands of protesters came out for the second annual Women’s March.

[h/t CNN]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios