Frights in Finland

Today’s posters from Finland are rather eerie civil defence ones from World War Two.

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In Suomi, it reads: “Ilmasta uhkaa vaara! Kaikki kansalaiset väestönsuojelutyöhön!” or “Danger Threatens from the sky! Take Air Raid Precautions”. The figure is obviously intended to seem protective, sheltering a blue clad family from the bomber aircraft that looks somewhat like a Douglas transport*, but the gas mask and black outfit, both pre-war motifs make it read quite differently. The canister the figure wears is a German style gas mask holder, and much of the design relates to the fear of the threat of gas attack ever-expected by many combatant nations of the war, but thankfully never used.

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The second is as dark, literally and figuratively, and is an anti-espionage poster (an interesting counterpart to our Soviet example here). The design is simple, yet well structured and strong. The text reads: “A spy is spying on you, too. – A spy guides the bombs to your home.” Cheerful!

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

First image from author’s collection, second via ‘Funnyjunk’.

*Allegedly, Lisunov Li-2 aircraft, Soviet built licence copies of the Douglas DC-3, were used among other types to bomb Helsinki.

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