Anti-Bolshevik propaganda posters: Metal as fvkk

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Recently, I was contacted by a fellow named Harry K. Wärts via The Charnel-House’s Facebook page. Admittedly, I don’t check the messages I receive there too often. Nevertheless, this caught me a bit off-guard:

Hey, I’m in the Swedish death metal band Gravebomb. We’re great, and also eager for exposure. I really like your blog, so I think it’d be great if we could do a share-for-share thingy. Both as a way to turn on death metal fans to communist theory (as it is the musical equivalent or expression of a “ruthless criticism of everything existing” [Marx]) and as a way to get revolutionary communists into death metal and our band in particular. Don’t know if you like the idea, but I think it would be pretty edgy.

You can check out our album Rot in Putrid Filth on Spotify to see if it’s for you.

Since I didn’t get back to Wärts in a timely fashion, he wrote me another note: “Why will you not respond to our calls for solidarity in propaganda?”

Obviously this was something I needed to do. Can’t just leave a comrade hanging.

Initially I was skeptical. Most of the metal coming out of Europe, especially the Nordic countries, is intensely reactionary — fascist, even. Plus, I’m not even much of a metal fan these days, though I was back in high school.

Acquaintances on social media urged me to do so, however, “for the love of all that’s unholy.” Fuck it, I thought to myself. Hence the present post.

Glancing at the track list, we find song titles like “Killing Apex,” “Hack the Heads off the Preachers,” “Funeralizer, and “Parasite Spawn.” Sound revolutionary to me. Regardless, I’m not going to listen through their entire catalogue and scrutinize their lyrics to make sure they convey a communist message or ruthless critique. Not like communists censor music, after all… Oh wait

To accompany this music, I’m posting a series of anti-Bolshevik artwork that can only be described as “metal as fvkk.” Early anti-Bolshevik agitprop posters — from roughly 1905 up through the end of the 1940s, but especially 1917-1939 — make up some of the best adverts for Bolshevism. Despite their explicit intention to frighten people with the specter of communism, or dissuade them from joining it, these posters fucking rule. Who wouldn’t want to be an undead skeleton commie killing fascists?

Kvltvrbolschewismvs? Underground black metal enthusiasts should at least appreciate the images of communists burning churches.

Bloody Sunday 1905 GvjdoTA Die Gefahr des Bolschewismus [The Danger of Bolshevism] com_8_MGzoom e545a3d724c179b4624cb41755e6a8d7 focus-400-grande1 - frame2Art.IWM PST 13079 plakat_antisov23 plakat_antisov24 Die Heimat ist in Gefahr 2 Schließt Euch fest zusammen gegen Spartacus (…)

Banditi pripravljajo pot bolševizmu. Proč od teh podljudi! (Der Bolschewismus bedroht Leben und friedliche Arbeit!) Bolschewismus bringt Krieg, Arbeitslosigkeit, und Hungersnot Bolschewismus Der Mörder Deutschlands Comment voter contre le bolchevisme ?... - [affiche] _ [non identifié] bolsch0011 bolshevism is against the family AfficheAnticommuniste1937 635640139125354425 antisovetskie-plakaty-12 1533398989Bayern, der Bolshewik geht um! Hinaus mit ihm am Wahltag!Not, Elend, Hunger, Zerstörung bringt der Bolschewismus 123624738_plakat_20kh_godov 1043328_original Heinz Fuchs Workers. Famine. Death Is Approaching. Strike Destroys. Work Nourishes. Do Your Duty. Work (Arbeiter. Hunger. Tod naht. Streik zerstört, Arbeit ernährt. Tut eure Pflicht. Arbeitet) 1919Deutschlands ideale Zukunft unter der Herrschaft des BolschewistenBolschewismus heisst die Welt im Blut ersäufen И я не хочу голодать вместе со своими детьми! (1927) 01281-legislative-election-1925-belgian-catholic-parti-against-socialism-poison-skull 1043606_original 1042279_originalTretet ein in den Grenzschutz Ost! Schütz die Heimat gegen Bolschewismus! 4056357306 Ein blutiges Meer, An Gräbern ein heer...; A Sea of blood, an Army to their graves... msp00593 productmediapic8689_2410Большевикartist-unknown-retribution-1918-1920-lithograph-34%c2%be-x-24%c2%bd productmediapic8690_2411 wolnoscbolszewicka Коммунисты, проникающие во французские колонии, стремятся к тому, чтобы вонзить нож в тело Франции (1927) Повседневная реальность Марокко и Сирии. Коммунисты стреляют в спины парней из наших городов и деревень (1927) What bolshevism brings to the people, a Russian anti-Communist poster from 1918 nigdy NS-Durchhalteplakat, 1944_45 Old Dutch Waffen SS poster, it reads- ”Storm against Bolshevism” paixetliberte7kar21968e3d Nieder mit dem Bolschewismus. Bolschewismus bringt Krieg und Verderben, Hunger und Tod CD_60949_PlakatBolsch Bolshevism Unmasked, WWII Bolshevism brings war, unemployment and famine, a German poster from 1918 Bolschewismus_ohne_Maske Contre le communisme Commanditaire - Milice française Date - 1943 d45eee38-a2f6-4977-aee4-9deb9696e18a 688_001 743ea87ba957479a Hinje «COMMUNISME, ennemi de la France» Parti Populaire Français. Chef Jacques DORIOT» Impr. Compagnie de publicité et de propagande - (152 x 99) Etat A - Entoilée594737_600 Do you want to live in the shadow of him?, A Norwegian anti-communist poster H0132-L68357215 image009 IWM Collections (Art.IWM PST 7843)- Willst du dies? [Is This What you Want?] antibolshevikDie Heimat ist in Gefahr! ukraine1 IWM Collections (Art.IWM PST 7919)- Bolschewismus ist Hunger und Tod [Bolshevism is Hunger and Death] france-ardennes-carignan-soberka-familys-personal-archives-war-diaries-E2A34C Lithuanian propaganda poster - 1942-Hors-diciLe-Comité-DAction-Antibolchevique 37E74324A67815AE6FFA02D43A791EAB_B1280_1280_700_967 CSrLEeSXIAARfsp s-l1000Guerre 1939-1945. Spartakus_bei_der_Arbeit_LCCN2004665806 der-bolschewismus-soviet-spider In this White poster, caricatures of the Bolshevik leadership (Uritzky, Sverdlov, Zinoviev, Lunacharsky, Lenin, Patrovsky, Trotsky, Kamenev, and Radek) sacrifice an allegorical figure representing orthodox Russia to the idol of internationalism Там, где начинает господствовать коммунизм, всегда ведутся беспощадные войны - Марокко, Россия, Китай (Франция, 1927 год) Contre le bolchévisme ! - engage-toi à la Légion Wallonie

9 thoughts on “Anti-Bolshevik propaganda posters: Metal as fvkk

  1. terrific images! we can thank “rot in putrid filth” for inspiring this blog post. to me these images represent a rejection (as totally illegitimate) the power structures of the past, which is means for us to escape from those structures and invent our own future. for that we need solidarity — between metal bands, geographers, economists, plumbers — and we need to re-invent the union as a web of mutual interest that overlaps and intersects what we thought of a unions in the past.

  2. Pingback: Anti-Bolshevik propaganda posters: Metal as fvkk — The Charnel-House – Aya's Margins

  3. Thanks for this really impressive collection. But – it begin’s with a very instructive error. The first two pictures are posters from the revolution of 1905, directed against the tsarist counter-revolution, beginning with “bloody sunday”. The artist is Boris Kustodiev, who in 1920 painted in a quite similar apocalyptic iconography the famous picture “Bolshevik”. So, here we are in the midst of the muddle between bolshevik and anti-bolshevik apocalypse. The whites and the anticommunist very often could simply reverse the bloody imagery in a sort of “copy and past”-mode.
    If you want real apocalyptic art, see “Images of Revolution”, ed. by David King and Cathy Porter, 1983: seas of blood, mountains of sculls, demons and saviors …

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