As if the 1940s weren’t bad enough, what with the rise of Hitler, Stalin and Japanese imperialism, America went to war with sexually transmitted diseases.
Their weapons, rather than lend-lease tin helmets and atom bombs, were a series of bleak and/or distressing poster campaigns designed to convince you that the real enemy was lurking not behind sandbags and concrete bunkers, but under delicate undergarments all over battle-scarred Europe and Asia.
Here are 8 of the strangest VD warning posters lurking in the National Library of Medicine archive.
1. That would certainly explain the way he’s walking…
2. #realtalk from Bremen Port Command. Seriously guys, you sound like my mother.
3.Nothing says “propaganda” like that nightmare-embellishing cocktail of red ink and paranoia.
4. There’s no medicine for the powerful physical desire to molest a bystander either. Just jail.
5. I think this is what couples did in 1944 before HBO box sets.
6. The terrifying Dada-esque HOME REMEDY MAN was clearly the pre-internet version of Slender Man.
7. You get VD from some French floozy and I WILL calmly tell your grandmother..
8. OH… NO. JUST NO.