99 YEARS SINCE A BULLET STARTED THE (REALLY NOT THAT) GREAT WAR
It’s been 99 years to the day that the event that started World War I occurred the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This poster is a reminder of the traumas, both personal and national, that the war produced.
This poster requests a 1/2 dollar donation to provide relief to Jewish refugees and civilians whose communities were in the middle of the fighting. It’s modeled after an ancient practice of taking a census. After their successful exodus from Egypt, the ancient Israelites needed to take a census. Every individual was required to give a half shekel to a national fund, and therefore the population could be found by doubling the amount of shekels raised. One was not allowed to give more or less than half a shekel in order to make each member of the nation feel equally important.
This poster’s request for a half dollar evokes that passage—it was a reminder of the ancient victims’ relief that could hopefully translate to the relief for Jewish victims of World War I.
Don’t Forget Your 1/2d for the Jewish Victims of the War, Poster, ca 19914-1918, YUM Collection, 1998.701.