Russian War Relief Asks aAl Americans to Keep Relief Ships Sailing -- Imagine the Tragedy to you and your family if an Invader had ravaged America . . .
Rare humitarian (propaganda?) broadside map of the United States, illustrating the relative impact of World War II on the Russian civilian population, by means of comparison to populations in the United States.
The map legend notes:
On this map is shown the vastness of the war effort of our Soviet Allies. The map of the western half of the Soviet Union has been placed (in reverse) upon the map of the United States. The shadings show:
(brown) A map of that part of the Soviet Union occupied by the Nazis at the peak of the invasion. (The map of the Soviet Union is reversed to compare the industrial west of Russia with the similar eastern area of the United States.)
(yellow) Giant industrial and agricultural communities moved from invaded regions . . . equivalent to a transfer of the mills and factoris of all eastern America to the Rockies.
Soviet cities are in only approximately correct relation to each other, the object being to show their relation to comparable America Cities.
As noted by PJ Mode in the Cornell on line cataloging of his collection of persuasive maps (https://digital.library.cornell.edu/catalog/ss:19343652:
An unusual map supporting the fundraising efforts of Russian War Relief, Inc., an organization established after the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941 to help the millions of refugees displaced within Russia by the invasion. The map of Russia has been reversed . . . the Ukraine covers the eastern U.S., Moscow is near Detroit, and the Causcasus are in Oklahoma. . . . The capitol in Washington is burning, and the Nazi flag flies atop the Empire State Building. Other highlighted areas represent "giant industrial and agricultural communities" relocated to remote areas of Russia, e.g., Novosibirsk (Boise), Omsk (Salt Lake City) and Tashkent (Phoenix).
The map is undated, but because the text below the map says that "some of the survivors now are returning to homes recaptured by the Red Army," this map was probably produced after the Soviet victory at Stalingrad in 1943. The artist Elliott Anderson Means was raised in Texas, became an itinerant sign and mural painter in California, then studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles and the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. He settled in New York, where he was a WPA artist in the 1930s; he created at least one other poster for Russian War Relief, "Help Put Him Back in Our Fight."
Russian War Relief Inc.
Russian War Relief (also known as the Russian War Relief Fund, and The American Committee for Russian War Relief) was the largest American agency for foreign war relief. It had the "express and exclusive purpose of giving succor to the Russian people at a time of crisis". The chairman of Russian War Relief was Edward C. Carter, chairman of the National Committee for Medical Aid to the Soviet Union, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Russian Institute and secretary general of the Institute of Pacific Relations. From 1942, the fund was headed by Allen Wardwell.
On July 29, 1941, one month after Germany's attack on Russia, a group met in New York and established Russian War Relief, Inc incorporated in New York on September 12, 1941. Fred Myers, who later founded the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), served as director of public relations and was later promoted to Executive Director.
There were allegations that Carter's actions were "anti-American". According to FBI files, Carter displayed "every indication that he has been closely associated with leading members of the Communist Party in the United States."
The map is very rare. We cannot find another example offered for sale at auction or in a dealer catalog.