It’s now a cliché of World War One history that the war was pointless and fought only for the vanity of an elite minority. Yet at the time both sides conducted propaganda campaigns to keep public support behind the war. This included praising their own supposedly noble goals, but also slandering the opposition.
In the propaganda of Britain, France and the USA, Germans were presented, often literally, as monsters, while atrocities both real and imagined were liberally exploited.
In the post-war years anti-German sentiment remained a powerful tool for political groups like the nationalist British Empire Union.
German atrocities in Belgium played into the hands of Allied propaganda artists.
The cartoon shows a German-American expressing public support for the USA while privately toasting the Kaiser, showing that anti-German prejudice was not only directed against enemy combatants.
The British often invoked the German attack on the town of Scarborough to incite anti-German feeling.
References to nurses had particularly high propaganda value after the shocking execution of British nurse Edith Cavell.