Halt the Hun!, 1918
Henry Raleigh (American, 1880-1945)
Lithograph on paper
On loan from the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection, Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina
Set against a background of flames, Henry Raleigh uses his expressionist style to capture a terrifying scene of destruction and implied sexual violence. Utilizing bold lines and gestural strokes, Raleigh shows the ever heroic American soldier halting the advances of the barbaric German “Hun.” Despite the distorted nature of the expressionist style, the emotions of the cowering, victimized woman are clear as she is shown fearfully looking up at her assailant, clutching her pallid, seemingly lifeless infant. The scene depicts the utter carnage of World War I in a way that both recognizes the realities of war, yet fetishizes American involvement, thereby driving the viewer to buy bonds so that he or she personally could help stop further Hunnic advances.