One of the most powerful propaganda stereotypes related to war in the last century was the image of the German as the Hun, a bloodthirsty and unethical combatant who would stop at nothing to achieve victory. Ironically, this potent ideological weapon originated with the leader of pre–World War I Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II. In the racialized heat of the colonial competition marking the build-up to World War I, Wilhelm II uttered the words that would subsequently be used in textual and visual propaganda to identify the Germans as the worst kind of uncivilized, monstrous people.
Edmond Guilliaume. Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from The Geniuses of Death (Les Génies de la Mort), 1870. Robert Chase Endowment.