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Art protests against Trump

Thousands of anti-Donald Trump posters inspired by Second World War public information designs have been plastered across Washington DC.

One of the images features Trump in boxer shorts branded with swastikas – a version of a poster of Adolf Hitler with his pants down. The original bore the message Let’s catch him with his ‘panzers’ down!. The new version reads: His true colors are on display.

Another shows a sailor, with his head barely above water, and the message Someone (Donald Trump) Tweeted! It is based on an image printed by the US government in 1942, to discourage people from careless discussion of ship movements, which had the message Someone Talked. Another, similarly-themed poster takes the 1944 image of a snake baring its bloody fangs but changes the message from the original Less dangerous than careless talk to Less dangerous than careless tweets.

The protest – named Project Scholl – is the brainchild of Arianna Jones who was inspired to act by the story of Sophie Scholl who was executed, at the age of 21, by the Nazis after being found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich in 1943.

In quotes attributed to Scholl, she warned of damage being ‘done by millions who want to ‘survive. The honest men who want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonising their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves — or enemies.’

Jones said she was also prompted to act by the story of her own grandfather who, as a young man, resisted fascism in Italy by hanging an anti-Mussolini banner.

‘History repeats itself, even the worst parts of our history, if we let it,’ she said. ‘By bringing back the resistance posters from the Second World War era and updating them for 2017, we’re sharing a visual and visceral reminder of where extremism leads and that we all must do our part to resist.’

The posters were adapted by artist Robert Russell. He said: ‘Our President is overtly appealing to racist groups in our country. As a Jewish American raised on a diet of the horrors of the rise of Nazism and cultural indifference to it I could not avoid participating more directly in the conversation.’