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"We need a war"

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    USSR (made)

  • Date:

    1931 (designed)
    15/03/1932 (ready for production)
    21/03/1932 (ready for printing)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Deni, Viktor Nikolaevich, born 1893 - died 1946 (designer)
    Korobchenko (editor)
    Yakovlev, A. A. (editors)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3G, shelf DR20

This poster features an image by celebrated propaganda artist Victor Deni and a poem by the equally celebrated Soviet poet Demian Bedny (Demian the Poor), the pseudonym of Efim Pridvorov. It shows capitalists as initiators of war, and war as a source of capitalist profit. The poem by Bedny declares, on the other hand, that the task of proletariat is to destroy warmongering and foster peace.

Physical description

A fat Capitalist in a top hat with a cigar in his mouth is sitting on the pile of shipping boxes & crates. His vest is inscribed with the words "We need a war". The boxes are denoted as "military shipments". Cannons are visible behind the pile of boxes. Underneath the picture is a poem titled "To be destroyed", composed by Demian Bedny.

Place of Origin

USSR (made)


1931 (designed)
15/03/1932 (ready for production)
21/03/1932 (ready for printing)


Deni, Viktor Nikolaevich, born 1893 - died 1946 (designer)
Korobchenko (editor)
Yakovlev, A. A. (editors)

Materials and Techniques

colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

"We need a war"
Translation from Russian
(top, across the waistcoat of the Capitalist)

"Military shipments".
Translation from Russian
(middle, across the shipping boxes)

Deni, 31
designer's signature and date of his original design

To Be Destroyed
This disgusting figure
Does not need an extra evidence.
The bourgeois culture
Found in it its precise and evil face.

This creature is glutinous and introvert,
Full of self-admiration,
Yes, it craves a war:
A war is what it eats.

War - unbelievable profits!
War - hustle and bustle on a stock exchange!
The destruction of this creature
Is the law of proletariat.
Demian Bedny
(bottom, below the picture)

Glavlit Street, N B-17444, Izogiz N 3950, I32, N 681. Order N 939, quantity 30,000.
Given into production on 15.03.32, signed for printing on 21.03.32, St. format 70x100
½ l. Price 30 copeek.
Translation from Russian
(left lower margin)

OGIZ-IZOGIZ, Moscow 1932 Leningrad
(centre lower margin)

Artist Deni. Editor Korobchenko. Tech. editor Yakovlev A.A. Offset printing "Izvestii VCIK"
(right lower margin)


Height: 38.8 cm, Width: 67.4 cm

Descriptive line

Anti-Capitalist Soviet Poster published by IZOGIZ, USSR, 1932


Paper; Ink

Subjects depicted

Peace; Politics; Capitalism; Militarism; Ideology; Propaganda; Communism; War


Prints; Propaganda; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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