“Our Job is to Beat the Hun,” c. 1917. Poster: Library and Archives Canada, 101573

Beat the Hun poster

The use of the word “Hun” as a pejorative term for a German can ironically be traced to Kaiser Wilhelm II himself. In a speech to a German military unit before battle in China in 1900, he invoked Attila and company as role models of ruthlessness and fighting prowess.

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