Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1933: The Nation

Curiously, although there were many cartoons on the Nazi bookfires in 1933, the majority of them were openly mocking. The Nation, the left-leaning American weekly was no exception, publishing this cartoon by Georges Schreiber in which a group of moustachioed militarists, industrialists and SA men caper about in the nude, looking something like a George Grosz caricature. Hitler looms large over the pyre, holding a copy of the works of de Sade, while on the fire are copies of the Old Testament, the Nation itself, and the writings of Thomas Mann burn (Thomas Mann, of course, was not on the first Nazi blacklists). What the juxtaposition implies, of course, is that the wrong books are being burned, while the decrepit figures suggest the bankruptcy of their ideas.

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