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Warsaw Uprising Caricature – Antisemitism

Broadside: "Die verratenen Warschauer Aufständischen" -- Zdradzeni powstańcy warszawscy [The betrayed Warsaw insurgents].

[Warsaw, 1944]. Single leaf, measuring 29.5 × 21 cm, printed to recto. Drawing signed "Mjölnir", V.[ölkischer] B.[eobachter] v. 25.08.1944." Stamp of private collection of Andrej Gołoś. Small insect damage, not affecting text; else about very good.

A Nazi propaganda broadside by Hans Schweitzer, published by the Völkischer Beobachter, the official propaganda outlet of the Nazi Party 1920–1945. The poster was published during the Warsaw Uprising, which began on August 1, 1944, and seems to have been intended for Polish citizens to lower morale by pointing out that they have been abandoned by the Allied forces. Printed in German and Polish, the caricature depicts the drowning of “Poland”, who is screaming for help, while “London” and “Moscow”, depicted respectively as a smartly dressed diplomat and a slovenly apparatchik, keep shouting promises and words of support while running away. Collapsing the preexisting animosity toward the Soviet Union and the local Jewish population, the poster depicts the Moscow apparatchik as a Jew, who sees this as an opportunity to “save himself another Katyn”, a sinister reference to the Soviet massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn forest in 1940.

The poster is credited to Mjölnir, a pseudonym used by Hans Schweitzer (1901–1980), referencing the name of Thor’s hammer from Teutonic mythology. Hired by Goebbels himself, Schweitzer was named “Reich Commissioner for Artistic Design” and made a professor in 1937 for his party propaganda posters. After Nazi defeat, Schweitzer was fined for his work for NSDAP and officially reprimanded but continued to work for the federal press office of West Germany.

As of October 2022, we cannot trace any other copies.

Book ID: 52431

Price: $275.00