SERIO-COMIC PROPAGANDA MAP OF EUROPE
„Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914.“ Lithograph designed by Walter Trier and published by Reklameverlag Ernst Marx in Berlin and Verlag Otto Maier in Leipzig. Size: 36,4 x 47,5 cm.
This fascinating pro-Germany satirical map was created shortly after the outbreak of WWI. Each country is depicted in human or animal form to illustrate the country’s character and involvement in the war, with tongue-in-cheek prose below the map further describing each country.
England hides its fleet under the homey skirt, with bulldog Ireland at its back. Germany and Austria-Hungary are depicted as soldiers, that deal out “good German blows” on all sides. Belgium has already been “caught” by Germany and serves as his gun. In Switzerland, “good will” prevails (referring to their neutrality). Russia is seen as a giant, trying to gobble it all up, “but it won’t succeed!” King Gustav of Sweden looks “eagerly” (not!) at Russia. Spain indulges in sweet idleness and watches the turmoil while France “courageously” pulls itself back. Serbia is depicted as a pig and Montenegro is a louse. The King of Durazzo – Albania – abandons his people. Italy looks frightened with his hands in his pockets. Romania is depicted as King Carol I, who ruled until his death on October 10, 1914. Greece and Turkey are eating each other up. Ferdinand of Bulgaria wants some too.
Within the text below the map are redactions masking the descriptions of Italy and Romania. While Italy was described within the text as “faithful until death” due to its participation in the Triple Alliance, Italy proclaimed neutrality in August 1914 and its support was therefore no longer certain. Likewise, Carol I of Romania favored Germany prior to the war, but after his death in 1914 Romania also declared itself neutral. Another interesting facet of this map is the prominent note at right indicating that 10% of the price of the map (30 Pf.) would be given to the Red Cross.
Walter Trier (1890-1951), the German-Jewish artist who created this map, was born in Prague and emigrated to Germany to study art. He was a well-known illustrator in Germany. After the war, Trier became a strong anti-fascist and was bitterly opposed to the Nazis, fleeing to England in 1936.
Provenance: collection Martinus Cornelis Sigal (1888 – 1969), with collector’s stamp on verso.