SERIO-COMIC MAP OF EUROPE IN 1914
„2. humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914” [2nd humoristic map of Europe in the year 1914]. Lithograph by Karl Lehmann-Dumont, printed in colours and published by Leutert & Schneidewind „for war souvenirs and curiosities collectors” in Dresden 1914. Size (paper): 34,8 x 49,5 cm.
An uncommon allegorical depiction of Europe, with the bias on Germany and Prussia. Undoubtedly published for amusement it concentrates on the national characteristics and the foibles of each nation, but there is also a more disturbing element of propaganda. The date of publication and the depiction of national stereotypes will prove to be highly prophetic of the carnage that was shortly to engulf the continent.
The explanatory German text tells us:
The French cockerel, after hatching the egg from which the Gallic basilisk crawls, flutters wildly at the German tamer, while the Belgian three-headed snake is already rendered harmless by him. One snake’s head clings tightly to the tamer’s sleeve, only the last, third venomous rake still opens against him.
The English crocodile lurks in the water with its mouth wide open, waiting for a good opportunity to devour the German tamer; the English bulldog crouches in ambush, ready to pounce and growl.
In the background, the Japanese dragon also rises up, with screeching monkeys at its feet, and tries to turn its fire-breathing head towards the German tamer.
The great Russian rhinoceros charges at the two tamers, rolling in blood in front of him, driving a pack of wolves; it has the Finnish whale firmly by the harpoon.
The Turkish elephant, roused from its rest and irritated, sends a powerful, cold jet of water towards the Russian beasts and will also cause the English some worry..
The faithful Italian St. Bernard dog rests on his bed and keeps his eyes watchfully open.
The Swiss tortoise enjoys its neutral protective shell amidst the turmoil, while the Dutch kitten plays friendly snuggling with a ball.
The Spanish fighting bull turns calmly away, but on its back the Portuguese parrot, which has become restless, begins to screech along.
The Norwegian seal looks on in amazement and delight at the successful taming, the Swedish sea lion also looks over suspiciously at the howling of the Russian wolves, while the Danish penguin sits peacefully on the German’s cap.
The Greek fox is still busy with the Turkish birds he has killed, while the Albanian owl ponders profoundly about the relationship between man and beast.”