Cartoon kaart Europa – Fritz Elsner, 1914

WWI PROPAGANDA MAP OF EUROPE “Karikatur des deutschen Kriegsschauplatzes” [Charicature of the German theatre of war]. Lithograph in colour made…

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Karikatur des deutschen Kriegsschauplatzes” [Charicature of the German theatre of war]. Lithograph in colour made by Fritz Elsner in 1914, published in Cologne by F. Klotz and G. Cremer. With collector’s stamp of Martinus Cornelis Sigal (1888 – 1969). Size (paper): 40 x 50 cm.

While the soldiers of World War I fought on various fronts across Europe, artists and governmental departments on the home front engaged in their own propaganda battle via posters, postcards, and patriotic memorabilia.

Maps with propaganda elements were very popular. They were meant to convince the public of an enemy’s evil tendencies, or that a conflict is winnable and worth the sacrifice. During the war, on both sides of the front, they were distributed as agitation material that attempted to raise the fighting spirit of both soldiers and the population at home. They were generally sold separately, and due to their ephemeral nature quite rare.

The German text below the map not so subtly explains about the various nations in this theatre of war [please forgive the translator for not finding words that rhyme]:

Bring it on!
Lots of enemy, lots of honour!

What do you think, you pre-Roman cock,
That started with a chest full of hate,
You wanted to devour Germany,
No way, that you will succeed!

You foolish country, you should have made up your mind earlier,
You should have made room for the Germans,
How different would things be for you now,
You would have saved lots of blood and money.

You thought you would sack with ese,
These German warriors,
But instead the Russian bear,
Gets beaten with a wedge, more and more.

You double tongued boy,
You wanted to hide,
Zeppelin will wake you up.

You, the origin of this conspiracy,
The German wave will not spare you, you terrible wretch,
Remember this and don’t forget,
You and all the other sheep thieves,
This will cost you German lashes.


Price: Euro 975,-