German Propaganda Archive Calvin University


Background: These are cartoons from Das Reich,a widely-circulated Nazi weekly magazine. Goebbels wrote the lead editorial each week. It attempted to appeal to an educated audience. These cartoons from the beginning of the war can be compared with those from its end.

Cartoons from Das Reich:1940-1941


Caption: “Your departure grieves me! I hope you will at least leave me your colonies as a souvenir!” (23 June 1940)

Explanation: This appeared just after the fall of France. The British lion, with a wounded nose, hopes to profit from France’s defeat by gaining control of its colonies.


Caption: “Help! Help! The world is coming to an end!” — “Not at all gentlemen. Only yours!” (7 July 1940)

Explanation: Britain is collapsing, but Father Time observes that others may not see things in the same way as the English.


Caption: “When I think about how children in Europe are starving, I hardly know what to say.” (11 August 1940)

Explanation: England is crying crocodile tears.


Caption: “The Gentleman. England’s thank you to France.” (1 September 1940)

Explanation: England was attempting to blockade France, now under German control. The cartoon suggests that England is not being very kind to its former ally.


Caption: “Terrible problems of the upper class somewhere in England. ‘Your Majesty, there is no other choice. You must swallow it’” (5 January 1941)

Explanation: England is being forced to speak of socialism to maintain public support.


Caption: “Hey, Tom! The Bank of England is selling safes cheap!” (26 January 1941)

Explanation: England is supposedly going broke as it tries to finance the war.


Caption: ““Is he suffering from depression, or is he in the opposition?” “I don’t know, but it doesn’t make any difference. We have to treat them all with the same band aid. (16 February 1941)

Explanation: The band aids are titled “American Help.” The point is that England’s answer to every problem is to hope for help from the United States.

[Page copyright © 1998 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]

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