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:
Caption: “Your departure grieves me! I hope you
will at least leave me your colonies as a souvenir!” (23
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
Explanation: Britain is collapsing, but Father Time
observes that others may not see things in the same way as the
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.
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