German Propaganda Archive


Background: These cartoons all come from 1934 issues of Kladderadatsch, a leading German satirical weekly that quickly adopted to National Socialism. These cartoons reflect the Nazi propaganda line at the time: Germany wanted peace, whereas the rest of the world was preparing for war.

For those who read German, the full run of Kladderadatsch (1850-1944) is available on-line through the University of Heidelberg. Simplicissimus, another leading satirical magazine, is also available.

Cartoons from Kladderadatsch (1934)

 Kladderadatsch cartoon

The title: “In the new Garden of Eden.” France, personified as Eve, is being seduced by the serpent of the armaments industry.

Source: Issue #15/1934


The caption: “French secret report. Germany’s rearmament is in full swing, and its fighting spirit incomparable.” The wheelbarrow says: “On to the battle of labor.” The point is that Germany is building its economy, not weapons. It comes from the same issue as the cartoon immediately above.

Source: Issue #15/1934

 FDR, Kladderadatsch cartoon

The caption: “International chess tournament.” The Western powers, with all their weapons, are being driven into the corner by the pawns, the common people. Note the French colonial soldier.

Source: Issue #17/1934

 Racism in America

Caption: “America for the ‘Americans’! The extraordinary increase in the population of Negroes and Jews is causing headaches for the more established Americans.”

Source: Issue #23/1934

 HItler visits Italy

Hitler visits Italy to make peace, while an unhappy France, accompanied by the God of War, watches.

Source: Issue #27/1934

 Jews and World War I

The center shows a memorial to the ten million dead of World War I. Two Jews stand beneath. One says: “Why shouldn’t we risk a war? We won't have to fight in it.”

Source: Issue #31/1934

 Hitler and the Night of the Long Knives

This cartoon appeared immediately after the Night of the Long Knives. The title: “Loyalty. The Führer’s major speech on the events of 30 June.” At bottom, a quotation from Hermann Göring: “The German people knows: The greater the need, the greater always is the Führer!”

Source: Issue #31/1934


 The French-Soviet agreement

France and the Soviet Union were discussing a treaty. The USSR is personified as a bear, France as a tiger. “Europe, you can rest easy!”

Source: Issue #39/1934

 The Communist menage

This cartoon suggests the danger of Communism, as red insects infest Europe. The caption: “Europe, defend your holiest treasures!”

Source: Issue #43/1934

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