Satirical World War I Map of Europe
Rare Chicago German-American Imprint: 1914

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Humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914
Humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914 Humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914
Humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914 Humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914
Karl Lehmann-Dumont (act. 1900-1920) (original edition)
F.A. Thalmann (Chicago edition)
Humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914
Standard Map Company, Chicago (publishers): 1914
Color-process print
14.75 x 20.75 inches
Sold, please inquire as to the availability of similar items.

Satirical political cartoon map of Europe showing countries, in their natural geographic shape, but personified in caricature from the point of view of nationalistic Germans at the beginning of World War I. The map is printed in bold black outline with blocks of pink, yellow and orange. Below, a lengthy text explains the symbolism of the characters in starkly partisan terms. This map is among numerous so called satirical or comic maps of war published in Europe during World War 1. These maps have various 19th century antecedents, including a satirical map by Paul Hadol (1835-1875) personifying Europe during the Franco-Prussian War.

The original edition of the offered map was drawn and engraved in Dresden, Germany, by Karl Lehmann-Dumont and published there by Leutert & Schneidewind. That one is in the collection of the University of Amsterdam and is shown with others of the World War I era on the BibliOdyssey blog (see References below). The offered American version is credited as having been revised by F.A. Thalmann and published in Chicago, with "Price 20 Cents" added to the lower margin. Thalmann's version was entered into the Library of Congress's copyright records in 1914. The title and text remain in German, and given its heavily pro-German slant, was likely intended for the German-American market. Indeed by 1900 about 25% of the population of Chicago had immigrated from Germany or was of recent German immigrant decent.

The text of the original European edition of this map has been translated by BibliOdyssey, at the URL below, summarized here as follows: Germany is personified by a soldier who has France by the throat and is beating the Russian bear, which is also being attacked by a swarm of bees, released from the German hive, and stuck with a dagger by Poland. German ally Austria-Hungary also aims a bayonet at Russia, as well as stomping on Montenegro, which has "foolishly" aligned itself with Russia against Germany and Austria-Hungary. France cowers in retreat and calls to England for help, while the French Gallic rooster ineffectually crows about its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. Russia is dominated by a large grotesque figure with an ironic "Angel of Peace" emblem on his hat and brandishing a vodka bottle and a whip. He has his mouth open to swallow Germany and Austria whole. England takes it on the chin from an armored fist, while Ireland tries to cut the cord between them. Belgium is represented by a "poisonous toad," already skewered by a pin to be added to Germany's collection. Serbia, where the war began after the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, is being restrained by the Austrian eagle.

The countries as yet uninvolved in the war are also mocked: Italy, "bound by the Triple Alliance," is for the moment hiding on the sidelines. Spain's King Alfonse counts his war chest but his family is "against unnecessary expenses." Portugal relaxes, buffered by Spain. Holland is interrupted during breakfast by a stray bomb landing in his cup of cocoa. Turkey is personified by a sultan healing from wounds suffered from the Balkan War and representing a potential threat to the Russians. Other small countries are in various stages of watching and waiting, also described in the text.

As compared with the European version of the map, apparently the only significant change made by Thalmann in the Chicago version is that the personification of Russia in the Dresden version is leaning over a powder keg (labeled in German "Pulver") while in the Chicago version, the keg is gone, the position of the Turkish figure is reversed, and he holds a scimitar in one hand and reaches across the Mediterranean to tug the Russian's beard with the other. (Oddly, that leaves the detached tassel of the Turkish man’s hat still floating on the left.)

Karl Lehmann-Dumont was a German artist and illustrator active in Dresden.

Standard Map Company was a Chicago map publisher, whose output included numerous county maps and atlases from Midwestern states, state pocket maps for motorists, and a guidebook to Chicago between at least 1910 and 1952.

References:

Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 1, Vol. 12, Issue 1. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress Copyright Office, 1915. pp. 1775. Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=djnQAAAAMAAJ (6 April 2012).

Peacay. "Dogs of War: Satirical Maps of the First World War." BibliOdyssey. 3 August 2008. http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/08/dogs-of-war.html (6 April 2012).