On 26 April 1934, the Prague-based satirical magazine Simplicus published a caricature on its cover addressing the growing international influence of the National Socialist Party on foreign cultural affairs. The caricature, drawn by the avant-garde artist Adolf Hoffmeister (1902–1973), shows an exhibition setting, in which portraits of National Socialist figureheads Adolf Hitler, Josef Goebbels, and Franz von Papen are on display. Below them, members of the Mánes artist association selection committee stand around a photograph by Hermann Goering. The caption below the image adds a comment by the German ambassador in Prague, Walter Koch, whose backside is turned towards the viewers: ‘Gentlemen, this one is perhaps still a bit too sharp.’ The main joke of the image is, of course, that the works discussed in the selection process are not caricatures but portrait photographs, presented as caricatures in an act of ridicule.
CRAACE researcher Julia Secklehner has published a new essay in the volume Visual Antisemitism in Central Europe edited by Jakub Hauser and Eva Janáčová.
Her book chapter ‘Simple Entertainment? Die Muskete and “Weak” Antisemitism in Interwar Vienna’ considers the impact of ‘weak’ antisemitism in the Viennese popular press between 1918 and 1938. It argues that, in addition to the aggressive rhetoric of right-wing forces, visual antisemitism in interwar Viennese satirical magazines was also permeated by softer undercurrents of Jewish stereotyping. Masked as light entertainment, these were perhaps less obvious than their aggressive counterparts, but nonetheless represented a dangerous aspect of popular campaigns to ostracise the Jewish population. Juxtaposing aggressive forms of antisemitism from the satirical magazine Der Kikeriki with ‘weak’ antisemitism in the humorous magazine Die Muskete, the article shows that the ‘othering’ of the Jewish population was widely asserted as a cultural fact in the popular entertainment press, and, particularly in its weaker forms, spanned all political and social lines.