Marxists Internet Archive: Subjects: Marxism and European Graphics, Illustrations, and Drawings
European Graphics, Illustrations, and Drawings
Satire and Art Inspired by Socialist and Radical Ideas
Index of artists and publications (in alphabetical order) L’Asino, Early 20th Century L’Asino, 1920-1922 L’Assiette au Beurre Avanti! Crane, Walter Die Glühlichter L'Humanité Hungarian Soviet Republic, 1919 Steinlen, Théophile Süddeutsche Postillon Der Wahre Jacob, Late 19th Century Der Wahre Jacob, Early 20th Century Der Wahre Jacob, the German Revolution and the Birth of the Weimar Republic, 1918-1920
See separate page for:
Graphics, Illustrations and Drawings From American Artists and the U.S. Socialist Press
England: The Late 19th Century Art of Walter Crane
Walter Crane (15 August 1845–14 March 1915) was an English socialist artist and book illustrator.
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The Party Fight and the New Party, or Liberalism and Toryism Disturbed by the Appearance of Socialism, 1884.
Mrs. Grundy Frightened at her own shadow, Commonweal, 1886.
Vive La Commune, Justice, 1887.
Labour's May Day, 1889.
In Memory of the Paris Commune, Black and White, 1891.
The Workers' May Pole, 1894.
A Garland for May Day 1895, 1895.
Cover, Cartoons for the Cause, 1896.
The True Answer to Jingoism–International Socialist and Trade Union Congress, 1896, 1896.
A Merry Christmas Disturbed by the Appearance of Socialism, Labour Leader, 1897.
The Strong Man, Justice, 1897.
Flowers for Labour's May Day, 1898.
The Capitalist Vampire, The Comrade, 1903.
A Little Holiday, or a Day Off for All Parties, .
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Germany: The Late 19th Century Art of Der Wahre Jacob
Der Wahre Jacob (The True Jacob) was a satirical magazine published by the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). It was launched in 1879 and lasted until 1933.
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The Liberation of the East African Slaves, Issue No. 67, 9 February 1889 [German imperialism claimed it was seizing territory in East Africa to free the inhabitants from Arab slavery. This graphic shows how conditions for the slaves are no different now under German rule.]
Boulanger, Issue No. 67, 9 February 1889 [General Georges Boulanger posed a threat to the French Republic in 1889. Here he is being restrained by proletarians and condemned by Marianne, while the ghosts of royalism and Bonapartism hover in the background. .]
Portrait Gallery of the French Revolution. Issue No. 78, 1889.
Scene from the Media Campaign Against Social Democracy. Issue No. 111, 25 October 1890. [The bourgeois press empties their chamberpots on liberty as she rides by in a Social Democratic chariot.]
Burns at a Street Meeting in London. Issue No. 112, 8 November 1890. [German Social Democracy closely followed the growth of socialism in England. Here it shows then-prominent socialist John Burns.]
Invalid Atlas, Issue No. 125, May 1891 [In this modern age, an invalid Atlas can no longer hold up the earth. That role now belongs to the proletariat. The caption reads: The invalid can no longer carry the earth. Strong companions full of courage now replace the old man.]
The Proclamation of the Paris Commune, 1871. Issue No. 126, 1891.
Scene from the Fighting, Paris Commune 1871. Issue No. 126, 1891.
At Pere Lachaise, [The final hours of the Paris Commune 1871.] Issue No. 126, 1891.
The International Workers’ Congress in Brussels, Issue No. 134, 1891. [The second congress of the Second International met in Brussels, Belgium from August 16-22, 1891 at the Maison du Peuple, the headquarters of the Belgian Workers Party.]
Prometheus Chained, Issue No. 137, October 1891 [The proletarian prometheus is chained to a rock as the capitalist eagle devours his liver. The bankruptcy of social reformism is exposed as its only solution is to offer a bandage to the wound.]
The German Political and Labor Press, Issue No. 137, October 1891
Curious Question, Issue No. 138, 1891. [In the 1890s Bismark attempted to halt the spread of Social Democracy by inaugurating a number of social welfare programs. This graphic exposes their inadequate character. The caption reads: Englishman: What is this? Der Wahre Jacob: Bismark’s social reform.]
The Workers’ May Festival, Issue No. 141, 1891 [Liberty leads to way as workers from many countries carrying red flags rally and march behind her.]
Full Speed Ahead!, Issue No. 150, 1892 [The 8-hour day locomotive confronts a capitalist bull on the tracks.]
What the English Elections Show, Issue No. 159, 27 August 1892 [This graphic celebrates what was perceived as an advance of social democracy in the UK: the 1892 election of John Burns and J. Keir Hardie to the House of Commons.]
In The Land of Freedom, Issue No. 162, October 1892 [This graphic refers to the great Homestead Steel Strike in the USA in 1892. While capitalists celebrate, guarded by a heavily armed Pinkerton, a proletarian Samsom topples the pillars of the Homestead temple.]
Seen in the Right Light, Issue No. 164, 1892 [This graphic represents German Social Democracy's opposition to the alliance being formed in the 1890s between France and Russia. Here SPD leader Wilhelm Liebknecht shines a spotlight on the true nature of the alliance – France drunk with revenge to recover Alsace-Lorraine is being poisoned by Russia. The caption reads: Liebknecht illuminates the immoral relationship between France and Russia.]
The advance of socialism, Issue No. 165, October 1892 [As the ship of the capitalists and militarists sinks, the ship of socialism and its proletarian crew sails toward the shining city of the future. The caption reads: What it will look like when the workers follow sound advice and shake the dust off their feet.]
Pictures of Our Time: The Social Democrat Comes!!!, Issue No. 167, December 1892 [A mocking look at popular fears about the growing Social Democratic movement.]
The New Year, Issue No. 168, January 1893.
France's Panama Scandal, Issue No. 170, February 1893 [France was convulsed in 1892-3 by the Panama corruption scandal. This graphic shows a monstrous snake labeled “corruption” that has emerged from the “capitalism” swamp, menacing Marianne, the national personification of the French Republic, as two vultures – “monarchism” and “Bonapartism” – look on. Meanwhile, from the left, “Socialism” rushes to her aid.]
Social Democracy Struggles With the Dragon, Issue No. 172, March 1893 [As here, the imagry of St. George and the dragon was frequently used on socialist illustrations.]
May Day Issue cover, Issue No. 172, May 1893.
The Workers' May Day, Issue No. 172, May 1893 [Eric Hobsbawm suggested that the iconography of the socialist movement at the end of the 19th Century reflected a transition from the democratic, plebian revolutions of 1789, 1830, 1848 to the proletarian revolutions of the early 20th Century, combing elements of both. This graphic is illustrative. It shows Liberty (note the resemblance to the Statue of Liberty) standing at the grave of Karl Marx welcoming a gathering of workers (with a hammer) and peasants (with a scythe) reaching out to her. Note that the slogan on the flag carried by the gathering is “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” from the French Revolution, rather than the later “Workers of the World Unite!”]
The Liberty Tree, Issue No. 178, 1893.
The Victims of Militarism, Issue No. 179, 1893.
Social Democracy Prepares to Fight the Military Monster, Issue No. 181, July 1893 [Here, while the bourgeois parties cringe in terror or flail about ineffectually, only the proletariat, armed with the hammer of “socialism” stands prepared to slay the monster “militarism.”]
From Our Time – For Our Time, Issue No. 196, 27 January 1894 [While the bourgeoisie celebrates in the worship of mammon, the proletariat emerges from the depths, carrying the flag of “work and freedom”.]
The Vampire, Issue No. 203, May 1894 [Liberty, bearing the book of science, seeks to awaken the sleeping proletarian whose blood is being sucked by the vampire capitalism. This illustration may have been the inspiration for Walter Crane’s later graphic “The Capitalist Vampire.”]
Reverberations of the May Festival, Issue No. 204, 1894 [Representatives of the ruling class look on in horror as a worker points to the May Day march passing outside their window.]
Mama Europe, 1844, 1894, Issue No. 208, 1894 [A condemnation of the growth of militarism in Europe between 1844 and 1894.]
The Joys of Civilization, Issue No. 209, 1894 [A condemnation of German “civilization” in Africa.]
Advance!, Issue No. 215, 1894 [The socialist, spreading enlightenment, is chased by the running dog bourgeois parties.]
The Socialist Victory March in Brussels, Issue No. 219, 1894 [A march in celebration of the successes of the Belgian Labor Party in the 1894 general elections.]
The Forward March of Socialism, Issue No. 228, 1895
May Day cover, Issue No. 229, May 1895
The Petroleum Ring, Issue No. 231, June 1895 [This is a representative example of the anti-Semitism which was present in socialist iconography in this period.]
War, Issue No. 235, 1895
The Last Shot, Issue No. 235, 1895
Friedrich Engels, Issue No. 239, Sepetember 1895 [This was the cover of the Der Wahre Jacob issue in the month immediately following Engels' death.]
A New Year's Present for Which the Workers Hope, Issue No. 246, December 1895 [With “Progress” holding a flag calling for the 8 hour day looking on, Liberty, armed with a cudgel labeled “Social Democracy,” has opened a breach in the fortress of capitalism as puny capitalists helplessly look on from the battlements.]
German Colonization in Africa, Issue No. 255, 28 April 1896
Capitalism and Socialism, Issue No. 255, 28 April 1896 [The socialist Hercules fights the capitalist centaur Nessus.]
The Advance of Russian Socialism, Issue No. 268, 27 October 1896 [Czar Nicolaus II and his officers take fright at the advance of Russian socialism.]
Fruitless are the efforts of militarism, bureaucratism, capitalism and ultramontanism to stop the wheel of time, Issue No. 280, 27 April 1897.
Festival of the Workers, Issue No. 280, 27 April 1897.
Happy Driving! Happy New Year!, Issue No. 299, 4 January 1898. [The social democratic locomotive is on course for the new year.]
On the Anniversary of the Revolutions of 1848, Issue No. 299, 4 January 1898. [Scenes from the 1848 revolutions in Paris and Berlin.]
Attention!, Issue No. 305, 29 March 1898. [Europe's military alliances are breaking the neck of the European proletariat. Socialism is coming to its aid. The caption reads: The proletarian (crying out): Help, help, I can't stand it anymore! Socialism: Wait, help is on the way.]
May Greetings, Issue No. 307, 26 April 1898.
June 16, 1898, Issue No. 310, 7 June 1898. [The leaders of the capitalist parties are drowning in a deluge of Social Democratic ballots.]
Uncle Sam's Picnic, Issue No. 314, 2 August 1898. [Uncle Sam and President McKinley stir up a witches' caldrom of war, while Spain, Cuba and Manila look on.]
All in Vain, Issue No. 317, 13 September 1898. [The leaders of the capitalist parties are helpless as Social Democracy breaks through all the barriers set up to impede her progress.]
The Chinese Frog, Issue No. 323, 6 December 1898 [At the end of the 19th Century the European powers (and Japan) were actively vying with one another to see who could most ruthlessly plunder and exploit China and the Chinese people. The caption here reads: “The flock of ducks looks peaceful, but when a frog appears, – then God have mercy!”.]
A Radical Remedy for the Dominant Culture, Issue No. 327, 31 January 1899. [Workers put various elements of the dominant capitalist culture to the torch.]
The Blinding of Polyphemus, Issue No. 329, 28 February 1899. [Adapted from Homer's Odyessy, the cyclops militarism is being blinded by the leaders of the German Social Democratic Party.]
Beyond the Rhine, Issue No. 345, 10 October 1899. [The caption reads: The French people protect the threatened republic.]
England and War in South Africa, Issue No. 349, 5 December 1899. [The caption reads: War and capitalism, or the transformation of human blood into gold.]
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France: The Late 19th Century Art of Théophile Steinlen
Théophile Steinlen (10 November 1859–13 December 1923) was a Swiss-born radical French artist and printer maker. He drew for a number of publications, including Le Chambard Socialiste.
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The assault of Pas-de-Calais, December 16, 1893 [This graphic decries the repression unleased on striking French miners in the Pas-de-Calais region.]
The Good Year (Happy New Year), December 31, 1893 [The caption reads: “It is going to come; it comes.... the new year.”]
The Cry of the Cobblestones, February 3, 1894 [The caption reads: “Communards: ’Your republic is the child of our blood!’” This graphic is one of Steinlen’s many tributes to the Paris Commune of 1871.]
Freedom to Work!, March 10, 1894 [A graphic against sexual harassment. The caption reads: “Well, my dear, you must choose: you can be nice to me or you can leave the house... You are free!”.]
March 18th, March 17, 1894 [This graphic is another of Steinlen’s tributes to the Paris Commune of 1871. It shows Marianne, the personification of the French Republic, amidst a crowd of workers, singing the Carmagnole. March 18th, 1871 saw the birth of the Paris Commune.]
Today!, and Tomorrow!, March 31, 1894, April 7, 1894 [Today the landlord can run the peasants off their land, but tomorrow the tables will be turned.]
May 1871, May 26, 1894 [This graphic is another of Steinlen’s tributes to the Paris Commune of 1871.]
The Last Refuge of Liberty, July 21, 1894 [This graphic shows Marianne, the personification of the French Republic, in the arms of a French mine worker.]
National Festival, August 15, 1894 [The children say to their father, “Oh, Papa! The National Festival was so beautiful. If only we had something to eat.“]
Advertising poster for Le Petit Sou, a socialist journal, 1900.
Cover illustration for an edition of L'Internationale.
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Italy: The Late 19th Century Art of Avanti!
Avanti! was the daily newspaper of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), launched in 1896.
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Advertising poster for a subscription to Avanti!, 1896.
Advertising poster for a subscription to Avanti!, 1898.
Advertising poster for a subscription to Avanti!, 1899.
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Austria: The Art of Die Glühlichter
Die Glühlichter (The Incandescent Lights) was a humorous-satirical workers' journal of the Social Democratic Workers' Party [of Austria]. Founded and published in Vienna in 1889 it was issued until 1915. It changed its name several times during its lifetime. Beginning in 1896, it became Die Neue Glühlichter, before returning to the name Die Glühlichter in 1909.
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Cover, May Day Issue. 1 May 1890 issue.
Germany, Wake Up! 12 July 1890 issue.[The Social Democratic prince seeks to waken the sleeping beauty Germany.]
Ferdinand Lasalle [on the anniversary of his death] 23 August 1890 issue.[The sign held by liberty reads "immortality".]
The Modern Hercules and the Lernean Hydra 4 October 1890 issue.[Social Democracy is the modern Hercules fighting a hydra labelled "bourgeoisie." This is a graphic in tribute to the struggles of German Social Democracy.]
Valkyrie Ride 15 November 1890 issue.[The Valkyrie is Social Democracy.]
Review of the Past Year 27 December 1890 issue.[Examples of Social Democratic victories in 1890.]
Proletarians commemorate the 1848 revolution. 7 March 1891 issue.
Cover, May Day Issue 1891. 1 May 1891 issue.
The international workers' press lives!. 1 May 1891 issue. [Mastheads of various socialist newspapers from around the world.]
French Medal. 25 July 1891 issue. [This illustration commemorates the Fourmies massacre, an event which happened on 1 May 1891 in the French Nord department. Troops fired on a peaceful demonstration of workers, killing nine and injuring 35 others. Pictured are two medals. One, labelled "fantasy" shows the French Republic honoring its workers. The Other, labelled "reality" shows the massacre.]
The search for a split in German Social Democracy. 8 August 1891 issue. [Big capitalist, journalists and other enemies search in vain for a split in the solid trunk of German Social Democracy.]
The Brussels Congress. 22 August 1891 issue. [Celebrating the 1891 Bussels Congress of the Socialist International.]
The Position of the Bourgeois Press on the Brussels Congress. 19 September 1891 issue. [To howl at the moon is to to waste your time and energy. Here, the dogs of the bourgeois press waste their time attacking the 1891 Bussels Congress of the Socialist International.]
The Modern Prometheus. 19 September 1891 issue. [In this reuse of the Prometheus story, Prometheus is "the people" and Social Democracy is the hero preparing to slay the bourgeois eagle eating his liver.]
The Erfurt Convention. 17 October 1891 issue. [A graphic in celebration of the Erfurt Congress of the German Social Democratic Party at which the famous Erfurt Program was adopted.]
The Bereavement at Erfurt. 31 October 1891 issue. [Here, big capital and the reptile press shed bitter tears as a casket labelled "hope for a split in Social Democracy" is carried by mourners. They had hoped in vain that the Party would split at the Erfurt Congress.]
The Legend of the Prodigal Son. 14 November 1891 issue. [The parable of the prodigal son describes the experience of a young man who became lost and subsequently found his way back home. Here, it is used to describe a struggle at the Erfurt Congress of the German Social Democratic Party between the leadership led by August Bebel and the rightwing led by the Bavarian leader Georg Von Vollmar. The resolution of this struggle is seen here as the return of Vollmar to paternal orthodoxy.]
The Easter Egg of Austrian Social Democracy. 16 April 1892 issue. [Workers hail but the bourgeoisie is frightened by the Social Democratic Congress in Linz.]
May Day issue cover. 1 May 1892 issue.
A Commemorative Portrait of Our Demands. 1 May 1892 issue. [Is there any limit to the number of iconographic elements one can combine in a single illustration? That’s the question this graphic tries to answer. Liberty dressed in red and holding her torch is in the middle, flanked by portraits of Marx and Lasalle and a banner with the symbol of the Social Democratic Party and the quote “workers of the world, unite! Above. Surrounding her are angels holding signs calling for workers’ protection, political rights, and other demands. At her feet to the left is an array of workers with their tools, including one trampling weapons and money underfoot, as well as a peasant with his sickle and plow. To the right is a doctor, artist, musician, painter, craftsmen and students as well as a scientist, surrounded by specimens, who is trampling “dogma” underfoot. In the background is a temple of culture and knowledge.]
Proletarian Joy and Bourgeois Sorrow on May 1. 14 May 1892 issue.[While proletarians joyfully celebrate with their May Day march, the bourgeoisie and their running dog "journalists" shed bitter tears.
Welcome the New Year!. 3 January 1893 issue.
The European Augean Stables. 3 January 1893 issue.[This graphic repurposes the story of Hercules' fifth labor, the cleaning of the Augean stables. Here, as liberty points out, the feeble anti-corruption efforts of bourgeois politicans with their puny brooms are no match for the proletariat, armed with the shovel of socialism, who is cleaning out the corruption manure (like the Panama scandal) created by the pigs labelled "capitalism."]
Remembering Karl Marx on the Anniversary of his Death. 18 March 1893 issue.
The real boxing kangaroo, illustrated in a modern way.. 27 May 1893 issue.[The proletariat, armed with the gloves of "workers' organization" and "strikes and boycott" takes on the kangaroo labelled "big capital."]
The Zurich Congress. 19 August 1893 issue.[Welcoming the Third International Congress of the Socialist International in Zurich.]
Toward the Elections in France. 2 September 1893 issue.[This illustration draws on the Biblical story of Moses bringing forth water by striking a rock with his staff. Here, Moses is Jules Guede, leader of the French Socialists, seen crushing the reptile "corruption" underfoot. The rock being struck is labelled "capitalism, militarism" and the water brought forth is labelled "socialism."]
Celebrating the 100th issue of Die Glühlichter. 16 September 1893 issue.
Our Harvest Times. 16 September 1893 issue.[The proletariat prepares to harvest the grapes labelled "electoral rights" and "the 8 hour day."]
The "anarchist" scarecrow. 14 October 1893 issue.[The anarchist scarecrow fails to scare the birds, the rabbits... or the proletariat.]
Ulysses and the Cyclops. 20 January 1894 issue.[The blind cyclops capitalism tries in vain to destroy the Social Democratic boat.]
The Modern Sword of Damocles. 3 February 1894 issue.[Based on the old Roman fable, here, Damocles is "capitalism" and the sword over his lead is "socialism".]
Our Coalition. 12 May 1894 issue.[Capitalism, militarism and clericalism swear an oath to join in coalition on a sword labelled "struggle against Social Democracy."]
The Modern Tantalus. 12 May 1894 issue.[From the Greek myth, here Tantalus is the proletariat chained to the rock of capitalism by wage slavery. Out of his reach are fruit labelled with rights like "press freedom," "the 8 hour day," "electoral rights," etc.]
Irretrievably Lost. 26 May 1894 issue.[Capitalism, clericalism and feudalism can do nothing in the face of the rising tide of socialism.]
Social Democracy and the Bourgeois Parties. 26 October 1894 issue.[The proletariat, riding the horse of Social Democracy is chased by the yapping dogs of the bourgeois parties and their press.]
The Modern Judgement of Paris. 28 February 1896 issue.[Here, the proletariat [Paris] gives the golden apple to Social Democracy, not the Christian Social or Liberal parties.]
March Days. 18 March 1897 issue.[Remembering the Revolution of 1848.]
Cover, May First issue. 1 May 1897 issue.
Social Democracy as it is represented by different artists in different ways. 13 May 1897 issue.
Pay Day. 24 June 1897 issue.[Above, capitalists pay their workers. Below, Social Democracy and the labor movement, having broken their chains, consign capitalism to hell.]
The Legacy of March is with us still. 6 January 1898 issue.[Remembering the March Revolution of 1848.]
1848. 1898. 17 March 1898 issue.[In 1848 the bourgeoisie stood strong against feudalism. In 1898 it takes its stand against the proletariat.]
May 1st, 1898 28 April 1898 issue.
As It Is; As It Is Becoming 28 April 1898 issue. [On page one, soldiers confront each other, as the dead line under cannon wheels. On page two, no longer soldiers, that greet each other, while militarism now lies crushed under the cannon wheels.]
March 13, 1848 16 March 1899 issue. [Remembering the March Revolution of 1848.]
Cover, May 1st, 1899 issue. 1 May 1899 issue.
The Dreyfus Affair 14 September 1899 issue. [Representatives of the French army are blowing up a baloon labelled "Dreyfus Accusation." The caption reads: The story looks great, but it won't last!]
The Judgement of Paris at Rennes 28 September 1899 issue. [A commentary on the conviction of Alfred Dreyfus at his second trial at Rennes. Paris [the French court] directed from behind by a priest hands the apple [Drefus] not to "humanity" or "equality" but to "chauvinism."]
How the Struggle Against Jewish Big Capital is Waged. 7 December 1899 issue. [Two pictures: the first, showing how the struggle is waged politically by the Social Democrats against wealthy Jews like Rothschild and Guttmann. The second, showing how it is waged by the anti-Semites, has them attacking a poor Jewish peddler and throwing stones through the window of a Jewish shop.]
The March of History. 15 March 1900 issue. [Great leaders through history, starting with Plato, leading to the utopian socialists, them Marx and Engels, and ending with contemporary Social Democratic leaders, Bebel, Victor Adler, and Juares.]
May 1st, 1900. 26 April 1900 issue.
The Five Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Johannes Gutenberg. 5 July 1900 issue.
In the Middle of Work. 30 August 1900 issue. [On the death of Wilhelm Liebknecht. The caption reads: Don't worry, your life work remains imperishable!]
May Celebration 1901. 9 April 1901 issue.
May 1st, 1906. 26 April 1906 issue.
Happy New Year. 3 January 1907 issue.
Germany Chooses. 27 February 1907 issue. [An illustration celebrating the victory of the German Social Democrats in the 1907 Reichstag elections where they won a plurality of the vote.]
May Day 1907. 24 April 1907 issue.
Entering Parliament. 19 June 1907 issue. [In the 1907 elections to the 11th Imperial Council, the first held under universal male suffrage, the Social Democratic Party entered Parliament for the first time.]
The Fruits of May. 22 April 1908 issue. [Having already delivered electoral reform to the workers, May Day now reaches for the eight hour day.]
The 60th Anniversary of 1848. 10 March 1909 issue. [Priests and other representatives of the ruling class attempt to extinquish liberty's torch and suppress the memory of 1848.]
August Bebel, 1840-1910. 26 February 1910 issue. [On the death of the German Socialist leader August Bebel.]
Engelbert Pernerstorfer. 23 April 1910 issue. [On the death of the Austrian Socialist leader Engelbert Pernerstorfer.]
The Battle of Moabit. 22 October 1910 issue. [On the brutal police attack on striking coal miners in Berlin's Moabit Precinct, September 2010.]
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Italy: The Early 20th Century Art of L'Asino
L'Asino (The Donkey) was a satirical magazine published by Italian socialists and anti-clericals. It commenced publication in 1892 and lasted until 1925.
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May Day, 1901, May 1, 1901 issue.
The Effect of Polemics Among Socialists, January 5, 1902 issue [The caption reads: “the effect of polemics among socialists – laughter on the part of their adversaries.” The illustration itself shows a variety of capitalists, priests and gendarmes enjoying a good laugh as they read in the bourgeois press about socialists fighting each other.]
The Only Miracle They Can Perform, March 9, 1902 issue [The title suggests that the transformation illustrated here, rather than the act of transubstantiation, is the only true miracle of the priesthood.]
The Effects of Organization (To the Railroad Workers), March 16, 1902 issue [The captions read: “The capitalist is big if you want to make yourself small, but he becomes small as soon as you make yourself big.”]
Money Making Strategies, March 23, 1902 issue [The thief says to his victim: “your wallet or... your life!!..” The priest says to the dying man: “your wallet or... hell!!!...”]
May Day 1902 cover.
May 1, 1902 issue.
May Day 1902 poster, May 1, 1902 issue.
Vain Effort, May 4, 1902 issue [The caption reads: Despite the efforts of reactionaries the inevitable advance of progress will continue on its course.]
Their Poverty, May 25, 1902 issue [The caption reads: Remember, brother, poverty is of the highest merit for a good christian.]
The Bridge of Death, June 15, 1902 issue [The caption reads: John Bull: “Finally I have arrived!”. This illustration shows John Bull (England) crossing a mountainous bridge of corpses to arrive at a gold mine. It's referring to the Second Boer War in South Africa, fought by Britain after the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand region. The war resulted in the deaths of nearly 100,000 people, including tens of thousands of Boer women and children who died in British concentration camps.]
The Suction Pump, June 15, 1902 issue [The caption reads: While the fool prays, the others drain his pocket! ]
Divorce According to the Priests, July 6, 1902 issue. [The caption presents a conversation between a priest and a parishoner. Priest: The church permits divorce in only one situation. Parishoner: In a very serious situation? Priest: Of course! When the couple pays a serious sum of money.]
The Educational System of the Priests, July 13, 1902 issue. [The caption reads: This is how they pour their filth into boy's heads.]
The Most Direct Socialist Line: Dresden to Berlin, July 5, 1903 issue. [The socialist locomotive scatters capitalists, priests and soldiers. The caption reads: Savage bipeds, surprised by the train on its way to civilization, are put to flight.]
The Sentence of Rome, February 21, 1904 issue. [This graphic was inspired by the Biblical story of the Archangel Michael slaying the dragon. The caption reads: It's the first phase of the struggle. Certainly, the dragon can still bite, but in the end it will succumb under the blows of the socialist archangel.]
Vain Efforts!, May 1, 1904 issue. [Neither military repression nor minor political reforms can hold back the growth of the tree of worker organization. The caption reads: In spite of everything the tree will continue to grow, sound, lush and strong.]
Electoral Reform, October 23, 1904 issue. [The caption reads: This will be the work of social democracy: To throw on the dunghill all the most infected elements in Italian public life.]
So As Not to Drown, January 14, 1906 issue. [An Italian liberal, caught in a flowing stream, clings to the tree of clericalism. The caption reads: The ultimate refuge of the bourgeois liberalism in the current of human progress.]
International Applause for the Russian People, January 21, 1906 issue. [On the Russian Revolution of 1905-06. The caption reads: Forward, Forward! One more step... and the regime's edifices and puppets will be destroyed.]
The Government's Program, March 4, 1906 issue. [The caption reads: The appetite of the country is great, but the program will be tiny.]
Thieves Great... and Small, May 13, 1906 issue. [The caption under the first picture reads: He stole millions from the state. The caption under the second picture reads: He stole a few cents from the state.]
The Millions that Go... and the Misery that Remains, November 11, 1911 issue. [On the Italian war in north Africa. The caption reads: While millions of lira are sent off to... Tripoli: We must persuade ourselves, friends, that the government doesn't have millions to spend... in Italy.]]
The Solution to the Conflict in the Balkans, July 20, 1913 issue. [1913 saw war in the Balkans. Here, in this graphic, in Act One, the kings of the Balkan countries are swept away. In Act Two, the peoples of these countries come together in harmony under red flags. The caption reads: Act Three: This example can also be imitated outside the Balkans.]
The Socialist Lion, November 9, 1913 issue. [The Italian Socialist Party scored a big success in the 1913 parliamentary elections. The caption reads: Damn it! ...and to think we thought it was a lamb.]
The Program of Socialist Democracy, December 7, 1913 issue. [The caption reads: Against militarism, parasitism, priestism and... nationalism.]
Forward, forward!!, May 10, 1914 issue. [The locomotive “workers' emancipation” rushes forward, despite all efforts of capitalists, priests and soldiers to stop it.]
The government responds to the workers: there is no money, May 10, 1914 issue. [Endless money for war and the capitalists, but none for the workers.]
The cry of ....tomorrow! Down with the War!, August 9, 1914 issue. [On the outbreak of World War I.]
Who Are the Savages?, August 30, 1914 issue. [A wry comment from the start of the First World War. A lion, tiger and cheetah look out over a human battlefield. The predators say: “And they have the nerve to call us savage beasts.”]
The earthquake that is needed to free humanity, January 24, 1915 issue. [This illustration may have been the inspiration for Viktor Nikolayevich Deni's 1920 poster, 'Comrade Lenin Sweeps Away the Filth of the World.']
“Kultur”... on the march... September 5, 1915 issue.
The people's finger... when they wake up...., January 9, 1916 issue.
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Germany: The Early 20th Century Art of Der Wahre Jacob
Der Wahre Jacob (The True Jacob) was a satirical magazine published by the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). It was launched in 1879 and lasted until 1933.
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Forward!, Issue No. 356, 14 March 1900.
Social Democracy and its Enemies, Issue No. 358, 10 April 1900. [The enemies illustrated are capitalism, war, the church and Junkerdom.]
Capitalism on the Hunt for Profit, Issue No. 358, 10 April 1900.
The Victory Race of Socialism, Issue No. 359, 24 April 1900. [Another adaptation of a classical theme: the Roman chariot race, this time representing Social Democracy in the various western European countries. The caption reads: Forward! The chariots thunder toward the goal. Darkness is behind us, but in front of us shines the light.]]
The Three Inseparables, Issue No. 365, 17 July 1900. [The three are capitalism, war and death. The caption reads: [The capitalist, gesturing toward China]: I smell blood, by God!]
Dirty Laundry, Issue No. 368, 28 August 1900. [The graphic shows women representing various imperialist powers displaying bed sheets which show their colonial possessions as dark stains. The caption reads: [Laundry girl (labelled humanity): No, ladies, you won't get those stains out!]
Wilhelm Liebknecht, Issue No. 368, 28 August 1900. [Liebknecht died 7 August 1900.]
A Haunting in Broad Daylight, Issue No. 369, 11 September 1900. [The great powers, represented as vampire bats, attack China.]
Autumn, Issue No. 371, 9 October 1900.
The Janus Faces of the Modern State, Issue No. 381, 26 February 1901. [The caption to the picture on the left reads: What it grants the working class (taxes). The caption to the picture on the right reads: What it grants the upper ten thousand.]
May Festival, Issue No. 385, 23 April 1901. [A parade of children bearing signs representing the various workingclass occupations.]
In Russia, Issue No. 386, 7 May 1901. [A comment on the barbarities of Czarist despotism. The caption reads: Silence is the first civic duty.]
In the Transvaal, Issue No. 394, 27 August 1901. [A comment on British atrocities in the Boer War. The caption reads: Hyenas of the battlefield. Pictured (as hyenas) are British politicians Joseph Chamberlain and Cecil Rhodes.]
Futile Efforts, Issue No. 411, 22 April 1902. [Perhaps this graphic was inspired by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Against a backdrop of bustling factories Lilliputian representatives of the USA and the various European powers try in vain to tie down a proud and confident proletarian giant.]
May Festival, Issue No. 437, 21 April 1903.
Militarism as the Protector of Our Home, Issue No. 440, 2 June 1903.
Sinking in the Red Sea, Issue No. 441, 16 June 1903. [Capitalists, soldiers and politicians are all sinking in a red sea of Social Democratic Party votes.]
Red Tuesday [Election Day], Issue No. 441, 16 June 1903. [The battle between Social Democracy and the bourgeois parties.]
The Struggle with Reaction, Issue No. 442, 30 June 1903.
At the People's Festival on Red Tuesday, Issue No. 442, 30 June 1903. [After securing 3 million votes in the 1903 Reichstag elections, the Social Democrat says to the representatives of the bourgeois parties: Don't bother; you can't push it as high as I can!]
Photograph of the Vorwärts Bicycle Delivery Team, Issue No. 443, 14 July 1903. [Outside the newspaper office in Berlin.]
Other Times, Other Customs, Issue No. 444, 28 July 1903. [A tribute to a famous Albrecht Dürer engraving, the Knight, Devil and Death. Here, the knight represents Social Democracy and the devil and death capitalism and militarism.]
Two Hypocrites, Issue No. 445, 11 August 1903. [Uncle Sam hypocritically feigns outrage and issues a formal protest to the Tsarist government for its failure to stop anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia while at the very same time turning a blind eye to the epidemic of lynchings of Black Americans in the USA.]
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Germany: The Early 20th Century Art of the Süddeutsche Postillon
The Süddeutsche Postillon was a German left-wing satirical magazine. Founded in Munich in 1882, it was published until 1910. The publisher, Maximin Ernst, also printed Lenin’s illegal journal Iskra.
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The March Wind, Issue No. 4, 1901. [The March wind, in a phrygian cap, blows alway capitalists, soldiers and priests.]
The Plague in South Africa, Issue No. 5, 1901. [The caption reads: Reporting for duty!, my general.]
Cover, May Issue, Issue No. 9, 1901.
The Munich Workers' Festival, Issue No. 18, 1901.
An example of police brutality, Issue No. 19, 1901.
The Holy Orders in Russia, Issue No. 20, 1901. [Reproduction of a Russian Social Democratic graphic.]
Lord Kitchener as a mad dog, Issue No. 23, 1901. [A commentary on British attrocities in the Boer War: Kitchener commanded the British forces in this war.]
I am a Proletarian!, Issue No. 6, 1902. [The proletarian wrestles with the capitalist snake-monster.]
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France: The Early 20th Century Art of L'Humanité
L'Humanité began as a socialist newspaper. It was founded in 1902 by Jean Jaures, a leader of the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO). It became a communist newspaper in 1920.
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The Anniversary of the Paris Commune, Issue No. 1065, 18 March 1907.
The First of May, Issue No. 1475, 1 May 1908.
Workers Unite!, Issue No. 2570, 1 May 1911. [The caption reads: The future belongs to the little proletarians.]
For the 23rd May 1st, Issue No. 2936, 1 May 1912.
Forward the Working Class!, Issue No. 2936, 1 May 1912. [The caption reads: Away with superstitions, war and the ailments of capitalism. The future belongs to work and peace.]
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France: The Early 20th Century Art of L’Assiette au beurre
L’Assiette au beurre (The Butter Dish) was an illustrated French weekly satirical magazine with anarchist and leftist political leanings published between 1901 and 1912.
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Socialists at the Copenhagen International Conference, Issue No. 491, 27 August 1910
––Cover: ON ACCOUNT of bad weather, THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION will take place INSIDE!!
––Independent Socialists in France [The caption reads: First journalist: In France, you have independent socialists... who are they? Second journalist: They are people who have more confidence in the governmental gravy train than in the socialist gravy train.]
––At the Entrance to the Congress [The caption reads: Socialist journalist: You know, dear colleague, that entrance to the congress is forbidden to all representatives of the bourgeois press. Bourgeois journalist: Then the Congress will not take place for lack of participants.]
––German Orator [The caption reads: Our party is strong, because of discipline, and our demonstrations are great because our comrades are on parade, which is the finest example of human discipline.]
––A Conversation Between Two Delegates [The caption reads: French Socialist: Excuse me, comrade, do you have a penknife? German Socialist: Sorry, we German socialists never bear arms.]
––Two Strategies: A Conversation Between Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky [The caption reads: Bernstein: And above all, no violent clashes, no revolutions!!! Collectivism is inevitable, it will come by itself. Kautsky: If that were the case, we'd have to replace the slogan "workers of the world, unite" with "let things take their course."]
––If someone troubled the congress: (August Bebel pictured with Jean Jaures) [The caption reads: Bebel: I believe that pig Briand capable of releasing Herve to come here and annoy us German socialists.]
––Monarchist Socialists [The caption reads: Italian delegate: In Italy we find that the Monarchy is absolutely compatible with socialism, provided that the King registers as a member of the Party and that he regularly pays his dues of 2 francs per month.]
––Verification of Mandates [The caption reads: A delegate: I represent the Polish socialist party, group F. U...... The Chairman: That is to say, the FUmistas who after five years are still seeking a program! ]
––In Russia [The caption reads: English socialist: Would you, in your capacity as a Russian revolutionary, tell me about the role of Russian social democracy in the revolution. Russian socialist: The Russian social democrats?.. Above all they are responsible for extinguishing revolutionary outbreaks.]
––Two Strategies in Poland: (Joseph Pilsudski pictured here with a particularly ugly and anti-Semitic caricature of Rosa Luxemburg) [The caption reads: Polish Socialist Party delegate [Pilsudski]: Poland needs its independence, and it will have it! Delegate of the Social Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania [Luxemburg]: Poland will never be independent, sir! First: because I don't want it; second: because the proletariat does not need it...; third: because the German socialists will never give money for this cause...]
––Socialists in the easy-going countries [The caption reads: Norwegian Delegate: Among us, in our tranquil little countries, the governments are truly tolerant. No matter how much we do and say, we are never thrown into jail. Danish Delegate: Yes, we lack martyrs for liberty.]
––The Proletarian Banquet [The caption reads: Myself, in my capacity as a Spanish socialist.... Wait a minute, I thought that there was only one socialist in Spain: Iglesias.]
––The Bund [The caption reads: What is this “Bund”, or Jewish national socialist party. What is its programme? To create a jewish republic in Europe. Then they are zionists... who fear sea sickness!]
––Transcript of the Proceedings [The caption reads: The Delegate from the National Council (with a heavy Russian accent): Comrades, the conscious proletariat... determinist theories... the materialist conception of history... Marxist orthodoxy against revisionism.... a worker: speak a little French....]
––The Capitalist “Moloch ” [The caption reads: Since the socialists degenerated into nothing more than marching and chattering they have ceased to be dangerous.]
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Germany: Der Wahre Jacob, the German Revolution and the Birth of the Weimar Republic, 1918-1920
The German revolution of November 1918 ended the imperial monarchy of the Second Reich and ushered in the Weimar Republic.
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Karl Marx, on the hundreth anniversary of his birth. Issue No. 829, 1918.
In May, 1918. Issue No. 829, 1918.
Home Rule in Ireland. Issue No. 833, June 21, 1918. [The caption reads: The solution the Viceroy of Ireland, General French, envisions for the Sinn Féin movement.]
Pious England and Her Recent Exploits. Issue No. 840, September 27, 1918. [Pictured here: (1) 30,000 starving Boer women and children (the Boer War), (2) English imperialism in Egypt, (3) English atrocities in Ireland, (4) British intervention against the Russian Revolution in Archangel.]
Equal Rights for All. Issue No. 842, October 25, 1918. [The caption reads: Iroquois Chief Black Snake: "Wilson says people's self-determination must be asserted. Then we too should dig up the hatchet and chase the pale faces into the sea." This cartoon takes a cynical view of U.S. President Wilson's "14 Points" peace plan to end World War I.]
The Revolution. Issue No. 845, December 6, 1918. [Celebrating the proclamation of the German Republic.]
The Right of People to Self-Determination. Persecution of the Jews in Galicia and Poland. Issue No. 847, January 3, 1919. [The caption reads: In Galicia, the recently liberated Poles will not rest until they have outbid the Russians in their pursuit of the world's most unfortunate people.]
The Big Cleanup. Issue No. 849, January 31, 1919. [The caption reads: "Screaming doesn't help, you have to go to make room for the new!". This imagry of the left using a broom to sweep away the old order has been reproduced many times, perhaps most famously in the 1920 Russian poster “Comrade Lenin Sweeps the World Clean.”]
Labor of Hercules. Issue No. 850, February 14, 1919. [Here, Hercules fights the many-headed monster labeled "International capitalism." The caption reads: When in all lands all are free and equal, everything free and equal, only then will the new kingdom of the peoples come into being.]
Politics in Africa. Issue No. 853, March 28, 1919. [The caption reads: One African: "The colonies are now to be placed under the protection of the League of Nations, as a result, a better time will dawn for us too." Another African responds: "Fool, no longer will only one oppress us; now we will be at the mercy of all of them."]
Germany's Rescue. Issue No. 854, April 11, 1919. [A worker and a peasant shake hands. The caption is a Goethe quote: "This is the last word of wisdom: He only earns both freedom and existence who must reconquer them each day."]
The Internationale. Issue No. 855, April 25, 1919. [For May Day.]
Only the Proletariat Can Save Germany from Suffocation. Issue No. 859, June 20, 1919.
In Bloodlust. Issue No. 860, July 4, 1919. [In memory of the murdered leftist leaders: Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, Kurt Eisner and Gustav Landauer.]
American Freedom. Issue No. 864, August 29, 1919.
The Insatiable One. Issue No. 866, September 26, 1919. [The caption reads: Those imperialist gentlemen always see to it that I have plenty of blood in my canteen.]
Armenian Pogrom in Turkey. Issue No. 866, September 26, 1919. [The caption is a quote attributed to the Prophet Mohammed: "If you knew what I know, you would weep a lot and laugh a little."]
Memento Mori!. Issue No. 869, November 7, 1919. [The caption reads: The furious peoples race across the steaming earth - From the blood of the fallen freedom blossoms!]
Easter 1920. Issue No. 878, March 26, 1920.
The Dragon Slayers. Issue No. 879, April 9, 1920. [Fighting the dragon militarism. The caption reads: With combined strength the work will be done.]
May 1920. Issue No. 880, April 23, 1920. [The caption reads: On May 1 the unionized military provides the marching bands for the May Day pageant.]
Germany and the Worker. Issue No. 880, April 23, 1920. [The caption is a quote from Schiller: "Mankind's dignity is in your hands. Preserve it! It sinks with you, with you it will rise."]
Unity Advances the Goal. Issue No. 883, June 4, 1920. [The caption reads: If the German proletariat is united, it will achieve victory on June 6th [election day].]
The Election Campaign. Issue No. 883, June 4, 1920.
Friedrich Engels. Issue No. 887, July 30, 1920.
November 9th. Issue No. 894, November 5, 1920. [On the 2nd anniversary of the November 1918 revolution that established the Weimar Republic.
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Hungary: The Hungarian Soviet Republic, 1919
The Hungarian Soviet Republic was the second socialist state in the world, preceded only by Soviet Russia following the 1917 October Revolution. Short-lived, it lasted only from 21 March to 1 August of 1919. It was crushed by the combined efforts of surrounding hostile capitalist states.
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Forward! in the sign of Lenin's Star
Seven Films from Soviet Russia
Don't Hesitate, Join the Red Army
The Red Soldier is the Defender of the Proletarian State
Every Factory Should Have a Workers' Battalion
Work, because we are running out of bread
Well Being Comes from Socialist Production
Alcohol is dead! Don't let it rise again!
Alcohol and Prostitution, the combination is deadly
The Red Spark Telegraph Sports Celebration
You! Counter-revolutionary - hiding in the dark, spreading rumors - Tremble!
Proletariat, Awake! You are the Embodiment of the World
Scoundrels! Is this What You Wanted?
Brother! Help me!
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Italy: The Art of L'Asino 1920-1922: Post War Struggles and the Rise of Fascism
L'Asino (The Donkey) was a satirical magazine published by Italian socialists and anti-clericals. In the post World War I years it fought fascism until it was suppressed in 1925.
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The most effective remedy August 8, 1920 issue. [The caption reads: "Why the sharks are losing their appetite." The writing on the wall says "Expropriation and socialization of all the means of production and exchange, land, mines, waters, office machines, transportation, etc."]
The Ascent of the Proletariat September 26, 1920 issue.
A necessary measure (article added to the penal code) November 7, 1920 issue. [The caption reads: “The sharks, the blackmarketeers and in general all speculators taking advantage of the high cost of living will be hanged. The defendants will be granted the right to appeal after.... the execution of the sentence..."
The high price of bread December 19, 1920 issue. [The caption reads: The Rich: "It doesn't matter to us; we don't eat bread." The Poor: "Children, we need to eat less bread. The price is too high."]
Turning to Socialism! January 23, 1921 issue. [Pictured below is intense infighting among Italian leftists, pitting socialists and communists against one another. Karl Marx, above, directly addresses the situation saying: “If they wrote fewer books, made fewer speeches, invented fewer tendencies and followed my simple motto – workers of the world, unite! – how much further along we would be...]
Germany Punished March 20, 1921 issue. [The caption reads: Clearly, it will not be German militarism, responsible for the war, that will be punished by the allies, but.. the working people of Germany!]
The Program of the "People's Party" April 10, 1921 issue. [The caption reads: The land to the peasants?!] [A socialist attack on the Catholic People's Party, the cartoon argues that the only land the Party will provide peasants is the grave.]
The Program of the "Popolari" April 17, 1921 issue. [The caption reads: We want to elevate Italy!] [Another socialist attack on the Catholic People's Party.]
The Anti-Socialist Storm June 21, 1921 issue. [The caption reads: But he will prevail!]
Bourgeoisie equals Priestism and Fascism August 7-14, 1921 issue. [The caption reads: [a priest to the member of the bourgeoisie he is carrying]: Why do you need the fascists when I have been so good to you?]
The Socialist Congress September 18, 1921 issue. [The caption to the upper picture reads: The Italian bourgeoisie hopes the congress will end like this. The caption to the lower picture reads: Instead, the Socialist Proletariat will give to its adversaries an example of unity, faith and discipline.]
Christmas December 25-31, 1921 issue. [The caption reads [policeman to the baby Jesus]: I'll give you your peace on earth. If you don't shut up I'll call the fascists and they'll burn down your manger.]
The Crimes of Capitalism December 25-31, 1921 issue. [The caption reads: Unemployed!]
Justice December 25-31, 1921 issue. [The caption reads: Another death, excellency... Arrest the culprit. But he is a fascist and the dead man is a socialist... Then arrest the ... dead man.]
Capitalism and the Crisis January 1-7, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: Italian capitalism seeks in vain for an alternative solution [to the crisis] to that of the proletariat. This graphic may have been the inspiration for John Heartfield's famous 1928 German Communist Party election poster.]
Socialism and the Bourgeoisie January 8-14, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: The Socialist Party will know how to break all the ties that the Italian bourgeoisie is attempting to bind it with.]
The Crimes of the Day January 8-14, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: Be careful; don't turn around. They're killing a socialist!]
What's Happening in Italy January 8-14, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: Fascists have passed through!]
The Crimes of Capitalism January 8-14, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: Tomorrow the boss will close the factory and we will be thrown on the street because all his money has been swallowed up by the Discount Bank.... A great pity! As always, we are the ones being discounted.]
Justice and Equality... not for everyone January 15-21, 1922 issue. [The caption to the top picture reads: He stole 10 lira... The caption to the bottom picture reads: He stole millions...]
Capitalist Rivalry January 15-21, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: Italy, France, England, peace and... the world.]
Between Two Litigants January 22-28, 1922 issue. [The fight for world domination leads to this: the one who always and truly loses is... the worker.]
The Burning Continues January 22-28, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: Child: Mamma! Have barbarians passed through here? Mother: Worse, my son, have passed… the fascists.]
Unemployment January 22-28, 1922 issue.
Guard for the Bosses January 15-21, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: Assistant to employer: Boss, there's a delegation of workers from your factory here. They want to talk to you about an issue of their wages. What do you want me to do? Boss: Call the fascists.]
The Genoa Conference February 5-11, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: It's always the proletariat that bears the weight of this game. But for how long?]
The Housing Crisis February 5-11, 1922 issue. [The caption reads: Homeless and unemployed. Long Live the bourgeois order!]
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Last updated on 16 April 2023