Monday, August 6, 2012

Graphic Representations of Germans in America

Two interesting images recently stumbled upon -- click on them to enlarge!

This one is attributed to Jürgen Eichhoff, the first director of the Max Kade Institute, created around 1985:

As is often the case in America, the German immigrant is pictured as "typically" Bavarian, perhaps because this stereotype is the one easiest to capture and has the most resonance for us. No doubt a dissertation could be (has been?) written on figuring out why!

The second image comes from Paul H. Kuntze's Das Volksbuch unserer Kolonien, published in 1938 in Leipzig.

Note the colossus standing in North America to represent the numbers of German-speaking immigrants! The caption here uses the now-loaded term Lebensräume -- we could sanitize the term and translate the caption to read: "The habitats of the German people." Still, these images likely had political weight and propaganda value for the National Socialists at the time.

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