Saturday, January 2, 2021

Jedes Neujahr Ist Wieder Alt

Happy New Year to you all. For our Saturday this week, here's a look at the editorial cartoons German readers were chuckling over, a century ago as 1921 got underway.

Cartoon by Riü? in Kladderadatsch, Berlin, January 2, 1921
I think that this cartoon (I think the signature reads "Riü," which may be a stift name) is probably an advertisement for an international brand of fire extinguisher rather than an editorial cartoon; but it seems to illustrate the same sort of eagerness to get the Old Year over and done with that we have all felt at the end of 2020. The text spanning the globe translates as "Fire does not spread if you have Minimax in the house."
"Prosit Neujahr 1921" by Helmuth Stockmann in Ulk, Berlin, December 31, 1920

Germany was still unsettled after the failed Kapp Putsch and the Spartacist Uprising in March, and the Ruhr Uprising in April, attacking the Ebert government from the right and the left. The enormous national debt would spark hyperinflation, but cartoonist Helmuth Stockmann expresses a subdued glimmer of hope that the new year might prove better than the old one.
"1921" by Werner Hahmann in Kladderadatsch, Berlin, January 2, 1921

Werner Hahmann gives a more sober outlook in this rather expressive two-color cartoon somewhat marred by those blue blotches. I can't tell whether they come from age or the original printing process. 

"Europa 1921" by Theodor Heine in Simplicissimus, Munich, January 1, 1921
Theodor Heine's vision for the new year is bleaker still, extending hard times to the entire continent. 

"Ein Guter Witz" by Arthur Johnson in Kladderadatch, January 2, 1921

Arthur Johnson, Kladderadatsch's half-American cartoonist, imagines Woodrow Wilson winning a second consecutive Nobel Peace Prize — an extremely improbable event given his administration's failure to win congressional support for his postwar policies, and insofar as no individual has ever been awarded the prize twice.
"Die Neujahrsnacht eines Unglücklichen" by Wilhelm Schulz in Simplicissimus, Munich, January 1, 1921
I'll toss one more New Year's cartoon in here, although this one clearly demonstrates my complete lack of fluency in German. 

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