Saturday, August 25, 2012

Teaching German During World War I

During World War  I school districts around the country stopped teaching German, “the language of the kaiser.”  This article from the 5 January 1918 issue of the Arcadia Journal (near Los Angeles) reports one such action.  Textbooks were “interned for the period of the war.”

Elsewhere cities with German names found new ones. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Winter Survival in Canada (1907)

We’re not used to this kind of story of winter survival today.  I take it from Saskatoon’s The Daily Phoenix of 2 March 1907, courtesy of Google News.

After a long winter, two men set out from Saskatoon for a 17-day trip to check up on families living far from anyone else.  As the article notes, one family had not had a visitor for four months.  It’s also interesting to note that the woman mentioned had lived in South Carolina and South Africa before finding herself deep in the Canadian wilderness. How did that happen?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Anti-Roosevelt Letter from 1939

This letter to the editor was published in the Miami Daily News on 28 April 1939.  I take it from the Google News run of the newspaper.

Hitler had just delivered one of his most effective speeches, one that attacked Roosevelt at length.  The letter writer expresses a considerable lack of enthusiasm for FDR, and of course he was not alone.  The isolationists were still strong enough to frustrate FDR’s attempts to oppose Hitler more directly.

The newspaper’s editorial on the same page finds that Hitler had made out “surprisingly well” in his response to FDR.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Immigration Problems in 1939

In the midst of today’s controversies about immigration in the United States, it’s good to remember that it has been a constant issue.  Today I came across a letter to the editor to the Pittsburgh Press on 15 August 1939 discussing the difficulties for an alien wishing to become a citizen.

The context was different than that of today, but the issues much the same.

Editorial Cartoon on American Communists (1939)

This cartoon is from the 25 August 1939 issue of the Pittsburgh Press, courtesy of Google News.  The Germans had just signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, astonishing just about everyone.

The cartoon pokes fun at the embarrassment of American Communists who suddenly found themselves today’s allies of yesterday’s enemy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nazi Editorial Cartoon on the Jews (1939)

This cartoon is from the 2 February 1939 issue of Das Kleine Blatt, a Viennese newspaper.  The headline of the issue asserts that New York Jews were making “enormous profits” on the stock market.  This cartoon shows Jewish rats swept out of Germany and refused admission to the democratic countries so vehemently attacking Nazi anti-Semitic policies.

The caption has those within democratic countries saying: “How thankful people must be to us for putting these splendid bearers of culture at the disposal of the rest of the world.”

The cartoon reflects a section of Hitler’s 30 January 1939 speech that threatened “the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe” in the event of war.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nazi Editorial Cartoon on Churchill (November 1941)

I'm working through German newspapers at the moment for my current project.  This one comes from the  Wiener Neueste Nachrichten of 28 November 1941, courtesy of ANNO, the Austrian project to digitize long runs of newspapers.  When this appeared, the Nazi were beginning to realize that the attack on the Soviet Union was going to be more difficult than expected, but England still seemed defeated.  

One does what one can.”

The cartoon is titled “The ‘political counteroffensive.’”  Churchill’s only weapon is words, supplied by the Jewish journalists in the background.