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.