Print by Louis Raemaekers
Knight in black armor hacking down cross bearing crucified Christ.
Information Written on Back: No. 164 / 230 white / 74 toned / The German Emperor: I will crush what stands in my way.
Additional Information from "Raemaekers' Cartoons: With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers" by Louis Raemaekers Copyright 1916 (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19126/19126-h/19126-h.htm)
NOTE: You cannot well conceive a science, whether it be mathematics, or architecture, or philosophy, without its axioms, dogmas, or first principles. Without them there is no basis on which to raise the superstructure. So it is with the science of religion. Take Christianity: if it is to be taught scientifically, it must start with the most tremendous dogma, the Divinity of Christ. Either Christ was or He was not what He claimed to be. If He was not, you must shout with the Sanhedrim: "Crucify Him!" If He was, you must sing with the Church: "Come, adore Him." One thing is certain, you cannot be indifferent to His claim or to Him; you must either hate Him and His creed, like the Prussian warring Superman, or love Him and it, like England's Crusading Kings.
The cartoon before us is the finished picture which I can trace from its first rough sketch in the hands of Kant, through its different stages of development in the schools of Hegel, of Schopenhauer, of Strauss, till it was ready for its final touches in the hands of Nietzsche. In fancy I see it hung, on the line, in the Prussian picture-gallery under the direction of War Lords, whose boasted aim it is that the world shall be governed only by Prussian Kultur and Prussian Religion.
The fatal mistake made by the Teutonic race in the past was, we are told, the adoption of Roman culture and Roman religion. Germany once submitted to an alien God and to an alien creed. She, the mistress of the earth, the mightiest of the mighty, and the most Kultured of the Kultured, had actually once worshipped "an uncultured peasant Galilean," and made profession of "His slave morality."
Now they had altogether done with Christ, the Nazarene. The shout had gone forth: "We will not have this Man to rule over us." In the future no gods but Thor and Odin shall rule the "world-dominating race." Prussia seemed to think the world's need to-day was the religion not of Virtue, but of Valour. "In a day now long fled was heard the cry: 'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,' but to-day there shall go forth the word: 'Blessed are the valiant, for they shall make the earth their throne.' In the past ye heard it said: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit,' but now I say to you: 'Blessed are the great in soul, for they shall enter into Valhalla.' Again, in the dark ages it was said to you: 'Blessed are the peace-makers,' but now in the blaze of day I say unto you: 'Blessed are the war-makers, for they shall be called, if not the children of Jahve, the children of Odin, who is greater than Jahve.'" For those who want more of this mad jargon on the same lines let me refer them to the late Professor Cramb's book on Germany and England.
With this cartoon before me, I am driven to fear that when the war is done there will rise up in Germany a louder and stronger cry against the Christianity of Christ than ever was attempted after the Franco-Prussian War. The "man of blood and iron," the man with the mailed fist and the iron heel, I much apprehend, will not be satisfied with tearing down the emblem of the physical Body of Christ, but to slake his bloodthirsty spirit he will want to go on to belabour His Mystical Body no less. God avert it!
NOTE AUTHOR: Bernard Vaughan
CARTOON CAPTION: "I crush whatever resists me."
World War 1
|Title||Christ or Odin?|
|Image size||38 x 25.3 cm|