Print by Louis Raemaekers
Green Kaiser in green coat.
Information Written on Back: No. 86 / 40 white / 197 toned / (After Italies [sic] entry into the war) Gott strafe Italy.
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: When Italy, still straining at the leash which held her, helpless, to the strange and unnatural Triplice, began to show signs of awakening consciousness, Germany's efforts to lull her back to the unhappy position of silent partner in the world-crime were characteristic of her methods. Forthwith Italy was loaded with compliments. The country was overrun with "diplomats," which is another name in Germany for spies. Bribery of the most brazen sort was attempted. The newspapers recalled in chorus that Italy was the land of art and chivalry, of song and heroism, of fabled story and manly effort, of honour and loyalty. Hark to the Hamburger Fremdenblatt of February 21, 1915:
"The suggestion is made that Italy favours the Allies. Preposterous! Even though the palsied hand of England—filled with robber gold—be held out to her, Italy's vows, Italy's sense of obligation, Italy's word once given, can never be broken. Such a nation of noblemen could have no dealings with hucksters."
Germany is, indeed, a fine judge of a nation's "word once given" and a nation's "vows," which its Chancellor unblushingly declared to be mere scraps of paper. Now let us see what the Hamburger Nachrichten had to say about Italy immediately after her secession from the Triple Alliance: "Nachrichten, June 1, 1915. That Italy should have joined hands with the other noble gentlemen, our enemies, is but natural. It would, of course, be absurd—where all are brigands—were the classical name of brigandage not included in the number.... We do not propose to soil our clean steel with the blood of such filthy Italian scum. With our cudgels we shall smash them into pulp."
"Gott strafe Italien" indeed! Bombs on St. Mark's in Venice, on the Square of Verona, on world treasures unreplaceable. The poisoned breath of Germany carries its venom into the land of sunshine and song, whose best day's work in history has been to wrest itself free from the grip of the false friend.
NOTE AUTHOR: Ralph D. Blumenfeld
CARTOON CAPTION: "Gott Strafe Italien!"
Kaiser Wilhelm II
World War 1
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|Title||"Gott Strafe Italien!"|
|Image size||65.5 x 52 cm|