Abusing Power: Satirical Journals from the Special Collections Library

Max Pechstein, Cover, An die Laterne no. 3, January 1919
An die Laterne was created for the German Socialist Party (SPD) to undercut public support for the Communists and Independent Socialists. It used radical expressionist graphics to attract an audience initially sympathetic to communist ideas, and promoted the more moderate politics of the SPD government. In Pechstein’s cover (right), “Michel,” representing the German Everyman, stands defending a personification of the Rhine from French interference. The caption reads: “Now Michel safeguards your right to self-determination.” The opposite image depicts a healthy German family; agricultural workers are visible in the background. The father crushes the regalia of the recently abdicated Emperor Wilhelm II, and the family is haloed by the revolutionary slogan, “liberty, equality, fraternity.”

An die Laterne 

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