Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Funny Pages part I

One means by which Alsatians protested conditions of the Second Reich was through images, satirical and nostalgic, of traditional life. By referencing folk culture, artists could differentiate the "Pan-German" elements from the native, criticizing the former. Thereby they could avoid references to France.

Among the prominent artist was Henri Zislin (he insisted it was pronounced ZIS-line), who published satirical newspapers as various times, and who published a biting pamphlet Alsace as a Confederate State.

His works contained several recurring themes: mistreatment of women in traditional dress, poverty of old French soldiers, brutishness of Prussian soldiers, and the illusions of German bureaucrats. The women are courted by the coarse Prussians, but they hold out until a true prince comes to marry them (no, the subtext is not very deep).

Links on Zislin and other images:
History : France : Germany


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