Plus ça change

I don’t know the exact date of this Dr. Seuss cartoon, but presumably it’s somewhere between Barbarossa (June 22, 1941) and Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941).

Notice that Italy is depicted differently from Der Führer’s other trophies: it’s a road-kill squirrel with a tire track down its back, pinned to the wall. Definitely an extra little dig at Mussolini.

16 thoughts on “Plus ça change

  1. What I find interesting is the look of wide-eyed surprise on the other trophies. As if Hitler’s intentions weren’t advertised; much like the current refusal to acknowledge Mohammed’s proclamation of world conquest, much less take it seriously.

  2. I do not think that Italy is depicted as a roadkill squirrel. To me it looks more like a skunk. Which is even a stronger extra little dig at Mussolini.

  3. Hm, Austria should be the roadkill.
    Italy Hitlers sidekick (even though they invented the term Taxidermism… err, Fascism) and Russia a helpfull though competing taxidermist.

    • To quote a well known (retired) American politician, should not
      France be more accurately portrayed as a (cheese eating, surrender)

      • The Fench were in a diabolical position, their only significant ally, the British, had fled back to their island and left them isolated. Before Russia and the US entered the war they had no hope of rescue, so they made a bargain with the Devil. Remember the British army was as easily defeated by the Nazis as the French army, the difference was that the British had the Channel between them and Hitler.

        • I dont know… No one has forced the French to establish a Nazi-friendly regime at Vichy.
          Other occupied countries didn`t act like this.

          Generally speaking, one should not underestimate how many people in Europe were pro-Nazi.
          That only changed slowly when they felt German occupation (Italy is a example) and watched the Axis losing.

    • Many (most?) Austrians supported the Anschluss, whatever they may have claimed since.

      This has been educational; I thought Dr Seuss was just “The Cat with the Hat”, etc.

      • That`s true to some degree.
        But in defence for the Austrians during that time:
        In contrast to the democratic Germany Austria already had a totalitarian Government (Austro-Fascism).
        Though it was one that opposed the Nazis (the Cancellor Dollfuss was even murdered by Nazis shortly before the annexion).
        And for the people of that time Austria (“Deutschösterreich” as it was called after the 1. WW.) was naturaly seen as a german state, and hadn`t the allies forbidden a unification with Germany after the 1. WW. Austria would`ve become part of Germany (somewhat like Bavaria), this was even the position favored by the Austrian Socialist Party.

        Internationaly speaking Mexico (!) was the only nation that rejected the so called “Anschluss”.
        Italy would`ve even been entitled for military-help against an Invasion or Annexion by Germany, but Mussolini declined to do so.
        But anyway, even so the Nazis had to force the outcome of a Referendum in their favor.

  4. The trophy on the wall representing Greece is the reason the Germans lost the war. The Wehrmacht had to delay its invasion of Russia in order to put down a revolt by the Greeks. We all know what happened when the German army was unprepared for the Russian winter.

    • Ironically Nazi-Germany had not much of an interest in Greece.
      It was the Italians as part of the Axis that wanted to invade and conquer Greece (just like the Balkans/Yugoslavia).
      Since Mussolini dreamed of raising a new Imperium Romanum (predating the 2. WW Italy already had invaded Ethiopia, and like the ancient Romans he had brought a huge obelisk to Italy as a sign for his victory).
      But since the Italians were losing ground, which had opened a soft edge for the Allies, the Wehrmacht had to come for the rescue.

      Russia in my opinion would`ve been a too big military task under any circumstances.
      Also because Russia was not that military weak as many still belive today.
      The Russians tanks fe. were always outperforming the German ones.
      Since they could fire when driving, the Germans had to stop their tanks when shooting.
      And of course the Sowjet Union always had enough resources.

    • There were other reasons – for example, losing to the RAF over Dunkirk and the Channel meant the British army & 140,000 french could be evacuated, leaving Britain free to prosecute the war, and enabling (eventual) US entry. If the Germans had won at Dunkirk they would have been able to take on Russia without interference from US and Britain.

  5. Educational as heck, he started out as a good political cartoonist-illustrator.

    Moreover, I think you’ll notice he singularly treated Italy with incredible disdain, disrespect compared to all else. The squirrel was not given a proud mount, but ‘crucified’ upon the wall, quick and dirty, as an obligatory ‘oh well’ afterthought, with not a jot of the regard shown the other ‘trophies’.

    • That’s because Italy was a member of the Axis at the time. The others had all been conquered.

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