Monday, February 27, 2006

Cartoonist fought Hitler

Another hat tip to the great Tim Blair for this posting.

It is not the first time in history that cartoons create an uproar. Hitler definitely did not like a cartoonist by the name of David Low. The pacifist appeasers at the time tried to bring pressure on him to stop ridiculing a mad movement personified by Hitler.

Is it not strange how bad this looks today through the perspective of knowledge of the Nazis? On the other hand, now the same is happening all over again. The apologists still have not learned.

We of course have learned Sir David Low was a man of great perception and in his heroic effort did much to stop Hitler. It would be an honor to have known him. Sir David Low died in 1963. The appeasers and apologists have at most become infamous.

Replace Hitler with an islamofascist (or the Arab world) in the caricature below and it would be perfect for publication in the morning newspaper.

David Low, Evening Standard (8th July, 1936)

From a speech by Australian treasurer Peter Costello (I like Peter!) in 2002:
Whilst in some quarters in Britain Hitler was attracting admiration, for David Low, a natural democrat and liberal who distrusted totalitarianism, Hitler was a regular target of attack and ridicule.

Low's regular depictions of the Fuhrer caused enormous diplomatic problems for the British Government, but they were to prove remarkably prophetic. Throughout the decade he portrayed the German dictator as a ludicrous, vain, pompous fool with unbridled ambition.

In 1933 the Nazis banned the Evening Standard and all newspapers carrying Low's work because of a cartoon he had drawn depicting Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations.

In 1936 during the Berlin Olympic Games Low received his first request to tone down his depiction of Hitler in the interests of "good relations between all countries".

In 1937 the British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax visited Germany and met with the Propaganda Minister Goebbels, who told him that Hitler was very sensitive to criticism in the British press, and he singled out Low for attention.

Lord Halifax contacted the manager of the Evening Standard to see if Low could be toned down. He said:

"You cannot imagine the frenzy that these cartoons cause. As soon as a copy of the Evening Standard arrives, it is pounced on for Low's cartoon, and if it is of Hitler, as it generally is, telephones buzz, tempers rise, fevers mount, and the whole governmental system of Germany is in uproar. It has hardly subsided before the next one arrives. We in England can't understand the violence of the reaction."

His attempt to influence newspaper management was unsuccessful, so the Foreign Secretary then decided to speak with Low directly. At their meeting, this is how David Low described Lord Halifax's explanation.

"Once a week Hitler had my cartoons brought out and laid on his desk in front of him, and he finished always with an explosion. That he was extremely sore; his vanity was badly touched... So the Foreign Secretary asked me to modify my criticism, as I say, in order that a better chance could be had for making friendly relations... The Foreign Secretary explained to me that I was a factor that was going against peace.' `Do I understand you to say that you would find it easier to promote peace if my cartoons did not irritate the Nazi leaders personally?' `Yes,' he replied. `...I said, "Well, I'm sorry." Of course he was the Foreign Secretary what else could I say? So I said, "Very well, I don't want to be responsible for a world war. But, I said "It's my duty as a journalist to report matters faithfully and in my own medium I have to speak the truth. And I think this man is awful. But I'll slow down a bit." So I did."

Meanwhile Hitler within a month invaded Austria. Low felt vindicated and went back to his old ways. Low said:

"...I was good for about three weeks. Then Hitler bounced in and invaded Austria, showing that he had given our Foreign Secretary a run-around, had taken him for a ride. I considered that let me out, so I resumed criticism."

It was no surprise when after the war it was revealed that Low was high on the Nazi's death list.

It wasn't only Hitler complaining about Low. In 1938 Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain singled out Low while appealing to newspapers to temper their critical commentary of Germany. Chamberlain said:

"Such criticism might do a great deal to embitter relations when we on our side are trying to improve them. German Nazis have been particularly annoyed by criticisms in the British press, and especially by cartoons. The bitter cartoons of Low of the Evening Standard have been a frequent source of complaint."

David Low, Evening Standard (10th October, 1938)

A quote attributed to Sir David Low:
I have learned from experience that, in the bluff and counterbluff of world politics, to draw a hostile war lord as a horrible monster is to play his game. What he doesn't like is being shown as a silly ass.
May we all learn from that! Or the following may very well come true one day:

16 Comments:

At 27/2/06 12:48, Blogger Always On Watch said...

David Low--Haven't heard that name in a long while. In my college days, we studied how cartoons can effectively satirize a political situation and be a voice in the wilderness, thereby being important in history.

From one of your links: Low's cartoons criticizing Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini resulted in his work being banned in Germany and Italy. After the war it was revealled that in 1937 the German government asked the British government to have "discussions with the notorious Low" in an effort to "bring influence to bear on him" to stop his cartoons attacking appeasement.

Sounds mighty familiar, doesn't it?

Sometimes I feel as if we're reliving the 1930's, with a different genocidal enemy.

 
At 27/2/06 13:16, Blogger von Schlichtningen said...

Yes it is really similar. We are condemned to relive history as long as we are unwilling to learn from it.

 
At 27/2/06 15:45, Blogger freedom said...

Very interesting!


"Sometimes I feel as if we're reliving the 1930's, with a different genocidal enemy."


I agree...

 
At 28/2/06 09:45, Blogger Charles Martel said...

Looks like appeasement is alive and well

 
At 1/3/06 13:05, Blogger waterdragon52 said...

I believe the Evening Standard is the newspaper Oliver Finegold works for, and which Red Ken Livingstone denounced as a fascist organ.

 
At 7/4/06 00:15, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you're interested but David Low also got into trouble for drawing Muhammed. It was in 1925 when Low decided to knock the hero-worship of Jack Hobbs, captain of the England Cricket Team, by showing him as the largest statue in the "Gallery of the most important historical celebrities". The other statues all look up to him - including "Mahomet". This apparently led to riots in India.

 
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