Cartoons and Antisemitism
Visual Politics of Interwar Poland
An incisive reflection on the role that antisemitic caricature played in the 1930s
Antisemitic caricatures had existed in Polish society since at least the mid-nineteenth century. But never had the devastating impacts of this imagery been fully realized or so blatantly apparent than on the eve of the Second World War. In Cartoons and Antisemitism: Visual Politics of Interwar Poland, scholar Ewa Stańczyk explores how illustrators conceived of Jewish people in satirical drawing and reflected on the burning political questions of the day. Incorporating hundreds of cartoons, satirical texts, and newspaper articles from the 1930s, Stańczyk investigates how a visual culture that was essentially hostile to Jews penetrated deep and wide into Polish print media. In her sensitive analysis of these sources, the first of this kind in English, the author examines how major satirical magazines intervened in the ongoing events and contributed to the racialized political climate of the time.
Paying close attention to the antisemitic tropes that were both local and global, Stańczyk reflects on the role of pictorial humor in the transmission of visual antisemitism across historical and geographical borders. As she discusses the communities of artists, publishers, and political commentators who made up the visual culture of the day, Stańczyk tells a captivating story of people who served the antisemitic cause, and those who chose to oppose it.
"Through a wealth of archival material and sharp analysis, Cartoons and Antisemitism adds immeasurably to the study of right-wing political cartooning and the development of Polish anti-Semitism in the years before World War II."- John Etty, author of Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union: Krokodil's Political Cartoons