Monday, 9 March 2009

Sir David Low Cartoon

This is a drawing by Sir David Low. His cartoons (published in the Evening Standard between 1927 and 1950) are infamous for their scathing attacks on the dicatorships in Europe at the time and British foreign policy. Low's cartoons have always appealed to me because of his ability to depict characters like Hitler and Mussolini in a recognisable but often funny way. I also almost always agree with what his cartoons are saying.

In this image the narrative present is about the incident now known as the Night of the Long Knives (June 29th/30th 1934), when Hitler consolidated his power by getting rid of the SA. We are able to read this thanks to the date above the cartoon (July 3rd 1934). We see Hitler standing with a smoking gun (which he has just used to shoot the soldiers behind him who represent the SA). The piece of paper infront of the army which reads "Hitler's unkept promises" is reference to Hitler's betrayal of the SA. Also, the caption which reads "They salute with both hands now" indicates how the one handed Nazi salute which symbolised loyalty has become a two handed salute of surrender. The narrative in this piece is evident although it does take some piecing together of evidence to get the full understanding of the cartoon.

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