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"The Latest Rumor" (April 1872)

“Bankruptcy is coming!” [“Die Pleite kommt!”] In alarmist fashion, this caption conflates the economic setbacks and political scandals of the “founding era” of 1871-73. The panic depicted here is allegedly the result of “swindles” by banks, joint-stock companies, building societies, railway entrepreneurs, and stock exchange dealers. In the original German, the title of this image, “Das jüngste Gerücht” ["The Latest Rumor"],was a pun on the term for "Judgment Day" ["das jüngste Gericht"]. It was published in the satirical journal Berliner Wespen in April 1872.

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© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz