GHDI logo

"Justice in the Ruhr Region," Caricature from Simplicissimus (May 1923)

Warned to cooperate with French occupying forces or face judicial proceedings, leading mine directors and industry chiefs from the Ruhr region were arrested by French military authorities and sent to Mainz to be tried in military courts. Among those arrested and sent to Mainz was steel and mining magnate Fritz Thyssen (1873-1951), who became a national hero for defying the French Army High Command. Collective outrage against the occupation temporarily kindled a nationalist (albeit largely illusionary) spirit of solidarity between government, industry, and mining and steel workers. In this image, France is represented by an African colonial soldier – a reference to the soldiers deployed by France in both the Ruhr occupation and the earlier occupation of the Rhineland during World War I. The overt racism of the caricature is underpinned by the caption, which reads, “Oh Judgment, you’ve absconded with the stupid brute.” [O Urteil, du entflohst zum blöden Vieh.]

print version     return to image list previous image      next image

"Justice in the Ruhr Region," Caricature from <I>Simplicissimus</i> (May 1923)

© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz