Szyk’s works began to focus on the threat represented by the National Socialist regime soon after its takeover of power in 1933. He portrayed Hitler as the contemporary embodiment of the evil active throughout history in the personae of, for instance, the pharaoh or Attila, the king of the Huns. Biting caricatures show Himmler, Goebbels and Göring as well as their backers from the ranks of the National Socialist “people’s community.” In doing so, he drew a line of continuity to Prussia, which he considered to be the cradle of German militarism. Szyk personified the Axis partners of the German Reich in the Italian dictator Mussolini and the Japanese emperor Hirohito. To visualize the Axis powers’ collaboration under German leadership, he marked them as well with swastikas and other National Socialist symbols. Japan became a recurring motif in his drawings after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, which had resulted in the United States’ entry into the war.
Krauts through the Ages: The Teutonic Knights
New York, 1944
Greenwich, Connecticut: Warren D. Starr