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Wenn Sie Siegten – Das Europa der Zukunft – Das Heutige Europa

  • Author: PASCH, Max
  • Publisher: Max Pasch, Verlagsbuchhandlung, Berlin (Author / Publisher)
  • Date: 1917
  • Dimensions: Leaflet: 26.8 x 39 cms

Description:

1917 German propaganda brochure mapping two contrasting visions of a present and future Europe, the latter after enemy victory

About this piece:

Wenn Sie Siegten – Das Europa der Zukunft – Das Heutige Europa

[ If They won – [Map 1] – Future Europe – [Map 2] Present-day Europe ]

8-page Leaflet with large woodblock engraving of burning & ruined buildings to front cover. Two double-page maps (page 2-3 & 6-7): 53.6 x 39 cns each. Maps in printed colours, the rest of pamphlet in printed text.

This short 8-page propaganda booklet entitled Wenn sie siegten(“If They Won…”) was published in Berlin in late 1917 by bookseller, Max Pasch. The front cover features a striking woodcut image of burning ruins, accompanied by the words of the recently appointed British Munitions Minister, Samuel Edwin Montagu: “Is Germany going forward from this war into a future similar to that after the Thirty Years War, where we can happily allow our swords to be left in their scabbards for the next hundred years?”

The brochure offers two contrasting visions of a European future, reflected in the two unusual double-page maps that it incorporates.

The first map is a vision of a future Europe as set down by the Allies, in particular the French, in this German copy of a map attributed to one Professor Magda, a Parisian academic. It depicts “how the Allies must have their way in order to secure the lasting peace of Europe”. As the map makes clear, this would involve the complete dismemberment of Germany & Austria-Hungary, the disintegration of Prussia and the creation of a newly reconstituted Poland. In its stated aims & objectives, the map bears a close similarity to an earlier 1915 French map (#36). The impact of these changes on all parties is outlined in the surrounding text.

In the booklet’s commentary Pasch passionately argues that if such arrangements should be implemented, Germany will be left in pieces, condemned to a future of internal squabbling & lacking any of the much-lauded “national rights” propounded by the Allies. He raises the question of German war reparations and of her realistic ability to repay them, even over a century or more. Discussing Germany’s possible dismemberment, he reflects bitterly: “For our country, our People, for each & every one of us, the enemy has sought to suck the very marrow from our bones, leaving us so weak that we are unable to exist any longer…”

The second map offers a more optimistic outlook for Germany, an alternative vision of present-day Europe, as set down by the Central Powers & based on their perceptions of the present War situation, and the plans of the German & Austrian Armies. It is “a counterpart to the “Europe of the Future” as conceived the Allies” and “a response & counter punch to the Allied plans of theft and annihilation – 552,000 km2 of occupied enemy territory”.

Here is England, with a quarter of her navy & more than half of her Merchant fleet, now “slumbering on the sea floor” (August 1917).  Belgium is now almost entirely occupied, retaining only 2.5% of her original landmass. France’s northern Provinces are under German occupation & she has been defeated in her long-sought dream of controlling the left bank of the Rhine. Italy is still hoping for Imperial Austrian territories & Albania, as well as mastery of the Adriatic. Montenegro & Serbia  are now both occupied.  A recently re-occupied Poland now questions her status as a former Russian “protectorate”. Romania is now almost 50% occupied. Russia has lost some 285,000km2, much of it her industrial heartland. And Germany & Austria-Hungary now stand stronger & more united than ever before, resourceful & diligent, & able to continue the fight whilst U-Boats and enemy harvest failures threaten. German occupation, Pasch claims, has also liberated many subjugated peoples, most notably the Flemish, Poles, Bulgarian Serbs & Dobrujans.