Map Showing Possible Dissection of Germany
- Map Showing Possible Dissection of Germany
- Full Title:
- Map Showing Possible Dissection of Germany and Apportionment of Its Territory
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Kaufman, Theodore N.
- Date posted:
- ID Number:
- World War II
Politics & Government
- (cm, H x W) 10.5 x 16
- Collector's Notes:
- This map shows a plan for "dissecting" Germany and "apportioning" its pre-war territory among 12 surrounding states. The map is part of a strange story of a slim book by an unknown Jewish American that became the focus of one of the most remarkable - and effective - German propaganda efforts of World War II. See also Notes and other information for ID #2045.
Apart from academic journals, the story is largely forgotten today, and was little known in the U.S. at the time, but it was a major focus of Joseph Goebbels' efforts to bolster German morale and determination during the war. See generally Bytwerk 2005, 42-46; Herf 2006, 110-114; Lang 2006. In March 1941, an unknown Jewish American named Theodore N. Kaufman published an angry, 96-page attack on the German people entitled "Germany Must Perish!" Kaufman made it clear that the focus of his work was not on Hitler or the Nazis, but on "Germanism" and the German people themselves. He concluded that the evils inflicted on the world "this time" were so great that "Germany must perish forever!" p.3. Kaufman was quite specific as to the two steps necessary to be sure that Germanism would perish. As to the physical territory of the nation, Germany (and Austria) were to be "dissected" and "apportioned" among other countries. He illustrated his pamphlet with one possible version of such a division, with the majority of the area going to France, The Netherlands, Poland, and "Czechia." As to the German people themselves, Kaufman allowed that "massacre and wholesale execution must be ruled out," because it was "impractical" (as well as uncivilized). Instead, he advocated "Eugenic Sterilization" of all Germans young enough to procreate, the "modern" as well as "practical, humane and thorough" method of "preventing the people of Germany from ever again reproducing their kind. . . . To achieve the purpose of German extinction it would be necessary to only sterilize some 48,000,000." p. 94. Thus an American Jew was proposing German genocide at about the same time the Final Solution was being set in motion.
Kaufman was a 31-year-old ticket broker from Newark, New Jersey. His book identified him as President of the American Federation of Peace, an organization otherwise entirely unknown, of which he was apparently the only member. This was his first (and only) book, and when no American publisher would publish it, he printed it himself through his newly-created "Argyle Press" and distributed it through the mail. His book would have gone entirely unknown had he not, through aggressive self-promotion, managed to obtain some reviews and commentary. These "reflected an odd combination of straight reporting and a mildly skeptical detachment" (Lang 367-68), although they were sufficient that Kaufman "found several passages that could be made to sound positive to include in his second printing." Bytwerk 42. Perhaps as a result, Kaufman's "anti-German propaganda map" was explicitly noted at the time it was published by an American sociologist, Hans Speier, in an important paper on German propaganda mapping. Speier wrote that "Kaufman's book is probably the most hysterical piece of anti-German propaganda that has come out in this war. . . . Indeed, the book is so violent that it might have been written in the German propaganda ministry in order to launch a really successful anti-American hate campaign in Germany." Speier 1941, 325 n.28. And that is precisely what happened next.
Perhaps through the German Embassy in Washington (then still open), Kaufman's book made its way to Berlin in the summer of 1941, and the German propaganda press had a field day. They claimed (falsely) that Kaufman was "a close associate of" one of Roosevelt's principal advisors, "the New York Jew Samuel Rosenman," and therefore that "Roosevelt himself inspired the main theses of the book and had personally dictated the most important parts of this shameful work." Herf 110-111; Lang 365; Bytwerk 42-43. In short, Kaufman's book was the proof Germany needed that the Jews had "declared war" on the Nazis. Lang 364. These themes were repeated not only in the Party press, but in Germany's leading newspapers and over the radio. But that was only the beginning.
In August 1941, having read the book in English, Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary, "This Jew did a real service for the [our] side. Had he written this book for us, he could not have made it any better. I will have this published in an edition of millions for Germany and above all for the front, and will write the forward and afterward myself." Byterk 43. After personally discussing the matter with Hitler, Goebbels commissioned a trusted propaganda deputy, Wolfgang Diewerge, to prepare an edited version of Kaufman's book, together with a commentary, focusing on the most inflammatory portions. Goebbels himself wrote the final (unsigned) page, making it clear that there was only one way to avoid Armageddon: "German People! Now you know what your eternal enemy and foe plan for you. There is only one defense against their plan for destruction: Victory! Reading this Jewish murder plan for the German people will only steel your strength and increase your will for victory. And now, back to your weapon, your plow, your workbench or desk. Our slogan is: Fight, Work, Win!"
This 32-page German-language pamphlet, "Das Kriegsziel der Weltplutokratie - Dokumente zum Roosevelt-Frieden [The War Goal of World Plutocracy - Documentation of Roosevelt's Peace]" was published in September 1941. Although Kaufman's original work was much abridged in the interest of clarity, the map of the "dissection" and "apportionment" of Germany among neighboring states was reproduced precisely. See ID #2045.01-.02. Under Goebbels' orders, 5 million copies were printed. Flyers were produced a month later urging everyone to read it, party speakers were instructed to refer to it, posters featured it, every newspaper in Germany was ordered to publish long reviews of it, and the drumbeat continued into 1944. Bytwerk 43-46; Herf 113-114, 162, 185; Smith 1942, 182-184. The Kaufman map was prominently displayed in these promotional materials. "A German at the time could not have missed encountering the message repeatedly." Bytwerk 46.
In late October, Goebbels wrote in his diary that "the book by the American Jew Nathan Kaufman" (the Germans having rejected "Theodore" and Kaufman's middle name of "Newton" as insufficiently Jewish) was published "in millions of copies . . . The book has been in the hands of the German people for some time and has been devoured by all sectors of society. It has been extraordinarily useful for us domestically. It is impossible to imagine a better illustration of the desires and goals of the other side. The book could not have been more helpful to us if it had been written by a member of the Propaganda Ministry." The distinguished American journalist Howard K. Smith, who was in Germany at the time, agreed: "No man has ever done so irresponsible a disservice to the cause his nation is fighting and suffering for than Nathan [sic] Kaufman. His half-baked brochure provided the Nazis with one of the best light artillery pieces they have, for, used as the Nazis used it, it served to bolster up that terror which forces Germans who dislike the Nazis to support, fight and die to keep Nazism alive." Smith 1942, 182. Smith concluded that Kaufman was “a despicable mental case, afflicted by a psychopathic disease removed exactly no stages at all from Nazism.” Ibid.
Although the pamphlet was initially sold at newsstands for 15 pfennigs, copies were subsequently distributed free to German citizens along with their meat rationing cards. Ibid. 183. In a sad coda to this story, when I purchased a copy of "Das Kriegsziel der Weltplutokratie" from Germany, there were two small green "Reichsfleischcartes" (State Meat Ration Cards) in it, bearing the handwritten names of their owners and the dates when they were used. ID #2045.03-.04.
For another foreign map suggesting the dismemberment of Germany used in domestic German propaganda, see ID #1261, von Schumacher, Reservation for Germans, 1937.
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- Kaufman, Theodore N. 1941. Germany Must Perish! Newark, New Jersey: Argyle Press.
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- Private Collection of PJ Mode
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About the collection
This is a collection of “persuasive” cartography: maps intended primarily to influence the opinion of the viewer -- to send a message -- rather than to communicate geographic information. The collection reflects a variety of persuasive tools: allegorical, satirical and pictorial mapping; selective inclusion or exclusion; unusual projections, graphics and text; and intentional deception. Maps in the collection address a wide range of messages: religious, political, military, commercial, moral and social.