Exhibitions/ Art Object

The Corporal is Leading Germany into a Catastrophe

Artist:
Alexander Zhitomirsky (Russian, 1907–1993)
Date:
1941
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 50 x 31.5 cm (19 11/16 x 12 3/8 in.) Frame: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Not on view
Working under the auspices of the Soviet propaganda ministry, Zhitomirsky produced posters and leaflets that were dropped from Soviet fighter planes as part of a campaign to demoralize German soldiers during World War II. Here, Germany’s “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898), comes back to life in a painted portrait to point an accusing finger at the diminutive Führer (who never rose above the rank of corporal during his World War I army service), casting doubt on Hitler’s credentials as a military leader.