June 11, 2007

Heil, Struwwelhitler!


It's funny how your day can take a turn. You go to bed thinking you'll be posting about the coverage of the new Louis Vuitton kid's clothing line in the new Japanese edition of Milk Magazine. And instead, you end up writing about a 1941 British parody of the classic German children's book Struwwelpeter featuring der Fuhrer himself.

Struwwelhitler: A Nazi Story Book by Dr. Schrecklichkeit was written by Robert & Philip Spence to benefit the War Relief Fund of the Daily Sketch, a now-defunct conservative British tabloid. [Proceeds went to "supplying cigarettes, dart boards, dominoes, draughts, musical instruments, playing cards, boxing gloves and footballs in particular" to British soldiers, a very worthy cause.]

Accounts of Struwwelhitler call it a very adept parody of the original, and it features all the biggies of day: Mussolini, Goebels, Stalin:

The Story of Cruel Adolph
The Story of the Nazi Boys
The Story of Little Gobby Poison Pen
The Story of Flying Hermann
The Story of Fidgety Adolph
The Story of Little Musso Head in Air
The Story of Flying Rudolph
I stumbled across a first edition for sale on the chldren's book section of NYC graphic arts dealer Barbara Leibowits' site, and I figured it'd make one more of those vintage oddity posts. [And it still does; Leibowits doesn't publish the price of her copy, but Abebooks has several dozen copies listed for between $125 and $700.]

But it turns out Struwwelhitler has been reissued one, maybe even two times. It's available right now, in fact, new, on Amazon in Germany, France, and Japan, but the US Amazon site doesn't even recognize the ISBN number. Weird.

Buy Struwwelhitler, now reissued in German/English, at Amazon Germany, EUR6.99 [amazon.de, amazon.fr]
Previously: Der Struwwelpeter: Scarier Than Plastic Bottles, Even

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