This caricature titled “Metamorphosis,” drawn by Thomas Theodor Heine (1867–1948), appeared in the satirical magazine Simplicissimus in 1903. It mocks the “metamorphosis” of an East European Jew. The caption reads: (left) “Moische Pische traded in Tarnopol in discarded clothes,” (middle) “as Moritz Wasserstrahl he resettled in Posen and traded in Paris fashions” (right), “now he lives as Maurice Lafontaine in Berlin, where he has founded a new art movement and trades in out of fashion Paris art works.” In the 1870s and 1880s the immigration of East European Jews to Germany was attracting critical scrutiny, as Heinrich von Treitschke suggested in his polemic of 1879 by railing against “pants-peddling youths” from the “inexhaustible Polish cradle.” Rapidly rising numbers of Jewish immigrants in the 1890s prompted this and other appraisals with more or less strident antisemitic overtones.

Antisemitic Caricature: “Metamorphosis” (1903)


Source: “Metamorphose” [“Metamorphosis”], Simplicissimus, Jg. 8, Heft 10 (2. June 1903). Available online at: http://www.simplicissimus.info