Published in the satirical journal Der wahre Jacob, this offensive caricature is entitled, “Pictures from our Colonies.” The caption reads: “A Sunday Afternoon in West Africa,” a reference to Germany’s West African colonial territories, which correspond to present-day Togo and Cameroon. The image would appear to depict an upside-down world in which at least some of the West Africans masquerade as Germans—by dressing in German clothing, including Prussian military uniforms, and serving and/or drinking beer in huge steins. The sign in the center of the image announces a “charity dinner,” which obviously consists of the two corpulent German men held in a cage. The image relies heavily on racist tropes, and the West African figures are, without exception, depicted in accordance with common stereotypes. The custom of cannibalism in particular seems to have held a gruesome fascination for many white Europeans and was frequently used as evidence that the indigenous populations of the colonies were “savages” who could not be civilized.

“Pictures from our Colonies” (1897)


Source: “Bilder aus unsern Kolonien” [“Pictures from our Colonies”], Der wahre Jacob, no. 291, (September, 14, 1897), p. 2536. Available online at UB Heidelberg, Digital: https://doi.org/10.11588/diglit.6610#0194