Carnival parade in Lahr on February 19, 1939 with anti-Semitic motifs
Context and analysis
The carnival in Lahr has a tradition that goes back to the 19th century. Since the place is predominantly Protestant, carnival was forbidden at the beginning of the 20th century. It wasn't until the 1930s that the Lahr Fasentzunft was founded and designed the Grusilochzottli as a symbolic figure. It belonged to the Association of Upper Rhine Fool Guilds, which had existed in Freiburg since March 7, 1937. In 1937 there was a move in Lahr, which was documented on film ("Sport und Fasnacht"). The pictures of the move on Sunday, February 19, 1939 were taken at various locations. The groups and wagons involved are shown repeatedly. At first glance, the move appears international in rainy and windy weather. The very first picture shows a group of musicians dressed as black musicians with black storm caps, an accordion group as Spaniards. A fabric elephant is seen on the train, accompanied by a man in a turban. A shot shows that a woman is enthroned on the elephant. It is said to be Queen Victoria of England (1819-1901), who held the title of 'Empress of India'. Youngsters run as cowboys and Indians. A group of blue and white dressed up with huge children's heads. In addition to a group called 'Grusilochzottli', the symbol of the guild, the Lahr Citizens' Militia are also part of the group, founded in 1831 and closely linked to the carnival. A group of young women with flags in shiny uniforms belong to the Fasentzunft, because they are also represented on the carriage of the Elferrat under the direction of the guild master Fritz Holweg. The city council of Lahr presents itself with a motif car "Maintains old customs", other motive cars deal with public toilets at the stork tower or the Orient Express with dining and sleeping cars. At the end of the film, the dignitaries distribute bread rolls and sausages to the children. A closer look reveals that this move is by no means just the usual pleasure. There are two cars that are clearly anti-Semitic with their political message. A man with a black face and black hands carries a sign that he turns back and forth. On the front is "Negro King Roosevelt", on the back "loves the Jews from all over the world". Two caricatures of Jews are painted on the car itself. The left head says "The Chosen People", the right LaGuardia, the then mayor of New York. Already in 1937, he accused the Nazi regime of speaking to the women's organization of the Jewish Congress in the United States "to destroy world peace" (Frankfurter Zeitung, March 5, 1937) and therefore became a figure of hate in the German press. The Republican was defamed as a communist, Jew and enemy of Germany. The car, designed as an airplane, refers to the Spanish Civil War. The Lahrer Zeitung comments: "The political juggled triumvirate Stalin - Roosevelt - Negrin - that only send bombs and grenades for Spain's sake, and as angel of peace can sing fair sages like 'softly plead my songs - Abyssinia never returns' - yes, yes the group found complete understanding ”(LZ, February 20, 1939). It is an attempt by Nazi propaganda to bomb its own bombings, e.g. to blame others on Guernica; the United States was not involved in the Spanish Civil War at all.
The other motif is a house with the sentence "Welle 349.5 Sender Radio Strasbourg" on the front under a pentagram and below the unfortunately not quite readable saying "Lügen ist ....". This motif car alludes to the broadcaster Strasbourg, which broadcast a bilingual program from 1932. For the Lahrer Zeitung, this motive was evidence that Lahr belongs to the border area. In Baden, radio dealers were officially warned who had advised against buying the people's receiver because only German channels could be received. Perhaps the Strasbourg broadcaster reported critically about the pogroms and destruction of synagogues on November 9, 1938, which the Nazis described as a lie, as some politicians still practice today.
Places and monuments
HAMELMANN, BERTHOLD, Helau und Heil Hitler, Edition Isele, Eggingen 1989; Lahrer Narrenzunft: https://www.lahrer-narrenzunft.de/ (abgerufen 20.4.2020); N.N., La Guerdia und die Auslandsdeutschen, Kölnische Zeitung, 9.8.1935; N.N., 1000 Lahrer auf närrischer Fahrt, in: Lahrer Zeitung, 20.2.1939; N.N., Mister La Guardia, Frankfurter Zeitung, 5.3.1937; N.N:, 75 Jahre Volksempfänger. Wie Adolf Hitler in jedes Wohnzimmer drang, Welt, 18.8.2008; STUDE, JÜRGEN; ROTTENECKER, BERND; PETRI, DIETER, Jüdisches Leben in der Ortenau, seitenweise, Bühl 2018
- This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.