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"Obsession check" - antisemitic checkbook. France, late 19th century

Opening price: $200

Commission: 22%

Sold: $280
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12.05.2022 07:00pm

LE CHEQUE-OBSESSION - The obsession check, France, 1892. Anti-Semitic pamphlet in the format of a checkbook. Each page features a check with anti-Semitic cartoons made by the anti-Semitic cartoonist Caran d'Ache. The checkbook came out against the background of the Panama affair, in which it presents the Jews as being responsible for the biggest financial corruption affair in the 19th century - by distributing bribe checks to interested parties who would silence the government (see below).

A booklet of anti-Semitic cartoons in the format of a numbered checkbook that depicts the corruption of the Jews in the Panama affair, and accuses them of the great damages caused to France by the rule of money, and the tilting of the government to self-interested needs. 20 consecutive checks appear (each with a serial number). Each cartoon shows a costumed Jew secretly giving a bribe check to one of the government officials, and shows how the Jewish tycoon does whatever he wants and controls the political interest with his money.

The Panama scandal was a corruption case that broke out in France in 1892 in connection with the mining of the Panama Canal. A loss of close to a billion francs was recorded when the government took bribes to keep quiet about the financial problems of the Panama Canal Company, in what is considered the biggest financial corruption scandal of the 19th century. The affair created anti-Semitic waves in France, because of the involvement of two Jews of German origin: Baron Jacques de Reinach and Cornelius Herz. Although the two were not among the members of parliament who received the bribes or in the management of the company, they were accused of being responsible for the distribution of the bribe money. Before his death, Reinach gave the anti-Semitic daily newspaper La Libre Parole ("The Free Word") of the journalist Édouard Drumont a list of members of parliament expelled for speaking a crime, in exchange for covering up his own part in the affair. The story turned the newspaper overnight from an insignificant issue to one of the most influential newspapers in France. The list of partners in crime was published every morning in small installments, so that hundreds of politicians had to live in great tension for months.

The illustrator of the cartoons Caran d'Ache - pseudonym of the French cartoonist Emmanuel Poiré [1858-1909]. d'Ache arrived in France in 1877 and served in the French army for five years during which he shaped his anti-Semitic national views. And already as a soldier he drew cartoons against the German army in the magazine La Vie militaire. In 1898 he founded the anti-Dreyfus magazine "Psst...!" Together with fellow artist and designer Jean-Louis Fourn. The magazine, which consisted of 85 issues, consisted entirely of anti-Semitic cartoons against Dreyfus and his supporters.

28x13 cm. 20 pages. Cover page detached. Stains. Good condition.

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19. "Obsession check" - antisemitic checkbook. France, late 19th century