Antisemitic Trench Art German Canteen w Italian Writing
Very interesting piece of trench art with a very unfortunate antisemitic carving. The front shows three caricatures. The first is the typical propaganda driven version of a Jewish man scheming with a vulture. To the right of that pair is a donkey reading a newspaper (maybe the Huffington Post?) and a capitalist pig complete with tuxedo, cigar and lapel flower. The reverse side has the date May 13, 1943. Below the date is Italian writing which seems to be a prayer that God should protect him and bring him safely home to his "MAMMA". The combination of the two sides is very interesting. On the one we see the soldier has fallen into the propaganda trap and buys in to the ugly stereotypes. On the other side we see that the fellow, like any other soldier, just wants to go home to his mother. This highlights the corruption of seemingly good and innocent young men. The mess kit is German manufacture and dated 1940. An Italian with a German mess kit is perfectly logical as they were often in the field together. There were also many Italians serving in German units. There is also a lot of old writing on the mess kit that had been smoothed off and covered over by later writing. It seems he liked to change his text periodically. Very interesting item which metaphorically shows good on one side and quite the opposite on the other side.