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Louis Raemaekers Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Raemaekers, Louis, 1869-1956
Title: Louis Raemaekers Cartoons
Inclusive Dates: 1914-1918
Quantity: 7 linear ft.
Abstract: 56 original political cartoons from World War I.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Slow Asphyxiation, painting by Raemakers[Photo at right: "Slow Asphyxiation" by Louis Raemaekers depicting soldiers who were exposed to irritating gases while fighting in the trenches.]

Louis Raemaekers (1869-1956) was a Dutch painter and cartoonist known for his anti-German cartoons during World War I.

Louis Raemaekers was born in 1869 in Roermond, in the Netherlands. His father was a newspaper editor and his mother was originally from Germany. Raemaekers studied art in Holland and Brussels.

Beginning his career as a painter and illustrator, Raemaekers joined the Algemeen Handelsblad in 1907 and in 1909 starting drawing for the De Telegraaf after the Algemeen Handelsblad became uncomfortable with his strong inclination towards producing anti-German cartoons.

Raemaekers became known for his biting portrayals of the cruelty of war, particularly as brought about by the German military’s actions in Belgium. Germany was outraged by Raemaekers’ works and the Netherlands charged him with endangering the country's neutrality in the war (although he was never convicted) while a bounty was put on him by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Raemaekers' work was well received among allied countries. Raemaekers fled to Britain and was welcomed by British dignitaries and journalists. France presented Raemaekers with the Cross of the Legion of Honour and hosted a reception for him at the Sorbonne. In 1917 he toured the United States and being critical of the United States' neutrality, urged the United States to intervene in the war.

Raemaekers’ cartoons were widely popular throughout the world and heavily reproduced. Some were compiled in books and reprinted as posters and postcards. An estimated 1200 cartoons were reproduced in allied countries and an estimated 1 billion copies were published in the United States during 1917. Several books about the war were published with his cartoons including the 1916 work, Raemaeker’s Cartoons (1916) and Raemaeker’s Cartoon History of the War (1919).

During World War I, Raemaekers’ cartoons were exhibited throughout the world including in Spain, Britain, France and the United States and in 1942, he lent works to the “Cartoons of the Day” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Raemaekers, also critical of widespread fascism and Nazism in the 1930s, ended his career in the early 1940s.

Louis Raemaekers died on July 26, 1956 in Scheveningen, Netherlands.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Louis Raemaekers Cartoons are comprised of 56 original political cartoons from World War I (1914-1918). Many of these cartoons appeared in the book, Raemaekers' Cartoon History of the War (1919).

Raemaekers used the medium of cartooning to communicate Germany's actions during World War I, particularly against the Belgians to a worldwide audience. Raemaekers was an outspoken critic of Germany and often depicted the war crimes and atrocities the country was alleged to have committed. One theme of interest is Raemaekers' portrayal of Christianity and its relationship to the war.

The cartoons were drawn in charcoal, ink and gouache on illustration board and none bear specific dates.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The cartoons have been numbered and are foldered individually.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Due to the fragile nature of these cartoons, users are required to wear gloves when handling the material.

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The book, Raemaekers' Cartoon History of the War (1919) is available in the Special Collections Research Center Rare Book collections. Please see the Classic Catalog for more information.

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Raemaekers, Louis, 1869-1956.


Imperialism -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Caricatures and cartoons -- Europe.
Cartoonists -- Netherlands.
Military -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Political cartoons -- 20th century.
War -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
War crimes -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Belgium -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Germany -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- Caricatures and cartoons.


Belgium -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Germany -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Editorial cartoons.
Political cartoons.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Louis Raemaekers Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Yale University Art Gallery, 1985.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: –
Date: 2002
Revision history: 8 Apr 2009 - converted to EAD (MD); 30 Oct 2009 - added detailed bio, scope and inventory (SK)

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Cartoons 1914-1918 21 3/4" x 18 3/4"
Oversize 1 001.Raemaekers Christendom After Twenty Centuries
Oversize 1 002.Raemaekers The Shields of Rosselaere. - At Rosselaere the German Troops forced the Belgian townsfolk to march in front of them.
Oversize 1 003.Raemaekers The Hostages. - "Father, what have we done?"
Oversize 1 004.Raemaekers Seduction. - "Ain't I a lovable fellow?"
Oversize 1 005.Raemaekers "Kultur" has Passed Here.
Oversize 1 006.Raemaekers The Braggart. - "It was I who opened fire on Rheims Cathedral"
Oversize 1 007.Raemaekers A Letter from the German Trenches. - "We have gained a good bit; our cemeteries now extend as far as the sea."
Oversize 1 008.Raemaekers The Promise. - "We shall never sheath the sword until Belgium recovers all, and more than all she has sacrificed." Mr. Asquith, 9th November, 1914
Oversize 1 009.Raemaekers The Wonders of "Kultur." - First Zeppelin raid on Paris
Oversize 1 010.Raemaekers Easter 1915. - And they bowed the knee before him.
Oversize 2 011.Raemaekers "Unmasked" - The Yellow Book
Oversize 2 012.Raemaekers "My son, go and fight for your Motherland!" - {A recruiting poster. Only piece signed by Raemaekers in the collection}
Oversize 2 013.Raemaekers The "Lusitania." - Herod's Night-mare. "Are they crying 'Mother' --or 'Murder'?"
Oversize 2 014.Raemaekers The Latin Sisters. - Italy: "Indeed she is my sister."
Oversize 2 015.Raemaekers The Anniversary. - Bernhardi: "Have we not surpassed your most sanguine expectations?"
Oversize 2 016.Raemaekers Botha to Britain: "I have carried out everything in accordance with our compact at Vereeniging."
Oversize 2 017.Raemaekers Murder On the High Seas. - "Well, have you nearly done?"
Oversize 2 018.Raemaekers The Spirit of France.
Oversize 2 019.Raemaekers The Prisoners. - "If England wins the war, she will never get our Kultur"
Oversize 2 020.Raemaekers On the White Horse.
Oversize 3 021.Raemaekers True to his Mother - At the Labour Congress recently held in England the delegates passed a vote of confidence in the present British Government by a huge majority
Oversize 3 022.Raemaekers The Papal Peace Proposal - Austria: "Hurrah! We have only to leave the countries we have already ransaced."
Oversize 3 023.Raemaekers Not So Fast! - British Seaman to Labour Pacifist: "Don't you believe, my beauty, that we are going to ship you to them German friends of yours at Stockholm!"
Oversize 3 024.Raemaekers The Crucifixion of Belgium. - "We are ready now to make peace so that you may enjoy still more the blessings of our Kultur."
Oversize 3 025.Raemaekers Prosperity reigns in Flanders. - 480 millions of francs have been imposed as a war tax but soup is given gratis.
Oversize 3 026.Raemaekers I crush whatever resists me.
Oversize 3 027.Raemaekers The Raid. - Seaman 1: "Do you remember Black Mary of Hamburg?" Seaman 2: "Aye, well" Seaman 1: "She got six years for killing a child, whilst we get the Iron Cross for killing twenty ar Hartlepool."
Oversize 3 028.Raemaekers The Rebirth of Russia. - A new and purer Russia rises like a Phoenix from the ashes of the old reactionary regime.
Oversize 3 029.Raemaekers Burning Fire - "Hullo! Postdam? Did you thank your dear old God for this new success?"
Oversize 3 030.Raemaekers To the End. - War and Hunger: "Now you must accompany us to the end." The Kaiser: "yes to my end.!"
Oversize 4 031.Raemaekers We wage war on Divine Principles.
Oversize 4 032.Raemaekers Germany Feeling the Pinch. - The War God: "In 1914 you rejected every suggestion of Peace and insisted on the mailed fist, now it will not let go it's grip, Do you still like it?"
Oversize 4 033.Raemaekers War and Christ
Oversize 4 034.Raemaekers Pan Germanicus as Peace Maker. - The Dove: "They say they do not want peace as they have time enough." The Eagle: "Alas! That is just what we haven't got."
Oversize 4 035.Raemaekers Our Lady of Antwerp
Oversize 4 036.Raemaekers William: "Now we will give England the death stroke." - (But observe that he is blind to the character of his Ally's embrace.)
Oversize 4 037.Raemaekers Bernhardism - 'It's all right, If I hadn't done it someone else might."
Oversize 4 038.Raemaekers Luther-Liebknecht in the Reichstag. - "It is a war of Rapine! On that I take my stand, I cannot do otherwise." Liebknecht was the one member who protested against the war.
Oversize 4 039.Raemaekers Husbands and Fathers. - Belgian workmen were forcibly deported to Germany.
Oversize 4 040.Raemaekers The Vicory Loan: "And what did you lend, to-day?"
Oversize 5 041.Raemaekers Little Red Riding Hood. - Germany lying in wait for Holland.
Oversize 5 042.Raemaekers - The Dutchman: " Down with Milirtarism." The German: " That's right. So much the sooner you will be ours."
Oversize 5 043.Raemaekers The Final Blow to Prussian Militarism - Hercules slaying the wild Boar.
Oversize 5 044.Raemaekers - The Old Frenchman: "our guns come nearer."
Oversize 5 045.Raemaekers - "war is an Instrument of progress -- choose the right moment to attack." von Bernhardi, 1912
Oversize 5 046.Raemaekers The Song of Spring.
Oversize 5 047.Raemaekers Slow Asphyxiation.
Oversize 5 048.Raemaekers The Fallaba - "We have better luck with passenger boats than with war ships, for they cannot shoot."
Oversize 5 049.Raemaekers A conflict of testimony. - "Sire, it's quite easy; for every witness who swears we've murdered innocent people we will produce two who will sewar they did not see it."
Oversize 5 050.Raemaekers Two Demons - William: " How many have you swallowed to day, my faithful friend?"
Oversize 6 051.Raemaekers Spoils for the Victors. - Belgium. Pillage is expressly prohibited. Article 47 of the Rules of War.
Oversize 6 052.Raemaekers "It is the hour, come!"
Oversize 6 053.Raemaekers The Stars and Stripes in the Service of Humanity.
Oversize 6 054.Raemaekers At the World's Judgment Seat. - "Since the first days the war has been nothing to us but the defence of our right to existence and freedom. Therefore we were first and alone to declare our readiness for negotiations" Herr von Bethmann Hollweg.
Oversize 6 055.Raemaekers The very stones cry out "Thou art the man."
Oversize 6 056.Raemaekers The Belgian Prince Outrage. - English American and Belgian sailors murdered by a U-boat Commander.

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