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Musical chamber pot with an image of Hitler

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.27

Ceramic, musical chamber pot with an image of Adolf Hitler inside the bowl, made by S. Fielding & Co., after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. Chamber pots are portable containers that were used as toilets before the widespread use indoor plumbing. In Great Britain, they were also known by the slang term, “Jerry.” Coincidentally, “Jerry” was also a slang term for Germans used by the British, and Hitler’s image on the pot is a reference to this double meaning. The rim text, “Another violation of Poland,” is a reference to the German invasion of Poland. The pot has a music box attached to the underside that plays a song when lifted. Depending on the version of the chamber pot either “Rule Britannia” or “God Save the King” is played. Similar chamber pots, as well as ashtrays, were made that featured images of Mussolini, Hermann Göring, and Stalin as well. By utilizing cultural slang terms that were easily recognized British citizens, this object ridiculed Hitler and helped instill a sense of national unity against the German threat, represented by his image. The chamber pot was made by S. Fielding & Co., an English pottery company that produced high-quality tableware, pottery, and decorative pieces. The chamber pots were produced only for a short time, as the subject matter was considered to be in bad taste. Although not antisemitic, this musical chamber pot is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Date
manufacture:  1939 September-1939 December
Geography
manufacture: Stoke-on-Trent (England)
Language
English
Classification
Decorative Arts
Category
Ceramics
Object Type
Chamber pots (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Chamber pots.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
 
Record last modified: 2021-05-21 12:18:27
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn537102