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Cartoon of a Russian bear urging a poor Jew to go to England

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.658

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    Cartoon of a Russian bear urging a poor Jew to go to England
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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Political cartoon created by artist Alfred Bryan, and published in 1891 by the English comic periodical, “Moonshine." Alfred Bryan was an English illustrator who created cartoons for “Moonshine” and many similar publications during the late-19th century. “Moonshine” combined social and political commentary with humor in stories and cartoons. Comic periodicals were popular in England throughout the 19th century. In the image, an indignant Jewish man stands before a stern-looking, anthropomorphized bear symbolizing Russia. Next to the man, an opulently dressed, English-Jewish businessman urges the man to immigrate to England. The cartoon mockingly satirizes the very real plight of late-19th century Russian Jews. Many in Russia falsely blamed Jews for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. As a result, antisemitism and Jewish persecution became increasingly harsh. Over the next several decades, pogroms broke out in towns and villages throughout Russia, laws restricting Jewish movement and life were passed, and Jews were expelled from Moscow. In response to the persecution, many Jews emigrated. Over 2 million Jews left Eastern Europe, and approximately 120,000 of those settled in England. However, the Jews face nativist and antisemitic sentiments in England as well. Jews were accused of taking jobs from locals, pushing up rent prices, and exacerbating the horrible working conditions. In 1905, the English Parliament passed the Aliens Act, which denied “undesirable immigrants” entry into the country. Although the wording of the act was vague, it was used to target Jewish and Eastern European immigrants. The image, showing a Jew inviting another foreign Jew into the country highlights these nativist sentiments. This political cartoon is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    The Jews in Russia, Moonshine, February 28, 1891
    Date
    publication/distribution:  1891 February 28
    Geography
    publication: London (England)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    Markings
    front, top center, printed, black ink : MOONSHINE. - Feb. 28, 1891.
    front, caption, bottom, printed, black ink : THE JEWS IN RUSSIA. / Solomon Isaacs. "COME TO ENGLAND, MA TEAR. NO PERSECUTION THERE. SOON MAKE YOUR FORTUNE. RUN A FINANCIAL PAPER OR START A PUBLIC COMPANY."
    front, within image, printed, black ink : PROSPECTUS / BILLS
    back, top, printed, black ink : MOONSHINE Advt. Feb. 28, 1891
    Signature
    front, lower right, printed, black ink : AB
    Contributor
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Publisher: Moonshine
    Artist: Alfred Bryan
    Biography
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Classification
    Art
    Category
    Prints
    Genre/Form
    Political cartoons.
    Physical Description
    Black-and-white cartoon printed on faded, slightly yellowed, off-white paper with an image of a stern-looking, anthropomorphized bear alongside two Jewish men. One is shabbily dressed and the other is wearing opulent clothing. On the left, the bear wears a peaked cap and a full-length light colored coat with a cat o' nine tails tucked into his belt and a sword hanging from his hip. His furry face has a wide mustache, and his arms are crossed in front of his chest. The smaller Jewish man stands facing the bear, his knees bent and his head slightly bowed forward. He has a stereotypically large, hooked nose, side curls, and a long beard. He is shabbily dressed in a loose, thigh-length shirt, pants, and boots. His darkly- colored wrinkled clothing and sloppily combed-over balding head make him look disheveled. Standing behind him, the opulently dressed man leans towards him with a hand raised to his mouth. He is likely a businessman: dressed in a top hat, a long coat with fur lapels and cuffs, and striped pants. In each of his pockets, there are rolled up papers, the left titled “PROSPECTUS” and the right, “BILLS.” The image is shaded with cross-hatching and framed by a thin, rectangular, double-line border. The date and publication title are printed above the image, and below is a small, two-line caption. In the lower right of the image are the artist’s initials. Printed on the back are two advertisements: Electropathic belts on the left, and Player's Navy Cut on the right. The page has a vertical crease in the center.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 10.750 inches (27.305 cm) | Width: 16.000 inches (40.64 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    England.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The print was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:13:49
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn545120

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