Great Russian Cartoonist BORIS YEFIMOV

WW2 Russian Cartoonist BORIS YEFIMOV

His cartoons covered a long stretch of history, but here we mainly stress on his cartoons during WW2.....We present his collection of cartoons called "Hitler and his Gang"

Efimov had an abundance of wit and was exceptionally well read, which gave his drawings a stinging conceptual punch. A telling example is a Efimov drawing from World War II described by Vladimir Mochalov, a fellow cartoonist and artistic director of the famous satirical magazine, Krokodil: “Boris Efi mov published a famous cartoon with the caption: ‘A True Aryan is Tall’, and he drew a small, scrawny Goebbels; ‘A True Aryan is Fit’, and he drew a fat Goering; and, ‘A True Aryan is Blond’, for which he drew Hitler with his black bangs. This was an absolutely timely, witty drawing, a classic political cartoon that you might call: aiming straight between the eyes.” In the bleak early years of the war, cartoons like this one played a critical role in maintaining morale. Efimov himself says about those cartoons, “I have an entire folder of letters from frontline soldiers who thanked me for those cartoons, who wrote me, ‘Draw their faces even funnier, because then it’s more fun to pull the trigger.’”


“Fist.” An iron fist labeled NKVD (the secret police) squeezes a handful of midgets, among them Trotsky, Bukharin, and Rykov. The bodies of the victims end in a single tail that forms a swastika. Cartoon by Boris Efimov included in his memoirs.

Soviet political caricaturist and memoirist who was, for some time, the world's oldest living Jew. During his heyday, which lasted from the 1920s to the fall of the Soviet Union, Boris Efimov was an obedient satirist whose brilliant cartoons depicted Soviet policy on the pages of its major newspapers and magazines: Izvestiia, Pravda, and Krokodil. 

His career was interrupted for several years following the arrest in 1938 of his brother, the writer Mikhail Kol’tsov, who was shot as an enemy of the people in 1940. Efimov was devoted to his brother, trying to secure his release even after—unbeknownst to him—Kol’tsov had been killed. Either because he was valuable to Stalin or because of the peculiar randomness of the Soviet Terror, Efimov himself was spared and brought back to his former position, at first anonymously. 

He was the recipient of numerous Soviet medals and was named a member of the Academy of Arts. In addition to many collections of cartoons, he published four volumes of memoirs, beginning at age 70 and ending at 100. 

 Efimov was born in Kiev, where his father had an official document allowing him to engage in shoe repair. Soon after, however, the family left for Belostok (BiaƂystok), where Efimov and his older brother began their schooling. Efimov did not go to art school. The instability of those revolutionary years put him first in Khar’kov (1917) and then, the next year, in Kiev. His first caricature, of the poet Aleksandr Blok, appeared in 1918, and his earliest political cartoon a year later. By 1922 he was in Moscow, where, helped by his brother's ties as well as his own formidable talent, he became associated with the Soviet Union's two major newspapers Pravda and Izvestiia, and the satirical magazines Krokodil (founded in 1922) and Chudak (1928–1930; Efimov began in its second year). 

 Efimov’s subjects were the evil-doing enemies of Soviet domestic and international policy. In terms of foreign policy, these were Wall Street capitalists and leaders of European governments, later including NATO. Western opponents were personified variously, and often wittily: the American capital churned out dollars, the Statue of Liberty was caged or in chains, the bourgeoisie of all Western countries were a combination of potbellied and malevolent.

ww2 Russian Cartoonist BORIS YEFIMOV battle moscow 1941
This is how Yefimov showed "The Invincible German Army" after it took a hiding in the Battle of Moscow in December 1941

Hitler and the Nazi leadership were unending targets throughout World War II, and also during the Nuremberg Trials. Efimov’s drawings from Nuremberg show the defendants' heads emerging from finely drawn bodies of insects and rodents. 

 At the time of the 1967 and 1973 wars, Efimov satirized Israel. His cartoons from the period personify Israel as a burly, gun-toting aggressor (see image). In some cartoons, the Star of David merges with a skull and crossbones (see image). But Efimov steered clear of the Jewish physical stereotypes and Nazi imagery associated with anti-Israel cartoons in the Soviet press, even though he often drew on Nazi symbolism in his caricatures of Western European leaders.

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Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
--Joseph Stalin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--Voltaire, War

In war, truth is the first casualty.
-- Aeschylus

"The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery."
--Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
--Adolf Hitler

"To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization."
--George Orwell

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country."
--Bertrand Russell

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
--Francis Meehan

Snippets From History

German Soldiers in Russia: Part 1

Hubert Menzel was a major in the General Operations Department of the OKH (the Oberkommando des Heers, the German Army headquarters), and for him the idea of invading the Soviet Union in 1941 had the smack of cold, clear logic to it: 'We knew that in two years' time, that is by the end of 1942, beginning of 1943, the English would be ready, the Americans would be ready, the Russians would be ready too, and then we would have to deal with all three of them at the same time.... We had to try to remove the greatest threat from the East.... At the time it seemed possible.'

Battle for Berlin, 1945

'We started to fire at the masses,' says one former German machine gunner. 'They weren't human beings for us. It was a wall of attacking beasts who were trying to kill us. You yourself were no longer human.'


Berlin after it fell to the Russians, 1945

"Vladlen Anchishkin, a Soviet battery commander on the 1st Ukrainian Front, sums up the horror of the whole event, when he tells how he took personal revenge on German soldiers: 'I can admit it now, I was in such a state, I was in such a frenzy. I said, 'Bring them here for an interrogation' and I had a knife, and I cut him. I cut a lot of them. I thought, 'You wanted to kill me, now it's your turn.'
Read More


Dramatic Pictures: Battle For Stalingrad
"...Effective command no longer possible... further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops."
General Paulus' radio message to Hitler on January 24, 1943

"...Capitulation is impossible. The 6th Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man, the last bullet..."

Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city


Points To Ponder....

The fall of France was shocking. It reduced France to virtually a non-player in the Second World War. The efforts of Charles de Gualle were more symbolic than material. But the martial instincts of the French must never be doubted. Under Napoleon they were a formidable military power. The French definitely have more iron in their blood then say, the Italians [I do not mean it in a derogatory sense. War never makes sense]


Bias Of Western Historians

Soviet resistance made possible a successful Allied invasion of France, and ensured the final Allied victory over Germany.

It can hardly be called mere 'resistance'! If it hadn't been for the Russians, Hitler would have made mincemeat of British forces in Africa and landed on British shores in no time. Hitler attacked Russia first because it had more land and resources than Britain. It is as simple as that.

Eastern Front: Bias Of Western Historians