"An Innocent Victim at the Hands of Cultured Butchers",
stone lithograph, circa 1915-1916.
Having apparently just murdered (or worse) a Red Cross
nurse, a German corporal pauses for a light lunch and a beer
before having his squad remove her body. This is undoubtedly
one of the most classic "atrocity-image" posters from World
Medium size: measures 19 ¾" x 14 ½". Credited in the margin
to the E. F. Chelnokov lithography firm in Moscow.
An unusually quiet image of implied horror. Far more Russian
prints sought to enrage the Russian population by presenting
scenes of multiple German crimes, ranging from bayonetting
babies to firing squads executing nurses, all happening in
what appear to be villages being turned into Teutonic three
ring circuses. The text here reads in part that what is
happening here is "a foul, bloody deed by the monster
Germans"! "An Innocent Victim at the Hands of Cultured
Butchers" has shown up many times over the decades since the
war whenever authors have sought to document public reaction
to war crimes; the Hoover Institution Archives here in the
United States made available its copy of this image to
Stephen M. Norris for use in his excellent book about lubki,
A War of Images.
The print is in very good condition. There are four minor
tears in the margin have been stabilized by the careful
application of acid-free tape.
A War of Images, by the way, is one of the very few
publications in English that deals with the long tradition
of Russian printmaking. If you collect Lubok prints but are
unfamiliar with it, we recommend it highly.