The Prussian Octopus
By NEUMONT, Maurice , 1917

La Guerre est l'industrie Nationale de la Prusse.

Continent of Europe Europe
  • Author: NEUMONT, Maurice
  • Publication place: Paris
  • Publisher: P. J. Gallais et Cie
  • Publication date: Dec., 1917.
  • Physical description: Chromolithograph map.
  • Dimensions: 590 by 800mm. (23.25 by 31.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 2160


Large separately issued French First World War propaganda poster.

Prussia is depicted as a monstrous octopus, with its tentacles encompassing all the states of Europe. Her rise is charted from 1715 to 1914, with her territorial acquisitions marked and dated. Occupied Belgium and Alsace-Lorraine are marked by blue and red dots. To the right are depictions of Prussian soldiers in 1715, 1815, and 1914. A great deal of text dominates most of the map, depicting Prussia as the bellicose aggressor, with France defending her liberty.

The text upon the map is translated below:

“All France stand up for the victory of right. In 1788 Mirabeau was already saying ‘War is Prussia’s national industry’. Invaded 47 years ago, Alsace-Lorraine is no different from the French departments invaded three years ago – Declaration by the French government (Chamber of Deputies, 25 Oct. 1917). Alsace-Lorraine seized from France in 1871. On the eve of the War the powerful Pan-Germanist Association, the ‘Alldeutscher Verband’, declared on all sides: ‘The German people must rise as a nation of masters above the inferior nations of Europe’. Village lectures countering enemy propaganda in France [address]. Under attack, we are merely defending ourselves in the name of Liberty and to preserve our lives – General Pétain, June 1917. P.J. Gallais and Co., Publishers and Printers, Paris. Maurice Neumont Studio.”