Der Wahre Jacob
Stuttgart 1884 – 1923, 1927 – 1933
13,400 pages on 176 microfiches, 2001, ISBN 3-89131-373-X
Diazo (negative): EUR 850.– / Silver (positive): EUR 1,020.–
The fact that the Wahre Jacob, published by the Social Democrats, appeared twice is nothing unusual for a satirical paper that was threatened by press censorship and surrounded by bans. The fist time it appeared for a short period of time only: 12 issues in Hamburg. The second time Der Wahre Jacob came out in Stuttgart starting in 1884, and this time it existed for various decades until 1923. Then there was a break, and in 1927 it appeared yet again, up to issue 8/1933 from February 25 – the same year the Social Democrats were forbidden.
Together with the two other major satiric magazines (the Kladderadatsch, which was launched in Berlin in 1848, and the Simplicissimus, started in 1896 in Munich) Der Wahre Jacob formed the Trias of the most important German representatives of those political satire magazines published over a longer period of time.
In three ways
Der Wahre Jacob
stands in-between the two other magazines: Stuttgart as its place of publication between Berlin and Munich, its first date of appearance in 1884, and: the paper on the left between its Prussian-conservative and southern-German liberal competitiors.
The program of Der Wahre Jacob – «to fight for the rights of the working classes in its peculiar and effective way», turned out to be successful: in 1890 its publishers registered a circulation of 100,000 issues, and in 1912 the number had increased to more than 380,000.
The passing of time led to so much material that the main sheet, which so far had shown current political satire, received a supplement discussing all those events which «were of interest to the world of the working classes» –
a kind of feuilleton for «historical, literary-historical, and bibliographical essays», for «appropriate pictures showing the political life, humorous sketches, poems along with illustrative ornamentation».
As soon as it was technically practicable, color printing was employed for the astonishingly many and excellent text satires and the noteworthyly frequent caricatures whose wit is still effective today. Looked at it as a whole,
Der Wahre Jacob presents a particularly valuable source of material, an austere and pointed chronicle of the acute and chronically events, an archive filled with critical opinions of the time during the empire, the First World War, and the Weimar Republic.