Sunday, February 15, 2009

Herluf Bidstrup (Denmark)

Although these books are of a series of 14 books at least, the signature Bid is nearly sunk into oblivion, nowadays. At the end of WW2, Herluf Bidstrup (1912-1988) joins a communist daily paper where his favorite targets are the capitalists and militarism. He gradually becomes isolated in Denmark when his cartoons are received with enthusiasm in the Eastern bloc (including China). He is awarded the international Lenin Peace Prize in 1964, and is furthermore presented with the Red Flag’s Order. His blind affection for Communism and Stalinism brought discredit upon him in the Western countries and a very little of his fame and popularity is still remaining in few rare other countries, after his death.






Herluf Bidstrup is born in Berlin from a Danish father and a German mother, in 1912. His family moves to Denmark during WW1. He is taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He supplies the underground press with anti-Nazi cartoons, while the German occupation of his country. After the war, he supports communism and his anti anti-American cartoons are published in many papers of the whole Eastern bloc, up to China. During the Cold War, several collections of his cartoons are reprinted in books form, in the USSR and other countries, such as the GDR where a huge book (500 cartoons!) is launched by Eulenspiegel publishing. His work as a communism propagandist was also rewarded by two Soviet Prizes. It is to say the former fame of this Danish cartoonist who was almost unknown in the Western bloc.


The drawing below (from book n°9) shows the collaboration with the Nazis, and the absolution of the collaborators after the war. It is such facts which are likely to have radicalized the political positions of Bidstrup and have pushed him toward the extremes of a manichean communism.

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Learn more:
Herluf Bidstrup site (Russian)
Bidstrup - Wikipedia
My bidstrup - gallery with more than 400 cartoons and caricatures
Cartoonbook files:

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