Leo Jordaan’s haunting World War II cartoons



The Fool’s Gold episode of this quarter’s Zone 5300 pointed me to the work of Leo Jordaan, Dutch film critic and political cartoonist.

His Nachtmerrie over Nederland (‘nightmare over the Netherlands’) collects the cartoons he drew during the war (underground, one assumes). They have a stylized, haunting quality that makes one wonder—if for a moment—how real the war was to Jordaan. Fool’s Gold calls the collection an “infernal after image” of the war and recommends that if you want to own this book (which was published in 1945), you should be able to find copies at second hand book stores “for the price of a crate of pilsner”.

The cartoon of the robot with the hand grenade hands shown above depicts the blitzkrieg attack on the Netherlands in May 1940 by Hitler’s armoured and motorized troops against a Dutch defence that consisted of little more than guys with guns.

If you find the price too steep, or Dutch second hand book stores too inaccessible, Geheugen van Nederland scanned the entire book for your on-line perusal


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