Attention! The German Viper is Taken. It is Now Necessary to Pull Out the Poisonous Teeth!
This 1919 poster, made in Italy just after the close of World War I, shows a hand strangling a snake decorated with the German Iron Cross. The text reads: “Attention! The German viper is taken! It is now necessary to pull out the poisonous teeth!” Italy and Germany were allies during World War II, but they were enemies during World War I. Italy entered the war on the side of Britain and France on May 23, 1915, by declaring war on Austria-Hungary. Under the terms of a secret treaty concluded in London the previous month, Italy was to gain territory, including Trieste and South Tyrol, in exchange for siding with the Allies. Italy declared war on Germany on August 27, 1916, and took part as a victor in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, with Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando joining President Woodrow Wilson of the United States, Prime Minister David Lloyd George of the United Kingdom, and Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau of France as one of the “Big Four.” But the Italians were dissatisfied with the territorial gains they were accorded at the conference and the Italian delegation walked out on April 24, 1919, although they later returned to sign the Treaty of Versailles. By the 1930s, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany had become allies, united in their hostility to the democratic powers and their desire to overturn the results of the treaty.
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1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 100 x 70 centimeters
Last updated: July 19, 2017