Illustration S.14.1 “Red Saxonia” (Simplicissimus, 1909)
In November 1909, Saxon Landtag elections had just been completed under a new voting law. The Saxon Landtag suffrage of 1909 provided up to four ballots to voters according to criteria based on income, property, education, and age. At the time, Prussia’s state ministry under Minister President Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg was considering a reform to the Prussian Landtag suffrage. One possible system under consideration in Prussia closely resembed the Saxon system. But Saxon voters had used their plural votes unwisely, at least in the view of Prussian ministers, for they had elected 25 Social Democrats to sit in a parliament of 91 deputies. Pre-election estimates had foretold the election of no more than about 15 “reds” in Saxony. Although the artist of this cartoon, Theodor Thomas Heine, was one of the fiercest critics of haughty Prussian authoritarianism, here he allows “Saxonia” (on the left) to dispense her best advice to “Borussia” (Prussia) about how to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Caption (in Saxon dialect): “No, my good Borussia, don’t pick such a new voting pot for yourself; mine gave me the measles.”
Source: Thomas Theodor Heine, “Die rote Saxonia,” Simplicissimus 14, Nr. 34 (22 November 1909): 567. Simplicissimus Online: Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar.
Copyright © 2017 James Retallack. All rights reserved. This page is part of the Online Supplement to James Retallack, Red Saxony: Election Battles and the Spectre of Democracy in Germany, 1860-1918 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). ISBN 978-0-19-966878-6.