Tongs! Trim Their Twisted Tentacles!
The letter Щ from The Anti-Religious Alphabet
14 7/8 x 10 5/8 in. (37.8 x 27 cm)
Mikhail Mikhailovich Cheremnykh
(Tomsk, Russia, 1890 - 1962, Moscow, USSR)
Full Title:The letter Щ from The Anti-Religious Alphabet
Medium and Support:
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Not currently on view
The Anti-Religious Alphabet
From a portfolio of 27 prints.
By the time the Anti-Religious Alphabet was produced in 1932, Adolph Hitler's rise to power was almost complete. Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany in January 1933; his regime immediately implemented the mass arrests of communists and socialists, imprisoning them in the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. In this image, an enormous yellow one-eyed octopus, its top hat marked with a Nazi swastika, stretches four bristled tentacles across a map of Europe. At the end of each tentacle is a figure that symbolizes both real and perceived threats to the Soviet Union. From left to right are a Japanese soldier, a member of the out-of-favor Soviet Socialist Democratic Party, another soldier (nationality unknown), and a member of the Russian Orthodox clergy. By snipping the tentacles at the source of the threat, the giant red pincers halt both the internal and external threats to the Soviet government.