Fascism, Enemy of Culture

Hulking, incongruously silk stovepipe-hatted, with a hair-covered yellow torso, Nazi armband, gorilla features, a belt full of knives and a large blood-dripping axe carried poised for further use, this monster came from a patriotic wall poster made popular in the years before the war. There it stood, one leg half-planted through a framed canvas, surrounded by wreckage and ruins, tumbled philosophy books, broken antiquities. Angry and watchful only for more to murder and smash, its two dots for eyes appeared fixed on the monster’s next victims. Many parents had complained, she’d been told. The poster was gone from the school hallway but the damage was done; also city-wide the image remained fairly ubiquitous. Anton kept struggling up out of sleep in the coils of his tiger skin to cry, “The hat, the hat!” The rest of the family had learned to sleep through.