“You Gotta Stop Picking on Me!”


“You Gotta Stop Picking on Me!” (October 9, 1939)
by Emidio (Mike) Angelo (1903-1990)
18 x 18 in., ink on art board
Coppola Collection

Emidio Angelo was born in Philadelphia, a year after his mother and father, a baker, arrived from Italy. He studied art from 1924 to 1928 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Angelo joined The Philadelphia Inquirer as a political cartoonist in 1937 and worked there until 1954. He also drew cartoons for the Saturday Evening Post, Life and Esquire.

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland.

On October 4, 1939, Adolf Hitler issued a secret decree granting an amnesty to all crimes committed by German military and police personnel in Poland between September 1 and October 4. The decree justified the crimes as being natural responses to “atrocities committed by the Poles.

On October 5, 1939, Hitler flew to Warsaw and reviewed a victory parade in the fallen Polish capital.

On October 6, 1939, Hitler addressed a special session of the Reichstag. After speaking at great length about the victory over Poland he then proposed an international security conference, hinting at desire for an armistice by saying that such a conference would be impossible “while cannons are thundering.”

And there is the context for this view of Germany’s two-faced relationship with the truth. The public face of Germany’s actions was so guided and calculated as to appear uneventful, birthing the notion that these first 8 months or so of WW2 were called The Phoney War (until the European invasion on May 10, 1940).

On October 12, 1939, the regions of Nazi-occupied Poland not annexed by the Reich were incorporated into a new administrative unit called the General Government.

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