Satan Abdicates in Favor of Wilhelm. From the Cradle to the Mad House. The Boa Constrictor of Modern Times. Walk with Me Through the Valley of Death. God Deliver Us from Premature Peace
1918·Des Moines, Iowa
by Syberkrop, Louis
Des Moines, Iowa: Louis Syberkrop, 1918. Louis Syberkrop. Wraps. Very Good. Oblong, 15 by 23 cm. 31 pp. A screed against Wilhelm II by an impassioned Midwesterner. Starts with a slanted but recognizable brief history of German militarism from Frederick the Great to the First World War, and a dissection of the psyche of Kaiser Wilhelm -- his religiousity, his worship of Frederick the Great, his pontifications, his wildly contradictory pronouncements, etc. Following comes more imaginative pieces, such as a letter from Satan in which the devil expresses obeisance to Wilhelm, and then a polemic likening Wilhelm and Germany to a boa constrictor. The final piece in the publication is a series of damning quotes by the Kaiser over the years, all of which are meant to reveal his blatant hypocrisies and convict him for his martial actions by using his own words against himself. This self-published brochure perfectly reflects the strong jingoistic and anti-German strain in America at the onset of the American entry into the First World War. Scarce, with only a single copy found on OCLC First Search, and that copy, curiously in a French Library (Nanterre). Not without interest is a long note dated Oct. 28th 1926 written in long-hand by someone to whom Syberkrop apparently gave a copy of this. The note fills the entire first blank. This unknown recipient describes Syberkrop as "about the most intelligent person in Miami" and having "some good practical experience with Spiritualism . . . " and with original ideas on the subconscious, the latter topic not inconsequential in this particular screed. Then the note's writer speaks of Syberkrop's preparedness to take his own life when feeling old and useless and how a doctor gave him "stuff" marked "FINAL" on the bottle to accomplish this end. Yet another point mentioned is how Syberkrop, who would seem to have aspired to be a mouthpiece for American anti-German propaganda when this booklet was issued, decried the materialism of Americans. Moderate wear to the wraps.
(Inventory #: 004945)
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