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Dr Müller: His nationality?

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rastapopoulos
Member
#1 · Posted: 22 Dec 2004 12:48
Do we all agreed that Dr Müller is German? I see him as a German living in the UK, pretending to be English (Smith in Black Island). Müller is a german name but we never establish his nationality- do we? quote me wrong if i am - Im not in front of my collection though. Isnt one of his henchmen called Ivan with a black beard (Russian?). The others look like english/scottish rouges though. Bit of an international gang of forgers.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#2 · Posted: 22 Dec 2004 13:28 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
Interesting point rastpopoulos as I have some French editions of The Black Island and Land of Black Gold (L'île Noire and L'or Noir) and noticed that Müller/Smith does not have a German accent or quote any German as he does in the English versions - I assume it's something that our English translators have added; like Himmel! Ach so! and Krutzitürken! They were probably inspired by those old British war comics. Clearly Hergé didn't originally intend him to have a German accent.

I'll also just point out that he is known as Smith in Land of Black Gold rather than The Black Island. Personally I couldn't imagine him as anything other than German.
rastapopoulos
Member
#3 · Posted: 22 Dec 2004 14:10
I'll also just point out that he is known as Smith in Land of Black Gold rather than The Black Island. Personally I couldn't imagine him as anything other than German.

yeah sorry as I said I havent got my collection in front of me at the moment. I also forgot about the Germanic curses. (Doh). Thats interesting about them not being in the French Version. I presume he is still Dr Müller in the French editions. He must be German full stop . ok open and closed case ~(:'.)
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#4 · Posted: 22 Dec 2004 14:44 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
I presume he is still Dr Muller in the French editions.

Yes, J.W. Müller, M.D. in L'île Noire and proffeseur Smith in L'or Noir. I suppose he could have been posing as English in Black Gold as Smith is a very obvious English name. Much has also been made of the fact that in the original Black Gold from 1939 he's a German trying to sabotague British oil interests. However, as I said there doesn't appear to be anything which distinguishes him as a German in the French versions apart from his real name.
admin
Administrator
#5 · Posted: 23 Dec 2004 03:48
Related topic created: The World of Tintin in World War II.
Karaboudjan
Member
#6 · Posted: 23 Dec 2004 11:00
Herge based him on a Dr Bell (NOT the one who inspired Sherlock Holmes), a Scot who assumed German nationality and was in cahoots with the Nazis. He too is thought to have had dealings in an unrealised plot to collapse the British economy, but was liquidated soon after...

So if that's how Herge saw him, that would explain why he doesn't seem particularly Germanic in the French editions. As stated above, it's only in English he goes into "typical" Teutonic overdrive.
rastapopoulos
Member
#7 · Posted: 23 Dec 2004 14:27
Seems right Karaboudjan. Did you find that in the 'Tintin Companian'? (My collection is in storage at the moment). So in the french version he's a Scot wannabe German, but in the English translations hes a 100% German??? or is he a Scot with a German accent? sounds like more translation confusions to me!
Jyrki21
Member
#8 · Posted: 24 Dec 2004 07:47 · Edited by: Jyrki21
Müller was designed very specifically to serve as a German villain with a conflict in Europe appearing, at the time, more and more imminent. I think there's really no doubt as to his nationality.

When he was brought back in Land of Black Gold -- which was technically the very next adventure, though it was abandoned when the Nazis took Belgium -- he was up to more of the same things. When Hergé returned to the story, of course, he changed the impending war from WWII to the Israeli war of independence (and that was the conflict that was 'averted' in the 1950 version, even though it had already happened!), and then eventually into the Khemed conflict in the third version. Of course, by then, Müller's being German was far less relevant, and his very presence in the Middle East is a lot less explicable except by coincidence.
Karaboudjan
Member
#9 · Posted: 4 Jan 2005 10:09
I'd often wondered how he'd managed to escape both prison first time round, and then the Emir's wrath. Knowing how he idolises his bratty little son, you'd think he'd have had the Herr Doktor's liver for breakfast...

And yes, I did get that Dr Bell info from the Companion. It's my source of power!

(And how sad am I???!)
gnolles
Member
#10 · Posted: 15 Jan 2005 15:33
I 've just had the privilege to read the presumely pirate "Tintin et la Pustaha" and I found some clues about Müller nationality on page 23:
Müller, Allan and R. Rastapopoulos/ Suharto are in the heart of a huge tribal artefacts dirty business.
When Suharto/ Rastapopoulos claims he is the genius of the Evil and compares ethnic Chinese to Jews, Müller says. "Ach! The Third Reich!"
S/R goes on with his confession and claims proudly he has killed a huge number of East Timorese.
Müller jumps up and laughs and says: "... and us, we fill our pockets [with money] thanks to the Red Cross!"
This affirmation might say he could be Swiss, but his thinkings of the Third Reich suggest he is German.
I'm coming to the conclusion he must have had a German father and a Swiss-German mother, or the reverse...

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