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Hergé: A Fascist?

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#11 · Posted: 25 May 2009 16:43
The Japanese were quite evil when they invaded China in the 1930s. Read something about the Rape of Nanking e.g. Are WWII movies which portray Germans in a bad light racist?

Moderator Note: Welcome to the forums! The thread has wandered a little over its course, but the topic is facism, rather than racism, per se, so let’s try to focus on that aspect.
#12 · Posted: 27 May 2009 00:46
Herge's politics can be a little confusing at times. I don't think he was an all-out fascist but his work did veer towards the right-wing at times.

Take "The Shooting Star" for instance: When first published in the newspaper "Le Soir" it included a scene in which two stereotype Jews watch Philippulus the Prophet harassing Tintin.

On of them says:
"Did you hear that, Isaac?... The end of the world!... What if it were true?..."

To which the other (who does not speak straight French) answers:
"Tee, hee!... Zat vould be a nice little teal, Salomon!... Ikh howe 50,000 Francs to my zurppliers... Zat vay ikh zould not be avle to pay..."

What is more, Bohlwinkel, the shady banker from São Rico, was, in the wartime version, a stereotype Jewish businessman called Blumenstein from New York.

I once read an interesting book which stated that many renown anti-Semitists did serve with the resistance against the Germans during the war. Draw your own conclusions.
#13 · Posted: 8 Jan 2012 03:59
From what I can see the big problem for many Europeans was Communism.

Land of the Soviets seems to be an exposé of the Soviet regime, Hergé refers to fake industry, and the oppression of the Kulaks for example, and the dangers of traveling there.

The fascists were opposed to the communists, and if one reads of the Cheka's terror, and the forced starvation in the Ukraine, one would say they and everyone else had good reason to be concerned.

We see fascism through the post-war Nuremberg Nazi-criminalizing lens, but the Europeans of occupied Europe did not, many saw it as a bulwark against the Red Terror.

I wonder if Hergé had been captured by the Communists, whether he would have lived. A lot of Europe was happy to live and let live under the Occupation.

Hergé seemed to make fun of everyone, including the Bordurians, as militarists, and Americans as banker exploiters and drug runners, insurance salesmen everywhere, and opera singers.

I don't think there was anything political here at all. His characters were just plain funny!
#14 · Posted: 1 Jul 2019 00:16 · Edited by: Furienna
Stas Werno:
He said he was ashamed of the way he portrayed Africans in the Congo book, and yet years later in Red Sea Sharks he protrays them again as simpletons.

Maybe so, but it seems to me like Hergé was at least trying to do Africans better that time around. I would say that the Nigerians in "Sharks" also are less crude than the Congolese in "Congo".

Stas Werno:
The Japanese in The Blue Lotus are portrayed as bad people and nothing but.

We have to remember that those Japanese were occupying another country, so it was natural that they would be portrayed negatively. And there is also a more sympathetic Japanese character in "Crab with golden claws".

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