A prominent German newspaper was accused of spreading anti-Semitic propaganda after it published a cartoon depicting Facebook CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg as an octopus.
The image was included in last Friday’s edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung – the largest German-language daily newspaper – after the social media giant announced it was going to buy a rapidly-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion.
The sketch drawn by cartoonist Burkhard Mohr, was entitled “Krake Facebook,” German for "Facebook Octopus".
It showed Zuckerberg taking over the world by spreading his tentacles over a globe.
However, the features of the entrepreneur’s face - a hooked-nose, a smile, and curly hair under a hat –were ‘starkly reminiscent’ of anti-Semitic Nazi era cartoons, according to The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization.
In a bid to spread propaganda against Jews in Germany, the Nazis in 1930s used to distribute a lot of anti-Semitic published material. That included a cartoon of an octopus with a Star of David over its head that had its tentacles encompassing a globe.
Mohr was surprised to know that his creation hurt the sentiments of an entire community. He later apologized and re-published a second image, this time without the face of the cofounder:
Cartoonists often use the same depiction to portray the increasing control of a global power over the world:
The following image dates back to 1888:
In early 1990s, a similar caricature was used to illustrate the growing influence of Microsoft Corp. over the world. You can view it here.
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Do you think the cartoon in the Süddeutsche Zeitung was anti-Semitic? You can share your answers in the comments section below.