The position of the German army at Verdun

Verdun NVDDNI 22081916.jpg


Cartoon from a colonial newspaper Het nieuws van den dag voor Nederlandsch-Indië. The caption reads 'A difficult dilemma: it is impossible to push down and if he releases, it will crush him.


Het nieuws van de dag voor Nederlandsch-Indië was a pro-Allied newspaper, to the extent that it criticised Dutch colonial authorities for being allegedly pro-German. This cartoon, published in August 1916, shows the impossible position of the German army: unable to move forward but forced to keep their position at Verdun at any costs. The articles published on the same page left no illusions about the political sympathies of the chief editor, Karel Wybrands. One article criticised the Germans for introducing unrestricted submarine warfare, while another was an enthusiastic review of the official French war film, La Bataille de la Somme. Although, officially, the Dutch press was expected to remain neutral, Het nieuws van de dag voor Nederlandsch-Indië regularly neglected this rule. The newspaper promoted Allied film propaganda and attacked the Germans for protesting against these film screenings in a neutral colony. Wybrand's articles were openly and fervently pro-Allied and anti-German. With no evidence to the contrary, it would seem that Wybrand's sympathies were genuine and not influenced by foreign diplomats or agents.