The Goose-Step

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The cartoon, detailing the armed goose marching down the road.

The Goose-Step is a political cartoon by E. H. Shepard, drawn in 1936.

It shows an armed goose marching down a road. There is a swastika on its chest, and it is stepping on a torn Locarno Pact. The Goose holds an olive branch in its beak with a label reading "Pax Germanica" attached to it. There are many National Socialist flags sticking out of the buildings it is walking past. Below the drawing of the goose there is a short poem, which parodies the nursery rhyme Goosey Goosey Gander:

The Goose-Step
"Goosey Goosey Gander.
Whither dost thou wander?"
"Only through the Rhineland
Pray excuse my Blunder!"

This cartoon shows that the remilitarisation of Rhineland was the first step Hitler took towards abolishing the Treaty of Versailles (first gamble). At the beginning Hitler claimed that he was going only for Rhineland "only through the Rhineland" but step by step he started conquering more land and demanded more. The weapons strapped to the Goose represent the rearmament rally which rapidly increased Germany's armed forces and there is a map of Europe strapped to his waist, showing his territorial ambitions. The torn "Locarno" paper which the goose stands on is representing the Locarno Treaty which was made to respect borders and stay within your own, by stepping all over it the cartoonist is saying that Germany are not respecting it, also it shows his desire for greater land for Germany. The olive branch in the gooses' beak has a label attached saying "Pax Germanica" (in reference to Pax Romana). The "Pax Germanica" also means 'German peace', just another German way of saying peace. Also, the olive branch is a symbol of peace in Western culture.

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