Friday, June 01, 2012

Gut Schabbes! and other 1860s parodies of the non-politically correct variety.

In the 1860s a series of little magazines, I guess you might call them, called Gedichte und Scherze in juedischen Mundart (Poems and Jokes in the Jewish Dialect, that is, Jewish German) were published. Some of the pen names are quite amusing, such as David Hamanklopper, Wolf Chuzbedick, and Leiser Menuwel. The titles no less; there's Gut Schabbes!Koschere Mezies, Eingemachte Esraugim, Schlachmonaus zu Purim, Zwichen Minche und Mahrew, Frisch, Gesund und Meschugge!, Masseltoff, and many more. 

And the cover illustrations! Oh, boy. For example, on the cover of Zwischen Minche und Mahrew a "Polish chazan" is depicted, on his journey to America. There is a terrible storm, and out of desperation he says that if he is saved he is "menadder" (pledges) 10 pounds of candles for the Synagogue in New York! His friend Veytel Heymann asks him "Reb Cham, how can you pledge this, when you don't even have a Groschen in your pocket?" The Polish chazan (Reb Chaim) answers, "Quiet, Reb Veytel. When I'm over the water I'll give even more light." Or whatever that means at the end. 

These were produced by Jews, by the way. 

You may read them all here.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, nice and rather anti-Semitic, aren't they? The jokes are mostly bad, but the interesting thing is the language, with many peculiarities some Yekkes will recognise, and probably some non-standardised Ostjuden as well.

    (The joke you quote is about oser = אסור (WY no way) and = עשר (ten).



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