Mickey Mouse comics drawn by concentration camp prisoner

Avi sez, "'Mickey Mouse in Gurs' is a tragic 'comic' book made by Horst Rosenthal in 1942 while incarcerated at the Gurs internment camp in France. Rosenthal uses Mickey Mouse as a kind of subversive Virgil to guide us through the hellish experiences of the concentration camp. Horst Rosenthal was murdered in Auschwitz in 1942."

Horst Rosenthal: Mickey Mouse in Gurs (Thanks, Avi!)


  1. Like Virgil as the guide in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”?

    Nice touch, but what would Walt do?

  2. Man…I wish you had used concentration camp “victim” instead of “prisoner,” as I was assuming a slightly less tragic ending.

    After reading the bummer description to the end and going to the link, now I also wish that you’d specified that the content was in the public domain but you were linking to a site where it’s difficult to get at the actual content (in a manner that’s useful for people that like public domain stuff) and that won’t work for protective Firefox users under Linux (at least for me, it’s illegible, and idiotically flash based.)

  3. When I followed the link, the page had the cartoon about the concentration camp on the left. On the right were a set of adverts for “Weight loss Boot Camp”, “Children’s Summer Camps”, “Camping under Canvas”…

    These computers have a dark sense of humour.

  4. Cory, this post reminded me of my treasured copy of “Kriegie Cartoons” – a wonderful book of drawings and reminiscences by Art Starratt, who was imprisoned at Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany.

    I just did a Google search and much to my surprise I find that Art Starratt is apparently still alive (or at least he was in 2002). I am going to write to him.

    Thanks for the poke! How serendipitous!

    1. My dad was in Stalag Luft I. Is this book something that was commercially published? I wonder if it’s the same guy who did the cartoons in BEHIND BARBED WIRE.

      1. I’ve got “Kriegie Cartoons” in my lap. You can see a scan of the cover (Welcome to Pow Camp Stalag Luft I Barth Germany) at the top of this web page: http://homepage.mac.com/gbryan/POW/5th.html

        My earlier post was incorrect. Art Starrat was a veteran of Stalag Luft I, but isn’t the author of KC. The wonderful cartoons in the book were drawn by Flight Sgt. Budgen of the RAF, prisoner of war for three years, and Squadron Leader B. Arct, Belgian flier attached to the RAF.

        My copy is a middling-large hardcover, marked “lithographed in the United States of America, Edwards and Broughton Company, Raleigh, NC” with no publication date.

  5. I would have been freed in 2003, but daddy Walt bribed some Congressmen to lock me away for another 20. Goofy and Donald would have gotten out this summer. Pluto this year. At night, I dream of dancing on the cultural commons. ‘Gurs’ could have been just the start. But in the harsh light of day, locked in my stinking workhouse cell, it’s hard to remain hopeful.

    Mickey M

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