Postcard Mocking “Ruhr Poles” (circa 1900)


The so-called “Ruhr Poles” were migrant workers from the former Polish Prussian eastern provinces who mainly worked in the mining industry. They were Prussian citizens but spoke Polish, which is why they were considered foreigners who were often treated with disdain and prejudice. The text on this mocking cartoon reads:
“Hilarity from the strike area. Well, Stanislaus, aren't you afraid that your car will be zeroed? No, comrade, the car won't be zeroed, it's always full.”
The comment refers to the large number of children in Polish families. In mining, a trolley was “zeroed,” i.e., a miner's wages were cut, if it was not loaded full enough.


Source: “Heiteres aus dem Streikgebiet,” 1905, Nickels Kunstverlag, Oberhausen, Druck, 8,6 x 13,7 cm. LWL-Industriemuseum, Dortmund. WIM 1992/2316. Printed in: Rosmarie Beier de Haan, Jan Werquet, Fremde? Bilder von den »Anderen« in Deutschland und Frankreich seit 1871, Berlin 2009, p. 17.

© LWL-Industriemuseum, Dortmund

Postcard Mocking “Ruhr Poles” (circa 1900), published in: German History Intersections, <> [November 29, 2023].