Translation of an allied anti-Nazi leaflet: Judeo-Arabic language leaflet-booklet
Updated June 2008:I'm always in search for air-dropped or shelled propaganda leaflets of the Second World War.
In 2004 a miniature booklet with anti-Nazi cartoons and text in Hebrew characters was found. The booklet seems to come from an old collection of ww2 airdropped propaganda. From the same anonymous source came a lot of very rare (but 100% original) airdropped propaganda leaflets and booklets. Many of these look as if they were uncirculated. They might have come from an allied archive.
A first intensive research on the internet did learn that the booklet was unknown in circles of propaganda researchers and collectors. Because of the connection with the other original leaflets and because of the size of the booklet (in comparison to known British airdropped propaganda booklets for Germany and the occupied European countries), it seems very plausible that it is indeed British airdropped propaganda material.
Keeping this in mind, the next leads are the cartoons. These could well be by the hand of Kimon Evan Marengo (Kem). Kem was an Egyptian-born British cartoonist who, during WW2, also worked for the Political Warfare Executive preparing propaganda for North Africa and the Middle East. More information on him can be found at Wikipedia. Read their description on Kem.
Kem's position was clarified in an internal British memo on January 9th, 1942:
"Kem is to be regarded as an 'official cartoonist' in the sense that he is the only producer of cartoons directly on our books, and that his special knowledge and experience makes it desirable that he should be brought into consultation by the regional specialists for Latin America and the Middle East on matters touching his particular province."
In 'History Today, March 2002' Valerie Holman did write an interesting article on Kem during ww2. If you can acquire a copy of this magazine or article, it is for sure worth reading. Another possibilty to read the article is at highbeam.
"Of the eight books he wrote and illustrated for the Ministry of Information, several appeared not only in European languages but in three forms of Arabic (classical, Moghrabi and Ladino, the Hebrew script for Moroccan Jews), and Farsi."
In the light of the booklets text it is important to note that Kem was an Arabic speaker.
However strong these indications are, further research on Kem did not yet lead to irrefutable proof on his involvement. So this is still open for discussion!
The next step, was to find somebody able to translate the text. Placing requests on this webpage and in the Usenet newsgroups sci.lang and soc.culture.jewish.moderated did not lead to a translation. Most reviewers could not tell what language it was written in. However, they did make a lot of suggestions ranging from:
At least two reviewers suggested it could come from North Africa e.g. Morocco.
Judith Rosenhouse (Dept. of Humanities and Arts, Technion I.I.T., Haifa) found the story and the linguistics of such interest that she made a full translation of the text. She also prepares a lecture on it for the 14th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem (august 3, 2005). Please read the program of the Congress.
From a set of 24 scans of the booklet (containing all pages including the cartoons) there are only three shown here. In August, together with the publication of the translation and review, more scans will be provided.
Following is the:
Abstract for the
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Propaganda leaflets of the second World War
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