I don’t remember where I got this map from, but the context seems quite straightforward. The two figures in the foreground are saying “ein Geschwür!” (literally: “an ulcer”) and “Da sei Gott vor!” (“may God prevent this”). It must be a comment on the role of Berlin, once more the capital of Germany after Unification in 1990. Before this, West Germany’s capital was the comparatively tiny town of Bonn.

In comparison, Berlin is a megacity. It has been undergoing a rash of redevelopment after the fall of the Berlin Wall and may be drawing in too much attention (and funding) according to Germans in outlying areas. The title of this caricature is ‘Die Berliner Republik’, which I suppose is a reference to the ‘Weimarer Republik’, the nickname of the democratic but weak Germany that existed between the end of the First World War and the Nazis’ power grab in 1933.

The areas in red on the map correspond to parts of Berlin, which in reality occupies a relatively small area in the east of the country. In this map, it appears to be smothering the yellow areas, which refer to the ‘Bundesländer’ (constituent states) of the Federal Republic of Germany.