49 - Czechoslovakia Threatens Germany (1934)
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
Another propaganda map dating from just before World War II, but this time from the Nazi-German side. One of the first victims of fascist agression was Czechoslovakia, dismembered at the Munich Conference in 1938 (when Sudetenland was ceded to Germany) and shortly thereafter occupied anyway (contrary to the deal at Munich).
This map shows some of the groundwork laid by the Nazis to convince the German public opinion that it was the Czechoslovak side that was responsible for the ‘threat’, indicating that the range of Czechoslovak bomber planes include most of Germany’s territory. The map apparently dates from 1934, and can be found here. It’s subtitled: “Ein Kleinstaat bedroht Deutschland” (‘A small state threatens Germany’).
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