Graphic Witness: Hugo Gellert
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Hugo Gellert: Karl Marx' 'Capital' in Lithographs

Dedication Foreword by Hugo GellertTable of ContentsIndex
Capital title page

Published in 1934, a year earlier than Aesop Said So, Gellert's forward explains that this book is his "translation into graphic form of the revolutionary concepts of Das Kapital." The dedication reads:

Ernest Gellert
Born at Budapest on January 12, 1896
Died in military confinement at Fort Hancock, N. J.
on March 8, 1918


endpapers The use of the pyre, chamber of inquisition and the ax of the executioner are frantic efforts of a bankrupt society "to turn the wheels of history backwards". The outrages of the Masters of the "New" Germany evidence the extent of the decay of a run-down system. Italy, Hungary, Jugo-Slavia, Roumania, Poland, Japan, Nanking and Canton of China, suffer Governments the like of which existed only in the Dark Ages. The Corporate State (a carcass of the Corporate Town of the Middle Ages) is resurrected, and with it Feudal land decrees, religious persecution, serfdom.

In the "Democratic" countries -- U. S. A., England, France, etc., -- police clubs force the jobless millions to submit to starvation. In our America we live in a period of the greatest expropriation in history since we took the land from the Indian possessors. (Brave pioneers risked their lives for this land; now crafty bankers grab it, risking nothing.) Throughout our Southern states our black brothers have always known slavery. Under the N. R. A. President Roosevelt makes slaves of all workers with the aid of strike proof "labor unions," after the pattern of Mussolini. Our last vestige of protection against the rapacious Trusts is being removed.

"Savants" seriously talk of scrapping machines. They advocate a curb on inventions and scientific experiments. Cotton is destroyed. (Even the plow becomes an instrument of destruction.) Wheat is burned. Fruit is dumped into the ocean. Milk is poured into sewers, and hogs are slaughtered for fertilizer, while thousands of human beings die of hunger. The instruments of War are made ready to deal death and destruction.

Yesterday threatens to devour to-morrow.

But out of the East rises a new Prometheus. And all the Gods in the World cannot chain him! The great disciple of Karl Marx, Lenin, led the Russian workers and peasants who created the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. And these workers and peasants became the Masters of their own destiny. The Young Giant with his mighty hands builds the future of mankind and bright lights flare up in his wake....

The disinherited of the Earth are inspired by his example. They gain strength and courage and strike out for that higher form of society -- the New World: plenty for all, a place in the Sun for everybody. But no place will remain for Masters in a World where no one is privileged to despoil his fellowmen. Fascism is the Master's last desperate effort to retain power, to chain us to the past, to rob us of our birthright to the future, to bar us from creating a World worthy of Man.

"We are many--they are few.". . .

Das Kapital is our guide. Like the X-ray, it discloses the depths below the surface. it is my hope that in this abbreviated form the immortal work of Karl Marx will become accessible to the Masses: To the huge army of workers without jobs and farmers without land; to the workers in mills and mines, to all who toil with brain or brawn. This book is made for them. For my existence -- and yours, depends upon them: "Labor is a necessary condition of all human existence, and one which is independent of the forms of society. It is through all the ages a necessity imposed by nature itself, for without it there can be no interchange of material between man and nature -- in a word, no life."

The translation into graphic form of the revolutionary concepts of Das Kapital was a source of inspiration and stimulus. Other revolutionary artists will find in the works of our great working-class leaders--Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin--a wealth of material for their best creative efforts.

The heroism of the American revolutionary vanguard, the doffed struggles of the workers and farmers in spite of jail, tear-gas and bullets are the source of a new, vigorous art movement in America worthy of the tradition of John Reed--poet and brilliant journalist--a pioneer in American working class culture, a hero and a martyr of the victorious russian worker's revolution.

In this book only the most essential parts of the original text are given. But with the aid of the drawings the necessary material for the understanding of the fundamentals of Marxism is included.

White Plains, N. Y., November 7, 1933.