Fingers of Fate-The Tightening Grip, Unknown Artist, ca. 1916.
During World War I, European postcard publishers used photomontage to fan the flames of patriotism on both sides of the conflict. A postcard issued in Munich in 1914 shows a towering German infantryman pounding together the heads of three soldiers of the Triple Entente-France, England, and Russia-in what the caption called a “powerful collision”. A few years later, an English publisher countered with a card on which a giant hand, its wrist and fingernails adorned with official portraits of the Allied leaders, crushes Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II in the “tightening grip”.