Dr. Seuss's Responses to Nazism: Historical Allegories or Political Parables?

Mark I West


In the summer of 1936, Theodore Seuss Geisel, now also known as Dr. Seuss, and his first wife, Helen Palmer Geisel, travelled to Europe where they visited Germany among other countries.  This visit to Germany proved to be a disturbing experience for Seuss and his wife as what he saw of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party appalled him.  Seeing the impact of Nazism first-hand persuaded Seuss that Hitler posed a grave danger not only to Germany but also to the wider world.

Seuss’s concern about the rise of Hitler led him to leave the world of advertising and, initially, become a political cartoonist, and would later result in several books encouraging readers to challenge structures of power: Yertle the Turtle, published in 1958, and The Sneetches, published in 1961.

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680