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This Mata Hari fantasy is pure drivel. There is no need to postulate a treacherous spy ring. The Germans simply read the Daily Mail article and responded with a sneering put-down: “In peace time, he can make beautiful young girls disappear. Now, in Egypt, he runs a military camouflage school ... But the German army topped it all last year by making the British army disappear from Europe. And this time it wasn’t just a boast. The British army disappeared completely, and forever.”
Jasper Maskelyne wrote ‘FAME!” in capitals above the page.
Why does the German cartoon display a sinister six-sided star on Maskelyne’s conical hat and cape? The Nazis notoriously forced Jews to wear yellow Stars of David on their clothing. Is the cartoon branding him as a Jew?
Maskelyne was not of Jewish descent. (If anything, he exhibited the anti-semitic prejudices of that era. His son claims that when a larger, more expensive car powered past them on the road, his father would make disparaging comments about the ‘wealthy Jew’ at the wheel.)
Perhaps the six-sided star in the cartoon is meant to be a traditional magical symbol? My interpretation: the hexagram design has both magical and anti-semitic significance. An enemy magician derives his powers from diabolical sources. Nazi ideology would equate these sources with world Jewry.
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