These illustrations are from the children’s book Hurray! A War Picture-Book by the magazine illustrator and commercial advertising artist Herbert Rikli (c. 1880-1939). It tells the story of the German boy little Willi and his Austrian friend Franzl butchering or striking dead French, English, Russian and Serbian men, or throwing bombs against other enemies. Rikli also composed the verses.
The propaganda of Germany and Austria-Hungary’s governments at the beginning of World War One was relatively restrained. But few publishers and authors held back. In this book the enemies are all described as stupid and cowardly. The illustrations are glorifying and discriminating. In this manipulative and propagandistic way the children learned about the enemies of Germany as well as Austria-Hungary, and how to divide the fighting countries into good or evil. Willi and Franzl destroy every opponent they encounter, all the while accompanied by a cute-looking pet dog. When Willi discovers their adventure was only a dream, he is disappointed he hadn’t killed all those enemies after all.