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02/2009 Ideology

Is "Which is the Way to God, please", little piglet asked Michael Schmidt-Salomon and Helge Nyncke anti-Semitic? Or is the attempt at indexing the book rather an indication of the high degree of ideological adherence to religion still evident in various state authorities and the press?

Regardless of how one wants to answer this question, the discussions fought in the media this spring definitely highlighted one fact: Where ideology in children’s literature is concerned, we listen up. Ideology in children’s literature rings of national socialism, of communism, dictatorship and propaganda. Having said that, however, there are no stories without any ideological taint, as John Stephens states: “A narrative without an ideology is unthinkable“. And is this not particularly true of literature for children and teenagers, which is still judged by its moral and message far more harshly than literature for adults?

In this issue of interjuli, the first under our new name by the way (doubtlessly not free of ideology either), our main topic is ideology. Thus, Ralf Palandt examines political comics in the struggle for and against the Extreme Right, Mary Galbraith ponders on the similarities between Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express und Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will and Dorothée Brandt looks at Lindgren’s Ronja The Robber’s Daughter in the light of Judith Butler’s gender performance theory. A historical contribution is made by Sebastian Schmideler with his examination of the construction of bogeymen in Gustav Nieritz’ work, while Eva Lezzi analyses the presentation of the Shoah in picture books from an intercultural perspective.