ESKA - order card

ESKA - order card scan 1 main image

On the face of it, this is a simple card for ordering bicycles from a cycle manufacturer. Hidden under this veneer of banal normality is nothing less than a manifesto for a New Order of Europe.

Following from Hitler’s 1938 annexation of the area of Czechoslovakia known, to Germans at least, as the Sudetenland, the Czech bicycle company called ESKA has become the German ‘Firma Es-Ka Werke A.G.’, the Czech city of Cheb has been rechristened the German City of Eger, and, just to rub a little salt into any wounds, you sign the order card underneath the oh-so-subtle phrase ‘Mit Deutschem Gruß’ - ‘With German greetings’.

When Neville Chamberlain climbed out of the aeroplane, on his return from signing the Munich Agreement, to piously proclaim ‘peace for our time’ it might as well have been this little card that he was merrily waving in the breeze.