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Donald Duck comic recalled in Germany after ‘Holocaust’ printing error

A production error in a reprint of a 1972 Donald Duck story led a German publisher to recall the comic after the word “Holocaust” mistakenly appeared in place of “Congratulations.”

Spiegel Online reports the error crept into a panel in the Carl Barks story “Where’s the Smoke?” in which a Duckburg dignitary honors a team of firefighters for pinpointing an “awesome” blaze. However, instead of using the word “fire” or “inferno,” the legendary cartoonist went with the phrase “awesome holocaust!”

Fast-forward some 40 years, when, according to German publisher Egmont Ehapa, “holocaust” wasn’t thoroughly removed from the original English text, resulting in the dignitary praising “our brave and always alert fire lookouts! Holocaust!” in the latest reprint.

The publisher quickly recalled copies of Micky Maus Comics #6, which was released on May 8, and blacked out the offending word by hand (as you can see above). However, The Telegraph reports the incident prompted humorous allegations in the German press about the political leanings of Donald Duck, “and revealed the occasional perils of reusing aging cartoons in different cultures.”

Carl Barks' original rough sketch, showing his use of "holocaust" as a synonym for "fire."

(via hypervocal)

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Comments

6 Comments

Wait. But surely, even in English, the word “holocaust” would carry certain connotations by 1972?

That first sentence is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. I legitimately laughed out loud.

I just feel sorry for the translator, seeing that it’s being reported as a “translation error” in some parts.

after the words “Triple Homicide” mistakenly appeared in place of “Birthday Cake”

after the word “Hantavirus” mistakenly appeared in place of “Pedagogy”

after the words “Colombian Drug Cartel” mistakenly appeared in place of “Traveling Hat Salesman”

Well, you know, there is that long-standing theory that Disney was an anti-Semite…

Peter Brülls

June 1, 2012 at 6:26 am

I believe the term entered the mass-conscious with the eponymous 1978 TV series. Since Carl Barks wasn’t a very well read man , much less an intellectual, he probably wasn’t aware of the specific mean in regards to the Shoah – the preferred term on the American Jewish community, as far as I know.

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