Vol. 70 No. 4 (2022): Names: A Journal of Onomastics

Nazis, Lies, and Lullabies: A Case Study of Charactonyms in the National Socialist Children's Book Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid

I. M. Nick
American Name Society

Published 2022-12-06 — Updated on 2022-12-06


  • literary onomastics,
  • German,
  • charactonym,
  • anti-Semitism,
  • children's literature,
  • Julius Streicher,
  • National Socialism
  • ...More


In 1936, Elvira Theodolinde Bauer, a German kindergarten teacher and would-be graphic artist, wrote and illustrated a picturebook that would eventually become a classic of anti-Semitic children’s literature. Entitled Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinem Jud bei seinem Eid! [Trust neither a fox on a green heath nor a yid upon his oath!]1 (Bauer 1936), the work was published and distributed by the infamous Nazi propagandist and publisher Julius Streicher—the Führer of Franken and the producer of the incendiary anti-Semitic weekly, Der Stürmer. After providing historical background on Streicher, Bauer, and the poisonous fruit of their literary collaboration, this article examines how character names in Trau keinem Fuchs were used to plant misinformation about and sow hatred against Jewish people living in the Reich. As this article also shows, by utilizing the names of real-life victims of Fascism, Bauer’s fairy tales effectively blurred the line between fact and fiction for adult and child readers alike. The article ends with a discussion of the urgent need for more research into the ways hate groups, past and present, use names to indoctrinate new members, both great and small.


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