Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

 

 
The Fifth Pig and similar propaganda fold-ins
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the Fold-In usually known as The Fifth Pig but which has also occurred in other forms. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

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The earliest example of this type of fold-in of which I am aware is not printed on paper but on a 650 x 550 mm cotton handkerchief. It shows images of Prince Gortschakoff, a Russian hero of the Crimean war, Gyula Andrassy, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Saffet Pasha, the Turkish Foreign Minister and Otto Von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany, and folds in to reveal a picture of Benjamin Disraeli, then the British Prime Minister. It is clearly dated 1878. (Information from https://historicmedals.com/viewItem.php?no=1030)

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In this essentially similar Dutch propaganda fold-in, dating from around the time of the first world war, a picture of four pigs folds in to reveal a fifth, who, in this case, is Kaiser William 2, Emperor of Germany. (Information from Juan Gimeno)

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In his article 'The Vilification of Enemy Leadership in WWII' (available at http://www.psywarrior.com/AxisLeadersMonsters.html) Herbert A. Friedman states 'For many years prior to WWII various venders made and sold puzzles to children. These puzzles had a number of different pictures on the front, and when folded in a special complex way depicted a hidden picture of an old man, or sometimes a political leader, sports figure or movie star.' I have been unable to verify this statement from other sources.

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The Oct 16th 1939 issue of Life magazine published a letter from a Londoner which included 'The Biggest Swine of All', a Fifth Pig propaganda fold-in, which the writer says are 'selling like hot cakes here in London at a penny each' in which a picture of four pigs turns into Adolph Hitler.

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Friedman (see above) also states that the British SOE (Special Operations Executive) printed and distributed a number, at least four, versions of the Adolph Hitle Fifth Pig design. 'It is believed that besides being used in Allied countries as a morale booster, they were also shipped to partisans in Nazi-occupied nations to attack and belittle the German Fuhrer.'

The illustration below is included in Friedman's article. Unfortunately he does not give an origin or date for this advertisement.

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Friedmann also illustrates a second Fifth Pig propaganda sheet, bearing words in Greek script, in which the pigs fold up into a picture of Mussolini.

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'Jackals and Pigs: British Government Propaganda in WW2 Iraq' by Louis Allday, available at (https://louisallday.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/jackals-and-pigs-british-government-propaganda-in-ww2-iraq/) focuses on the use of similar fold-ins in Iraq in 1940/1. He states that 'A Foreign Office file from 1941 (FO 371/27101) held at the UK National Archives in Kew reveals a fascinating and surprising example of the type of propaganda material that the British Embassy disseminated during this period. The file contains two original copies of hand-outs that were distributed by the Embassy that initially appear to simply be two cartoons, one depicting four jackals and the other four pigs. However, once folded in a certain way, the animals come together to form caricature-like images of the faces of the Italian and German fascist leaders, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler'

The fold-in of Hitler is the familiar Fifth Pig design, that of Mussolini a variant using jackals instead of pigs.

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According to the website of the Imperial War Museum (http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1030001574) a redrawn Fifth Pig fold-in was in circulation in February 1991 during the first Gulf War. In this case the subject was Saddam Hussein. I obtained one of these at the time, though I cannot now recall how I came by it. The writing is in Dutch and the Netherlands appears to have been the source of this version.

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