Warning: The reporting linked in this post includes blatantly Antisemitic cartoons.
If you know anything about internet conspiracy theorists, it’s that they’re absolutely ridiculous. But you may also know that they’re incredibly Anti-Semitic and don’t try to hide it. I’ve documented Reddit’s Antisemitism in-depth previously; one thing I didn’t cover was their favorite cartoon, Le Happy Merchant or Jew-bwa-ha-ha.gif. A disturbing hook-nosed caricature that wouldn’t be out of place in the pages of Der Stürmer, it’s enjoyed wide use among the denizens of certain dark corners of the internet. It’s as essential a part of a conspiracy theorist’s repertoire as their boundless paranoia, contrarianism and horrific lack of self-awareness. The image even gained currency among the vicious fools of GamerGate, who edited the image to portray Anita Sarkeesian, who in their minds the ringleader of a grand conspiracy to critique video games on Youtube.
Buzzfeed’s Joseph Bernstein has uncovered the origins of the image – which does not date back to 1930s Germany, but comes from a far more recent vintage. And make sure you keep reading until the last image.
Later, he broke down how a Finnish meme mocking Americans became part of the internet’s Antisemitic cartoon world. Everything is terrible.