The Second World War began in September 1939, but its approach was felt several years before that. The military conflicts in Spain, China, Ethiopia, and Albania clearly demonstrated the foreign policy of the future Rome – Berlin – Tokyo axis. At the same time, Germany, Italy, and Japan included in their sphere of interest not only neighboring regions but also very remote lands. Thus, before the war, the real «reserve airfield» of the Axis became South America.
A satirical map of the continent, painted in 1938 by American artist John Groth, shows Latin America as a ground occupied by German, Japanese and Italian traders. With the direct support of the military and the politicians of their countries, they challenge the Monroe doctrine — one of the «sacred cows» of US foreign policy, equating any attempt to interfere in political affairs in the Western hemisphere as an act of aggression against the United States.
The drawing is full of small details. Simon Bolivar turns over in his grave as local politicians receive instructions from Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo, generously accompanied by cash and credits to buy weapons. The natives get used to new deities with a swastika and hunt for «Bolsheviks», they sing «Deutschland Hubert Alles» in schools, and in the Andes, a new deity in breeches is raised instead of the famous statue of Christ. And Magellan, seeing such a South America, decides to turn back.
By clicking on the map, you can view it in detail.