Notes on German Culture

Bad boys Max and Moritz were created by Wilhelm Busch over 150 years ago

fbMax und Moritz, the iconic terrible duo who were involved in many bad pranks, are known to all in German speaking lands. This image shows the boys playing a practical joke…pouring gun powder into a smoker’s pipe so that they could later laugh about the results of their prank. These two comic-book-like characters… two young bad boys named Max and Moritz… were created by Wilhelm Busch over 150 years ago. The boys were intended as morality lessons for kids, to teach them that bad behavior eventually results in a justifiably terrible end for the perpetrators.
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The first book was written and illustrated by Wilhelm Busch in 1865 and today the protagonists are still as familiar as ever. Busch’s classic tales of the terrible duo are still a part of the culture in German-speaking countries. Parents usually read these tales to their not-yet-literate children. In fact, a certain familiarity with the stories and their rhymes is still presumed, so much so that they are often referenced in mass communication. Their two leering faces are synonymous with mischief, and appear almost logo-like in advertising and even graffiti.


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